Hardware acceleration is basically using the GPU when it's possible (instead of the CPU). This makes page-drawing operations faster. You can turn on GPU hardware acceleration in your browser for your graphics card so that it can get better video playback and online gaming performance like YouTube as well as other features like the 3D Earth view in the new Google Maps for Chrome.
Part I: Turn GPU Hardware Acceleration On or Off in Chrome
1. Open Chrome and type "chrome://flags" in the search bar:
2. Hit Enter and it should take you to page like this. Scroll down till you find "GPU compositing on all pages". Select the option "Default" and change it to "Enabled". If you want to turn off GPU hardware acceleration in Chrome, select the option "Default" and change it to "Disabled".
3. Lastly, click on the "Relaunch now" button to confirm settings.
Part II: Turn GPU Hardware Acceleration On or Off in Internet Explorer
1. In IE9 or IE10, click/tap on Tools and Internet Options. If you use Windows 8.1/8, you would open the IE11 desktop version, and not the IE11 Metro.
2. Click/tap on the "Advanced" tab, uncheck the Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering box, and click/tap on OK. If you want to turn off GPU hardware acceleration in Internet Explorer, just check the Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering box.
Note: If the Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering option is greyed out and checked, then your current video card/chip or video driver doesn't support GPU hardware acceleration.
3. Close and reopen your Internet Explorer to apply.
Part III: Turn GPU Hardware Acceleration On or Off in Firefox
1. Click on the orange "Firefox" tab. Then click on "Options" and then move on "Options".
2. Go to the "Advanced" tab and select "Use hardware acceleration when available":
Note: If you want to turn GPU hardware acceleration off in Firefox, just deselect "Use hardware acceleration when available" here.
3. Hit OK when you're done.
Turning on GPU hardware acceleration on your browser can probably cause problems. If you want to turn off it on your browser, you can apply for it as introduced above.