Freeing Up GPU Memory: Top 5 Expert-Recommended Ways

Computer users today are all too familiar with the blue screen. This common error is mostly caused by a memory leak, which is when an application reduces the capacity for available memory without freeing it up first. A computer’s GPU (graphics processing unit) and CPU (central processing unit) need to work together in order to complete tasks, so when the system is running low on power it will turn off the GPU to conserve energy. When this happens, applications that use graphics can crash or display errors.

how to free up gpu memory

What is GPU memory?

The GPU (graphics processing unit) is a chip that acts as the brain for your computer’s graphics, and it requires a lot of memory. The more powerful your PC gets, the faster its GPU needs to be able to process images and videos. This means that if you have an older model with less RAM than what your new machine has, then your old one may not have enough memory to run all the programs installed on it.

Why is it is important to free up gpu memory?

If you don’t free up your GPU memory, your graphics card will constantly be transferring data and can cause a potential bottleneck. If this happens, your game or program won’t perform well at all because there isn’t enough space in the GPU to store everything needed to render something correctly.

how will free-up GPU memory affect the user

Sometimes when playing games or running simulations, we end up with a visual artifact known as “texture thrashing.” This is where data is being constantly moved in and out of GPU memory. Moving data to and from the video card can sometimes take so long that it interrupts gameplay.

Video cards use a type of memory called VRAM for storing textures and various other items needed for rendering complex graphics. The amount of VRAM available on your system determines how much you can fit into this area. If you have less than 1 GB of VRAM, then you’ll need to make sure you don’t exceed the maximum texture size allowed by your game engine.

5 Ways to free up gpu memory

The best way to free up GPU memory is by changing the video settings on the game. Turning the texture quality down or off can really help to get rid of some of that extra wasted space. Another option would be to remove any mods that you don’t think are necessary, like high-res textures or more advanced modding tools. If you’re having trouble getting into games without these things enabled, try disabling them in Steam first before trying other methods.

Lowering graphics settings

Many times, people will want to lower their graphics settings, either due to the high price of a gaming laptop with a high-end graphics card or desktop computer, or because they’re using an older computer that can’t cope with the quality. Lowering your settings will free up the GPU memory and also reduce your energy usage.

Lowering graphics settings for your game can be an easy fix to free up GPU memory and speed up gameplay. Here’s how:

Open the Game Menu by pressing Windows key + G on PC or Esc+G on Mac. This opens the main menu where you’ll see options like Settings, Options, etc. Select Graphics from there. You should now see two tabs at the top – Performance and Advanced. Click on either one depending on which tab is currently selected. The first option will open a window with three sliders. These control the quality of textures used in-game as well as shadows and lighting effects. Adjust these until they look good enough for you. If you’re having trouble finding settings that work best for you, try lowering them all down to low so it doesn’t use any more resources than necessary.

Disabling GPU acceleration

It can be tempting to disable the graphics card’s acceleration in order to free up computer resources. However, doing so will result in a less-than-ideal viewing or computing experience. By disabling GPU acceleration, you are sacrificing the high performance of the graphics card for more system memory. This will not provide an optimal experience for any device being used.

Lowering texture quality

Lowering texture quality is an effective way to free up GPU memory. Texture quality can be lowered in-game by clicking on the “Settings” tab and selecting the “Graphics” tab. This will open a radial box with a slider that can be dragged to decrease texture quality. Lowering texture quality will increase performance while creating less of a graphical impact for certain players, especially those with less powerful computers or weaker graphics cards.

Disabling Windows Aero

Many people that use Windows 7 might want to disable the Aero interface because it often causes slowdowns due to its resource-intensive nature. To disable Aero, go to “Control Panel” and type “Windows Aero” in the search box. Then, click the “Turn Windows Aero On Or Off” link below. You can also do this by right-clicking on your Desktop and selecting Properties, then clicking the “Windows color and appearance” link on the General tab.

Lowering VSync

A new process, called VSync, is a way to limit the refresh rate of the screen. This technology is also known as “vertical sync” and was originally developed by Intel Corporation in 1998. VSync prevents animation from going too fast for the display to keep up with, which would result in a choppy look. However, it can cause a sluggish response time for your computer if there is a lot of data being processed on the GPU. To turn off VSync: Open Control Panel > Hardware & Sound > Display Settings > Advanced Tab > Change settings for all displays > Set Vertical Sync Off


There are many ways to free up your computer’s graphics card. While it may not always be possible, these methods should help you in freeing up memory space.

The goal of this article is to show you how to free up your graphics card by using some troubleshooting steps, as well as some tried and true software solutions. This may not always be the solution for all users, but it can be a good place to start.

Hi, fellow tech enthusiasts! I’m Syed Kashif Shah, and I’m proud to be your go-to expert for all things like problems, suggestions, recommendations related to graphics cards. As a seasoned Technology Consultant and Hardware Enthusiast, I’ve spent years in the graphics card troubleshooting and repair field.