A NVIDIA RTX-20 series gaming laptop
NVIDIA

At the beginning of 2020, NVIDIA released new GeForce drivers with a highly requested feature. You can now cap your PC’s framerates—either for all games on your PC or just for specific games. Here’s how.

Why Would You Want to Cap Your FPS?

This feature is particularly useful on Windows gaming laptops with NVIDIA hardware, as you can stop your GPU from running as fast as it can. This will save battery power and reduce heat consumption, letting you game for longer when you’re away from a power outlet.

You might also find the cap useful to reduce screen tearing in games. You can try setting the maximum FPS to your display’s refresh rate if you don’t have a G-Sync or FreeSync-enabled monitor with variable refresh rates. The NVIDIA Control Panel also says this feature can “[reduce] system latency in certain scenarios.”

How to Set a Maximum FPS for All Games

This feature is built into the NVIDIA Control Panel. To open it, right-click your Windows desktop and select “NVIDIA Control Panel.”

(If you don’t see this menu option, you likely don’t have NVIDIA’s drivers installed.)

Launching the NVIDIA Control Panel from the Windows desktop

Select “Manage 3D Settings” under 3D Settings at the left side of the NVIDIA Control Panel window.

To control the maximum frame rate for all applications on your PC, ensure the “Global Settings” tab is selected.

Managing global 3D settings in the NVIDIA Control Panel

In the list of settings, click the box to the right of “Max Frame Rate.” By default, this option is disabled, and there is no maximum frame rate.

To set a maximum frame rate, select “On” and choose your maximum frames per second (FPS.)

Enabling a max frame rate globally in NVIDIA's drivers

Click “Apply” at the bottom of the window to save your settings.

Applying NVIDIA Control Panel settings on Windows 10

How to Control Max Frame Rate for Specific Games

You can also control the maximum frame rate setting for individual applications. Click the “Program Settings” tab at the top of the list of settings. Under “Select a program to customize,” choose the app you want to control.

If a game doesn’t appear in the list, you can click “Add” and specify its .exe file.

Managing 3D settings for an individual game in the NVIDIA Control Panel.

Look for the “Max Frame Rate” option, click it, and select your desired setting. By default, each game is set to “Use global setting”—it’ll use whatever setting you chose on the Global Settings tab.

However, you can select different settings here. For example, you might leave the maximum frame rate option disabled on the “Global Settings” tab and configure a different maximum frame rate for each game you want to cap. Or, you might set a maximum frame rate globally and exempt individual games from the cap. It’s up to you.

Setting a frame rate cap for a specific game in NVIDIA's GeForce drivers.

Be sure to click “Apply” to save your settings.


If you don’t see this option, be sure to update your NVIDIA drivers. You can update your drivers in the GeForce Experience application if it’s installed or by downloading the latest drivers from NVIDIA’s website.

This feature was added in version 441.87 of the NVIDIA GeForce drivers, which were released on January 6, 2020.

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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