If you have used Adobe Premiere Pro or After Effects for some time, then you must be familiar with the “This effect requires GPU acceleration” error. It’s the old nemesis of video editors when they try to add special effects to their videos.

Well, if the same error is also bugging you, then worry no more as this guide will cover everything there is to know about this error; including several fixes.

Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • GPU acceleration utilizes the GPU’s processing power along with the CPU to provide real-time playback of effects and transitions without rendering them.
  • This effect requires GPU acceleration error can appear due to many reasons.
  • There are several ways to fix this error, you can restart the computer, enable GPU acceleration, reorder the effects, uninstall third-party plugins, update the graphics driver, and much more.

What Does GPU Acceleration Mean?

In the simplest terms, you can understand GPU acceleration as the GPU helping out the CPU with some processing-intensive tasks.

Why does this happen? Well, your CPU usually contains 2-4 cores, can be more, can be less, but mostly in the same ballpark. These cores are ideal for multitasking processes. This means that a single one of these cores is powerful enough to perform operations on a task. So, all of them can work on different processes while multitasking. However, all of these cores combined cannot work on the same large volume of data in parallel.

On the other hand, your GPU has relatively way more cores. These cores while greater in number are significantly smaller in size when compared to the CPU. So, a single GPU core is not enough to process a lot, however, when combined, all of these many cores can work in parallel to perform operations on huge data volumes.

In video editing, to review the footage, you would have to render the effects and transitions right? Well, with GPU acceleration, the computer processing unit (CPU) gets an extra hand from the graphics processing unit (GPU) to facilitate real-time video playback with all the effects and transitions in high quality without having to render anything.

What Causes This Effect Requires GPU Acceleration Error?

There are many reasons why you could be getting the “This effect requires GPU acceleration error on Adobe Premiere Pro or After Effects:

  • Most commonly, you’ll get this error if you’re using certain effects like the Warp Stabilizer VFX, ray-traced 3D renderer, or 3D Camera Tracker that require GPU acceleration.
  • The third-party plug-ins you’re using are bugged and they are causing this error.
  • Your GPU does not support GPU acceleration. You can go through the list of recommended GPUs for GPU acceleration to check if your GPU can work well with certain effects.
  • If certain effects, especially third-party ones, are stacked in an incorrect order, then you might get this error.
  • Adobe Premiere Pro cannot detect the graphics card, or if its files are corrupted, then you might get many errors, including this one.
  • Your graphics card drivers are outdated.

Well, whatever the reason may be, the error will certainly be fixed by one of the following solutions.

How To Fix This Effect Requires GPU Acceleration

Restart Your Computer

Before you start configuring your system settings, it’s best to try your luck with a simple restart. Many times, certain bugs and glitches can mess with the system resources, which in turn, can bring you different kinds of errors. 

So, a system restart would refresh everything and reload all the system resources. Here’s how:

  1. First, press the Windows key to bring up the Start menu.
  2. After that, click the Power button.
  3. From the list of options, simply select Restart.

Wait for your computer to restart fully and then use Adobe Premiere Pro or After Effects to check if the issue persists.

Enable GPU Acceleration

Enable GPU acceleration
Enable GPU acceleration

Since many effects require GPU acceleration to provide real-time high-quality playback without rendering, it is necessary to enable GPU acceleration for these certain effects to work. The steps to enable it are the same on both Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, just follow along: 

  1. On the top-left corner of the screen, click Files.
  2. From the drop-down menu that appears, click Project Settings -> General.
  3. A new Project Settings window will open, click the Rendered pop-up menu under the Video Renderer and Playback section.
  4. From the list of options, select Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration.
  5. Finally, click OK to save changes.

For Nvidia GPUs, the option is named Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration (CUDA), and for AMD GPUs, the option is named Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration (OpenCL).

Once you have enabled GPU acceleration, try to apply the same effects and transitions again to check if the error is resolved.

Change Effects Order

Effects Control panel
Effects Control panel

In many cases, you will get this error when certain effects are stacked in an incorrect order. So, if you’re using multiple effects, and one of them requires GPU acceleration, then drag and drop the effects in the Effects Control panel to rearrange their order.

It is reported that most of the time, putting the effect that requires GPU acceleration on the top can fix the error. However, if that doesn’t work for you, then try to change the order of the effects in general.

Additionally, you can also apply the effect that’s causing the error directly to the clip and remove it from the Effects Control panel. This trick may seem unlikely to work, but it has actually solved the issue for many users.

Update Graphics Driver

pop-up menu that says update driver
Update driver

If none of the methods we have discussed so far have worked for you, then maybe you’re getting the error because your graphics card driver is outdated. If that’s the case, then you can update it either from Windows Updates or the Device Manager. Alternatively, you can also update the graphics driver from its manufacturer’s website.

Follow these steps to update the graphics driver from Windows Updates:

  1. First, press the Windows + I keys to open Settings.
  2. Next, click Update & Security.
  3. On the sidebar, click Windows Updates
  4. After that, click the View optional updates link
  5. From there, expand the list of Driver updates to see the available updates.
  6. If there’s a graphics driver update, then mark the checkbox next to it and click Download and install.

Wait for Windows to download and install the driver. If there is no View optional updates link in the Windows Updates section, then you can also search for graphics driver from the Device Manager here’s how:

  1. On the desktop, press the Windows key to bring up the search bar.
  2. Next, type “Device Manager” and press Enter.
  3. In the Device Manager window, click the Display adapters section.
  4. After that, right-click on your graphics card and select Update driver from the drop-down menu.
  5. In the pop-up window, you can either search automatically for drivers, or you can browse the driver on your computer.

Alternatively, you can download and install NVIDIA drivers from their website, and if you have a GeForce GPU, then you can also use GeForce Experience. For AMD graphics cards, you can Auto-Detect and Install for Windows 10 from their website.

Once you have updated the graphics drivers, restart your computer and apply the same effects again to check if the issue is fixed or not.

Uninstall Third-Party Plugins

One of the best things about Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects is that you can install third-party plugins to increase their capabilities. With these third-party plugins, you have more room to tweak around with the videos while getting assistance in editing.

There’s no doubt that the support for third-party plugins is loved by all, however, sometimes, these plugins can also create all sorts of issues. So, it is likely that you’re getting the effect requires GPU acceleration error because of an outdated plugin.

To fix this, you can try to uninstall these third-party plugins:

  1. If you’ve installed the plugin from its installer, then use that to uninstall it as well.
  2. Head over to Adobe After Effects or Premiere Pro’s installation folder, and navigate to the Plug-Ins folder. From there, you can find all the third-party plugins and uninstall them according to your preference.
  3. Last but not least, you can also use the Adobe Extension Manager to uninstall the third-party plugins for you. Be sure to check whether the Extension Manager you’re installing supports your Adobe product or not.

Restart your computer and open Premiere Pro or After Effects again to check if the issue has been resolved.

Save As New Project

Dialog box showing Save As
Save As

This solution may make no sense at all, however, it has been reported to work for many users. All you have to do is:

  1. Delete the media cache.
  2. Save your project as a new project.

If you don’t know how to do all of this, then follow along as we walk you through their steps:

  1. First, click Edit on the top of the window.
  2. A drop-down menu will appear, click Preferences.
  3. In the Preferences window, click Media Cache on the left sidebar.
  4. From there, click the big blue Delete button to delete the media cache.
  5. After that, click OK.

Once you’ve deleted the media cache, you need to save the project as a new project. Here’s how:

  1. On the top-left corner of the screen, click Files.
  2. Next, click Save As.
  3. In the pop-up window, give the project a new name and specify its location and click Save.

Once the project is saved as a new project, restart your computer and open the new project to check if it has the error or not.

Run GPUSniffer.exe

GPU Sniffer detecting GPU
Image Credits VideoProc

If none of the solutions we have discussed so far have worked for you, then you will likely have to reinstall the Adobe application you’re facing the issue in. However, before you do that, you should give this fix a shot as well because it has been reported to work for some users.

GPU Sniffer is a file located in Adobe Premiere Pro’s folder. If for some reason, Premiere Pro cannot detect your GPU, then you can run this file to force detect it. This way, any GPU issues you’re facing might be solved.

  1. First of all, completely close the Adobe Premiere Pro application.
  2. After that, right-click on the Premiere Pro shortcut and select Open file location from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the new window, double-click GPUSniffer.exe to execute it. 
  4. A new command prompt window will open, wait for it to detect your GPU and close automatically.
  5. Finally, open Adobe Premiere Pro again to check if the issue has been resolved.

Reinstall Adobe Application

Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Creative Cloud

If you’re still getting the same GPU acceleration error and nothing has managed to fix it, then you should reinstall the Adobe application you’re using. This way, if you’ve any corrupt files, then they will be reinstalled. Other than that, a fresh reinstall will also reset all the preferences and settings that might be causing this issue.

Additionally, it also means that you’ll be running the latest and updated version of your Adobe application, which always comes with newer bugs and error fixes. Here’s how you can reinstall the Adobe application using Adobe Creative Cloud.

  1. First, launch Adobe Creative Cloud.
  2. On the All apps page, wait for the Adobe applications to load.
  3. From the list of installed applications, look for Premiere Pro or After Effects.
  4. After that, click the three dots to the right of their name.
  5. A drop-down menu will appear, select Uninstall.
  6. In the confirmation window, click Remove.

Wait for Adobe Creative Cloud to uninstall the selected application. Once done, restart your computer and open Adobe Creative Cloud again. This time, select the same application and click Install. After that, follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall the application.

Alternatively, you can also use to Control Panel to uninstall Adobe applications. Here’s how:

  1. Press the Windows key to bring up the Start Menu.
  2. From there, type “Premiere Pro” or “After Effects” and right-click it.
  3. From the drop-down menu, select Uninstall.
  4. In the Programs and Features window, right-click the Adobe application.
  5. Finally, click Uninstall and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation process.

After that, restart your computer and install Adobe Premiere Pro or After Effects from their respective websites. Once done, try using the same effects again, and hopefully, the error will be fixed.

Final Words

Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects users are familiar with the effect requires GPU acceleration error. It appears when they try to apply certain effects and transitions to their videos that require GPU acceleration — a feature that combines the GPU’s power with the CPU to boost performance.

Luckily, there are several ways to fix this issue. You can start by simply restarting your computer, after that, you can move on to enabling GPU acceleration, changing effects order, updating the graphics driver, reinstalling third-party plugins, and much more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use GPU acceleration?

Yes, GPU acceleration performs specific tasks on GPU hardware instead of software in CPU, this way you get better performance in your applications.

Can GPU acceleration cause issues?

No, in general, if you’ve enabled GPU acceleration, then you will not run into any issues. However, if you do face an error that is caused by GPU acceleration, then you can turn it off.

How to turn off GPU acceleration in Adobe Premiere Pro?

You can turn off GPU acceleration in Adobe Premiere Pro by heading over to Files -> Project Settings -> General. After that, select Mercury Playback Engine Software Only in the Rendered option under the Video Renderer and Playback section.

Will GPU acceleration take my GPU usage to 100%?

Yes, your GPU usage can climb up to 100% when GPU acceleration is enabled. That’s because along with the CPU, your GPU will also be working on processing-intensive tasks.

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Ali Rashid Khan is an avid gamer, hardware enthusiast, photographer, and devoted litterateur with a period of experience spanning more than 14 years. Sporting a specialization with regards to the latest tech in flagship phones, gaming laptops, and top-of-the-line PCs, Ali is known for consistently presenting the most detailed objective perspective on all types of gaming products, ranging from the Best Motherboards, CPU Coolers, RAM kits, GPUs, and PSUs amongst numerous other peripherals. When he’s not busy writing, you’ll find Ali meddling with mechanical keyboards, indulging in vehicular racing, or professionally competing worldwide with fellow mind-sport athletes in Scrabble at an international level. Currently speaking, Ali has completed his A-Level GCEs with plans to go into either Allopathic Medicine or Business Studies, or who knows, perhaps a full-time dedicated technological journalist.