If you are an avid user of Google Chrome, you will be aware that it is designed to allow you to do way more than mere browsing. It is quite a flexible browser, as it has the options for users to tweak and change the settings to their liking. Today we will be talking, in detail, about one such feature it offers; the WebGL or the Web Graphics Library!
The cool thing about the WebGL feature is that it can be integrated completely with similar web standards and this essentially means it enables image processing that is GPU-accelerated. So, before we head on over to how we can enable WebGL Chrome, we are going to talk a little about the potential risks of enabling it!
Can it be risky to enable Web Graphics Library?
The simple answer is that enabling WebGL can indeed be a potential security risk. However, since it is quite useful as well, the kind of risks it poses are still up for debate. The reason why there is some contention on whether it is a security risk stems from the fact that our browsers have the required defenses to thwart off the security risks.
Still, there is the notion that in the long run, these defenses might not be enough for complete protection. If we talk about one of the major risks that WebGL brings is that it exposes the APIs that are in direct contact to video card APIs since you will run the code directly to the video card.
As an effective countermeasure, browsers have several security restrictions that have been put in place to restrict any risky behavior. However, since these APIs have not been created to be exposed to unknown entities, there is always the risk that it opens you to attack from various websites.
Now that we have a better idea of the potential risks of enabling WebGL on Chrome, let’s start with the enabling process!
How to enable WebGL Chrome?
1. First, we will look over 2 methods you can enable WebGL on Chrome:
- The first step is to launch your Chrome browser and go to the menu to select Settings.
- The next step is to locate the option that reads Show Advanced settings and click on it. This should be at the bottom of the page.
- Next, go to the System section and check the Use hardware acceleration when available checkbox.
- You will then enable Web-GL but make sure that you exit and re-open Chrome so that the process is implemented.
- Your next step is to type chrome://flags 4 in your Chrome URL
- You might need to make sure that Web-GL is enabled and once you’ve made sure, that’s all!
In case you want to find Web-GL quicker, you can make use of keyboard shortcuts. All you have to do is hold down the Command and F and then type Web-GL into the search bar.
There is an alternative to this method of enabling WebGL:
- Your first step is to begin a Live Test with the aid of Google Chrome.
- You will then need to type in chrome://flags/ in the search bar and then click on Enter.
- As you go over the list, you will see an option for Disable Web-GL, click Enable next to it.
- You will then press the option for Relaunch Now and automatically Google Chrome will restart. After this, WebGL will be enabled!
The only thing you need to remember is that if your settings are left on disabling Web-GL, web applications will not be able to access the Web-GL API.
2. If you make use of Safari instead, here’s how to enable WebGL on your browser:
If you are trying to use Web-GL on Safari, you will be glad to know that it is mostly already enabled on Safari as a default. However, since it has been established that this can be a potential security risk, the device you are using might not allow it. So, here’s what you can do to enable Web-GL manually using the following steps:
- Your first step will be to click on Safari in the Menu and then click on the option for Preferences.
- Then click on the option for Websites.
- You can then click on Web-GL from the list. If you do not see it on the list, then chances are Web-GL is already enabled in your browser.
- If you wish to apply this feature to a specific site, then you can click on a certain website from the list on the right. You can Allow individually for each or you can click on When visiting other websites. You can click on Ask or Allow on the drop-down menu.
3. Now, we are moving onto how to enable WebGL for Firefox:
If you are using the Firefox browser, and you cannot seem to be able to run Web-GL, you can follow the following steps:
- First, you will search for about:config in the address bar.
- You can then look up web-gl.force-enabled and the preference for this has to be set at True. In case you find that it is false, you can simply select the toggle icon to switch its value to true.
- Next, you will search for webgl.disabled and the idea here is to ensure it is set to False. In case it is set to true, change the toggle icon to alter the value to false.
- The last and final step is to relaunch Firefox and the settings will be applied.
If Web-GL has still not been successfully enabled in Firefox, then you might want to focus on other elements such as your graphics driver. Therefore, you might want to switch to a GPU that Web-GL is compatible with or update your browser.
4. And finally, if you are engaging with Internet Explorer, here is how you can enable WebGL on your browser:
For Internet Explorer, you need to be sure that your version is compatible since only Internet Explorer 11 and more support Web-GL. So, in case you are using either Windows 7 or 8, you can update your Explorer for this to take effect.
That’s all we have for today’s review on the tips and information on enabling Web-GL in your Chrome browser! As can be seen above, it is a very straightforward process that any user can execute as long as they follow through on the steps we have listed.
We have also how you can enable WebGL in several other browsers for a holistic look into the topic. We end this review in the hopes that our readers now have the confidence and insights to enable this Google feature on their own!