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How to Update Video Drivers on Windows PCs

How to Update Video Drivers on Windows PCs

Linsey Knerl
Reading time: 5 minutes
All types of drivers, including video drivers, are updated whenever your Windows 10 operating system performs automatic updates. But what if this doesn’t happen? In that case, you may need to manually update the video drivers. This easy fix can solve many issues and get your computer back in working order in no time. Here’s a quick guide to doing your own video driver update on a Windows PC.

How to tell if you need a video driver update

Whether your video driver is an actual, separate product (such as a video card) or an integrated part of your central processing unit (CPU), an out-of-date driver can cause issues. These include:
You’ll probably receive error messages from Windows alerting you to the need for an update as well.
Some video card issues are related to the physical card itself and won’t be fixed by an update. This can include a fan that runs nonstop or what are called “artifacts.” These artifacts appear when playing a game or watching a video and they may look like a portion of another picture or video burned into the screen. If they go away when the computer is restarted, you know that it’s related to the video card and not the display screen. A bad driver may cause this, but it’s also a sign of a failing video card.
In any case, the first thing you should do is check for a driver update. This can often resolve the more troubling issues.

How to update video drivers on Windows 10

Many video card issues can be resolved by updating drivers. If the automatic Windows updates haven't fixed the problem, you'll want to update manually.
Use these steps to manually update your video driver:
  1. From the Windows taskbar, use the search box to type in Device Manager and select it
  2. Choose from the list of categories to find your device, which are listed in alphabetical order by device type. You should only have one, but if there are more listed, choose the brand of your video driver
  3. Right-click on this device, and select Update Driver
  4. When prompted, choose Search automatically for updated driver software
  5. Your update should occur automatically.
If Windows can’t find your driver update, use the manufacturer’s website or documentation for your computer product for more information. If you receive an error, this signals that you may need to uninstall and reinstall the driver.

How to reinstall a video driver

If you need to reinstall a driver, use the following steps.
  1. From the Windows taskbar, use the search box to type in Device Manager and select it
  2. Choose the name of the driver for your video card. Right-click it and select Uninstall
  3. Use the Start menu to restart your computer
  4. Upon restart, your computer will try to reinstall the driver. If it needs additional steps, it will alert you
Note: If your video driver isn’t original to your computer, these steps may not work. You will need the original documentation for your video driver and the instructions for that device to manually install your driver after installing.
Unresolved problems may be fixed by using the Windows Update Troubleshooter. A blue screen or error message starting with 0x8024 should be handled by this application. To open it, visit the Windows Troubleshooter website and download the version for Windows 10. You'll need internet access to obtain the program, run it, and complete the steps. You may need to run it more than one time to fix your driver update issue.

Using System Restore to solve driver update issues

Unfortunately, you can sometimes update a driver to a corrupted version. There are also instances where you need to roll back the driver update to a previous version of the software. This is where System Restore comes in handy. To see if this temporarily resolves the issues, use your Windows system to restore your computer to the last date that you knew your driver was performing well.
Follow these steps to perform a system restore:
  1. From the taskbar search box, type in Control Panel and select it
  2. From within the Control Panel search box, type recovery, and select it
  3. Select Open System Restore
  4. From the Restore system files and settings box, choose Next and select the restore point you wish to recover from. If possible, use the most recent date that you remember your driver working correctly. If you don’t see a date that works, select the box next to Show more restore points
  5. Pick the date you want, and select Scan for affected programs
If your system protection isn’t enabled, there may not be any dates to choose from. Double-check that it’s working by following the steps for next time:
  1. Type control panel in the taskbar search box
  2. Type recovery from the Control Panel, and select Recovery, then Configure System Restore, then Configure
  3. Make sure that the Turn on system protection option is checked
Note: Using System Restore will uninstall app and driver updates, and it will remove any new software changes you have made since the restore point. It will not remove your personal files.

Make sure driver updates happen regularly

For the best computer experience, it’s worth making sure that your updates happen when they should. Relying on manual updates can be tedious and often doesn’t give you access to the most updated driver fixes in a timely manner. The best way to keep all your drivers updated, not just those for the video card, is to enable Microsoft to perform automatic updates when needed.
By default, these are turned on to work without you, but you can follow these steps to make sure they’re set up correctly by following these steps:
  1. Type in settings from the taskbar search box
  2. Click to open and choose Update & Security from the category list
  3. Select Windows Update from the list on the left
  4. Choose Advanced Options, then toggle the switch to On for each of the update settings you want to occur automatically. This will help ensure that items other than the operating system will update when available
By taking a proactive approach with system-wide updates and knowing how to update drivers manually, you'll have your bases covered for keeping drivers up to date. A video driver is an important part of the computing experience and is something that should be tended to whenever it's needed.

About the Author

Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.

Disclosure: Our site may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.