Keeping your NVIDIA graphics card drivers up to date is important. Driver updates provide bug fixes, address compatibility issues, and can enhance in-game performance.
If you aren’t sure how to update your NVIDIA drivers, then keep reading. We’ll show you how to download and install the latest NVIDIA drivers with some pointers to help make the process go smoothly.
Update NVIDIA Drivers Through GeForce Experience
The quickest and easiest way to update NVIDIA drivers is through the GeForce Experience app. GeForce Experience automatically detects and downloads the latest drivers for your system, taking the guesswork out of finding the right driver.
To start, first go to NVIDIA’s website to download the GeForce Experience app and install it on your computer.
Once installed, run GeForce Experience and click on the Drivers tab.
If there are updates available, then click the Download button. If the latest driver doesn’t show up automatically, then click the Check for Updates button first.
Once the driver has finished downloading, click Express Installation. From here, the app will finish installing your driver and prompt you to restart your computer now or later.
Update NVIDIA Drivers Manually From Nvidia’s Website
Aside from using the GeForce Experience app, you can update your drivers manually by finding the drivers on NVIDIA’s website. This is useful if you need drivers for an offline system, or you’re experiencing issues with the GeForce Experience app.
Start by going to the driver downloads page on NVIDIA’s website. Here you’re greeted with multiple drop-down lists allowing you to pick the product type, series, and model of your card, as well as your operating system and the type of driver you want.
Note: If you primarily game, you’ll most likely want the Game Ready driver if you’re searching for a Windows driver. The Studio driver is most suitable for creative applications.
If you’re unsure about which GPU is in your system, open the Run box (Win Key + R), type dxdiag, and press Enter.
Also Read: How to Check Your Computer Specs
In the DirectX Diagnostic Tool window, click on the Display tab. In the Device group box you’ll find your GPU information.
Once you’ve picked your card on the website, click on the Search button.
If there’s a driver available, it should show a page of the latest driver for your card. Click the Download button on the result page, and then again on the following page.
Once the driver finishes downloading, you can run it and follow the instructions to install the driver.
When to Do a Clean Installation of Your NVIDIA Drivers
Updating your NVIDIA drivers from one version to the next is usually a painless and problem-free endeavor. But if you find yourself running into issues, you might consider doing a clean installation.
A clean installation wipes all previous graphics drivers and settings from your system before installing your new drivers.
The most common reason you’d do a clean install is if you’re swapping out your graphics card for a different one. However, there are times when a regular driver update can cause issues, making a clean installation a necessary step in troubleshooting and fixing the issue.
There are generally two ways you’d do a clean install: through the GeForce Experience app, or with a third-party tool, such as Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU).
Note: remember that a clean installation will wipe your existing settings and profiles, changing them back to default values.
How to Do a Clean Installation in GeForce Experience
To do a clean install of a driver in the GeForce Experience app, first download the driver for your card. When you’re presented with the option to do an Express Installation or a Custom Installation, choose Custom Installation.
Once the next screen finishes loading, click the checkbox next to Perform a clean installation, then click the Install button and proceed as normal.
How to Do a Clean Installation With Display Driver Uninstaller
Whether you’re coming from an AMD or Intel GPU, or you really want to be sure you’ve thoroughly nuked your old NVIDIA drivers, Display Driver Uninstaller is a go-to tool for clean GPU and audio driver installation.
To start, you’ll need to boot your computer into Safe Mode. You can do this by opening the Run box (Win key + R), typing msconfig, and pressing Enter.
In the System Configuration window, go to the Boot tab, check the box next to Safe Boot, then click the Apply and OK buttons.
When you’re prompted to restart your computer, click the Restart button.
Once in Safe Mode, run DDU. In the Select device type drop-down, select GPU.
In the Select device drop-down, select the appropriate option based on which drivers you’re uninstalling. Then click the Clean and restart button.
After your computer restarts, update your NVIDIA driver through the GeForce Experience app or manually, following the steps at the top of this article.
Note: DDU recommends disconnecting your machine from the Internet or blocking Windows Update until you’ve installed your new drivers when doing a clean installation, as Windows Update is a common cause for GPU driver and updates issues.
Also Read: How to Reset Your Graphics Driver