How to reset your graphics driver

Have issues with your GPU and want to learn how to reset your graphics driver? Read our guide, and you’ll know how to reset your display driver in no time.

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One of the reasons for a sudden onset of GPU-related issues on your PC may be the graphics driver. Your graphics card may work completely fine when it comes to hardware, but software and driver-related issues can be as severe as hardware-related problems.

One of the easiest ways to fix driver-related issues is to reset or reinstall your graphics driver. If you want to know how to reset your graphics driver, read on. Our guide will explain not only how to reset your GPU driver but also how to reinstall it and altogether remove, in needed, with the help of a utility called display driver uninstaller or DDU.

If you already know how to reset your display driver but are looking for ways to quickly and easily check your PC specs, read our guide on how to check your computer specs. We also have a handy guide showing you how to check what motherboard you have. Finally, if your PC misbehaves, the issue might be related to your CPU running too hot. Our CPU overheating guide should help you troubleshoot the problem.

How to reset your graphics driver – quick and easy guide

If you’re encountering issues with your graphics card or integrated graphics while using your PC, the fastest way to deal with those is to restart your display driver. To do this, just press the following combination of keys at the same time:

  • Win + Ctrl + Shift + B

Your monitor should turn off and on, followed by a short beep. After this, your display driver is restarted, and your problem should disappear. If the problem hasn’t gone away, you might want to reset your graphics driver to its default settings. Here’s how to do it for Nvidia, AMD, and Intel GPUs.

How to restore your Nvidia display driver to its default settings

If you have an Nvidia graphics card, do the following:

  • Right-click on your desktop and then click on “Nvidia Control Panel”
  • In Nvidia Control Panel, click on the “Manage 3D settings” tab
  • Click on the “Restore” button located on the lower right side of the window
  • Restart your PC

How to restore your AMD graphics driver to its default settings

If you own an AMD GPU, do the following to reset the driver to its default settings:

  • Right-click on your desktop and then on “AMD Radeon Settings”
  • Once you open the Radeon Settings app, clock on the “Preferences” tab
  • Once there, click on the “Restore Factory Settings” button
  • Restart your PC

How to restore your Intel display driver to its default settings

If you own an Intel iGPU, do the following:

  • Right-click on desktop and then click on “Graphics Properties”
  • Once the Intel HD Graphics Control Panel opens, click on the “3D” button
  • Once inside the 3D options menu, click on the “Restore Defaults” button
  • Restart your PC

If you have restored your display driver’s default settings and your issue hasn’t gone, it’s time to uninstall and reinstall your graphics driver.

How to uninstall and reinstall your display driver

If you tried resetting your driver and restoring your display driver default settings and the problem hasn’t disappeared, you should reinstall your display driver. Here’s how to do it:

  • Type Device Manager in the Windows Search Bar
  • Once you open Device Manager, double click the “Display adapters” tab
  • A new submenu will open, showing your GPU
  • Right-click on your GPU tab (in our case, it reads Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070)
  • Click on the “Uninstall device” button
  • Restart your PC

After you restart your computer, Windows should automatically reinstall your display driver. If you own an Intel iGPU, this shouldn’t be an issue. Still, owners of dedicated graphics cards they use for gaming or serious GPU-related work probably want to be sure they have the latest driver available.

How to update Nvidia & AMD Radeon display drivers

To update your graphics driver to the latest version, open your browser and type “Nvidia drivers” or “AMD Radeon drivers,” depending on what GPU you own. Next, open the result that leads to Nvidia’s or AMD’s display driver page. Both pages should be listed as top results.

Once you open either of those pages, search for your graphics card model and download that driver. In the case of Nvidia display drivers, we picked GeForce in the “product type” menu. Next, we entered our graphics card model (RTX 3070) and chose our operating system (Windows 10 64-bit).

If you want to have the latest driver available, pick the “Game Ready Drive” in the “Download Type” menu. Hit search and then download the display driver offered. If you have GeForce Experience installed on your PC, the app should offer to download the latest Nvidia display drivers automatically after you delete the current driver and restart your PC.

If you don’t know how to check which graphics card you have or the version of your OS, read our guide on how to check your computer specs. It’s linked at the beginning of the article.

AMD display driver page offers you auto detect feature from the get-go. We recommend using this feature and just hitting the “Download Now” button. Once you update your display driver, make sure to restart your PC.

Okay, if that did the trick, great! If this procedure didn’t manage to fix your issues, it’s time for the nuclear option called Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU). This tool will delete not only your graphics driver but also every file, registry key, folder, and other types of data related to your display driver.

How to uninstall your graphics driver with Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU)

First of all, only use DDU if you have issues with your display drivers and all other options fail. DDU is also great for when you switch your graphics card brand and don’t want to reinstall the whole operating system.

For starters, visit the DDU download page. Download the tool and install it. Next, DDU developers advise users to use the tool without an internet connection. The best way to make sure you don’t have Internet access is either by unhooking your ethernet cable or turning off your WiFi access. However, since DDU works best in Windows Safe Mode, we strongly advise everyone to run DDU in Safe Mode.

To start your PC in Safe Mode, do the following:

  • Open the Start menu and select Power
  • Once you click on the “Power” button, hold Shift key and click on the “Restart” button
  • Your PC will restart, and once it’s back up, it will show you a number of options
  • Pick the “Troubleshoot” option
  • In the next menu, called “Advanced Options”click on the “Startup Settings” button
  • Once the next menu pops up, click on the “Restart” button
  • Wait for the PC to restart and the blue screen to come back on, and then pick the “Enable Safe Mode” option by hitting the number 4 key on your keyboard
  • Do not pick “Safe Mode with Networking” since we don’t want to use DDU while having Internet access
  • Once the PC restarts in Safe Mode, sign-in and open DDU
  • You can click on the “Options” tab but we strongly advise against that
  • In the DDU window, pick “GPU” in the drop-down menu located on the upper right side of the window
  • DDU should automatically select your GPU vendor
  • Finally, click on the “Clean and Restart” button
  • DDU will completely remove your display driver and restart your PC

Once your PC restarts into regular Windows mode, your graphics driver will be removed entirely. To reinstall it, follow the steps shown in the How to update your Nvidia & AMD Radeon display drivers part of the guide.

How to reset your display driver – conclusion

Ok, that’s it! We’ve shown you how to reset your graphics driver. We also have shown you how to uninstall your display drivers, update them, and fully remove them with DDU. If you continue having issues with your graphics card or iGPU, chances are the issue is either Windows-related or it has to do with hardware, and not software.