Altium Designer Documentation

Altium 365 Viewers - Troubleshooting Guide

Created: November 19, 2020 | Updated: August 10, 2021

Parent page: Altium 365 Viewers

To ensure a smooth experience with Altium 365 Viewer and the Web Viewer interface within the Altium 365 platform itself, ensure you have:

  • The latest version of a supported Web Browser installed.
  • That WebGL (or WebGL 2.0) is enabled for it.
  • That the option to use 'Hardware Acceleration' is enabled for your browser where available. This will typically result in a far smoother viewing experience, since 3D rendering is performed by the dedicated video card (GPU) where one exists, rather than the CPU of the computer itself.
  • If your computer has dual graphics cards - integrated and dedicated - then it is suggested to utilize the dedicated GPU over the integrated GPU.
  • That the video drivers for your computer are up to date (including drivers for dedicated graphics cards).

Supported Web Browsers

Supported browsers (and their minimum supported version) are listed below. It is recommended to always have the latest version of a supported browser installed.

The later, Chromium-based Edge browser is supported, but the earlier version of the browser (often called Legacy Edge) is not.

Checking that WebGL & Hardware Acceleration is Enabled for Your Browser

You can quickly check whether WebGL is currently enabled for your browser by heading to https://get.webgl.org. If it is enabled, you should see a spinning cube on that page.

The following sections provide troubleshooting information with respect to checking WebGL (or WebGL 2.0) and enabling hardware acceleration on some of the popular browsers supported by Altium 365 Web Viewer technology. Be aware that settings and elements therein can change at any time and may be labelled differently than stated here. Consult supporting information for your browser. Care should be taken when changing any settings to your browser and only proceed if you are comfortable with making such changes. In any event, your company policy may control what you can and cannot do and you may need, or be required to seek, assistance from your IT professional.

Checking WebGL Status on Chrome

To inspect the status of WebGL for Chrome:

  1. Type chrome://gpu in the address bar and press Enter.
  2. Inspect the WebGL and WebGL2 items in the Graphics Feature Status list.

The status can be one of the following:

  • Hardware accelerated - WebGL is enabled and hardware-accelerated, meaning that it runs on your graphics card.
  • Software only - WebGL is enabled, but running in software.
  • Unavailable - WebGL is not available in hardware or software.

Enabling Hardware Acceleration for Chrome

To check and enable hardware acceleration:

  1. Go to settings - enter chrome://settings in the address bar and press Enter.
  2. On the Advanced - System page, ensure that the option to Use hardware acceleration when available is enabled.

  1. You'll need to relaunch Chrome for any changes to take effect.
  2. Recheck the WebGL status (chrome://gpu).
With older versions of Chrome, WebGL had a corresponding flag - Disable WebGL - that had to be disabled for the feature to be enabled (searched from the chrome://flags page). On the latest version of Chrome no such flag is available, nor are there any other pertinent flags to enable/disable. Once hardware acceleration is enabled as detailed previously, WebGL should work. Of course, you may need to ensure your graphics card drivers are updated to do so, if you are still experiencing issues.

Checking WebGL Status on Firefox

To inspect the status of WebGL for Firefox:

  1. Type about:support in the address bar and press Enter.
  2. Inspect the WebGL 1 Driver Renderer and WebGL 2 Driver Renderer entries in the Graphics table.

If the status contains a graphics card manufacturer, model and driver, then WebGL is enabled. If the status mentions driver issues, then make sure you have the latest drivers for your graphics card.

Enabling Hardware Acceleration for FireFox

To check and enable hardware acceleration:

  1. Go to options - enter about:preferences in the address bar and press Enter.
  2. Scroll down to the Performance section on the General page and ensure that the option to Use recommended performance settings is enabled. If you disable this option temporarily, you'll see that the sub-option to Use hardware acceleration when available is enabled by default when this parent option is enabled.

  1. Recheck the WebGL status (about:support).

To check and enable WebGL:

  1. Type about:config in the address bar and press Enter.
  2. Use the search field to search for webgl.disabled.
  3. Ensure that the entry is set to false.

Checking WebGL Status on Safari

To check and enable WebGL:

  1. Go to Safari's Preferences.
  2. Select the Advanced tab.
  3. Ensure that the Show Develop menu in menu bar option is enabled.

  1. On Safari's Develop - Experimental Features sub-menu, ensure that the option Enable WebGL is enabled.
If the Enable WebGL option is not present, then this means WebGL 1.0 functionality is already enabled (and was no longer considered experimental).
  1. On the Experimental Features sub-menu you will find the WebGL 2.0 entry. Enable this to use the latest version of WebGL technology, but keep in mind that this is still considered experimental in relation to the Safari browser.

Checking WebGL Status on Edge

To inspect the status of WebGL for Edge:

  1. Type edge://gpu in the address bar and press Enter.
  2. Inspect the WebGL and WebGL2 items in the Graphics Feature Status list.

The status can be one of the following:

  • Hardware accelerated - WebGL is enabled and hardware-accelerated, meaning that it runs on your graphics card.
  • Software only - WebGL is enabled, but running in software.
  • Unavailable - WebGL is not available in hardware or software.

Enabling Hardware Acceleration for Edge

To check and enable hardware acceleration:

  1. Go to the System page of Settings - enter edge://settings/system in the address bar and press Enter.
  2. Ensure that the option to Use hardware acceleration when available is enabled.

  1. You may need to relaunch Edge for any changes to take effect.
  2. Recheck the WebGL status (edge://gpu).

Checking WebGL Status on Opera

To inspect the status of WebGL for Opera:

  1. Type opera://gpu in the address bar and press Enter.
  2. Inspect the WebGL and WebGL2 items in the Graphics Feature Status list.

The status can be one of the following:

  • Hardware accelerated - WebGL is enabled and hardware-accelerated, meaning that it runs on your graphics card.
  • Software only - WebGL is enabled, but running in software.
  • Unavailable - WebGL is not available in hardware or software.

Enabling Hardware Acceleration for Opera

To check and enable hardware acceleration:

  1. Go to settings - enter opera://settings in the address bar and press Enter.
  2. In the System section on the Advanced - Browser page, ensure that the option to Use hardware acceleration when available is enabled.

  1. You may need to relaunch Opera for any changes to take effect.
  2. Recheck the WebGL status (opera://gpu).

Dual GPU Systems

If your computer has dual graphics cards - integrated and dedicated - then it is suggested to utilize the dedicated GPU over the integrated GPU.

Bear in mind that switching to use only your dedicated graphics card can have an impact on battery performance, where a laptop is invloved.

Switching, or rather configuring your system to use its dedicated graphics card for your Web browser can be performed as follows:

  • Windows® PC using an Nvidia® Graphics Card - use the NVIDIA Control Panel to configure that your browser program (e.g. chrome.exe) uses the dedicated Nvidia graphics, an example of which is shown below:

Blacklisted Graphics Cards

Depending on the graphics card(s) installed in your computer, WebGL (or some associated functionality thereof) may be disabled by default by your Web Browser. For information relating to black- and white-listed graphics cards and graphics drivers, affecting WebGL for FireFox and Chrome browsers in particular, see https://www.khronos.org/webgl/wiki/BlacklistsAndWhitelists.

 

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