How to Choose Your Preferred GPU for an Application in Windows 10

Most PCs today ship with more than one GPU under the hood – one attached to the PC motherboard and the other, a standalone GPU. In Windows 10, you can now choose which GPU to use to run specific applications.

Why Choosing Your GPU Matters

The thing about GPU is that it demands a lot of energy to keep it running under the hood.

And that’s not all.

For gamers, the GPU remains active after gaming; that’s some 100% of extra energy-sapping activity. Even if you’re not worried about climate change, you should care about the energy bills.

For Windows 10 users, Microsoft provided a helpful feature to manage this issue.

Windows Advanced GPU Settings

Thanks to the advanced GPU management system of the Windows settings app, you can now manage how and when the system should use your dedicated graphics cards.


If most of your daily activities on your PC are simple tasks like emailing, chatting, and using the Internet, you can delegate these tasks to your PC’s integrated graphics card. For more graphic intensive applications like games, image/video editors, etc., you can then assign your dedicated GPU to handle these tasks.

1. Open your Settings app by clicking on the Search icon and typing “Settings.”


2. Go to “System.”


3. Choose “Display.”


4. Scroll to the bottom of this new page and look for “Advanced Graphics Settings.”


It will open another page with a couple of options. This is where you do all the heavy lifting.

5. Set the app type. App type here can either be “Universal App” or “Classic App.” For the sake of clarity, universal apps refer to apps that you downloaded from the official Windows store. Classic apps refer to other installed apps not listed on the Windows store.

6. Choose either “Universal” or “Classic app” as it applies to you.


7. Click on “Browse” to choose the specific app you want to use a GPU for, and then select the app.


8. Now click on “Options.” A small box pops up with three options.


  • System default: The default GPU for all PCs is the integrated GPU that ships with the motherboard.
  • Power Saving: The GPU that uses the least power on your PC. Also your integrated graphics card.
  • High Performance: The GPU with the highest capability connected to your PC. It means the discrete and external GPUs you use on your PC.

Rules for Selection

As a rule, don’t run programs with sub-optimal settings. You want to follow this guide while choosing the preferred GPU on Windows 10 for your apps.

  • Set graphics intensive programs to “High-performance.” This includes your photo- and video-editing software as well as games, virtual machines (VM), and CAD software.
  • Set other simple apps to power saving or leave them to keep the system’s default settings. This arrangement automatically routes your PC’s activities to the integrated GPU.

Close your Settings app when you’re done. You can always alter these settings at will.

Wrapping Up

Choosing preferred GPU on Windows 10 is a brilliant way to manage your computer processes. You get to put a lesser strain on your GPU and save a few extra bucks on utility bills at the same time.

Nicholas Godwin
Nicholas Godwin

Nicholas Godwin is a technology researcher who helps businesses tell profitable brand stories that their audiences love. He's worked on projects for Fortune 500 companies, global tech corporations and top consulting firms, from Bloomberg Beta, Accenture, PwC, and Deloitte to HP, Shell, and AT&T. You may follow his work on Twitter or simply say hello. His website is Tech Write Researcher.

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