Fix: GPU Crashes When Playing Games [5 Quick Ways]

Lower your graphic settings for an enhanced gameplay

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Key notes

  • GPUs are the most important part of any gaming machine, but they're also one of the most complex pieces of hardware in your computer. 
  • They have to process a lot of information very quickly, and if something goes wrong with that process, it can cause your GPU to stop working.

If you’ve ever played a graphically intensive game and seen the screen go black or your computer suddenly freeze, you may have encountered the dreaded GPU crash. It’s happened to everyone who plays games at some point, so you’re not alone. 

GPUs make video games possible, paving the way for highly complex graphics and extremely realistic environments. Because of this complexity, they tend to be very powerful and run hot. That makes them more likely to crash just when you’re in the middle of an awesome ambush. 

Why does my GPU crash when I play games?

There are a ton of reasons why your graphics card (GPU) could be crashing when you try to play games. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Low memory – It’s possible that you don’t have enough memory to play a game and it’s causing crashes.
  • Overheating – If your computer gets too hot while you’re playing games, then it will crash. You can install resource monitor software to stay on top of things.
  • Old graphics card – If you are playing a graphics-intensive game, it’s likely that the problem stems from age and wear and tear on the computer including the graphics card itself.
  • Virus infection – If you have a virus, your computer’s hardware will be affected, and that can manifest in the way your GPU works. It’s always good to install an antivirus program.
  • Outdated graphic card drivers – Many times, these problems are caused by outdated drivers. You need to update your graphics card to newer versions of Windows.
  • System requirements – If your PC crashes only when playing games, you may be playing a game that requires more graphics processing power than your graphics card can handle.

How can I fix my GPU if it crashes when playing games?

Before anything, check the following:

  • Check the minimum and recommended requirements for that game and compare them to what you’re running.
  • If your computer is very hot, you may have issues with overheating.
  • Close any background apps that may be taking up the resources.

Now, proceed to the following solutions.

1. Lower your graphics settings

If you’re experiencing crashes while playing games, try setting the game’s resolution lower than its default setting and lowering the other graphics settings while keeping an eye on the frames per second (FPS) counter. 

You want to find a good balance between playable performance and visually appealing graphics. If reducing your graphics settings doesn’t improve your system’s stability, it’s possible that there’s an incompatibility between one or more of your hardware components and the game itself.

2. Clear disk space

Over time, the amount of information on your computer gets fragmented and eventually causes performance to lag. This is true for both hard drives and solid state drives (SSDs). The more space a file takes up, the more fragmented it becomes. 

If you’re running out of hard drive space, it may be time to delete some files. Just remember that you should always back up important files like pictures and documents first if there’s any chance that you might need them again.

3. Update your graphics card

  1. Press the Windows key, type Device Manager in the search box, and click Open.
  2. Navigate to Display adapters, right-click on your graphics card, and select Update driver.Graphic Driver Update
  3. Select Search automatically for drivers.
Ensure your system performs smoothly and avoids all GPU driver errors by using a complete driver update assistant, namely Outbyte Driver Updater, that will do the job for you. Here's how to safely update your drivers:
  1. Download and install the Outbyte Driver Updater app.
  2. Launch the software and wait for the app to detect all incompatible drivers.
  3. Now, it will show you a list of all faulty drivers to select the ones to Update or Ignore.
    OutByte Driver Updater Scan
  4. Click on Update & Apply Selected to download and install the newest versions.
  5. Restart your PC to ensure the applied changes.


Keep your GPU in a flawless state without worrying about possible driver issues.
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Disclaimer: You may need to upgrade the app from the free version to perform specific actions.

4. Scan for viruses

  1. Press the Windows key, search Windows Security and click Open.
  2. Select Virus & threat protection.
  3. Next, press Quick scan under Current threats.
  4. Wait for the process to finish and restart your system.

5. Update your OS

  1. Hit the Windows key and select Settings.settings windows 11
  2. Click on Windows update, then select Check for updates.check-updates-w11 windows 11 blue screen
  3. Download and install if any are available.

How do I know if my GPU is dying?

No matter what kind of computer you’re using, it’s likely that one day you’ll see some kind of graphics error or computer crash while in the middle of a game. These errors can be caused by different factors, and can even be attributed to normal wear and tear on your computer.

But there are warning signs that might help you decide whether your GPU is dying before things get worse and you end up stranded without a way to play your favorite games.

If you’re seeing any of the following warning signs, it’s time to get a new GPU: 

  • Frequent Blue Screen of Death when playing
  • Your graphics card doesn’t support the latest games or programs 
  • Games take longer than usual to load 
  • Your computer starts running slower than usual 
  • The screen randomly shakes or vibrates

We also have recommended fixes for when your PC keeps crashing while gaming so be sure to check that out.

In case your GPU has reached its end of life, it may be time to upgrade to a new GPU for gaming. This guarantees you enhanced performance whenever you are playing games and lowers the risk of frequent crashes.

We also have the best gaming settings for Windows 11 to ensure you get the most out of your PC and game.

For any additional thoughts on this topic, let us know in the comments section below.

More about the topics: gaming, GPU