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How to Update and Install an NVIDIA Driver

How to Update and Install an NVIDIA Driver

Dwight Pavlovic
Reading time: 6 minutes
NVIDIA® is one of the biggest companies in the world of graphics hardware, particularly the graphics processing unit (GPU). With every new GPU series release, the company provides new ways for gamers, developers, video editors, and other visual resource-heavy users to get the most from their computers.
Just like other pieces of hardware in your PC, your GPU requires some maintenance to ensure it’s running in top form. This is why it’s important to understand how to update NVIDIA drivers on your device. In fact, this is one of the best ways to guarantee continued performance from your computer investment.
In this article, we’ll explain 5 of the easiest ways for you to manage your NVIDIA driver updates to keep your GPU running like it should. If you’re a longtime NVIDIA user, you may be familiar with some of these steps. But even if this your first time updating or installing a GPU, we’ve broken down the process into simple, easy to follow steps.

Before you get started

NVIDIA Geforce Card
If you’re installing one of their GPUs for the first time after using another brand, remember to perform a driver uninstall via the Apps tab in your Settings before you get started with your NVIDIA install and update.

To uninstall your GPU driver:

  1. Open the control panel
  2. Under “category” click Uninstall a program
  3. Find NVIDIA Driver from the list
  4. Right click, then click Uninstall/Change
  5. Reboot your PC so the changes to take effect before you install the new drivers

Option 1: NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience software

If you’re an active user who wants maximum control and the best possible performance, NVIDIA’s GeForce® Experience™ suite provides the solution you need. It provides game-ready driver updates for big new titles, boosted live streaming capabilities, NVIDIA Ansel for better-recorded media, post-processing filters to customize your gameplay, and more handy features.
Here’s how to install an updated graphics driver from this software:
  1. Download and install GeForce Experience
  2. Log in or create your account to continue
  3. Once logged in, click the Drivers tab on the GeForce Experience main page, which also shows your latest installation
  4. Click the “Check for updates” option near the top right corner to search for updates
  5. Choose between Express or a Custom update when prompted
  6. Express installs immediately, while a Custom update requires you to input your preferences
While you can rely on visiting the GeForce Experience hub to check on the most recent updates, you can also receive desktop notifications to help you keep up with everything.

Option 2: Perform a manual driver search at NVIDIA

Performing an NVIDIA driver download at the company’s official website is a fast and easy way to update. It’s perfect if you want the most up-to-date drivers possible, but don’t want to worry about too many other details.
Here’s the product information you’ll will need to specify before searching for the latest drivers:
  • Product Type (device family)
  • Product Series (the line it’s from)
  • Product (full name)
  • Operating System
  • Download Type (driver version and format options)
  • Language
The good news is that you don’t have to enter this information manually. Just select the relevant data for your device and after you click search, the NVIDIA website will load your device’s information with an option to download.
Once it downloads, you can complete installation by clicking the .exe file and running it as you would any other program.

Option 3: The NVIDIA Control Panel utility

Many longtime NVIDIA users may be wondering what happened to the NVIDIA Control Panel utility. In previous versions of Windows and NVIDIA hardware, you could find game-ready drivers within the NVIDIA Control Panel.
It may not come preloaded with your NVIDIA graphics card, but you can download the NVIDIA Control Panel for free via the Microsoft Store. It’s a straightforward and comprehensive way to manage your drivers, configure dual GPUs, and handle other GPU-related tasks.
Here’s how to perform the NVIDIA graphics driver updates:
  1. If you’re using an older version of Windows, right-click on your Windows Desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel from the dropdown menu
  2. If that option isn’t available, you can download the free NVIDIA Control Panel at the Microsoft Store
  3. Open the app and click Manage 3D Settings from the “Select a task” sidebar
  4. Click Manage updates to check your preferences and confirm the latest NVIDIA drivers are installed
From there, you can also modify your display’s 3D settings by adjusting your quality and performance preferences. You can even set a new PhysX configuration if you want to focus your graphic output through a particular component, whether your CPU or GPU.

Option 4: Windows Device Manager

While you won’t get the same direct management options like you can with GeForce Experience or the NVIDIA Control Panel, you can easily update your drivers through the Windows Device Manager.
  1. Press the Windows + x keys at once to load the Windows Quick Link menu.
  2. Click Device Manager or press the m key
  3. Select Display adapters from the list of hardware
  4. Right-click on your NVIDIA graphics card and click Update driver
  5. Choose to search automatically for drivers or manually select them
You can also choose to uninstall NVIDIA drivers by selecting the “Uninstall driver” option from the same dropdown menu.

Option 5: Windows Update tool

Another easy way to get driver updates is via the Windows Update tool. Bear in mind that, like Device Manager, Windows Update won’t always provide the most recent updates compared to our direct NVIDIA solutions.
If you turned off the auto-update functionality in this tool, here’s how you can perform a manual update:
  1. Click the Windows icon
  2. Click the gear icon to access your Settings menu
  3. Click Update & Security
  4. Click Check for Updates to search
  5. If the tool finds any critical updates, it will install them automatically
From the same tab, you can also view optional updates or confirm the most recent changes to your driver by clicking View update history.

Benefits of updating your GPU drivers

GPUs are often a big investment that you’ll hold onto for several years. That’s why companies such as NVIDIA maintain their hardware beyond the launch date, because it allows them to make changes. From bug fixes to performance optimization, manufacturers have multiple ways to ensure their product’s longevity.
The end result for you? You can enjoy the best possible performance from your hardware.

More resources from NVIDIA

If you encounter any issues with your driver updates, particularly when using NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience and the Control Panel utility, contact their customer support team. You can also find more information on how to use the NVIDIA Update function within the Control Panel, and check for any upcoming new developments in the NVIDIA newsroom.


Fortunately, the process of updating your NVIDIA drivers is simple and straightforward. It’s important to remember, however, that some solutions in our list provide more control than others. While our final 2 options are based within Windows, power users will want to refer to NVIDIA’s update library or download and use the GeForce Experience management tool.
About the Author: Dwight Pavlovic is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Dwight is a music and technology writer based out of West Virginia.
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