If you see this error message when launching World of Warcraft: World of Warcraft was unable to start up 3D acceleration, don’t panic! This is a common error and you can fix the issue of unable to start up 3D acceleration in your World of Warcraft.

Why does the error message pop up in my computer? Generally this error is pertained to your graphics card or DirectX feature, and the incorrect game settings can also cause the error “World of Warcraft was unable to start up 3D acceleration“.

But don’t worry if your 3d acceleration is not supported by WOW. Many people resolved the issue with the solutions below, so read on and get your game up and running in no time.

Try these fixes:

  1. Run your game as an administrator
  2. Update your video card driver
  3. Disable Fullscreen Optimizations
  4. Update DirectX in your computer
If the game overlay is enabled for World of Warcraft, that may cause your problem. Try disabling game overlay such as Discord and see if stops the error.

Fix 1: Run your game as an administrator

This has been working for many WOW players who have the same error.

To do so, follow these steps:

1) Launch Steam in your computer, and be sure to log into your Steam account.

2) Click Library > Games.

3) Right click on the game that is giving you the error. In my case I right click on World of Warcraft. Then click Properties.

4) Click the Local Files tab, then click Browse Local Files.

5) File Explorer opens. Right click on your game.exe file, and click Properties.

6) Click the Compatibility tab, and check the box next to Run this program as an administrator, then click Apply and OK to save your changes.

7) Restart Steam and launch World of Warcraft again to see if it works.

If this method doesn’t work for you, don’t worry. We have something else to try.

Fix 2: Update your video card driver

The missing or outdated graphics card driver can lead to the error message “World of Warcraft was unable to start up 3D acceleration” and failing to play the game. So you should verify that your graphics card driver is up to date.

There are two ways to update graphics card driver: manually and automatically.

Manually: you can go to your graphics card manufacturer and find the latest correct driver that is compatible with your Windows operating system. This requires time and computer skills.

Automatically: if you don’t have time or patience, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy.

Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct drivers for it. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running, you don’t need to risk downloading and installing the wrong driver, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake when installing.

You can update your drivers automatically with either the FREE or the Pro version of Driver Easy. But with the Pro version it takes just 2 clicks (and you get full support and a 30-day money back guarantee):

1) Download and install Driver Easy.

2) Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers.

3) Click the Update button next to the flagged graphics card to automatically download the correct version of their driver (you can do this with the FREE version), then install it in your computer.

Or click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system (this requires the Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All).

4) Restart your computer to take effect.

Open your game again and see if it works now.

Fix 3: Disable Fullscreen Optimizations

The Fullscreen Optimizations feature enables the operating system in your computer to optimize performance of games when they’re running in full screen mode. Many people have removed the error ‘World of Warcraft was unable to start up 3D acceleration” by disabling this feature.

Here’s how to do it:

1) Go to the game folder where your World of Warcraft setup package is stored.

2) Right click on your game’s application .exe file, and select Properties.

3) Click the Compatibility tab, and check the box next to Disable fullscreen optimizations. Then click Apply to save the change.

4) Restart your computer and open World of Warcraft to see if the error disappears.

Still no luck? Okay, there’s one more thing to try.

Fix 4: Update DirectX in your computer

You can try installing the latest DirectX in your computer to fix the error of unable to start up 3D acceleration in your World of Warcraft.

Generally speaking, for Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, you can directly update your Windows to the latest version to install the latest DirectX in your computer. However, for Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP, you may need to install an update package to update DirectX.

You can go to the Microsoft website for more information about how to install the latest version of DirectX in different Windows operating system.

After updating DirectX, restart your computer and try the game again to see if the error disappears.


That’s it. Hope this post comes in handy and helps fix the error message “World of Warcraft was unable to start up 3D acceleration”. If you have any questions, feel free to add a comment below.

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