I have a Lenovo Legion Y720 laptop with an Intel CPU plus an NVIDIA GTX 1060 6G. I know it is possible to have the NVIDIA turned off (unpowered) when not gaming, to save battery life, and to have it turned on automatically when gaming and other uses when graphical performance is needed.

Currently my NVIDIA is always turned on. If I click the little arrow in the tray of the task bar and hover over NVIDIA Activity icon, it is partially green and says 1 display, 0 programs.

I have a friend who has a laptop with a similar Intel + NVIDIA configuration, and that icon is grey on his PC; hovering over it shows Inactive. When he starts Minecraft, it turns green and active.

I've tried searching the web, but can't find a solution; most of what I find are people trying to force the NVIDIA graphics to run all the time, which is opposite of what I want.

So how do I ensure that Intel's graphics display adapter is used when it is adequate, and that NVIDIA is powered off and not consuming energy except when needed?

Windows 10 notification area with the highlight on an icon that looks vaguely like a processor that's lit up with a green outline and colors on the inside of the square; a tooltip says "GeForce GTX 1060 (1 Display, 0 Programs)


There is an option in Nvidia Control Panel to control which applications run on which graphics card. To access these settings right click on your desktop and select Nvidia Control Panel. On the left side of the under 3D settings, select Manage 3D settings.

Here you can either change your global settings and set your preferred graphics processor to the on board graphics chip or your Nvidia Card or you can go to program settings and change the settings on a per-program basis.

I'm not currently on my PC with two graphics cards to check through the process, but I use this method to ensure I am only using my Nvidia card for gaming applications.

Check out this post on TechAdvisor for reference.

Hope this helps!

  • Actually this doesn't help. I already tried this, and now I tried this again. I'll keep searching. Btw, is this nvidia control panel called nvidia optimus, or is optimus annother technology/solution? If yes, maybe I should try it :/ – Ignas Nov 9 '18 at 22:12
  • I think I have an idea of what is going on but am not sure how to fix it. When I Uninstall device my nvidia in device manager, my external monitor goes off. I am using hdmi cable. So somehow intel is incapable to run external monitor with hdmi, and probably that causes nvidia to power up. I tried to disable Uninstall device intel gpu, and install latest drivers from intel website, but this doesn't help. hmm :/ – Ignas Nov 9 '18 at 22:31
  • I'm not sure if the extra monitor relies on the Nvidia card.. But as for the control panel. It's literally called "Nvidia Control Panel." You access it by right clicking on the desktop. If you have both Nvidia and Intel cards you should have options for "Intel Graphics Settings" and "Nvidia Control Panel" when you right click on the desktop. – Michael Little Nov 10 '18 at 23:14
  • Yes, but playing with these settings doesn't help in my case. – Ignas Nov 19 '18 at 17:56

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