Fix: World of Warcraft was unable to start 3D acceleration

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • World of Warcraft is one of the best ever MMO games. However, users can't start that game when the World of Warcraft was unable to start up 3D acceleration error arises.
  • One of the best resolutions for the World of Warcraft was unable to start up error is to turn off full-screen optimization for the game.
  • Our dedicated Blizzard page includes a collection of World of Warcraft posts that provide further fixes for the game.
  • If you love games in general, check out our dedicated Gaming page.
Wow 3d acceleration

Some World of Warcraftplayers have posted on the Microsoft and Blizzard forums about a World of Warcraft was unable to start up 3D acceleration error message. Users can’t start World of Warcraft when that error message pops up.

Do you need to fix that error? If so, check out these potential resolutions for it.


How do I fix the World of Warcraft 3D acceleration issue?

1. Turn off full-screen optimization and run the game as administrator

  1. Numerous players have confirmed that turning off full-screen optimization for World of Warcraft fixes this error.
    1. To do so, press the Windows key + E hotkey.
  2. Then open your World of Warcraft game folder in File Explorer.
  3. Right-click the Wow-64.exe or WoW.exe in the World of Warcraft folder to select Properties.
  4. Select the Compatibility tab shown in the shot directly below.
    Compatibility tab World of Warcraft was unable to start up 3D acceleration
  5. Then select the Disable full-screen optimizations check box.
  6. In addition, select the Run this program as administrator option.
  7. Click Apply to save the settings.
  8. Click OK to exit the window.

2. Reset World of Warcraft to default

  1. Resetting World of Warcraft via the Blizzard software to default might resolve incompatible game settings.
  2. Open your Blizzard Battle.net software.
  3. Click Blizzard at the top left of the software’s window.
  4. Click Options on the menu.
  5. Then select Game Settings for further options.
  6. Select the Reset In-Game Options for World of Warcraft.
  7. Press the Reset button.
  8. Thereafter, click the Done button.

3. Update your graphics card driver

  1. Check if your graphics card driver needs updating with Driver Booster 7.
  2. Press the Free Download button on DB 7’s webpage.
  3. Open DB 7’s setup wizard to add the software to Windows.
  4. Driver Booster will start scanning when you launch it.
  5. Select all the devices the scan lists.
    Driver Booster 7 software World of Warcraft was unable to start up 3D acceleration
  6. Then click the Update Now button to update the drivers for selected devices.

4. Select the Scan and Repair option

  1. Blizzard Battle.net’s Scan and Repair option might fix the World of Warcraft was unable to start up error for some users.
  2. Open the Blizzard Battle.net software.
  3. Select World of Warcraft on the left of the Blizzard window.
  4. Click Options to open that menu.
  5. Click Scan and Repair on the Options menu.
    Scan and Repair option World of Warcraft was unable to start up 3D acceleration
  6. Select the Begin Scan option to confirm.

5. Turn off SLI for NVIDA GPUs

  1. Turning off SLI (Scaleable Link Interface) for NVIDIA GPUs might fix the World of Warcraft was unable to start up error for some users.
  2. To do that, right-click the desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel.
    NVIDIA Control Panel window World of Warcraft was unable to start up 3D acceleration
  3. Expand the 3D Settings category.
  4. Click Set SLI and PhysX configuration on the left of the window.
  5. Then select the Do not use SLI radio button.

6. Select the High-performance graphics option for World of Warcraft

  1. Users with duel graphics laptops should make sure that World of Warcraft is assigned to a dedicated NVIDIA GPU.
  2. Right-click the desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel on the context menu that opens.
  3. Click 3D Settings > Manage 3D Settings on the NVIDIA Control Panel.
    Manage 3D Settings World of Warcraft was unable to start up 3D acceleration
  4. Select the Program Settings tab.
  5. Click the Add button.
    Add window World of Warcraft was unable to start up 3D acceleration
  6. Click Browse to open an Add folder window. Select the Wow.exe on that window, and click the Open button.
  7. With World of Warcraft the selected program, select High-performance NVIDIA processor on the Select the preferred graphics processor drop-down menu.

Those are some of the more probable fixes for the World of Warcraft was unable to start up 3D acceleration error. In addition, make sure that your Windows 10 is fully updated by clicking Check for Windows updates on that platform’s update page.


FAQ: Learn more about World of Warcraft

  • What is World of Warcraft?

World of Warcraft is a 3D MMORPG set in a fantasy realm where you battle using weapons and magic.

  • Is World of Warcraft free?

Wolrd of Warcraft is subscription-based, but you can play the original WoW Classic for free.

  • How do I improve my lag in WoW?

There are several ways you can improve your lag in WoW for better gameplay, and we’ve included them all in this detailed guide.