[Fix] Your rendering device has been lost: 10 ways to fix it

Image credit: Reddit

Your rendering device has been lost – If you have received this error notification and aren’t able to play Overwatch, you are not alone as many gamers post about this issue in forums. In most cases, gamers aren’t able to play the game after receiving this error message. 

Image credit: Reddit

What does your rendering device has been lost mean? Why does it occur?

‘Your rendering device has been lost’ error is a crashing bug. In most cases, this issue occurs due to graphics processing errors related to TDR (timeout detection and recovery). There are different issues that cause this error to occur, such as launcher error, overheating issues, and software conflicts to name some.  

The internal issue that has prompted this error in your PC may not be the same as that of another Overwatch gamer. While some gamers have a misconception that this error occurs only in average gaming rigs, many gamers who have a dedicated graphics card on their gaming PC also face this issue. 

Image credit: Reddit 

6 quick fixes for ‘Your rendering device has been lost’

While many gamers believe that this crash error is common to just Overwatch, there may be an internal issue that may cause this error to occur. Before you try any extreme solutions and last resort, we recommend trying out these quick fixes first. 

Image credit: Reddit

Fix 1. Bypass the game launcher

Some game launchers (of various game developers) are GPU and CPU-intensive by nature; they put heavy stress on the GPU and/or the CPU which, in turn, can cause crash errors, including ‘Your rendering device has been lost’ in Overwatch. 

Image credit: Unreal Engine forum

If launcher load is causing this crash error in your PC, you can simply bypass the game launcher by creating a launching shortcut. Watch this short video clip to learn how to rename the .exe Overwatch file and create a shortcut out of it. 

Fix 2: Close background programs

In many cases, programs running in the background can cause software conflicts and lead to this error. Follow the steps to close background processes in order to allocate more performance bandwidth to Overwatch and also to avoid software conflict issues. 

Step 1 – Open Task Manager 

Step 2 – In the Task Manager window, go to the Startup section. 

Step 3 – Disable the programs that have a high to medium startup impact in order to free up more bandwidth for Overwatch.

Fix 3: Check graphics card compatibility

The ‘your rendering device has been lost’ error can occur if your PC’s graphics card is not compatible with the game. Check out the list of compatible graphics cards that Overwatch developer Blizzard has listed. 

Image credit: Blizzard Support

Fix 4: Run Overwatch at lower settings

One of the common reasons why the ‘your rendering device has been lost’ error occurs is due to high-performance settings that put stress on the CPU and GPU. Lowering the game performance settings is a good fix for avoiding CPU and GPU stress. The only drawback to this solution is you may experience in-game visuals to be lowered to some extent. 

Watch this video clip to tweak the right setting parameters of Overwatch, including FPS, graphics quality, render scale, etc. 


Fix 5: Underclock the GPU

GPU overclocking can cause Overwatch to crash and display the ‘your rendering device has been lost’ error. To prevent the GPU from overclocking, you have the option of underclocking it.

Image credit: Reddit

One of the best ways to underclock any type of GPU is by using the MSI Afterburner program. Download the program here. Once you download the program and install it, go to the ‘Core Clock’ section and lower the MHz level. 35 to 40 MHz is a good level to adjust to underclock your GPU. 

Image credit: MSI

Fix 6. Lower overheating

GPU/CPU overheating or thermal throttling can also cause crash errors in Overwatch. One of the most simple ways to avoid or lower GPU/CPU overheating is to ensure optimum airflow from the cooling fan. If you are using a gaming laptop, make sure to keep it on a solid surface and not on soft surfaces such as blankets. On the other hand, if you have a gaming desktop, check and make sure that the cooling vents aren’t blocked by cloth or dust. 

Lowering game settings, including reducing resolution, lowering FPS, and render scale, can help you lower GPU and CPU overheating. Also, make sure that there aren’t too many programs running in the background which, otherwise, can put heavy workloads on the CPU and GPU and cause overheating.

Advanced fixes for ‘your rendering device has been lost’

If the 6 quick fixes listed above didn’t work for you, we recommend trying these advanced solutions to fix the ‘your rendering device has been lost’ error. 

Fix 1. Troubleshoot Windows corrupted or missing files

In many cases, corrupted or missing Windows files can cause crash errors in Overwatch and other games. To know if this issue is the cause for the game to crash on your PC, we recommend troubleshooting the issue.

Step 1 – Open the Windows Command Prompt by using the key combinations Windows + R key.

Step 2 – Type the command ‘DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth’ and hit enter. After 20 to 30 minutes, you’ll get the system check report. 

Fix 2. Update the GPU driver

GPU drivers that are out of date can cause many games to crash, including Overwatch. Apart from having high odds of fixing the ‘your rendering device has been lost’ error, you can also improve your GPU’s performance by updating the driver.

If you have NVIDIA graphics card on your PC, click here to choose your specific graphics card model and update its driver. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of manually updating GPU drivers, we recommend installing NVIDIA update and let it do the update work for you. 

Click here if your gaming PC has an AMD graphics card. The program will automatically detect your PC’s AMD GPU model and download and install the latest drivers. 

Fix 3. Enable superfetch service

Unresponsiveness, especially during program launch, can cause crash errors. To make sure that your PC quickly loads Overwatch and doesn’t become unresponsive, it’s a good option to enable the superfetch service. 

Step 1 – Open the Windows command prompt window (Windows key + R) 

Step 2 – Type the command ‘services.msc’ and hit enter.

Step 3 – From the list of services, find Superfetch and set it to ‘automatic’ on the ‘startup type’ section. 

Fix 4. Do a clean reinstall

One of the last resorts you can go for is to perform a clean reinstall of Overwatch. Make sure to uninstall the game first. After uninstalling, download the game’s setup here and reinstall it. Also, choose the right OS on the ‘Platforms’ drop-down menu to avoid compatibility issues.

Image credit: Blizzard 

Contact the game developer

If none of the solutions worked for you, we recommend getting in touch with Blizzard and let the support team learn about the issue that’s unique and specific to you. Reach out to the support team here

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