How to Enable OpenGL in Photoshop [6 Steps]

OpenGL is an application programming interface that can be more straightforward to use than other options like DirectX. OpenGL focuses on graphics, which makes it a great addition to Photoshop.

There are some particulars to consider when enabling OpenGL in Photoshop. If you are interested in using this interface with Photoshop, read on below to find out more about this process.

Access 3D Settings Options

Before using OpenGL in Photoshop, you will have to first configure 3D settings in the NVIDIA control panel. As OpenGL is created by NVIDIA, using it will enable you to access the NVIDIA control panel on your Windows PC.

In the NVIDIA control panel, you will find ‘manage 3D settings’ under the 3D Settings main menu on the left side of the screen.

Select the Preferred GPU

Once you are in the ‘Manage 3D Settings’ menu, you will see an option for ‘OpenGL rendering GPU’. In that section, the default selection will be ‘use global settings’, which will automatically determine the default GPU that will be in use for Photoshop.

This can cause some problems, especially if you have two different units, such as one from Intel and one from NVIDIA. The GPU choice may alternate between the two, which may prevent OpenGL from running.

To avoid this problem, you will have to select the GPU you prefer to use. This will save your preference and ensure that you will have access to OpenGL whenever you use Photoshop.

Reboot the System

After selecting your preferred GPU in the NVIDIA control panel, you will need to reboot your system to ensure the change takes effect. Once the reboot is complete, you will have OpenGL enabled in Photoshop, which will make graphics programming easier.

Rotate the Canvas

Once you have completed the reboot, you can open Photoshop. To test that OpenGL is enabled, you should attempt to rotate the canvas. You can do this by selecting the Rotate View Tool, or simply by pressing R on your keyboard, which is the default shortcut.

Use the Registry Editor

If you get an error message while you’re attempting to rotate your canvas, you may need to try a different approach to enabling OpenGL. You can achieve this by using the registry editor. First, you will need to open it by typing ‘regedit’ in the search box on the taskbar.

Another way to find the registry editor is to open the start menu and select ‘run’, followed by typing ‘regedit’ next to ‘open:’. This will bring up the registry editor, where you will be able to access Photoshop settings.

When you are in the registry editor, follow the path:

  1. Computer
  4. Adobe
  5. Photoshop
  6. 150.0

After clicking on the 150.0 folder, you will see a file list on the window to the right. In that same window, you should right click and select ‘new’ to create a new file. Select QWORD (32/64-bit) Value.

Once you’ve created the file, proceed to rename it ‘AllowOldGPUs’. This will enable OpenGL by default, and it is one of the best options to use on new versions of Photoshop that may not recognize your preferred GPU.

Restart Photoshop

After using the registry editor, you should restart Photoshop. The next time you use it, you will have OpenGL enabled. To test it, try out the same method of rotating the canvas. The error message should have disappeared, and the rotation should work as normal.

Once you use OpenGL for your 3D graphics programming, you can enjoy your creation with the online design tools offered by PlaceIt.

How to Enable OpenGL on a Mac

If you have a Mac OS, you may not know how to enable OpenGL in Photoshop, which may make you think that there’s no way of using it. OpenGL can be enabled in Photoshop on a Mac by clicking on the Photoshop menu on the left side of the top bar.

Then select ‘preferences’, followed by ‘performance’. In the performance settings, you will see an option for ‘use graphics processor’. Once that is ticked, OpenGL will be enabled in Photoshop on your Mac.

If you are experiencing issues with error messages or if Photoshop shows that OpenGL is disabled, you should try updating your GPU drivers. This can be easily done by keeping your Mac up to date at all times.


Enabling OpenGL in Photoshop can be achieved in six easy steps. This will allow you to more easily access and manage 3D graphics, no matter if you have a Windows operating system or a Mac.