Why Does My Graphics Card Keep Turning Off? – Reasons and solutions

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The GPU or the Graphics Processing Unit is combinedly known as the Graphics card. But, sometimes only the graphics card shuts down being isolated from the other hardware of the PC. That is why it is important for you to know why does my Graphics card keep turning off.

There are two possible causes for the Graphics card being turned off suddenly. It can be either a problem caused by the motherboard or the GPU itself. This is a serious issue that can be hassling for anyone. Especially for the gamers, the sudden shut down of the graphics card can be a cause of a loss. 

Moreover, the graphics card is one of the most sophisticated and expensive components of a PC. Therefore, before jumping to any conclusion you should know the causes and remedies for this type of issue.

Why Does My Graphics Card Keep Turning Off? – Detailed analysis

Why Does My Graphics Card Keep Turning Off

One of the common problems with the graphics card is that the Graphics card turns off randomly without warning. This results in a lot of trouble for the gamers, editors, and those who perform 2D, and 3D simulations. 

The programs get crashed you are forced to retreat and cannot continue. For such type of serious issue, you must the causes at first. After that, you can go for the solutions.

Thermal Throttling or Overheating

Why Does My Graphics Card Keep Turning Off

The GPU possesses different processing units or chips on an electric board. The Graphics card is made of such processing chips connected in parallel connections. Whenever the graphics card undergoes very heavy processing, electricity starts to flow within the connecting pins.

Due to the massive flow of current through the GPU, the resistance starts to increase as well. Hence, the blockade is created within the charge passing. Therefore, the heat starts to build up within the graphics card.

In very stressed conditions such as constant heavy gaming or continuous simulation, massive heat develops in the Graphics card. When the integrated cooling systems fail to control the temperature rise, the graphics chip or GPU goes into thermal throttling. 

It is an automated condition where the program sends the signal to shut down the system to avoid damage from overheating. These phenomena happen when the temperature rises upto 80-95 degrees of celsius.

Failing Cooling system

Why Does My Graphics Card Keep Turning Off

A cooling system is very important to keep track of the temperature rise caused by the heating of the GPU. Both air cooling and liquid cooling system should be checked regularly or pass through maintenance.

Whenever the cooling system fails to manage the heat flow in and out of the GPU a phenomenon occurs. It is that the graphics card tends to shut down randomly due to thermal throttling. Again, the lower RPM of the cooling fans and misaligned flow of heat from the cooling fans cause the Graphics card to shut down automatically.

Power Supply Failure

Why Does My Graphics Card Keep Turning Off

The GPU or the Graphics card consumes a huge amount of power from the power supply box. In normal conditions, it consumes more power than the CPU, HDD/SDD, or RAM. While gaming or running heavy simulations, a very high amount of current is required to pass through the processing chip.

This amount of power in watts comes directly from the power supply. Hence, if your power supply is old or malfunctioning then it fails to provide the required amount of current. That is why without a sufficient amount of energy, the GPU fails to continue processing and shuts down. 

This can also happen if your use an incompatible or cheap quality Power supply box. Talking of power supply, considering the mainline of power has malfunctioned or cannot supply power to the motherboard. Then the Graphics card gets turned off randomly.

Outdated Driver

Why Does My Graphics Card Keep Turning Off

The GPU is bridged with the motherboard and the operating system using driver software. These applications and driver software control the processing caused by the GPU as well. Many times for different reasons, the drivers become outdated. 

It happens mostly when you do not update the drivers manually or let them be updated automatically over the internet. Outdated drivers cannot cope with the processing due to gaming or other graphical visual works. That is why the entire graphics card turns off randomly without any sign or warning.

Internal Dust and Debris

Why Does My Graphics Card Keep Turning Off

Specks of dirt and dust are the number one enemy for sophisticated components of a PC such as the GPU and CPU. This causes a lot of trouble with the processing sequence of these parts. First, the layer of dust blocks the heat flow from the processing chip to the baseplate of the cooling system. 

It causes rapid overheating to the GPU and due to over throttling the Graphics card gets turned off automatically. Again, dirt and dust cause disruption in the current flowing through the small pins of the processing chips. This also causes the GPU to get shut down due to a lack of proper power from the power supply. 

Motherboard Connectivity and connecting pins

Why Does My Graphics Card Keep Turning Off

The graphics card gets directly connected to the motherboard in a particular socket. These sockets are made of very thin and fine pieces of metallic connections. The GPU board is connected to these sockets.

If some physical damage or blockage is caused in the connectivity between the Graphics card and motherboard. It stops working all of a sudden and gets turned off without any prior notice. This phenomenon can be triggered while shaking or moving the casing of the PC as well.

Graphics card damage

Why Does My Graphics Card Keep Turning Off

All the electronic components in this world have a limited period of warranty. After a certain amount of time, the effectiveness of the component degrades. These cannot provide the service like a new device and fails to cope with the load and stress.

Like the CPU, HDD, and SDD, the Graphics card or GPU also has a limited life expectancy. Therefore, when the Graphics card reaches its peak of usage, it fails to provide service. Especially at overstressing conditions such as gaming or video editing it shuts down automatically.

How do solve graphics cards keep turning off problems?

Now that we have known the probable causes for the Graphics card getting turned off randomly. It is time to look at the best possible options to bypass this situation.

Reducing Power Flow to the Graphics card

How do solve graphics cards keep turning off problems

To avoid thermal throttling or overheating the following steps should be followed:

  • At first close all the heavy running applications on the PC.
  • Lower the brightness and set the power saving mode from the Control Panel Power Options.
  • Click on CTRL+ALT+DEL and open the task manager. 
  • Go to the Process tab and kill all the useless background applications.
  • After that, go to the Control panel>Power option>Advanced mode and Activate the system cooling policy.
  • From the Speedfan official website, download and install the application.
  • Using the SpeedFan fan speed controlling tab, increase the RPM of every fan in the cooling system.
  • Finally, when the temperature of the GPU goes down under the limit, shut down the entire system to give it a break for recovery.

Maintenance of the Cooling System

How do solve graphics cards keep turning off problems
Software Solutions:
  • Depending upon the motherboard and GPU model, download and install the best possible official Hardware monitoring application.
  • From the GPU Fan controlling option, manually set a curve for the RPM vs Temperature.
  • For 60 degrees and above, set the maximum RPM limit or choose 100% usage of the cooling fan speeds.
  • From the control panel go to Power Options.
  • After that select “Advanced Plan Settings” and select “High performnace” from the list.
  • Go to the System Cooling policy and activate the options.
Hardware Solutions:
  • Firstly, shut down the entire system and remove the plugs from the mainline.
  • Open up the desktop casing and remove the Graphics card.
  • Clean up the blades of the Coolings fans with a compressed air blower.
  • Replace and apply a new batch of Thermal paste in the GPU.

Changing the Power Supply settings

How do solve graphics cards keep turning off problems
  • You can download and install high-rated Hardware Monitoring applications from the official websites.
  • After installation, in MSI Afterburner tap CTRL+F to open the voltage or frequency curve editor graph.
  • Now depending upon your maximum frequency usage by programs you can determine how much you should decrease the voltage.
  • Normally you can shift 50mv to 950mv or 100mv to 850mv.
  • This depends completely upon the settings in which you get a stable performance or screen stuttering.

Updating the Driver Software for the graphics card

How do solve graphics cards keep turning off problems?

Different Graphics card comes with different driver software. Check on the installation file of the driver software to ensure compatibility.

  • Click on the RUN command or press the WIN+R button.
  • In the run command type “devmgnt.msc”
  • From the Device Manager select the Display adapter.
  • Under the list, you can see the installed graphics card driver of your PC.
  • Right Click on it and click on the Properties button.
  • Go to the Drivers tab and click on the “Update Driver” button. This will automatically update the driver if you are connected to the internet.
  • You can also uninstall and freshly install the driver manually from the PC.

Cleaning Dust and Dirt

How do solve graphics cards keep turning off problems?

For this step, you would require a brush, microfibre cloths, and a compressed air blower.

  • At first, shut down the PC and plug out all the connections from the PC.
  • Open the casing of the PC using a screwdriver
  • Remove the Graphics card by disconnecting the pins from the motherboard and power supply.
  • Use the compressed air blower to blow out the specks of dust and dirt.
  • After that use the brush to remove the dirt from the blades of the fan and connectors of the GPU.
  • Nextly, using a microfiber cloth, rub all the sophisticated parts softly and gently.
  • Apply a new batch of thermal paste in between the baseplate and GPU of the graphics card.
  • Finally gently put back all the parts to the PC.

Cleaning, inspecting and Repairing the Motherboard socket

How do solve graphics cards keep turning off problems?
  • Remove the graphics card from the motherboard.
  • Check and inspect the connectors of both the Graphics card and motherboard.
  • Clean the connectors using a compressed air blower or brush.
  • If some physical damage is found, then it is recommended to take it to professionals.

Also, Check – How to clean graphics card without compressed air?

Frequently Asked Question

What are the signs of a failing graphics card?

A failing Graphics card means the life expectancy of the GPU has been maximized. It will different signs in your day-to-day activity while using teh PC. Random shutting down is one of the basic signs of a failing graphics card.

Again screen stuttering, displaying dead pixels, overheating, and damage to the graphical visuals are also caused by failing graphics cards. All these signs refer to replacing or repairing the Graphics card.

Can a graphics card shut down a computer?

If the graphics card cannot receive a decent amount of power then it can completely shut down the computer. Generally, a motherboard with GPU requires 350 to 500W of power supply. While heavy usage the power requirement increases.

Hence in such cases, the Graphics card fails to remain active and gets shut down. And shutting down of a component may cause the computer to get turned off as well.

Why does my graphics card keep blacking out?

There can several reasons for your graphics card to get blacking out. This can be a result of throttling GPU, failing cooling system, faulty connection with the motherboard, or outdated driver software. Solving these problems may solve the graphics card blacking out the problem.

Watch the tutorial video below, if you face a random pc shutdown problem.


The Graphics card of a PC is a very crucial and costly component. This graphics card getting turned off randomly is not a good sign. It means the graphics card is coping with the other hardware of the PC. If it happens to you, then you must have wondered why does my graphics card keep turning off.

It is better to have a clear concept of the causes of such occurrences. Depending upon which you can select the best possible options to recover the graphics card. Regular maintenance and monitoring of the hardware can be a good start to avoid such problems.

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Gary Scott

Hi There, I am Gary Scott, a Computer Engineer, and owner of this website. My friend and I created this website to share our knowledge, expertise, and experience with our fellow Computer community and pc enthusiast. I am a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). I have been writing for Motherboard, CPU, GPU, RAM, Power Supply, Intel/AMD comparisons, CPU/GPU benchmarking, Gaming performance, Xbox, Play Station, and How to build your own PC. I will be regularly updating this website with new resources, If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

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