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What is Vulkan RunTime Libraries A.K.A VulkanRT?

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You may have recently been in your program files(x86) and come across a folder called ‘VulkanRT’. First things first, VulkanRT is not harmful in any way. It isn’t spyware, malware or a virus and in case you were wondering, you don’t have to remove it!

In this article, we will cover what VulkanRT is, why it is not harmful, how VulkanRT was downloaded to your computer if you should remove it or not, and how it can benefit your system.

Vulkan is a project that was created by The Khronos Group and was announced in 2015 at the game developers conference. The Khronos Group are a non-profit consortium focused on the creation of open standard APIs.

What is Vulkan RunTime Libraries a.k.a VulkanRT?

VulkanRT (Vulkan Runtime Libraries) is a low overhead cross-platform computer graphics API. Vulkans aim is to provide more direct control over the GPU and lower CPU usage. Basically, it’s there to improve performance in 3D applications such as video games and interactive media. VulkanRT helps distribute the workload evenly across a multi-core CPU in addition to lower CPU usage.

VulkanRT is referred to as the next generation of OpenGL but it isn’t a total replacement. VulkanRT is derived from AMD’s Mantle API. This API was donated by AMD to Khronos to aid them in creating a standardised low-level API.

VulkanRT features are similar to Direct3D 12, Metal and Mantle. Unlike Direct3D 12 though, VulkanRT works with multiple operating systems and has third-party support for iOS and MacOS.

VulkanRT Features

  • Reduced driver overhead which in turn reduces the CPU workloads.
  • The reduced load on the CPU leaves it free to do more computation or rendering.
  • Better scaling on multi-core CPUs
  • The management of compute kernels (routine compiled for high throughput) and graphical shaders are unified, eliminating the need for a separate compute API.


Do I need Vulkan runtime libraries?

When it comes to gaming, many beginners are unsure of whether they should leave Vulkan Runtime Libraries installed on their computer, or if they should delete it. Vulkan has become standard in the graphics world, and as a result, there is no real need to remove it from your PC.

Overall, Vulkan Runtime Libraries will help to improve how your game runs. If you are having a gaming PC, yes, you do need this software. Without it, you will likely notice that the quality and running of your game is not as great as it could be.

However, if you are not using your PC for gaming, then Vulkan Runtime Libraries are not as necessary. In addition to this, you will not really notice that it is not being used.

Is Vulkan run time libraries safe?

Yes, in the vast majority of cases, Vulkan Run Time Libraries are safe to use. They are typically installed by video card drivers, and they will help to assist with the overall running of your game.

When taking this into consideration, they are useful to have, and they will improve your gameplay. As they are automatically added, it is unlikely that you will really notice their presence unless you are specifically looking for them.

If you are unfamiliar with Vulkan Run Time Libraries, then you may assume that it is a virus, but you do not need to worry about this. It is not malware, or a virus, and it does not affect how your computer runs, which is reassuring to hear.

As a result of this, if it does get installed with your video card drivers, we would recommend keeping it on your computer, rather than removing it.

Do I need to install Vulkan?

In the vast majority of cases, if you have a gaming laptop or PC, the likelihood is that you will have Vulkan already installed without even realizing. This is because it automatically gets installed with the vast majority of graphics cards.

Most AMD, Nvidia and Intel graphics cards come with this software as it helps to improve gameplay and the running of your computer while you are gaming. You will be able to see whether it is installed by checking out your computer settings.

If it has already been installed it will be displayed in your settings. However, if there is no sign of it on your PC, then this will mean that it has not automatically been installed with your graphics card.

While you do not have to install it, we would highly recommend it. It will allow your computer to be optimized. In addition to this, it will allow your graphics card to work as well as possible.

What is Vulkan on my PC?

If you are unsure of what Vulkan is, it is a cross-platform API, which works for 3D graphics and computing. It is a low-overhead, and it will allow a higher performance from your GPU and PC as a whole.

If you are a gamer, it is something you will want to have installed on your PC. Even if you do not have a gaming specific PC, it is still a useful program to have installed. It optimizes the PC to help ensure that it is running as well as possible.

If it has recently been installed, then you will notice a big difference in how your PC runs. It is a great program that you will benefit from, especially if you are a gamer. IT is likely that your GPU will automatically install it to your PC.

How Did VulkanRT Get On My Computer?

The program commonly appears after updating your Nvidia or AMD GPU drivers and the chances are if you hadn’t noticed it up until this point then this is where it has come from! The same goes for a recently purchased GPU as you would have had to update the drivers.

Sometimes this could have come with a recently downloaded game as quite a lot of games utilise VulkanRT and some even need VulkanRT as a requirement.

Should I Uninstall Vulkan RunTime Libraries (VulkanRT)?

VulkanRT often comes with games or driver updates and is necessary for these different applications so you should keep it on your PC. VulkanRT isn’t a virus so if your anti-virus software is flagging it up as suspicious then just ignore it.

Remember it isn’t harmful so there is no need to worry about VulkanRT Runtime Libraries lurking in your files.

Product Specialist - Gaming PC, Prebuilt Gaming PC, GPUs, CPUs, AT WEPC

Shaun Conroy

Summary Shaun has been working with WePC for nearly 5 years now, becoming a Product & Affiliate Editor in 2021. He started off writing gaming PC content and PC case reviews, but quickly moved into a more editor-based role covering a wider range of topics. Shaun has multiple qualifications in I.T and Computer Science A big fan of PC gaming and all the hardware involved. Everything from graphics cards to gaming mice, Shaun's your man. Experience Shaun first took an interest in PC gaming back in the mid-2000s, moving from the console. With a keen interest in I.T, Shaun began studying various computer-related courses over his time in higher education. After college and university, Shaun began building gaming PCs professionally, before finally picking up an editorial role at BGFG. Shaun has been with the company now for nearly 5 years, helping expand the site in several different avenues but always keeping a close eye on PC hardware. Education BA: Web Development B-Tech: Information Technology A Levels: Business Studies, I.T, D & T