Fixing Failed to create OpenGL context for format QSurFaceFormat

October 17, 2018 |

greater than 8 minutes

You probably saw an error message of this form:

Failed to create OpenGL context for format QSurfaceFormat(version 2.0, options QFlags(), depthBufferSize 24, redBufferSize -1, greenBufferSize -1, blueBufferSize -1, alphaBufferSize -1, stencilBufferSize 8, samples -1, swapBehavior 2, swapInterval 1, profile 0) .

This is most likely caused by not having the necessary graphics drivers installed.

Install a driver providing OpenGL 2.0 or higher, or, if this is not possible, make sure the ANGLE Open GL ES 2.0 emulation libraries (libEGL.dll, libGLESv2.dll and d3dcompiler_*.dll) are available in the application executable’s directory or in a location listed in PATH.

Or Windows presented a notification very similar in wording to the passage above. The error came up when you tried to open a specific application, and subsequently, Windows failed to launch the program as expected. All further attempts to get the app to run resulted in failures.

According to the information provided by the error message, the issue you are struggling with came up because your system lacks the required graphics drivers.

From that statement, you might have inferred that you must get your computer to run the needed drivers to resolve the problem. Well, in this guide, we show you how to do precisely that. We will also guide you through other operations that might help get rid of the issue.

Before you move on to work on your drivers, we advise that you restart your system first. This simple procedure was enough for a good number of users who encountered the error in view.

If you have Windows 10 installed on your computer, then we expect that you are probably used to this method of restarting your PC:

  • Bring up the Start menu by pressing the Windows button on your keyboard or clicking on the Windows Start icon that is always present on your desktop screen.
  • Click on the Power button (or icon), then select Restart from the options available.

If your PC is running Windows 7 instead, then you must be familiar with these steps instead:

  • Click on the Start button on your taskbar to bring up the Windows
  • You should see a small arrow close to the Shut Down or Turn off Computer button. Click on it, then select Restart from the options you see.

After your computer comes on and Windows reboots, you must try relaunching the affected app to see if you can recreate the Failed to create OpenGL context for format QSurFaceFormat error. If it appears, then you must proceed to the main part of this guide (below).

How to fix the Failed to create OpenGL context for format QSurfaceFormat issue on Windows 10 and Windows 7 PCs?

Most of the fixes here are general operations often executed on drivers. We hope that you begin your troubleshooting operations with the first solution on the list. If it fails to get rid of the problem in your case, then you are free to move on to the next fix; continue with things this way until you resolve the issue.

  1. Reinstall your graphics drivers:

By now, you must have figured out already that the Failed to create OpenGL context for format QSurFaceFormat problem has everything to do with drivers. Here, you are going to reinstall some of them. The point is, if a driver is malfunctioning, then the reinstallation of its software might bring about enough changes to resolve the faults within it.

The procedure in view is also relatively easy to carry out or apply in your scenario since only your graphics drivers are involved. Follow these instructions to reinstall your drivers:

  • First, you must launch the Device Manager program. Do this: Press and (and hold) the Windows button on your keyboard, then follow up your action with a tap of the X key to see the Power User menu.

Select Device Manager from the list of programs and options that come up.

  • Once the expected program windows up, you will see various categories containing your devices. Double-click on the Display adapters category to view the devices under it.

You will see 2 GPU entries if your PC uses a dedicated graphics card. If your computer is equipped with an integrated chip only, then you will find one entry there.

  • Here is the central part of the operation: Right-click on the device you intend to uninstall, then click on Uninstall device from the short menu list that appears.
  • The dialog box requesting confirmation for your action should be up by now. Tick the checkbox there for the Delete the driver software for this device option, then click on the Uninstall button to initiate the driver removal process.

Windows will now act to get rid of the selected driver, and once the operation is complete, you must perform it again on the other driver. Finally, after you complete everything, you must restart your PC.

After your computer boots up and your system reaches stability, Windows will move to reinstall the devices and drivers (you got rid of earlier) automatically, and now, we can only hope the reinstallation operation had a positive effect on your driver.

  1. Update your drivers:

If the reinstallation operation failed to do enough to resolve your problem, then you must update the drivers involved. There is a good chance that they have become outdated or their software has become corrupted.

We know of 2 ways by means of which you can update the drivers. We will walk you through both of them.

  • In the first method, you have to download Auslogics Driver Updater. After you run this superb program, it will move to scan your PC to detect what drivers are missing, outdated or corrupted. Once the identification process is complete, you have to go a step further to use the available options to update the required drivers to their latest manufacturer-recommended versions.

With the proposed method, you get to avoid the complications associated with the search for replacements for your drivers. The risks users face when they download drivers and related files from the internet also do not apply to you, and this can only be a good thing. In general, the first method is the most efficient and safest way of getting the job done.

  • In the second method, you will be the one to do all the work carried out by the program we recommended earlier. Here, you will have to search for suitable replacements for the problematic drivers online or on your device.

These steps will guide you through everything:

  • Open the Run app by pressing (and holding) the Windows button on your keyboard, then following up this move with a tap of the letter R key. Once the required program window comes up, you must input the following code into the text box available: msc

Hit the Enter key. You can also click on the OK button to force Windows to run the code.

  • The Device Manager program window should be up by now. There, you must double-click on the Display adapters category to see the devices it houses. Double-click on a specific device to enter its Properties window.
  • Once the Properties window for the selected device is up, you must navigate to the Driver tab. There, you will see the Update Driver button. Of course, you must click on this button.

At this point, Windows will ask you to make a choice. We recommend you go with the Search automatically for driver software option. Your system will do just what is stated in the description.

Windows will go through your PC to locate the necessary files or software. If everything goes well, Windows will end up installing the updated driver. You will do well to follow the instructions that come up to ensure the process goes smoothly. Once Windows finishes installing the driver, you must restart your PC.

On the other hand, if your system fails to find what it needs, you will know about it since the operation will be unsuccessful. In that case, you have to continue with the instructions below:

  • Return to the Device Manager program window. Go into the Driver tab once more and take note of the information relating to your driver.

You are going to search for the driver online, so you need all the data you can gather about it. You could write down the necessary details somewhere if you like.

  • Launch your web browser. After its program window comes up, you must input the name of your driver and its version into the text field to perform a search on Google.
  • You are free to analyze or go through the list of results. Whatever happens, you must end up on a page where you get to download the driver you need. It is imperative that you take note of some things, though:
  • You must ensure that you download only the correct or precise driver version that will work on your computer. A similar driver or something close will not do. You will do well to avoid complications and other issues that could arise from the installation of the wrong driver software.
  • We also advise that you get the driver from a trusted or reputable source. Remember that you are going to open and run the downloaded file. If you fetch a malicious file or if the driver you download is embedded with viruses or other malware, you will be putting your system in harm’s way.
  • After you finish downloading the file, click or double-click on it to run it. Install the driver as directed. After the installation is complete, you must reboot your PC. This way, the drivers become active and start doing their work.

Regardless of the means by which you updated your drivers, after you restart your system to round up the process, you must move to reopen the program with which you experienced the Failed to Create OpenGL context for format QSurfaceFormat error and see how things go this time.

Other things you could try to fix the Failed to create OpenGL context for format QSurFaceFormat error appearing on Windows 10 and Windows 7 computers.

If you are yet to resolve the problem in view, then one of the solutions below might finally give you a breakthrough.

  1. Change your default graphics processor:

We believe you usually launch the affected program through a shortcut or executable file. We advise that you set Windows to use only your integrated graphics card to run the app and see how things go. If the problems persist, then you must configure Windows to use your dedicated graphics card to run the application.

Perhaps, a specific GPU chip is to blame for the issue, and you might manage to work your way around it by using the other one that is in a good state.

  1. Download and install all the available Windows updates:

Windows Update is known to provide bug patches to eliminate security vulnerabilities and fixes to improve the stability of the Windows operating system environment. Its work goes beyond this, though. For example, sometimes, it provides special upgrades to specific drivers on your system.

Therefore, the appearance of the Failed to create OpenGL context for format QSurFaceFormat error might just be a consequence of your computer lacking a specific update. The obvious (and correct) solution, in this case, will require you to download and install all the Windows updates available for your PC.

  1. Do a clean installation of your drivers and the affected program:

A different approach of tackling the problem might be necessary since you are still struggling with the issue associated with the Failed to create OpenGL context for format QSurFaceFormat error.

We recommend that you perform a clean installation of your dedicated drivers (made by NVIDIA or AMD in most cases) through the control panel application for their software. You must also go a step further to uninstall the affected app, get rid of its files, restart your computer, then reinstall the app (the most recent or updated version you can find).

A reboot of your PC is still needed to round up the operation, and after this, you can check the state of things.

Surely, by now, given the fixes and solutions we provided, you must have found a way to get rid of the Failed to create OpenGL context for format QSurFaceFormat error on your PC.

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