Frequently Asked Questions

This page lists solutions to common problems that you may encounter while developing Vulkan applications.

I get an access violation error in the core validation layer

Make sure that MSI Afterburner / RivaTuner Statistics Server is not running, because it has some compatibility problems with Vulkan.

I don’t see any messages from the validation layers / Validation layers are not available

First make sure that the validation layers get a chance to print errors by keeping the terminal open after your program exits. You can do this from Visual Studio by running your program with Ctrl-F5 instead of F5, and on Linux by executing your program from a terminal window. If there are still no messages and you are sure that validation layers are turned on, then you should ensure that your Vulkan SDK is correctly installed by following the "Verify the Installation" instructions on this page. Also ensure that your SDK version is at least to support the VK_LAYER_KHRONOS_validation layer.

vkCreateSwapchainKHR triggers an error in SteamOverlayVulkanLayer64.dll

This appears to be a compatibility problem in the Steam client beta. There are a few possible workarounds: * Opt out of the Steam beta program. * Set the DISABLE_VK_LAYER_VALVE_steam_overlay_1 environment variable to 1 * Delete the Steam overlay Vulkan layer entry in the registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Khronos\Vulkan\ImplicitLayers


steam layers env

vkCreateInstance fails with VK_ERROR_INCOMPATIBLE_DRIVER

If you are using MacOS with the latest MoltenVK SDK then vkCreateInstance may return the VK_ERROR_INCOMPATIBLE_DRIVER error. This is because Vulkan SDK version 1.3.216 or newer requires you to enable the VK_KHR_PORTABILITY_subset extension to use MoltenVK, because it is currently not fully conformant.

You have to add the VK_INSTANCE_CREATE_ENUMERATE_PORTABILITY_BIT_KHR flag to your VkInstanceCreateInfo and add VK_KHR_PORTABILITY_ENUMERATION_EXTENSION_NAME to your instance extension list.

Code example:


std::vector<const char*> requiredExtensions;

for(uint32_t i = 0; i < glfwExtensionCount; i++) {



createInfo.enabledExtensionCount = (uint32_t) requiredExtensions.size();
createInfo.ppEnabledExtensionNames =;

if (vkCreateInstance(&createInfo, nullptr, &instance) != VK_SUCCESS) {
    throw std::runtime_error("failed to create instance!");