Is VulkanRT a virus?

Is VulkanRT a virus?

As a user, you may have concerns when you notice an unknown folder and a program icon in the Windows Start Menu, both named VulkanRT. What is this program? Whence it came? Is VulkanRT a virus? Should I remove it? If these questions flash in your mind, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we reveal what Vulkan Runtime is and whether it is dangerous.

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What is VulkanRT?

SPOILER: VulkanRT is nothing like malware!

If you know what OpenGL and Direct3D are, you will quickly grasp VulkanRT. The program’s full name is Vulkan Runtime Libraries, and it is a graphics application programming interface (API), a software intermediary between the running graphics-using programs and hardware drivers. You might ask what’s the difference between an API and a video card driver. The simple answer is that an API is a standard for commanding a graphics processing unit on what to do. The driver program tells the GPU how to perform the task.

Vulkan Runtime Libraries is a project of the Khronos Group – an in-y2k-founded consortium of the major graphics hardware and software manufacturers – aiming to create a new low-overhead cross-platform graphics API standard. The work began in 2014, and the API is regularly updated.

VulkanRT is designed to better 3D-rendering in graphics-using programs, basically games. It allows more direct control over the graphics processing unit, minimizes the CPU usage, and more effectively distributes the workload between the CPU cores. At the same time, VulkanRT does not fully substitute OpenGL. The older API still executes some functions.

If you want to know what VulkanRT more specifically does and learn its differences from OpenGL and Direct 3D APIs, you can always read about it on its Wikipedia page.

API and Drivers correlation
This table roughly shows API device drivers position between the program and the GPU.

How did VulkanRT end up on my PC?

VulkanRT most likely resides in your Program Files x86 folder on a system disk. You might also notice a Vulkan icon in the Start Menu as well as find it in Apps and Features. The API could have been installed on your computer together with a game or with a graphics card driver.

VulkanRT in Program Files
That is how VulkanRT folder appears in Program Files x86 directory.

Since a user may be unaware of the mere existence of VulkanRT, let alone have no intention to install it, seeing an unknown application in the operating system might understandably ring some alarm bells. Either VulkanRT explanation notes are unclear, or users are that excited about the game they are installing that they miss those notes, but Vulkan libraries always trigger questions. Microsoft forums have these worry queries dating back to 2016.

Games and other applications that employ 3D graphics require VulkanRT. Therefore, we don’t recommend that you delete this software.

Is VulkanRT a virus?

Absolutely not. At least security specialists have detected no malware under this name to the present day. There is a type of harmful software, the so-called Trojan horses, which uses another program’s appearance as a disguise. Theoretically, a Trojan could penetrate your PC as Vulkan libraries, but there were no reports of such infiltrations so far.

Remember to keep your anti-malware software on and scan your computer for viruses from time to time. By the way, if the subject of antivirus software is of interest to you, you might find our recent article on av-scanners and types of security software quite engaging to read.

What if I still want to remove it?

You’re doing it at your own risk! Since you have Vulkan on your PC, you probably also have and use programs and hardware that requires it. However, if you are determined to do it, remove VulkanRT just as you’d uninstall any other application.

Removing VulkanRT via Apps and Features
Removing VulkanRT at your own risk!
  • Go to Start Menu search bar and look for Apps and Features.
  • Open the found item. You will see a list of programs on the right pane.
  • Use a search bar or scroll down to find VulkanRT.
  • Click on the VulkanRT entry and press Uninstall.
  • Proceed with confirming your decision.

If you notice that your PC has become slow recently, VulkanRT is hardly the reason for that. Chaotically removing programs is not the way out of the trouble. If you suspect a problem with your computer running speed, consider reading our post on fixing PC deceleration. Guesswork in removing applications is definitely not the thing to do.

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