How to resolve Minecraft OpenGL errors on Windows 10?

By ivan.diskin | September 25, 2019 |

greater than 5 minutes

Minecraft is an exciting sandbox video game with a huge fan base. Despite its popularity, many users have reported running into OpenGL errors while playing Minecraft, especially on Windows PCs. Usually, Minecraft doesn’t occupy a lot of HDD space and isn’t a resource-hungry game, unless you heavily mod it. Nevertheless, you may run into Minecraft OpenGL issues like:

  • Minecraft was unable to start because it failed to find an accelerated OpenGL mode.
  • OpenGL Error: 1281 (Invalid value).
  • OpenGL Error: 1286 (Invalid framebuffer operation).

In today’s Windows 10 tutorial, you’ll learn how to fix the OpenGL error issue so that you can enjoy your games.

What Version of OpenGL Does Minecraft Use?

So, what is OpenGL anyway? OpenGL stands for Open Graphics Library. It’s an application programming interface (API) that can be applied across many applications, such as video games, virtual reality, computer-aided design, and scientific visualization. OpenGL supports the implementation of hardware-acceleration rendering in games like Minecraft. The feature instructs the graphics processor unit (GPU) not to render any other application that is not actively in use by the player. In other words, Minecraft OpenGL enables the game to run faster and smoother.

If you’re running a Windows PC with a dedicated GPU from AMD or NVIDIA, then you should use OpenGL 3.3 and above. Basically, installing the latest drivers for your graphics card gives you the most recent version of OpenGL. This applies if the GPU was released within the last five years. Most of the OpenGL errors are caused by graphics settings, driver problems, incompatibility issues, and mods.

How to Fix OpenGL While Playing Minecraft

Fix 1: Update Your Video Card Driver

OpenGL errors are usually triggered by a faulty, outdated or missing graphics card driver in your system. So, when you first encounter Minecraft OpenGL errors on your Windows 10 device, start by installing the latest version of your graphics card driver.

To do so, there are three approaches that you could take:

  • Manually updating the driver
  • Using Device Manager
  • Automatically updating the driver

Method 1: Manually Updating Your Graphics Card Driver

This option involves going to your graphics card manufacturer’s website and searching for the latest driver version and model corresponding with your system and hardware. You’ll then proceed to download and install the drivers and check if the problem has been resolved. The downside of manually updating your drivers is that you put your PC at high risk since you can install the wrong drivers, causing more complications that could break the normal functioning of some apps.

Method 2: Using Device Manager

This method is safer compared to manually updating the graphics card drivers. Device Manager provides the platform that allows Windows to search online for the latest drivers and automatically install them on your computer. To use Device Manager to update your video card driver, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Win +X shortcut, and click on “Device Manager”.
  2. Expand “Display adapters”, and right-click the GPU whose driver you want to update.
  3. Click on “Update driver”, and select the “Search automatically for updated driver software” link. Wait a few moments while Windows attempts to find the latest driver version and install it on your computer.

Once the process is complete, restart your PC and check whether the OpenGL issue has been fixed.

Using Device Manager does not guarantee you the latest driver version since there is a chance Windows won’t find the latest drivers. That’s where option 3 comes in.

Method 3: Automatically Update Your Graphics Card Driver

To avoid putting your PC at risk by manually trying to update your drivers, we recommend using a trusted third-party tool like Auslogics Driver Updater. The tool performs thorough diagnostics on your machine to determine the system that you’re running, the type of drivers installed, and missing and outdated drivers. Once the program completes the scan, it details the report in the “Overview” tab, where you get to choose whether to update the drivers one by one or apply the fixes with a single click.

As you can see, Auslogics Driver Updater updates not only your outdated graphics card driver but also all of the available device drivers on your PC. This way, you can enjoy playing games like Minecraft or use your apps flawlessly.

Fix 2: Temporarily Disable Mods

Mods improve the experience of playing Minecraft. However, some mods are known to cause problems due to incompatibility issues. Try disabling all mods temporarily to check if it revolves the OpenGL errors. If it does, enable the mods one after the other to find the one responsible for those errors and remove it. However, if the error keeps occurring even after disabling the mods for Minecraft, then it means that the problem lies elsewhere. If that’s the case, keep trying the solutions below.

Fix 3: Disable Show GL Errors

Minecraft has an option that allows players to disable the “Show GL Errors” feature. The feature is turned on by default. Luckily, you can disable it using the following steps:

  1. Launch Minecraft, and then open “Options”.
  2. Select Video settings > Others, and then turn off “Show GL Errors”.
  3. Click “Save” to apply the changes.
  4. Restart Minecraft and check whether the OpenGL errors will pop up again.

Fix 4: Disable OpenGL in Minecraft

Like we mentioned above, OpenGL improves the user experience when playing Minecraft. The feature is enabled by default to make Minecraft smooth and faster. However, due to incompatibility issues, some graphics cards may fail to render the OpenGL API. If that’s the case, it could explain why you keep encountering the OpenGL errors. Turning off OpenGL in Minecraft can resolve the problem.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Run Minecraft from your desktop and select “Options”.
  2. Go to “Video Settings”, locate “Advanced OpenGL”, and click on it to turn it off.
  3. Click “Save” and restart Minecraft.

If the errors don’t seem to go away, move on to the next fix below.

Fix 5: Configure Graphics Settings in Minecraft

Depending on the specs on your system, some graphics settings can give rise to OpenGL errors. To fix this, you need to modify certain graphics settings to correspond to your system’s capabilities.

Here are some of the graphics settings you can disable in Minecraft:

  1. Open Minecraft, and go to Options > Video Settings.
  2. Disable the following settings: “Use VBOs:”, Render Region:”, “Clear Water:”, “Clouds:”, and “Entity Shadows:”.
  3. Save your changes and relaunch Minecraft.

If disabling some graphics settings doesn’t work, try the next fix below.

Fix 6: Reinstall Minecraft

If you’ve tried all the above methods and none seemed to work, try uninstalling Minecraft and installing it again to get the latest compatible Java package files. Remember, reinstalling the game might erase your user data. Therefore, be sure to back up your user data before you begin.

  1. Press the Win + R keyboard shortcut, type in “appwiz.cpl” (without quotes), and press “Enter”.
  2. Once the “Programs and Features” window opens up in “Control Panel”, search for “Minecraft” and uninstall it. Alternatively, you can uninstall Minecraft by executing the uninstaller.exe file located in the game’s directory. Be sure to delete all mod files and temporary setting files to remove all traces of the game from your PC.

Once you’re done uninstalling the game, visit the official website of Minecraft, enter your credentials, and download the game afresh. Installing a fresh copy of Minecraft should get rid of the OpenGL errors plaguing many Windows 10 users.

That’s how to get rid of OpenGL errors while playing Minecraft. If you have any suggestions or questions, please feel free to comment below.

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