How to Set Graphics Card on a Per-App Basis in Windows

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If you are using a Windows PC that has multiple video cards, you can now manually set which graphics card an application or game will use. Usually, the switch between video cards is done automatically by the system based on the running app. For instance, it might select the integrated graphics for light apps to save power and automatically switch to the full-blown GPU when needed. Thanks to a new setting in Windows 10, it’s easy to customize graphics performance and set a default graphics card on a per-app basis. Let’s see how this is done in a step-by-step manner.

How to Set Graphics Card on a Per-App Basis in Windows

Step 1: Open Windows 10 Graphics Settings

Open the Settings app (Win + I). Navigate to System > Display > Graphics Settings.

Step 2: Select Classic or Universal App

Next, you have to select an app to set its preference. On Graphics Settings page, you get two options:

  • Classic app
  • Universal app

Set Graphics Card on a Per-App Basis

Step 3: Select an App or Game to Configure

If you chose to configure a “Classic app,” you will then see a “Browse” button below. Click on this button to navigate through your computer and select the executable file of the app or game.

Classic app in Graphics Settings

Similarly, if you chose to configure a “Universal app,” you get a second selection field called “Select an app.” Clicking on the field opens a list of apps installed from the Microsoft Store. Once you choose an app from the list, an “Add” button is made available to select the particular app.

Universal app in Graphics Settings

Step 4: Select Default GPU for App

Clicking on the app you just added in Step 3, will give you two options: Option and Remove. Click Option to open the “Graphics specifications” dialog.

Graphics Specifications Dialog

In this dialog you can see the graphics card that are available on the system, and which saves power or offers high performance. Below these details is where you can set a preference to use:

  • System default: Let Windows automatically choose the best video card
  • Power saving: Use the integrated graphics card
  • High performance: Use the discrete video card

Make the selection you prefer and click hit “Save.” Your preference will take effect the next time you launch the app.

Simply repeat the process for every app you want to configure. Going forward, Windows will use the graphics processor you specified optimizing battery life or performance when you launch it.

To go back to the default setting, just select the app from the list on “Graphics performance preference” and click the Remove button or in the “Options” dialog, select the “System default” option.