What is VulkanRT (Vulkan Runtime Libraries) – Is it Safe or a Virus?

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If you have wandered off to find your way to this article, it is probably because you have noticed some strange application installed on your computer. If that is the VulkanRT or Vulkan Runtime Libraries, then you’re at the right place. It is essential to understand what it is and how it gets into your computer. After coming across the Vulkan Runtime, most users might think it is a virus or harmful malware. Therefore, they usually uninstall or remove it. However, before you take any action, you must know a few things you’ll miss out on.

You might even come across websites claiming that VulkanRT is a malware program that might harm your computer. In reality, Vulkan Runtime serves a useful purpose and is necessary for 3D rendering programs and games. To better understand Vulkan and how it gets on your PC, follow this straightforward guide.

Here is what we have covered in this article:

What is VulkanRT (Vulkan Runtime Libraries)?

Vulkan Logo 2022

The VulkanRT, also known as Vulkan Runtime Libraries, is a computational and 3-Dimensional graphic API. This belongs to an American organization that specializes in API production, the Khronos Group. It is a cross-platform that shares compatibility with any operating system, including iOS, Android, Linux, and Windows.

This software is meant to provide you with enhanced and efficient performance while at the same time lowering the burden on the systematic resources running them. The VulkanRT mainly enhances the performance of real-time 3D applications. The applications include all those apps which use high graphics, including video games. Besides that, the Vulkan Runtime Libraries will provide greater control over your CPU and GPU.

Key Features

  • It has no limitation and is operable on a diverse range of operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows, etc.), unlike similar software like the DirectX 12 that works only with Windows.
  • VulkanRT reduces the workload and driver overhead on your CPU, making everything smooth.
  • It improves the overall performance of applications using high graphics. Moreover, it also greatly enhances the gameplay of high graphic video games.
  • With the Vulkan Runtime Libraries, you won’t be needing any particular APIs for managing computing kernels and graphic shaders.
  • The VulkanRT can utilize multithreading on a processor. This gives it major edge software’s like OpenGL 4 or Direct3D, which function only with single-core processors.

Purpose and Use

The Vulkan Runtime Libraries allow you to gain the best out of your gaming experience. It optimizes any application with demanding GPU requirements. The enhanced performance comes by reducing the overhead of your graphics card. Moreover, it drops your CPU usage while simultaneously distributing your workload through your processor’s multiple cores. This can enhance the graphics of a Virtual-Reality world in a game and improve the overall performance of the best VR CPU.

Why was the Vulkan Program Created?

Vulkan Runtime Libraries was developed as a successor to the OpenGL software. The OpenGL functioned in rendering 2D and 3D in an application; after 24 years of the release of OpenGL, the Khronos Group designed and launched Vulkan. The VulkanRT is used to render high-performance 3D graphics, and it also renders 2D objects. Moreover, it is considered a system resource-friendly software that provides an environment to translate and process Vulkan API.

Compared with other alternatives like DirectX and similar programs, one will know how the VulkanRT has an edge. While DirectX works only with the Windows operating system, the Vulkan Runtime Libraries can work with all sorts of operating systems. These include Windows, iOS, Linux, and macOS; however, it requires MoltenVK to process the APIs on a Mac. Lots of popular games feature the rendering support provided by Vulkan API to enhance performance. Keep following through with the guide to know which games these might be.

How Did Vulkan Runtime Get into My PC?

VulkanRT might have been installed on your PC while updating or installing NVIDIA or AMD graphics driver. The Vulkan Runtime Libraries might also be installed with software like Steam, Epic Launcher, and Game Engines. Since it’s a requirement, most of these programs don’t have the option to uninstall or not install Vulkan.

Another reason why Vulkan might have shown up on your computer is while downloading a new game. There are many games that require the VulkanRT to run smoothly and properly. Therefore, it is also likely that it got installed on your computer with a new video game.

Note: If you have the Nvidia GPU, you can download the drivers for VulkanRT from the official website. In order to run the software properly, you must restart your PC after the installation is complete.

VulkanRT Hardware Requirements & Exceptions

VulkanRT does have some limitations in terms of hardware requirements. For example, you need the latest Graphics Card to get the best out of it. The Vulkan Runtime Libraries will not work on older GPUs with 2GB or less VRAM. Therefore, you have to upgrade your GPU to a newer generation to make it work. We suggest at least GTX 690 or later. However, a few users from Reddit report a performance drop on GTX 690; how it performs depends on the CPU and the driver version.

Software’s that Requires Vulkan

If you are into 3D designing or use a laptop for game development, you have installed one of the following applications. These are the game engines that use Vulkan API for real-time 3D rendering:

  • CryEngine
  • Godot Engine
  • Acid Game Engine
  • Flax Engine
  • Our Machinery
  • Source Game Engine
  • The Forge
  • Stride Game Engine
  • Unity
  • Unreal Engine
  • NAP Framework
  • Steam
  • Epic Launcher

PC Games that Support Vulkan

Although almost every game uses the Vulkan API to improve 3D performance, we have noted some popular games that support Vulkan Runtime. You may also find a complete list at the end of this topic.

  • Call of Duty: Mobile
  • Crysis 2 Remastered
  • Quake II RTX
  • 7 Days to Die
  • Mad Max
  • Dirt Rally
  • DOOM Eternal
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Rage 2
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood
  • Total War: Rome Remastered

Why Do you Need VulkanRT?

Vulkan Runtime Libraries provide many benefits that can improve the performance of high-graphic applications, including video games. The benefits include the ability to render 3D as well as 2D applications. Moreover, you are provided with a better balance of your GPU and CPU. The Vulkan APIs distribute all the work across the multiple cores evenly to provide efficient performance and lower workload on the CPU. Moreover, it makes parallel tasking so much better.

How to locate VulkanRT on Your Computer?

If you haven’t crossed paths with the Vulkan folder on your computer and want to ensure whether it is installed or not, go through the steps below. Many users also find the VulkanRT software in the Windows 11 application list. You might even come across it when navigating through the Program Files folder.

Locate Vulkan via Apps in Windows 11

Locate via Windows 11 Apps Settings

  1. Launch “Windows 11 Settings” by clicking on the “Start” menu from the desktop.
  2. On Settings, click on “Apps” on the left side menu.
  3. Now click on the “Apps & features” menu.
  4. On Apps & features window, search for “Vulkan” under the App list.
Locate and Uninstall VulkanRT via Control Panel

Locate via Windows Control Panel (Legacy)

  1. Click the Start menu icon on the desktop.
  2. Search for “Control Panel” and launch it.
  3. Click on the “Programs” menu.
  4. Now select “Programs & Features” to launch the list of installed applications window.
  5. Search for “Vulkan” on the top-right corner window.
VulkanRT Folder in Program Files

Find Vulkan Folder in Program Files

There is a chance that you won’t see Vulkan Folder in C:\Program Files (x86)\. However, it depends on what driver or app you have installed recently. If you do want to see the folder follow the following steps below:

  1. From your desktop, double-click on the “This PC” icon.
  2. Go to your C:\ drive.
  3. Look for the “Program Files (x86)” folder and open it.
  4. Now find VulkanRT Folder.
Searching for Vulkan RunTime Libraries in Windows System32 and SysWOW64

Locate Vulkan in Windows System32 & SysWOW64 Folder (C:\ drive)

The Vulkan files and folders can be found in the System32 & SysWOW64 folder of Windows 10 and 11. The easiest way to find the location of your VulkanRT is by searching for it on C drive.

  1. Launch “This PC” from your desktop.
  2. Go to your Windows drive (usually its C:\)
  3. On the top-right corner, click on the search bar and type “Vulkan”.

How to Install Vulkan Runtime Libraries on your Computer?

If you have accidentally uninstalled or deleted the VulkanRT software or need to install it on your computer, we’ll show you how to install it. Follow the steps below to reinstall Vulkan Runtime:

Remove existing GPU Driver

  • Go ahead and click on the Windows+X keys at the same time.
  • Find Device Manager and click on it or press “M” on the keyboard.
  • In Device Manager, navigate yourself to Display Adapters.
  • You will see your GPU model name here. Right-click on it and click Uninstall button.
  • Now check the Attempt to remove the driver from this device and click on Uninstall button.

You will see a temporary display fluctuation at this point, but there is nothing to worry about. It is time to uninstall the “Nvidia Control Panel” from Windows 11 settings; if you have AMD GPU remove “AMD Radeon Software” from your PC.

Uninstalling Nvidia Control Panel or AMD Radeon Software on Windows 11

  • Click on the “Start” menu icon on the desktop.
  • Go to “Settings” and click on “Apps” on the left side of the menu.
  • Now click on “Apps & features” and search for “Nvidia” or “AMD” apps.
  • Click on the three-dots menu right in front of the software name and select the “Uninstall” button.
  • Follow the setup wizard to completely remove the software.

Make sure to remove all the GPU drivers, including GeForce Experience and AMD Chipset. Once you uninstall the applications, restart your PC before you begin the next steps.

Now reinstall Nvidia or AMD Radeon Drivers and Software’s

After you successfully restart your PC, it’s time to reinstall all the applications and drivers you removed. The simplest way to install the GPU driver is to visit Settings and check for Windows Updates. This will install the latest graphics driver for your Nvidia or AMD Radeon GPU.

However, the Windows Updates will not install GeForce Experience or AMD Radeon Software, which benefits intensive gameplay. We suggest you visit your product support webpage to install the software and download it from there. You can also download the latest version from nvidia.com or amd.com. However, the newest Radeon application might not work if you use a laptop. You must download it from the manufacturer’s website.

This should ideally install all your Nvidia or AMD Radeon graphics drivers along with the Vulkan Runtime.

Is VulkanRT a Virus, or is it Safe?

It might seem like a virus or some malware sort of thing at first sight. Sometimes, even your antivirus might detect this software as suspicious, so most people delete it immediately. However, you must know that VulkanRT is NOT A VIRUS. The Vulkan Runtime is meant to enhance your PC performance and positively affect your computer.

We have already stated how it might have been installed with a GPU driver or a video game. The reason to use Vulkan is to enhance your graphics performance, and it is beneficial for high-graphic applications. It is used by many applications to run properly, and you will miss out on a lot if you uninstall it. It uses 3D graphics and brings out better performance from your hardware.

To summarize it all, the Vulkan Runtime is safe and necessary.

Should I Remove Vulkan from My PC?

A lot of users might have confusion regarding whether they should keep the Vulkan Runtime or not. As you know, it might have been installed with a graphics card driver or video game. Also, it is beneficial for your game performance and enhancing 2D and 3D visuals. So, it would be best if you did not think of uninstalling VulkanRT from your computer. However, you should also not download it from a non-verified source or suspicious website. There are some applications and games that depend on the Vulkan Libraries to function properly at their best. If you remove it, you’ll miss out on all its perks.

Even if your antivirus considers it suspicious, ignore the warnings and move on. You don’t have to worry about anything as the software is totally harmless. It was also developed to give you better 3D performance with certain applications.

Vulkan Ray Tracing GPU List

Vulkan Ray Tracing can be achieved on pretty much any graphics card. However, having a high-end GPU to get real-time ray tracing on a realistic 3D game would be best. When it comes to Nvidia, there are many options available, but AMD just recently got into RTX, so the options are limited. Below is the list of GPUs that we recommend for Vulkan Ray Tracing:

RTX 4090RX 7900 XTX
RTX 4080RX 7900 XT
RTX 4070 & 4070 TiRX 7600
RTX 4060 & 4060 TiRX 6900 XT
RTX 3090RX 6800 XT
RTX 3080RX 6800
RTX 3070RX 6700 XT
RTX 3060 & 3060 Ti
RTX 2080 Ti
RTX 2060

List of Vulkan Games

If you have recently installed one of the following games, that could be why the Vulkan folder gets on your PC.

Video GameRelease Date
HammertingNov 16, 2021
Kathy Rain: Director’s CutOct 26, 2021
Crysis 2 RemasteredOct 15, 2021
Crysis 3 RemasteredOct 15, 2021
EmbrSep 23, 2021
ATOM RPG TrudogradSep 13, 2021
EncasedSep 7, 2021
Quake (2021)Aug 19, 2021
Doki Doki Gravity DiveAug 17, 2021
Death TrashAug 5, 2021
Jupiter HellAug 5, 2021
Luna’s Fishing GardenJun 16, 2021
Knockout CityMay 21, 2021
The Hand of MerlinMay 11, 2021
Total War: Rome RemasteredApr 29, 2021
Shadow Man RemasteredApr 15, 2021
CreaturaMar 31, 2021
Evil Genius 2: World DominationMar 30, 2021
Pawn of the DeadFeb 19, 2021
Comet 64Feb 5, 2021
ValheimFeb 2, 2021
PowerSlave ExhumedJan 1, 2021
Second ExtinctionOct 20, 2020
Baldur’s Gate 3Oct 6, 2020
Serious Sam 4Sep 24, 2020
Crysis RemasteredSep 18, 2020
HadesSep 17, 2020
Hyper ScapeAug 11, 2020
HellpointJul 30, 2020
Beyond a Steel SkyJun 26, 2020
Estranged: The DepartureMay 22, 2020
Tonight We RiotMay 8, 2020
Streets of Rage 4Apr 30, 2020
Half-Life: AlyxMar 23, 2020
Doom 64Mar 20, 2020
Doom EternalMar 20, 2020
DwarrowsFeb 28, 2020
Dota UnderlordsFeb 25, 2020
Zombie Army 4: Dead WarFeb 4, 2020
Commandos 2 HD RemasterJan 24, 2020
Detroit: Become HumanDec 12, 2019
Transport Fever 2Dec 11, 2019
SuperliminalNov 12, 2019
Red Dead Redemption 2Nov 5, 2019
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon BreakpointOct 4, 2019
The Surge 2Sep 24, 2019
Wolfenstein: CyberpilotJul 26, 2019
Wolfenstein: YoungbloodJul 25, 2019
Quake II RTXJun 6, 2019
SplitgateMay 24, 2019
Total War: Three KingdomsMay 23, 2019
RAGE 2May 14, 2019
Light Fairytale Episode 1May 13, 2019
Blood: Fresh SupplyMay 9, 2019
World War ZApr 16, 2019
SupralandApr 5, 2019
Urban Trial PlaygroundApr 5, 2019
Metro ExodusFeb 15, 2019
What Never WasJan 11, 2019
X4: FoundationsNov 30, 2018
ParkitectNov 29, 2018
ArtifactNov 28, 2018
Steel RatsNov 7, 2018
Helium RainOct 11, 2018
Life Is Strange 2Sep 26, 2018
Shadow of the Tomb RaiderSep 14, 2018
Strange BrigadeAug 28, 2018
Forsaken RemasteredJul 31, 2018
Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of WarJul 12, 2018
Total War Saga: Thrones of BritanniaMay 3, 2018
BrickadiaMar 24, 2018
EcoFeb 6, 2018
X Rebirth VR EditionDec 7, 2017
Doom VFRDec 1, 2017
Aerofly FS 2 Flight SimulatorNov 20, 2017
Serious Sam 3 VR: BFENov 9, 2017
Wolfenstein II: The New ColossusOct 27, 2017
The Talos Principle VROct 17, 2017
Throne of LiesSep 29, 2017
Serious Sam VR: The Last HopeSep 20, 2017
F1 2017Aug 25, 2017
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War IIIApr 27, 2017
Serious Sam VR: The Second EncounterApr 4, 2017
Serious Sam VR: The First EncounterMar 30, 2017
Ballistic OverkillMar 27, 2017
Serious Sam Fusion 2017Mar 21, 2017
Hollow KnightFeb 24, 2017
Beyond Enemy LinesFeb 21, 2017
X-Plane 11Feb 15, 2017
War ThunderDec 21, 2016
Ashes of the Singularity: EscalationNov 10, 2016
No Man’s SkyAug 12, 2016
AstroKillMay 27, 2016
Doom (2016)May 13, 2016
Rise of the Tomb RaiderJan 28, 2016
JX3 OnlineJan 1, 2016
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six SiegeDec 1, 2015
CemuOct 13, 2015
System Shock: Enhanced EditionSep 22, 2015
Mad MaxSep 1, 2015
GeocoreJul 31, 2015
Portal Stories: MelJun 25, 2015
The Talos PrincipleDec 11, 2014
Middle-earth: Shadow of MordorSep 30, 2014
7 Days to DieDec 13, 2013
Path of ExileOct 23, 2013
BeamNG.driveAug 3, 2013
BeamNG.driveAug 3, 2013
Dota 2Jul 9, 2013
Doom 3: BFG EditionOct 18, 2012
ReceiverJun 16, 2012
RPCS3Jun 1, 2012
Serious Sam 3: BFENov 22, 2011
Portal 2Apr 19, 2011
RetroArchMay 26, 2010
Serious Sam HD: The Second EncounterApr 28, 2010
Serious Sam HD: The First EncounterNov 24, 2009
Left 4 Dead 2Nov 19, 2009
RobloxApr 6, 2006
Half-Life 2Nov 16, 2004
Vendetta OnlineNov 1, 2004
Serious Sam: The First EncounterMar 23, 2001
Quake III ArenaDec 2, 1999
Warzone 2100Apr 10, 1999
Quake IIDec 9, 1997
X-Men: The Ravages of ApocalypseDec 5, 1997
Mortal Kombat 4Oct 15, 1997
Chex QuestDec 1, 1996
QuakeJun 22, 1996
Final DoomMay 31, 1996
StrifeMay 15, 1996
Hexen: Beyond HereticOct 1, 1995
HereticDec 23, 1994
Doom II: Hell on EarthOct 10, 1994
Doom (1993)Dec 10, 1993

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need VulkanRT on my computer?

Some applications and games will require the Vulkan Runtime to work properly. Therefore, it is essential to have it available on your computer so the applications can run at their best level.

How did VulkanRT get installed on my PC?

The VulkanRT gets installed with new graphics card driver updates, games or game launchers, and gaming engines.

What should I do with VulkanRT? Keep it, or uninstall it?

It is highly recommended to keep the Vulkan Runtime Libraries and not uninstall it, as it might prove necessary for running some applications properly. On top of that, it is completely safe and provides multiple benefits to enhance performance significantly.

Final Thoughts

By reaching this next segment, you know everything you need to know regarding the Vulkan Runtime Libraries. The importance of VulkanRT is now apparent to you, and you know how great it can affect performance. From 3D rendering to shifting various workloads and making high-graphic applications operate better, you can enjoy all the perks. Moreover, you’ll experience better performance when it comes to gaming. Regardless of what you hear from others, remember that the Vulkan Runtime is not a virus or malware.

We recommend you keep the VulkanRT on your PC and not uninstall or delete it. We hope you enjoy all the benefits it provides. Hopefully, you will have found this article informative, and your query has been solved.

Naveed A. Khan

Being a tech enthusiast and a founder of LookGadgets Naveed loves to review and share his thoughts with his audience. Although he is a Certified Network Engineer - but his main interests are in the latest CPU, GPU, Monitors, Laptops, Internet Routers, and PC peripherals.

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