Lightroom CC / Lightroom 6 Shows Blue Box in Develop

Seeing a blue box or screen in the Develop module?  Lightroom CC / Lightroom 6 goes through a few checks to be sure your GPU is compatible with the new GPU acceleration.  If the checks fail, Lightroom automatically disables GPU acceleration and falls back to the old mode used by Lightroom 5 and earlier.  You won’t get the enhanced performance benefits, but at least the application will operate without interruption.

In spite of this, in some rare cases the checks may leave GPU acceleration enabled even though your machine isn’t compatible.  When this happens, often your hardware is up to snuff, but your video driver is out of date.  Some reports indicate this is more common with AMD/ATI drivers, but if you use a different card type don’t panic, the troubleshooting steps are the same.

Here’s a mock-up of what you might be seeing:

Lightroom CC / 6 Blue Screen in Develop Due To Bad Video Drivers Or Hardware Incompatibility
Click for larger version

As I hinted above, the very first thing you should do is try updating your video drivers.  The three most common video card manufacturers are:

Use these links above to check for a new driver.  Using Windows’s integrated device manager and telling it to check for updated drivers is very unreliable.  It typically only finds new drivers that Microsoft is aware of, and those are often a year or more out of date.  Using your computer manufacturer’s provided automatic driver update tools is also very unreliable, as those will only check for drivers that Dell or HP is aware of, and those also are often long out of date.

Even if your drivers are only a few months old, in my personal experience it’s worth checking for a more recent one.  You’ll likely have to restart your computer after updating your video drivers.

If updating your video driver does not solve the problem, then it may be that your computer’s video card is simply incompatible with Lightroom’s GPU acceleration feature.  In this case, in the Lightroom menu go to Edit > Preferences… > Performance (tab) > uncheck the “Use Graphics Processor” box, then the “Restart Lightroom” button at the bottom.  This will disable the new GPU performance features and return you to Lightroom 5-like performance, but at least you’ll be up and running.

For a more detailed walk-though, enjoy this video:

If this tip helped you out, please share it and follow me on your favorite social media site.  Good luck!




7 thoughts on “Lightroom CC / Lightroom 6 Shows Blue Box in Develop”

  1. My blue screen was caused by Afterburner (used to monitor gpu and fan profiles OC ect) turned that off and now works

  2. That was it – disabled the GPU and I’m up and running, just like you said. If I need more performance I’ll look for a more elegant solution, but for now it’s more than good enough.

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