Fix: Adobe After Effects Not Using GPU on PC [5 Ways]

After Effects needs a dedicated graphics card to function properly

by Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Managing Editor
Loredana is a passionate writer with a keen interest in PC software and technology. She started off writing about mobile phones back when Samsung Galaxy S II was... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • If you use other applications that use GPU more than After Effects, your graphics card might be occupied when trying to use Adobe After Effects.
  • To fix this, we have listed a series of solutions for you to check, which resolves the problem.
after effects not using gpu
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Despite its popularity among video and media tech, Adobe After Effects might cause issues such as slow rendering and other performance issues. This usually happens when After Effects cannot use GPU as expected.

This article discusses some effective methods to fix the issue and probable causes. Let’s get started! 

What causes Adobe After Effects is not using GPU to render?

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There could be several reasons for this performance issue; some of the popular ones are mentioned here:

  • GPU not enabled in After Effects – If the Use Graphics Processor option is disabled, the app will not use GPU.
  • After Effects do not support your GPU – If you are using a low-end GPU or older graphics card, then those won’t be supported by After Effects, hence the issue.
  • Old or obsolete graphics driver – The graphics drivers needs to be updated if you want to use any of the high GPU using app smoothly. If the graphics drivers are outdated, it may cause this issue.
  • Composition settings are misconfigured –  The Composition settings are not set to use the GPU, you might face the problem. Ensure you have the Advanced 3D option enabled.

What can I do if Adobe After Effects is not using GPU?

1. Enable GPU in After Effects

  1. Open Adobe After Effects. Go to File.
  2. Click Project Settings. Go to General.Project Settings - after effects not using gpu
  3. Under Video Rendering and Playback tab, and from the dropdown for Renderer option, select Mercury GPU Acceleration.Mercury GPU
  4. Click OK and click Save.
  5. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  6. Locate and right-click the After Effects app and select End Task.

2. Update the graphics driver

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run console.Device Manager RUN COMMAND
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Device Manager.
  3. Navigate and click on Display adapters. Next, right-click your graphics drivers and select Update driver.Graphics Driver-After effects not using GPU
  4. On the next window, click Search automatically for drivers.Search automatically for drivers
  5. Follow the prompts to complete.

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3. Change Composition Settings

  1. Launch Adobe After Effects. Go to Composition.
  2. Under Composition Settings, go to 3D Renderer.
  3. Also, set Ray-traced 3D. 3d Rendere - After effects not using GPU
  4. Click OK.

4. Add your GPU name to the RayTraced file

  1. Right-click the Adobe After Effects app and select Open file location.
  2. On the next window, locate the raytracer_supported_cards file.
  3. Open the file and check if you can find your graphics card name.
  4. You need to add it manually if you don’t find it there. Then, copy the raytracer_supported_cards file from the folder to the desktop.
  5. To know the graphics card name, press Windows + R to open the Run box.dxdiag
  6. Type dxdiag, and press Enter to open DirectX Diagnostic Tool.
  7. Switch to the Display tab, and note the name next to Chip Type.DXDIAG 1
  8. Open the raytracer_supported_cards and write the name as it appears on the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.
  9. Click File and choose Save
  10. Now copy this file, navigate to the Adobe After Effects file location and paste it there. It will ask you to replace it and click Yes.

5. Update Adobe After Effects

  1. Launch the Creative Cloud Desktop app. 
  2. Go to Apps, then click Updates.
  3. Locate and click Check for updatesUpdates -after effects not using gpu
  4. If the update is available for After Effects, click Update.

So, these are steps you need to take if Adobe After Effects is not using GPU to render. Try them and let us know which worked for you in the comments below.

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