Disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration and Fix Blurred Font and Cursor Hanging Problems in Microsoft Office 2013

We all know that Microsoft has released a free Customer Preview version of its upcoming Office suite "Office 2013" to public.

Office 2013 comes with lots of new features and enhancements. One of the new enhancements is the built-in "Hardware Graphics Acceleration" feature which is also called as "GPU rendering". This new feature can also be found in almost all modern web browsers. This feature is used to increase the program performance.

But sometimes this feature can cause problems on old computers and even some new computers. Many people who are testing Office 2013 are complaining about blurred text/font problem and random cursor hanging problem.

Sometimes the font in Office 2013 programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc doesn't look good and users face problems in reading the text on screen. And sometimes Office programs start taking a huge amount of CPU resources which makes the program running very slow and the cursor starts hanging randomly. These kind of problems might make your overall Office experience annoying.

If you are also facing such kind of problems and want to fix them, this tutorial will definitely help you.

This tutorial will tell you how to disable "Hardware Graphics Acceleration" in Microsoft Office 2013 suite which will fix these font and cursor problems and will make your Office 2013 experience better.

So without wasting time, lets start the tutorial:

1. First open any Office 2013 program. For example open Word 2013. It'll open in new Start Screen mode. Click on "Blank document" option.

2. Now click on "File" menu present in the ribbon and then click on "Options" link given at the end of the left-sidebar.

3. It'll open Options window. Click on "Advanced" tab and scroll down a little. Look for following 2 options in "Display" section:

  • Disable hardware graphics acceleration
  • Use subpixel positioning to smooth fonts on screen

First option would be unchecked and second option would be checked by default.

4. First enable "Disable hardware graphics acceleration" option and click on OK button. Restart the program and it should fix the problem.


5. If it doesn't fix your problem, try to disable "Use subpixel positioning to smooth fonts on screen" option, click on OK button and restart the program.

Now you'll no longer have font or cursor problems in Office 2013 programs. Changing these options in a single Office program also applies to other remaining Office programs. So you don't need to follow these steps for all Office programs one by one.

BONUS TIP: You can also disable the new Start Screen in Office 2013 by unchecking "Show the Start screen when this application starts" option in "General" tab of Options window.

Are you also testing Office 2013? How is your experience? Feel free to share your feedback in your comment...

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Posted in: Microsoft Office, Troubleshooting

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  • Hai VG, I am having a problem with Office 2013;
    I downloaded it using Click-to-run feature, but when it installs, it requires to shutdown the same app and then the installation fails... any solutions ???

  • VG

    ^^ Do you have a 64-bit edition of any previous Office version installed in your system?

    Welcome. :)

  • this crash mostly happens in win 8 64 bit, ticking only disable hardware acceleration fixed this, :]

  • I was able to fix this by disabling FXAA for the applications in my NVidia Control Panel. I was able to leave hardware acceleration enabled in the Office apps. You'll need to tell NVidia to not apply FXAA to each application, or set it to disabled Globally.

  • Vg why microsoft cannot make microsoft office 2013 compatable with xp and vista

  • So Microsoft lets us disable the Start Screen when opening in Office 2013, yet they don't let us do that in Windows 8. Rubbish.

  • VG

    ^^ Agree.

    Because they want users to leave XP and Vista and upgrade to Windows 7.

  • अगर में यह इन्स्टाल कर लेता हूँ , तो मेरा Office 2010 चला जाएगा

  • oh VG u r a Saviour! This gpu rendering was eating up my system.. Earlier, whenever I opened Word, initially it would take around 90000+ Kb RAM and it would increase gradually and the fonts looked ugly specially when a document was zoomed around 150%, Now after following this tuto, Word takes around 40000KB and the fonts are looking better, also CPU usage is lessened. Thank u for this great tuot!!

  • now this is highly amusing!! I mean MS used this "subpixel positioning" option to make fonts legible, but it practically makes fonts ugly .... MS has gone loony :P

  • Thank you so much!!!... Struggled due this option

  • Hi VG,

    Thanx for the tip...but it didn't work for me...I am using Win Server 2012 with office 2013 preview....now uninstalling it to put office 2010...disabling HW Graphics acc. had no effect and browsing thru powerpoint slides is very slow and each time I move a slide it hangs for a few seconds with Powerpoint not responding...will wait for Office 2013 RTM....thanx anyways...as ur site has proved immensely helpful in keeping my system speedy...

  • thank you a million plus times
    I thought i had a virus that was not being picked up and then i thought i was having eye problems. what an easy fix for something that caused hours of torture.

  • thank you very much.. it was bugging the hell out of me and I searched a solution for weeks, but now all is ok

  • Great tip. I just installed Office 2013 final version on Windows 8, and Excel would screw up my screens. I had to reinstall the NVidia display driver everytime I started Excel! Disabling hardware acceleration fixed the issue.

    I'm afraid at what it will do for end-users that don't know how to fix that.

  • Thank you for your help. I was thinking "What the hell" to myself. I had this issue and at first thought my monitor was on its way out, then maybe my graphics card.. Glad I found this. I am, however, curious what causes that.

    Mariusz S. Cybulski

  • YOU ARE A SAVIOUR...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You saved me from throwing both my laptop and my desktop out of the window from the 6th floor.
    I was going crazy until you gave this solution...
    Thanks a very lot

  • it's a little bit easy to make a hardware driver guilty of Microsoft crimes.
    the fact is that my hardware works perferctly. as a proof, previous versions of office can display a sharp text.

    the truth is that microsoft still want to copy the ipad text rendering in that quest, they lost
    the capability to display a simple sharp text without any antialiasing thing.

    if one day, I want to get an iPad, I won't buy it at Microsoft's, I just expected them to do better...

    don't we have any other choice except to join Linux ?

  • hey i have office 2013 on windows 7, but it has screen refresh problem (black colour in some places), how to solve this VG?? help me

  • VG

    ^^ Please share a screenshot to better understand your problem.

  • Installed Office 2013, initially it worked well, but then overnight a stack of updates arrived.

    The UI is now blank, some things appear if rolled over, but most is unusable. I've tried to disable hardware acceleration (I found this on a forum somewhere) but apparently my Nvidia graphics card 8500GT doesn't give this as an option. Typing text results in nothing being visible, though if I roll over the area where the text SHOULD be, I can tell that it 'thinks' there's text there .. grey stripes, but no text is visible.

    no idea which update messed up Office 2013, but as it is (and I've tried reinstalling etc., with no success) it's of no use to me at all !

    any help appreciated .. this is driving me bonkers !

  • David,
    I have a similar issue, the recent file list is blank, you roll over it and the file name displays to the right, same issue in Excel and Word 2013. I have turned off acceleration on my Nvidia GSX 250, deleted and reinstalled, tried the repair function, it too is transparent even the buttons are blank. All of the ribbons appear corrupted, if you click where the buttons should be they appear to work. Hows your memory?
    This has wasted too much of my time. Any suggestions? Anyone!

  • I'm running 24Gb ram on windows 7 ultimate 64bit, with a X990 i7 CPU running at stock 3.47Ghz. I would have thought this would run anything pretty much (unless I plan a trip to mars perhaps) and the thing that gets me is briefly, office worked just fine .. like for 24 hours is was great .. then a pile of updates did their thing overnight, I cam back to a PC which had restarted .. and since then Office is wrecked.

    I've tried uninstalling it and am currently running a beta of the graphics card driver (as the standard version did nothing to help, and neither is the beta to be honest)

    I must be a display issue .. but I'm stuffed if i can see where to go next. I uninstalled Office 2010 to install this (thinking that was a potential issue), so I now have neither ! So far as I can see, i can['t disable hardware acceleration anywhere either, a regedit brings up the usual, but according the the microsoft 'known issues' I should be able to disable there .. but the graphics folder they mention is not present in my installation.

    at this rate I'm heading for OpenOffice !

  • Hey David F try and uninstall all version of ms office by using the ms utility for removing office(google it or perhaps vg can provide it) and then try and re-install it.tell me the result and I will reply soon....

  • Dear Vishal,

    I've been following your Blog for quite a some time and i want to say, "You Rock, Vishal". The Tips & Tricks are easy to follow and are extremely helpful.

    Keep the good work going!

    Regarding Office 2013, it is very fast, smooth, and productive. I don't think there's any need to Disable Hardware Acceleration, but it is helpful for people who are having Memory issues.


  • @David I think you should try turning ON High Contrast color scheme. See if it helps you to see those "messed-up" text. If not, it's time to give Microsoft some trouble.

  • Hey David,

    Try running system file checker from an administrator command prompt - it fixed my problems,

    1) click START - ALL PROGRAMS - ACCESSORIES and then right click on COMMAND PROMPT and choose RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR
    2) At the command prompt type the following command and press enter SFC / SCANNOW
    3) When the system scan is complete try to repair office again

    Hope this helps

  • Vishal,

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was pulling my hair out on this!!! Disabling Hardware Graphics Acceleration fixed the problem. YES!


  • +1. Thanks so much. Was getting weird, glitchy text display. Parts of the menu bar would appear on the page. Disabled graphics acceleration and all fixed now.


    Every MS Office 2013 app was hanging after half a minute even if I didn't open any (old or new) file. Sometimes, the inside of MS Application window (I'm using Office2013 32 bit version on Win7 Ultm 64bit SP1) would go black. But now all seems to be ok.

  • Yes it improve a little, but still office 2013's rendering of fonts is a piece of s**t!

  • I had exactly the same problem with Word 13 running on Virtualbox.
    Same solution worked. (disable hardware acceleration).

  • This is not the solution for the hanging cursor in office 2013 in my situation.

  • Congrataulations from France.......... It works.
    I am quite upset about Microsoft which is completly useless in this situation.
    Thanks again.

  • This post was a lifesaver!

    I figured it was a graphics issue as the unusable blurriness of all of Office programs disappeared whenever my main graphics processor was turned off and the onboard processor graphics was used instead but this is of course a bit cumbersome to do so everytime I want to type a word document. Unfortunately, I have to use CAD software a lot and with large projects, it's impossible to power them on just onboard graphics (they become unbearable slow). Switching the graphics card on and off between report writing and cad design quickly became tedious as you can imagine!

    Thanks for posting!

  • Hey, I think this is the problem that I am having with word 2013. But I am running it on a Mac, does anyone know how to find this check box on a Mac??

  • There is a significant problem with Office 2013 if you want to use Remote desktop to get to your Office. The graphics driver does not appear to be compatible with Remote Desktop. Office 2013 is unusable it is so slow.

    I have tried these settings and they did not help.

    I have just talked to Microsoft the Office support team told me they do not support Remote Desktop. And buying retail, Microsoft basically told me "Tough luck", we can't help you - you are stuck with a defective product. What other business in this country gets away with that?

    Have you tried Open Office or Libre Office?

  • I am running Excel 2013 in Windows 7. The cells do not display color fills even though when I print, the colors are there. Why can't I see the colors in real time on my monitor?

  • VG

    ^^ Try to update your graphics card drivers. Also make sure the cables are properly connected to the monitor and CPU.

  • Thank you for your support, it is very usefull for us.

  • Hi, I just wanted to drop in and say that this absolutely worked on a client's older model laptop. Thanks for the tip VG! :D

  • Hi, Thanks a lot your tip saved grands for me, as I was planning to change my lappy because of slow moving turtle...

  • Thank you so much! Just got off the phone with a Microsoft consultant who couldn't help me with this blurring issue and said I needed to sign up for their Office support system at $80 so they can take over my pc and find out what the problem is. You just saved me some money and time and I am so very grateful! You rock!

  • From Kenya. You saved me big time.


  • I´m runnig Word 2013 on Windows 7. I tried both your Options and even another one recommended on web "Disabling Display size changes in high rates of DPI" and nothing is working. My documents in word are ugly, blurry and I do not know what to do. Could you help me? Please.

  • Just got a new Lenovo S20-30 11.4-inch laptop (upgraded with quad core processor, 2GB memory and 500 gb hard drive)... the size was perfect for me but I was suddenly regretting it because the office programs were SO SLOW!

    I stumble upon your site and it's a Godsend! Thank you! :)

    (Plus I got to install Picture Manager as well thanks to your tips :))

  • I use an Intel graphics on my laptop and the only way I found to improve the display is to enable custom antialiasing in the graphics settings. Also I made the resizing on the display in control panel. That worked

  • Nobody knew what was going on with my power point slides, so THANK YOU, it´s fixed, thanks a lot.

  • I faced the same problem in office word 2016, and Disabling Hardware Graphics Acceleration fixed it.

  • Fabulous! I would not have found this out on my own!

  • Thanks a lot for sharing this valuable info

  • Thank you, the font option worked fine for me,
    Also check the show picture place holder in the options.

  • While in WORD someone is hijacking my docs. The screen goes translucent and then they must be running programs in the backgrouns because the blue wheel spins and I lose the cursor. Then the translucent screen goes away and I am back at my doc. How can I get rid of this creepy hacker?

  • VG

    ^^ Post your HijackThis log file in following topic:


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