Here's how to set default graphics for apps and games on Windows 11 –


Does your Windows 11 laptop's battery drain quickly when connected to a monitor, but last a long time otherwise? My friend has a similar experience – 4K videos get distorted and Photoshop becomes sluggish when he edits images. Upon investigation, I discovered that they did not specify Windows 11 to choose integrated or dedicated graphics (GPU) for many relevant apps and games. If you're struggling with similar issues, here's how to set default graphics on Windows 11 PC.

Why Choose Windows 11 as the Default Graphics for Apps and Games?

All desktops and laptops with Windows 11 have an integrated graphics chip on the motherboard to power the display and run all standard apps and games. You'll find Radeon integrated graphics chips in AMD processor-based PCs and Intel HD graphics chips in PCs with Intel processors. These integrated GPU chips can handle 1080p resolution displays and lower frame rates. Because of that, integrated GPU chips often extend battery life in laptops.

Laptops and desktops that promise performance include a discrete graphics chip (laptop) or card (desktop) to handle graphics-demanding apps and games. Such GPU chips provide more exciting graphical performance (frame rate and resolution) with games like Fortnite Or battlefield 2042, But they also consume more power and battery, especially in laptops. This is why gaming laptops with desktop-grade GPU chips have short battery life and get your lap hot.

Interestingly, Windows 11 can choose integrated or discrete graphics depending on the apps or games you use. You also get a setting to determine which graphics (GPU) an app or game can use by default. This way you can create 4K videos or play graphics-demanding games easily in VLC player.

There are two ways to set the default graphics in Windows 11, and we'll take a look at the easier one first.

Set Default Graphics on Windows 11 from the Settings App

The Settings app lets you set the default graphics for photo viewers, image editors, video players, archiver (WinRAR) apps, and even games installed on your PC. Here's how to let Windows choose the relevant graphics to get the best performance on Windows 11.

1. Squeeze Windows + I Keyboard shortcut to open the Settings app.

2. choose System In the left sidebar, select More Display From the right window pane.

3. Scroll down and click GRAPHICS Below Related Settings Section.

4. go to Custom settings for applications section to find a list of apps and games that let you choose specific graphics.

5. Choose any app or game. On my PC, I chose VLC and found that Windows was set to Let Windows decide (power saving) Option from drop-down as GPU priority.

That drop-down gives you five options (depending on the number of GPUs on your PC):

  • Let Windows decide—Depending on the nature of the app, Windows selects graphics to deliver high performance or save power.
  • Power Saving – Windows uses the integrated GPU to save power.
  • High performance – Windows will use a dedicated NVIDIA or AMD GPU, provided your PC has one.
  • Specialized GPU 1: Discrete NVIDIA or AMD GPU
  • Typical GPU 2: Integrated Intel or Radeon GPU.

Comment: button in add an app Option allows you to include Microsoft Store apps and third-party apps in the list Custom settings for applications,

If your PC runs windows 11 2022 update Or later, you can use Optimization for Windows Games In graphics section of display settings. that feature gets unlocked auto hdr And variable refresh rate For Windows games while providing better visual latency. In addition to setting default graphics, you can use this customization for apps like Photos and Camera.

Set default graphics from dedicated graphics app

Your Windows PC with a discrete GPU from AMD or NVIDIA will have a relevant program pre-installed. Don't worry if there aren't any; Download and Install Latest AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition from amd site or nvidia control panel From Microsoft Store. These dedicated apps let you add games and even individual apps to make the most of the dedicated graphics.

I have an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 on my PC, so I'll be using the NVIDIA Control Panel for this guide. The steps are the same for AMD Radeon software.

1. Open the NVIDIA Control Panel app from the bottom-right corner of the taskbar on your PC or press Windows + S to bring up Windows Search.

2. Below 3d settings In the left sidebar, select Manage 3D Settings,

3. On the right pane, you will find two tabs – Global Settings and Program Settings.

global settings: This lists the settings that apply to all apps on your PC. If you want to change a specific setting, click on it and select the option from the drop-down next to it.

Program Settings: It automatically detects helpful programs and lists all the individual settings you can select for specific functions. For example, you can change texture filtering-quality Settings for VLC media player high quality,

We recommend tinkering with the individual settings if you know what each one does. However, you can always hit restore button to undo all the settings you changed.

4. When complete, hit apply button at the lower-right corner of the NVIDIA Control Panel.

Control which graphics to use efficiently

When assigning relevant graphics, Windows 11 always prioritizes power-saving or high performance depending on the app or game. You can always decide which GPU can make an image viewer feel attractive or save battery life whenever necessary. Of course, this only applies if your PC has integrated and discrete graphics. When unsure, let Windows choose for you. However, if you enjoy 4K videos and all your games, set discrete graphics as the default for the video player.

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By Ranjan