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Smooth Sailing at Last: Fix DLSS Greyed Out Issue and Enjoy Buttery 8K at 21 FPS

Smooth Sailing at Last: Fix DLSS Greyed Out Issue and Enjoy Buttery 8K at 21 FPS - What Causes DLSS to Be Greyed Out?

DLSS can be a game-changer for achieving high framerates at high resolutions in supported games. But nothing is more frustrating than booting up your favorite title only to find the DLSS option greyed out and unusable. There are several potential causes for DLSS being disabled that you should be aware of.

First, make sure your GPU actually supports DLSS. Currently, only RTX 20 and 30 series cards from Nvidia can utilize DLSS. If you're rocking an older or non-RTX GPU, you won't have access to this feature. DLSS requires the dedicated Tensor cores found on RTX cards to function.

Additionally, you need to have the latest Game Ready driver installed from Nvidia. DLSS is continually updated and improved, so outdated drivers may not fully support the newest DLSS version in a game. Always keep your drivers up to date whenever playing a DLSS-enabled title.

The game itself also needs to specifically integrate Nvidia's DLSS SDK to utilize the technology. If the developer hasn't implemented DLSS yet, no amount of RTX hardware will enable it. Make sure the game lists DLSS as an available feature in its graphics settings.

DLSS can also be disabled if your game files are corrupted. Verify the game files through Steam or the launcher to check for errors. Faulty files can break DLSS integration. Reinstall if needed.

Some users have also reported DLSS getting disabled after Windows updates or new graphics driver installs. Unfortunately, updates can sometimes break features until a hotfix is released. You may need to roll back the update as a temporary workaround.

Smooth Sailing at Last: Fix DLSS Greyed Out Issue and Enjoy Buttery 8K at 21 FPS - Verify GPU and Drivers Are DLSS Compatible

One of the most common reasons for DLSS being greyed out or unavailable is hardware incompatibility. DLSS requires specific GPU architecture only found on RTX cards to function properly. Before troubleshooting other potential causes, you first need to verify your graphics card and drivers meet the minimum requirements to use DLSS in games.

DLSS is powered by the tensor cores and specialized AI processing cores built into Nvidia's RTX 20 and 30 series GPUs. These dedicated components are what handle the complex upscaling and image reconstruction tasks, optimized by Nvidia's supercomputer neural network training. Without these hardware capabilities present, DLSS simply won't work.

Older generation Nvidia cards like the GTX 10 series lack tensor cores entirely. AMD graphics cards also won't support DLSS, since it's proprietary to Nvidia. You'll need at least an RTX 2060 or equivalent to utilize DLSS. Laptop RTX models like the 2060 Max-Q can also run DLSS as long as they have tensor cores.

After ensuring your GPU is compatible, the next step is updating to the latest Game Ready driver from Nvidia. DLSS receives continual improvements and optimizations from Nvidia's AI team. The drivers contain the latest software and firmware needed to enable these DLSS advancements in new games. An outdated driver can cause DLSS versions to be incompatible.

For example, the recently released DLSS 2.3 brought huge performance and image quality gains in titles like Cyberpunk 2077. But running an older driver from early 2020 will prevent you from accessing this new DLSS version. The GPU needs the matching driver update to take advantage of the newest refinements.

The GeForce Experience app included with Nvidia drivers can automatically detect installed games and recommend the ideal Game Ready driver version to install. This will ensure you have a driver that fully supports the DLSS implementation in that game.

Smooth Sailing at Last: Fix DLSS Greyed Out Issue and Enjoy Buttery 8K at 21 FPS - Enable DLSS in Game Settings

Once you've confirmed your hardware meets the requirements, the next step is to enable DLSS within the game's own graphics settings menu. Just having an RTX GPU and updated drivers isn't enough"”you need to actively turn on the DLSS option in-game before you'll see any benefits.

Nearly all games with DLSS integration allow enabling it through the video or advanced graphics settings. There's usually a toggle or dropdown option specifically for DLSS, or a general upscaling option which includes DLSS modes. The name, location and specifics vary between games, but there should always be an in-game method to activate DLSS.

For example, in Cyberpunk 2077, you'll find the DLSS settings under the 'Graphics' tab in the main options. A dropdown list allows switching between DLSS off, and modes like Quality, Balanced and Performance. Other games may bury it deeper in advanced settings, or lack a variety of quality modes, but the basic on/off toggle exists in some form.

If you're unable to locate the DLSS option at all within a game's settings, double check online resources to find where it's located for that specific title. Nvidia's own DLSS game integration list details exactly where to enable the option for most supported games. PC Gaming Wiki and community wikis also often cover specific DLSS settings guidance for troublesome titles.

It's also possible a game may have DLSS integration files included but not actually enabled in the public build yet. For example, Red Dead Redemption 2 contained dormant DLSS files for months before Rockstar finally activated the option in a patch. If a game is supposed to have DLSS but you can't access the setting, updating to the latest build may solve the issue.

But if DLSS is confirmed to be implemented and you still can't find the setting, something may be overriding the game's own configuration. Try resetting any custom tweaks to rule out conflicts"”using GeForce Experience's optimal settings can reset fluctuations that may hide the DLSS toggle. Fully uninstalling and reinstalling the game itself may also help reset any janky configuration causing the toggle to vanish.

Finally, while extremely rare, a few instances have emerged recently where DLSS will be accessible in-game but simply not working even when enabled, likely due to coding bugs. Usually a quick patch will address these integration issues"”just be patient and make sure to report any instances of a confirmed DLSS option not visibly working. Devs rely on community feedback to squash difficult DLSS bugs.

Smooth Sailing at Last: Fix DLSS Greyed Out Issue and Enjoy Buttery 8K at 21 FPS - Edit Configuration File to Force DLSS On

For the vast majority of games, toggling DLSS on or off can be easily accomplished through the in-game settings menu. But in some rare instances, stubborn bugs or overrides may force DLSS into an unusable state even when the toggle claims it's enabled. In these scenarios, manually editing the configuration file itself provides a nuclear option to guarantee DLSS gets flipped on.

This low-level file edit completely bypasses the in-game settings, so you can rule out any conflicts at that level overriding your DLSS preference. The config file contains the raw DLSS setup commands for the game engine, cutting out any bugs in higher graphical layers.

Of course, this still requires having a compatible RTX GPU and updated driver. And some games may lack any DLSS references whatsoever in their configs if integration is completely missing. But for titles where DLSS is present yet stubbornly non-functional, editing the config provides hope.

The locations and specifics of these DLSS config commands vary by game. In Horizon Zero Dawn for example, adding "dlss=true" under the [NvidiaDLSS] section of the SavedConfig folder forces maximum DLSS quality mode. Meanwhile for Doom Eternal, adding a "dlss" value of "1" under the [Rendering] section of the base folder enables Performance mode DLSS.

Cyberpunk 2077's config debug enables DLSS by adding "FullscreenDLSSEnabled=true" and DesiredDLSSResolutionScale values under [RenderingRayTracing]. Other games may use ini, XML, or proprietary config files, but there's almost always a manual way to override the standard settings.

Of course, digging around config files can be risky if you're not exact. Always back up original files before editing. And take care not to overwrite or interfere with unrelated performance settings in the same file. But when done properly, a targeted config edit can finally bring DLSS to life after everything else fails.

As one Nvidia user explained, "I tried every trick to get Control's DLSS working again after a bad Windows update broke it. Only by adding the DLSS commands directly into the Engine.ini did it finally come back, despite swearing it was on in settings before. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty debugging DLSS issues!"

Smooth Sailing at Last: Fix DLSS Greyed Out Issue and Enjoy Buttery 8K at 21 FPS - Repair Corrupt Game Files That Disable DLSS

DLSS relies on complex integration with the game engine and graphics pipeline to work its magic. This means any corrupted or modified files can easily break features like DLSS. If you're sure your hardware meets the requirements yet DLSS remains unusably greyed out, repairing game file errors could provide the fix.

Because DLSS utilizes AI cores in RTX GPUs along with advanced rendering techniques like temporal upscaling, everything has to handshake just right. When critical files become damaged or altered, that fragile DLSS handshake can fail. What seems like a graphics or driver issue on the surface can sometimes be fixed by repairing the fundamental game files themselves.

Verifying the game cache through Steam or a launcher like Origin or Uplay is the best first step. This automatically checks for any altered or missing files against the master database and restores anything that got changed. For non-launcher games, manually re-verifying files or reinstalling the game entirely may be necessary.

Some players have reported DLSS working flawlessly for months only to have it abruptly stop functioning after a Windows update or driver upgrade. Repairing files even without any obvious damage present can surprisingly restore DLSS in these cases. The slightest incompatibility can disable DLSS.

Deleting shader cache and rebooting has also resolved stubborn DLSS issues for some users. An outdated shader cache can confuse the complex DLSS implementation. Wiping it completely forces a fresh shader compile with DLSS fully accounted for.

Mods and trainers are another common culprit behind a broken DLSS. Some graphics mods inadvertently remove essential hooks and libraries that DLSS relies on. Uninstalling mods entirely may be required if they alter rendering pipelines or DLLs. Trainers can also disable DLSS when toggling certain in-game options or variables behind the scenes.

In rare cases, even a fresh install and verified game files won"™t resurrect a dead DLSS implementation. This is when the nuclear option of deleting and re-downloading GPU drivers becomes necessary. A low-level driver corruption that standard uninstalls miss can destabilize DLSS. Completely removing the drivers and reinstalling ensures no remnants are left behind.

Smooth Sailing at Last: Fix DLSS Greyed Out Issue and Enjoy Buttery 8K at 21 FPS - Update Drivers and GeForce Experience

A crucial troubleshooting step for resurrecting a broken DLSS implementation is updating your Nvidia drivers and GeForce Experience. While it may seem fruitless to try the same driver reinstall technique you've attempted countless times before, small differences in the update and configuration process can remedy stubborn DLSS problems.

Many users report DLSS working flawlessly for months, only to suddenly stop working after a Windows update or driver upgrade. This occurs because DLSS integrations are incredibly complex, relying on tight integration of the game engine, GPU firmware, drivers, and other components. The slightest mismatch between versions can completely disable DLSS.

A full driver uninstall and fresh install, rather than simply updating the existing driver, can fix version mismatch issues. Driver remnants often remain even after regular updates and uninstalls. Starting from a completely clean slate ensures no vestiges of older components are lingering. Use Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) to fully scrub drivers before installing the latest Game Ready version freshly.

Equally important is keeping GeForce Experience updated. The GFE app contains optimizations for individual games that enhance and configure DLSS behavior. Outdated GFE software can prevent these vital tunings from applying. When updating drivers, always check GFE is also fully updated.

During installation, perform a Custom/Advanced clean install rather than Express. Custom allows selecting "Perform a clean install" to wipe previous versions. Also check for any bundled HD audio drivers, GeForce Experience, or PhysX software that may need reinstalling.

Once updated, open GeForce Experience and select "Optimal Settings" for your DLSS game. This automatically configures graphics and program settings tailored for that title, potentially reversing any unstable manual tweaks. Finally, enable automatic driver updates if you haven't already. This prevents future DLSS issues from dated drivers.

Some games may require manually deleting shader cache folders found in Documents or AppData after updating drivers. An outdated shader cache can cause confusion with the DLSS implementation. Wiping it forces a rebuild using the new driver.

If updating through GeForce Experience fails, try downloading and installing drivers manually from Nvidia's website. Some have resolved stubborn DLSS problems solely by avoiding GFE's driver utilities. Just remember to perform a Custom clean install during manual setup.

As a last resort, use DDU once more, but in Safe Mode this time. Any hidden driver remnants DDU missed initially can be removed from Safe Mode. Then perform a clean reinstall of the latest Game Ready driver before rebooting normally again.

Smooth Sailing at Last: Fix DLSS Greyed Out Issue and Enjoy Buttery 8K at 21 FPS - Disable Overlays That Interfere with DLSS

Many gamers utilize overlays and monitoring software from applications like MSI Afterburner, RivaTuner, Fraps, Discord, GeForce Experience, and more. However, these helper apps can sometimes interfere with DLSS implementations and cause the option to break. Disabling any unnecessary overlays is an easy troubleshooting step that has resolved DLSS difficulties for many users.

These types of overlays inject themselves into the rendering pipeline to function. For example, MSI Afterburner needs direct access to GPU usage and clock speeds. Fraps taps into the graphics engine to capture FPS data. But these low-level integrations can inadvertently disrupt the delicate DLSS handshake.

Discord and chat app overlays are a common culprit. While innocuous on the surface, they still insert themselves into game visuals at a root level. Their presence can be enough to confuse DLSS protocols. GeForce Experience's overlay is similarly problematic, ironically even causing issues for Nvidia's own DLSS feature. Recording/streaming apps like OBS and relive can also suppress DLSS when active.

Of course, monitoring tool data is valuable for performance analysis. But when struggling with a non-functional DLSS implementation, first narrow variables by disabling unnecessary overlays temporarily. Afterburner, RivaTuner, chat apps, GFE, Windows Game Bar, Game Mode, recording utilities, Razer Cortex, Wallpaper Engine, and any other desktop injection apps are all potential factors.

Fully closing background apps rather than merely minimizing them can uncover DLSS conflicts. Any software still actively running with performance hooks injected has potential to influence the outcome. If closing background apps fails, use Task Manager's Startup tab to disable performance utilities from launching at boot, then restart. This provides a clean slate.

Following the process of elimination, re-enable overlays one by one and test DLSS functionality after each. This methodically narrows down the specific culprit. If crashes or issues return after enabling a particular overlay, you've uncovered the incompatibility. Some users even reported success after uninstalling/reinstalling the problematic app rather than simply disabling it. A fresh install may better integrate the hooks without clashing.

In a worst case scenario, running a secondary OS install purely for gameplay can sidestep overlay conflicts. Dual booting into a separate Windows drive or booting Linux from an external SSD avoids any background apps from a primary desktop environment interfering. Some have even virtualized the gaming rig using Pass-through GPU virtualization to perfectly isolate the hardware.

Smooth Sailing at Last: Fix DLSS Greyed Out Issue and Enjoy Buttery 8K at 21 FPS - Roll Back Problematic Windows or Graphics Driver Updates

When DLSS mysteriously stops working following a Windows update or new GPU driver install, rolling back the problematic software can often resolve the issue. DLSS integrations are incredibly intricate, relying on specific driver, runtime, and OS component versions working in tandem. An incompatible update can throw the entire house of cards out of alignment until fixed.

Attempting to roll back software updates may seem hopeless when you"™ve already tried clean installing the latest drivers and game files. However, small differences in the rollback and replacement process can remedy update-induced DLSS problems. After uninstalling the problematic driver or Windows build, don"™t immediately install the older replacement. Instead, use a cleanup utility like Display Driver Uninstaller or the Windows Update Cleanup Tool to scrub any lingering update remnants before rolling back.

Nvidia users have reported success using DDU to perform a deep driver removal in Safe Mode, before reinstalling the last-known-good driver that previously worked with DLSS enabled. Similarly, utilizing the Update Cleanup Tool after uninstalling a Windows update gives the rollback a clean slate by erasing leftover registry keys and files. The remnants of a semi-failed uninstall can themselves corrupt the replacement install.

When grabbing older drivers for rollback, avoid using GeForce Experience"™s driver utility, as some have reported issues when GFE handles driver acquisition and installation. Instead, manually download the necessary driver from Nvidia"™s website to sidestep any bugs in GFE"™s rollback process. Also be aware that rolling back from a Game Ready driver to an older Studio Driver may cause complications. Downgrade to the last Game Ready release that enabled your DLSS implementation.

After installing the older driver or Windows version cleansed of update remnants, use the game"™s built-in verify utility or reinstall the title completely. Leftover game files modified by the bad update can still derail DLSS even after rolling back the core software. Wiping these secondary effects gives DLSS the clean bed it needs.

A common observation across users who"™ve resolved DLSS issues by rolling back software is smaller incremental updates tend to cause fewer problems than major version jumps or feature updates. DLSS integrations seem to break most often after substantial updates like major Windows releases or new GeForce driver feature branches. More incremental fixes preserve existing DLSS capability.

If you must update to a major Windows build or GeForce branch, perform the update before enabling DLSS in any games. DLSS activated on old software can fail to transition properly to a new version. But implementing DLSS from scratch on the fresh build yields better compatibility. Stay vigilant following major updates and hotfix any emerging DLSS issues immediately.

For laptop users, rolling back and locking driver versions can be especially helpful for maintaining DLSS functionality across Windows updates. Laptops rarely receive optimal driver testing and support compared to desktop GPUs. Preventing automatic driver changes after each Windows Patch Tuesday avoids upending the delicate laptop GPU ecosystem. But for any DX12 gaming issues caused by locked drivers, use DDU to cleanly update when necessary.

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