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    By Justin Doughty

    Graphical problems within AutoCAD can range from slow performance to fatal errors. Making sure you have certified graphics card, driver and Hardware Acceleration turned ”On” can resolve most of these.

    A very common problem is that Hardware Acceleration will not turn on for some users. Below are a few steps to check.

    1. I would first always suggest the Autodesk Certified Driver is installed from the following link: http://www.autodesk.com/graphics-hardware
    2. I would then perform the following reset: How-to-reset-AutoCAD-to-defaults

    For most users at this point the issue will be resolved, however an increasing amount of users with AutoCAD are still experiencing the issue when they return to AutoCAD. We see that Hardware Acceleration is “Off” and the switch cannot be changed. We also see that the Virtual Device is set to Software:

    You may even have more than one version of AutoCAD installed, and the other versions all work with Hardware Acceleration turned On, with the same driver and graphics card.

    So to resolve users or version specific problems, there is a workaround by editing the registry.


    This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to create a backup and restore it if a problem occurs (Microsoft Link), as this can render your system inoperable. You edit the registry at your own risk.

    The first step is to edit the windows registry with regedit. Then navigate to the following folder location:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R21.0\ACAD-0001:409\3DGS Configuration\Certification:

    1. This has to be under HKEY_CURRENT_USER but after that path will vary, depending on year and version as shown above, but we are aiming for the “Certification” folder.
    1. Here, Double check that your graphics card, driver version, and URL all match those checked at the top of this article.
    1. For each of the values highlighted in yellow, starting at the top, check the registry values in the “data” column. If they differ from my screenshot above, change the values to match. Most reported people with this issue, have the values set at 0.

    Once all set, close the registry editor and re-open AutoCAD to check hardware acceleration can be turned on, and the Virtual Device should now show DirectX 11.