Some Windows 10 users became frantic after noticing the presence of a program named Vulkan RunTime Libraries in their systems. Given the news of different malware flying around the web these days, the panic is understandable. After all, not knowing what a piece of software is and having no recollection of ever installing it are signs that something might be amiss.
However, even if you can’t make heads or tails of how it got onto your PC, we’re here to tell you to relax. Vulkan RunTime Libraries is a perfectly legit program that does not and will not cause any damage to the Windows operating system. It is actually there to help with graphics card rendering.
Vulkan RunTime Libraries is published by LunarG Inc. and shows up under Programs & Features. So, if you are worried about it, you can simply Google the company just to put your mind at ease.
As a Runtime program, Vulkan RunTime Libraries performs exactly as runtime libraries are supposed to. For the avoidance of doubt, a runtime library is a collection of different applications, software and files that collectively aid other, bigger programs at runtime. Runtime is, of course, the time interval during which a program is in operation, between its launch and closure. Thus, runtime libraries, to put it simply, help these other programs to run better.
However, because Vulkan RunTime doesn’t even display a pop-up when it is installed on a Windows 10 PC, it is easy to suspect the program of being a virus when the user finally comes across it. Of course, you should quickly scan your computer with security software like Auslogics Anti-Malware if you feel that your suspicions regarding any software are well-founded or just to assure yourself there aren’t any dangerous threats lurking on your machine.
However, let’s lay the cards on the table right now: Vulkan RunTime Libraries is completely safe. It is safe when a game that uses it is running, safe just being on your computer, and safe to uninstall, should you wish to.
You can read on to learn all about the Vulkan RunTime Libraries program and why it is important to leave it alone rather than trying to uninstall it.
What Are Vulkan RunTime Libraries?
First of all, let us reiterate that Vulkan RunTime Libraries poses zero threat to your machine. It is not a virus and shouldn’t be treated as such.
Vulkan RunTime Libraries is also known as Vulkan Run time Libraries or VulkanRT. Each of these names means the same thing. Basically, VulkanRT is a collection of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that together form a relatively new graphics standard. If you know anything about DirectX or OpenGL, you will have a good idea about VulkanRT.
An API is a set of subroutine definitions, protocols, and tools for building application software. In general terms, it is a set of clearly defined methods of communication between various software components. And VulkanRT is one such set of API optimized for graphics cards. At first glance, it looks like just another API collection that offers the same features as its older and more popular peers. However, using VulkanRT demonstrably results in lower overhead, more control over the GPU, and lower CPU usage.
One great feature of VulkanRT is its cross-platform nature. It provides excellent efficiency when used in conjunction with graphics processing units across multiple devices. It works with Nvidia on computers, Adreno video cards on Android, AMD Radeon graphics engines in PlayStation 4 consoles, and so on. It can better distribute work among all the cores of a processor, resulting in better performance.
For this reason, some experts are saying that VulkanRT will eventually replace the others as the dominant graphics standard. Actually, some of the more recent games utilize this standard rather than DirectX or OpenGL. Games like Quake, Dota 2, GRID Autosport, Doom, Mad Max, Warhammer 40,00: Dawn of War III, F1 2017, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Serious Sam Fusion 2017, and Rise of the Tomb Raider all require Vulkan RunTime Libraries installed, or else they might not work. If you happen to play any of these games, refrain from deleting VulkanRT, or else your games might become buggy.
Is Vulkan RunTime Libraries Malware?
The short answer is a categorical NO. Quite simply, if you’re a frequent gamer, you have no business thinking about removing VulkanRT from your machine. Even if your current games don’t need it, there is no guarantee that the games you will install in the future won’t require it. Like we hinted at, support for the Vulkan rendering APIs is increasing in the gaming industry and will only get better and bigger.
All of which is to say that you should stop googling questions like “How to get rid of Vulkan Runtime Libraries?” and just let the program stay on your computer. It is not interfering with anything and won’t cause any problems either. It won’t be wise to tamper with it in any way just because you wish to eradicate the source of unfounded suspicions.
At this point, we should also debunk the rumor that Vulkan RunTime Libraries is somehow connected with the win32/subtab!blnk virus, which has been terrorizing some Windows 10 users. Irrespective of any unfounded conjectures out there, this malware is categorically not related to VulkanRT in any way.
Therefore, you should refrain from removing the Vulkan APIs from your computer if you have the virus. The solution here is to remove the malware with a thorough scan performed with a very good anti-malware tool like Auslogics Anti-Malware.
If you’re still unconvinced of the genuineness of VulkanRT, then perhaps knowing how it gets installed should convince you. You must have noticed that you didn’t even get a pop-up window telling you the program had been installed on your computer. And you certainly didn’t install it either. Then how?
Graphics card drivers, that’s how. If you’re a gamer, you should be familiar with Nvidia, Intel, and AMD Radeon graphics cards. When drivers for these video cards are installed, the VulkanRT files are installed as part of the package.
This is another reason that uninstalling the program is not recommended. It won’t be easy to get it back should you decide that you indeed wish to have it on your computer after all. You would need to reinstall the driver package for your graphics card. Moreover, even if you do remove it, it will come back onto your computer when you install an update to your graphics card driver.
How to Uninstall Vulkan RunTime Libraries in Windows 10
By this point, you should have gained a complete understanding of what Vulkan RunTime Libraries is, what it does, and why you should leave it alone. On that latter point, we strongly recommend that you should not dispose of the tool.
However, if you’ve decided that VulkanRT is not for you or if you are not a gamer and don’t need it, you can easily remove it from your PC through the Control Panel.
- Right-click the Start menu icon and select Control Panel from the Quick Access menu.
- In the Control Panel window, change the View by mode to Category.
- Click the “Uninstall a Program” link under Programs.
- Scroll down to Vulkan RunTime Libraries in the program list.
- Right-click the tool and select Uninstall.
Just follow the onscreen prompts to completely remove the tool.
How to Reinstall Vulkan RunTime Libraries in Windows 10
If after all this effort to get the tool off your PC, you suddenly decide that it is better to have it after all, we won’t chide you. Instead, we will show you how to easily get it back.
Keep in mind that you can’t simply install a VulkanRT executable. It doesn’t work that way. It has to be installed the way it originally came onto your machine — via your graphics card driver.
So, since you’ve already removed the tool, you need to remove what it came with as well so you can install everything anew. This means that you need to uninstall your graphics card’s drivers. It doesn’t matter whether it is AMD, Nvidia or Intel. You can use native software provided by these graphics card manufacturers to remove the driver, but it is better to use the Device Manager.
- Right-click the Start menu icon and select Device Manager from the Quick Access menu.
- In the Device Manager window, click the Display Adapters node to expand it.
- Right-click your graphics card and select Uninstall.
- In the pop-up window, tick the “Delete the driver software for this device” checkbox.
- Click the Uninstall button.
Once you reboot the machine, the OS will simply reinstall the driver you just uninstalled. You can confirm this by going into Device Manager and checking that the graphics card is listed in the correct place under Display Adapter.
If it is missing or has an exclamation mark, you can simply install it yourself. Simply right-click the entry and select Update Driver. In the next window, choose the “Scan automatically for updated driver software” option and Windows will search for and install the missing drivers. A good Internet connection is required for this stage.
Alternatively, after clicking Update Driver, you can select the second option when asked how you wish to search for drivers. After clicking the “Browse my computer for driver software” option, navigate to the driver file you must have downloaded previously and it will be installed.
You can also use Microsoft-approved third-party software such as Auslogics Driver Updater to update or install new drivers for your graphics card. It is a useful option for when Windows doesn’t find the required drivers or you can’t find them yourself online. As long as your Internet connection is stable, you can leave everything up to this tool. It will find the drivers you need, and all you have to do is click the required button to begin an update.
As usual, don’t forget to reboot your PC after the update. Next time you go into the Programs and Features section in Control Panel, you will quickly notice that the Vulkan RunTime Libraries tool is listed.