Upgrade your graphics drivers to use hardware acceleration and WebGL

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  • Creator: scoobidiver
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Firefox uses your graphics card to help speed up the display of web content as well as use advanced web features like WebGL. To address some problems with these features or to take advantage of them, you may need to update your graphics card drivers. This article describes how to do that.

How do I know my graphics driver is out-of-date?

If you have no information on your graphics driver, you can get it by following these instructions:

  1. At the top of the Firefox windowOn the menu bar, click on the Help menuFirefox menu, go over to the Help menu (on Windows XP, click on the Help menu) and select Troubleshooting Information. The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.
  2. Under the Graphics section at the end of the page, check the adapter description, the driver version and date.
  3. If the driver date is older than three months, you have either an out-of-date graphics driver or a legacy graphics card.

How can I update my graphics driver?

Using the Windows Update feature

On Windows Vista and above, some graphics driver recent versions are made available as an optional update from the Windows Update feature. If you haven't set Windows to automatically install recommended updates, follow these steps:

  1. In Windows, click Small Vista Logo , select All programs, then select Windows Update. The Windows Update window will open.
  2. Click the "Check for updates" link and wait until it is done.
  3. If there are optional updates available, click "n optional updates are available". The View available updates panel will appear.
  4. Click "Optional" and search updates with your graphics card manufacturer name in the title.
  5. If you find some, check the latest one and click OK to close the View available updates panel.
  6. Click Install updates.
  7. Restart your computer.
  8. Start Firefox.

If there are no updates available or if the updates don't solve your problems, your graphics driver version might not be the latest one. Continue to the next section.

Using your computer manufacturer's system update tool

Some computer manufacturers may have altered the graphics driver features, incorporated customizations, or made other changes to the software or software packaging they provide. To avoid any potential installation incompatibilities, they require that you use their system update tool to apply any updates.

Just search for this tool in the Windows menu, and try to apply all available updates.

If there are no update tool, or no updates available, or if the updates don't solve your problems, the graphics version might not be the latest one. Continue to the next section.

Use your distribution's standard update process

Use your distribution's standard update process.

If your distribution's standard update process doesn't give you the latest drivers, you may need to look for other package repositories for your distribution.

Manually downloading and installing a driver from your graphics card manufacturer

Here are the links to get the latest generic drivers from the main graphics card manufacturers:

Note: After downloading the graphics driver, the installation wizard may prevent you to install it because your current driver is customized by your computer manufacturer.
  1. Click the Apple.
  2. On the "Apple" menu, click "Software Update."
  3. If there is a Mac OS X update available, you can install it. If there is a graphics driver update, it will be included in the Mac OS X update.