Vulkan Runtime Libraries: What is it? How can I remove it?

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Managing Editor
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  • There's no reason to panic if you detect Vulkan Run Time Libraries on your computer. It was installed together with the drivers from your graphics card.
  • It is not a virus or a security threat. It's a software library that certain games use to run in order to display graphics on your screen.
  • Having questions about any other drivers? Have a look at our drivers section on the website for answers.
  • Are you a curious person? Check out the What is section on the website to learn more about the computer world.
what is Vulkan Run Time Libraries

Many Windows 10 users panic when they detect the presence of Vulkan Run Time Libraries on their computers. The program appears under Programs and Features and is published by LunarG, Inc.

You need to know that the runtime library is a collection of software programs and the goal is to provide functions or services. Usually, you’ll find there many programs and functions that are commonly used by all kinds of programs.

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In a nutshell, the runtime library provides add-on resources to a primary program, thus helping it. 

When Vulkan installs on the user’s computer, there is no pop-up window to inform them about its presence. As a result, when they see Vulkan Runtime Libraries on their list of programs, they fear it’s a malicious software.

I noticed an entry in my Programs & Features that I did not intentionally invite. The install date is the same day as the latest Microsoft Visual C+, and the same day as the last NVidia driver updates, March 12th – 2016. The program is titled “Vulcan Run Time Libraries 1.0.3.0” and is published by “LunarG, Inc.”  Does anyone know what is its’ purpose, how it would have managed to get on my PC, and is it a security issue?

Of course, in order to remove malware and other threats, feel free to have a look at our top with the best antivirus software to use on your Windows PC.

Just to get this out of the way from the beginning, Vulkan Run Time Libraries is not a virus and does not affect your computer negatively in any way.

Vulkan Runtime Libraries explained

Rest assured, Vulkan is not a malware. There’s no need to delete it. Actually, Vulkan is a relatively new graphics standard, just like OpenGL and DirectX.

It provides high-efficiency, cross-platform access to modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices from PCs and consoles, to mobile phones. Vulkan helps with lowering CPU usage is also better able to distribute work amongst multiple CPU cores.

If you are using Nvidia drivers it’s very likely that you already have Vulkan Run Time Libraries on your computer. Because more often than not it’ll be installed with your graphics card driver, you won’t notice any pop-up or dedicated install window.

If you’re a gamer, you most certainly have Vulkan on your PC, but if you’re not, it’s possible that you won’t find it. Keep in mind that if you uninstall Vulkan, it’s very hard to reinstall it again because it comes with the graphics drivers and you will need those first.  

There’s been much fuss around Vulkan lately, due to the win32/subtab!blnk virus. Some users reported that after removing Vulkan Run Time Libraries, Windows Defender stopped from displaying malware attack information.

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They quickly concluded that removing Vulkan was the solution to this “new” malware problem. There is no connection between Vulkan and the win32/subtab!blnk virus.

As a result, you should simply leave the program on your computer; removing it may cause various graphics issues, especially when playing games.

Speaking of games, there are a series of them that support Vulkan Run Time Libraries, including Dota 2, Rust, Need for Speed, Ashes of Singularity, Doom, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III, Ark Survival Evolved, and more.

If you regularly play one of these games, avoid uninstalling the tool.

But I still want to remove Vulkan Runtime Libraries

As stated above, we strongly recommend that you keep this tool on your computer. However, if you still want to delete Vulkan Runtime Libraries, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Go to Control Panel > select Uninstall a programuninstall a program
  2. Scroll down to Vulkan Runtime Libraries > select it > click Uninstall

Also, you can do it this way:

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open a Run window. run blank
  2. In the run box type appwiz.cpl and then hit OK.
  3. In the list that appears, find Vulkan Run Time Libraries. Right-click on it and select Uninstall/Change.
  4. Follow the steps and finish the uninstall process.

As we explained, Vulkan Runtime Libraries is not a virus and doesn’t affect you in any way. It’s best to leave it there, but if you really want to uninstall it, follow the steps above.

Don’t forget to tell us in the comments section below if you have Vulkan on your computer and if it bothers you or not. And if you had any issues regarding it, share how you solved them.

FAQ: Learn more about Vulkan Runtime Libraries

  • Do I need Vulkan runtime libraries?

Some video games and other programs use Vulkan libraries and therefore depend on the runtime libraries to be installed on the computer in order for them to run properly.

  • Is Vulkan runtime libraries a virus?

Simply put, no. While you haven’t installed it specifically, it most likely came together with your graphics card driver installation. If your antivirus software says otherwise, it might be a good time to consider changing it. See our top antivirus options.

  • What is Vulkan RT?

Vulkan Runtime Libraries are a collection of files installed in order for your graphics card to run certain instructions that come from video games that use Vulkan API. You might have heard of DirectX or OpenGL. Vulkan is one more standard, similar with those.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness

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