Your graphics drivers control what you see on your screen. It helps your computer's hardware interact with the operating system, including Windows 10. If you've got a new PC and can't find your dedicated GPU or everything is showing in lower resolution, it could be due to outdated or missing graphics drivers.
How do you update your GPU? There are several ways to update your graphics drivers, and this guide covers all of them in detail.
Why should you update your graphics driver?
By updating your graphics driver, you can take advantage of the latest performance improvements from your GPU manufacturer. AMD and Nvidia keep pushing for new updates that include performance improvements, bug fixes, and new features.
Intel's update to its integrated GPUs may not be as extensive due to the significant difference between a dedicated and an integrated GPU. However, new laptops with integrated graphics usually do not have up-to-date display drivers, which results in a lower output resolution. Missing updates for built-in graphics can also lead to errors during the game.
Fortunately, for Intel UHD or Xe graphics users, Microsoft is bundling a newer version of its display drivers with Windows updates. After setting up your new PC, make sure to install any pending Windows updates to fix issues with a lower resolution display or broken integrated graphics.
To sum up, if you play games on your PC, do graphics-intensive tasks, or have lower FPS while gaming, installing the latest graphics drivers for your GPU can help you get the most of your resources and improve overall graphics performance.
How to identify the graphics card
Laptop manufacturers usually put a sticker near the trackpad to highlight the hardware configuration. If you are using a desktop or the sticker is not available, you can use System Information to view all the information about your computer's hardware and software.
To open the system information:
Enter in the Start menu search bar System information and choose the best match.
In the System Information window, expand the display Section.
Activate the in the right pane Adapter description.
If you have dedicated or built-in graphics, both pieces of hardware have separate sections. In this case I have integrated AMD Radeon graphics and a dedicated Nvidia GPU.
Once you have the information about the graphics card installed on your computer, follow the steps below to update the graphics driver in Windows 10.
How to update a graphics driver through Windows Updates
As mentioned earlier, if you are using built-in graphics, you can install a stable graphics driver through Windows Update.
The drivers in a Windows Update are certified by Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL). Although the Windows updates may not have the latest drivers (compared to the drivers available on the OEM website), they will help your new PC get started.
To download a Windows update:
Go to Start> Settings> Updates & Security.
Open the Windows Update tab. If there are no pending updates listed, click Check for update.
Update Manager searches for available updates. Go through the list and click on the Download to download and install the updates.
While it's a handy feature, Windows Update doesn't let you choose which updates to download and move. Use this option if you want to install any pending updates for your new PC.
How to update your graphics drivers manually using Device Manager
Device Manager is a Windows utility for managing hardware components such as peripherals, graphics drivers, and other internal hardware. You can also use it to update your graphics driver manually.
How to update the graphics driver in Windows 10 using Device Manager.
Press Windows Key + R to open the Run box.
Art devmgmt.msc and click OK to open the Device Manager.
In the Device Manager window, expand the Display adapter Section. It lists all of the built-in and dedicated graphics drivers that are installed on your computer.
Right click on the display driver you want to update and select Update driver.
Choose Search for drivers automatically. Windows checks for available driver updates and downloads them.
Restart your PC for the changes to take effect. If something goes wrong after installing new drivers, you can use Device Manager to reset the driver to undo the changes.
How to update graphics drivers through Nvidia GeForce Experience or AMD Radeon software
Nvidia offers its GeForce experience, a complementary tool for its GTX and RTX cards. AMD has its own Radeon softwarethat works similarly by offering driver updates, game optimization settings, and more. You can use these tools to check for and install available driver updates.
How to update Nvidia graphics drivers through GeForce Experience
Start the Nvidia GeForce Experience software. It is pre-installed on newer machines.
In the GeForce Experience window, open the driver Tab. It is scanned and displayed whether an update is available.
Press the Check for update Option in the upper right corner to perform a manual scan. If available, download and install the updates. To reinstall the existing driver, click the More Icon (three dots) and select Reinstall driver.
Disable / enable automatic updates for GeForce Experience
GeForce Experience allows you to download and install newer drivers as they become available automatically. Unfortunately, although the new drivers bring performance improvements and bug fixes, they can be buggy.
Users who do not have graphics issues can turn off automatic updates and install them after minor issues have been fixed.
How to disable automatic updates for Nvidia graphics.
Go to GeForce Experience the settings and open the General Tab.
Scroll down to the Downloads Section and disable Download driver updates automatically and let me decide when to install.
Enable the option again if you want to enable automatic updates on your PC.
How to update AMD graphics drivers using Radeon software
Start the AMD Radeon software.
In the Radeon software window, click the settings (Gear icon).
Under the Software & drivers Section, click Check for updates. It will check for pending updates and ask you to install them if available.
This setting is often not found on newer AMD PCs. In that case, manually download and install the latest available Radeon software from the official website.
Disable / enable automatic updates for Radeon software
If you'd like to turn off automatic updates for your Radeon graphics, do the following.
Start the Radeon software and open the settings.
Go to the System tab Software & drivers Section.
Scroll down to Download software & drivers and toggle the switch to disable automatic updates.
Update your graphics driver directly from the hardware manufacturer
In general, the hardware manufacturer makes the latest graphics updates available for download on its official website. Depending on your configuration, you can download compatible graphics drivers here:
Each GPU manufacturer's website will ask for your hardware details and automatically recommend compatible drivers. Download the drivers for your computer and run the installer to install the drivers. A restart may be required for the changes to take effect.
Get the latest driver updates from your laptop manufacturer
Laptop manufacturers such as HP, Dell and Lenovo include proprietary applications with their devices.
For example, on an HP laptop, you can use the Support Assistant Tool to check for pending driver updates. Although you may not get the latest updates, these are certified downloads that have been found stable.
The same is true for Lenovo laptops Vantage app offers similar functions. Aside from updating graphics and system drivers, these apps show the state of the laptop, offer customization functions to extend the life of the laptop, and warranty information.
Visit your laptop manufacturer's website if you can't find the drivers you need in the app.
Update your graphics driver for performance improvements and new features
Updating your graphics driver, especially on your new gaming rig, is essential to getting the most out of your hardware. Without the latest driver, you might be limited to low resolution, blurry screen output, reduced color depth, and throttled performance.
Aside from updating the graphics driver, you should also check and update other outdated drivers on your computer to get the maximum performance out of your system and keep it trouble-free.
How to Find and Replace Outdated Windows Drivers
Your drivers may be out of date and need to be updated, but how do you know? Here's what you need to know and how to do it.
About the author
(9 articles published)
Tashreef is a technology writer at MakeUseOf. With a bachelor's degree in computer applications, Tashreef has over 5 years of writing experience and covers Microsoft Windows and everything related to it. When he's not working, you can tinker with him on his PC or play FPS games.
By Tashreef Shareef
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