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What is VulkanRT? (Runtime Libraries) Should it be Removed?

VulkanRT is a graphics API used by developers to improve the performance of their games by balancing the usage between the GPU and CPU. It lowers the usage of the GPU and makes better use of multi-core processors. It is NOT a virus or hijacker.

VulkanRT is often found by users by mistake, and the first question they ask is usually: is Vulkan malware or a virus?

You’ll find this program in your computer’s Program Files (x86) folder.

But before you remove it, let’s learn a little bit about what VulkanRT really is and why it’s been installed.

VulkanRT stands for Vulkan Runtime, and it’s a library that is actually used for gaming.

What is VulkanRT

Is VulkanRT a Virus?

No, definitely not. 

VulkanRT is actually designed to enhance your gaming and better utilize your hardware. You see, games will call on this library to accelerate your hardware, optimizing performance to produce 3D graphics.

Games, and any program that uses 3D graphics, can use the Vulkan runtime libraries to provide balance between your:

  • Graphics card (GPU)
  • Processor (CPU)

VulkanRT was likely installed alongside one of your games or applications because it is part of an API standard created by The Khronos Group.

The library was introduced to the world in 2015 at the Game Developer’s Conference.

CPUs take on a larger load of the processing than is required when Vulkan is present. This is because a lot of applications and games do not support multi-core CPUs properly either.


VulkanRT allows developers to tap into the API and provide proper load balance between multi-core CPUs.

It’s a library standard that all developers can use, similar to OpenGL which a lot of games relied on for years.

But this library, while many see it as a successor for OpenGL, is not a full replacement.

One key benefit of this library is that it’s been designed for cross-platform usage.

Direct3D by Microsoft, for example, is used by a lot of games, but it’s not a cross-platform library.

This means that it’s harder and more complex for developers to provide cross-platform games. As a result, this is one of the reasons why Windows is the best OS for gaming.

Vulkan can be used on:

Third-party support is also being provided for Apple operating systems.

Should I Remove VulkanRT?


The runtime library has been installed by a game, application or may have even been installed alongside graphic drivers from AMD or NVIDIA.

A lot of games, especially newer titles, will require you to have the Vulkan library installed.

Since the library is required, games or applications that require the library will often not run properly without it.

It’s a harmless library that will enhance your games or applications. You don’t need to uninstall it or worry that the library is a virus or some form of malware – it is not.

If your antivirus or other program flags the library as a threat, you can exclude it or ignore the warnings.

It’s a safe library that you’ll want to keep on your computer.

Doom (2016) was one of the key games that started using VulkanRT, and most graphics card drivers will install the library again even if you’ve deleted it in the past.

Since it helps with your hardware utilization and optimization, it makes sense to keep Vulkan on your computer.

If someone tells you that it’s a virus, it is not.

Removing the library can cause games or applications to crash, make some games unplayable and cause poor quality graphics when playing newer titles.

Related posts:

Learn how to optimize Mac for gaming

CPUs can bottleneck GPUs  – how to avoid this issue

How much VRAM do you need for gaming?

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Richard Bolden

David has been interested in computers for over 25 years. From playing games on his parents computer as a kid in the early 90s, to building his first PC in 2003 (and many more since then). He has a passion for everything related to computing and this site is dedicated to helping others find the info they need.