After installing clean Windows, the first thing to do is set up the graphics card driver, chipset driver & network driver for the best compatibility & performance.
The drivers help the system run smoothly & when the process fails, the work malfunctions. If it’s related to a graphical issue, then it indicates to the graphics driver.
In this article, you are about to know how to reset the graphics card driver to get rid of driver malfunction. Let’s dive in.
What is Graphics Driver & When Do You Need to Reset It?
GPU driver is a program that builds a communication bridge between the graphics card & monitor. The software ensures that the monitor display can visualize converted digital codes from the GPU.
For this reason, the GFX driver is crucial. All the GPU manufacturers—NVIDIA, AMD & Intel have their own drivers. Generally, they update those drivers on a monthly basis to increase performance, security & stability. The driver also provides support for newer released games from day one.
But, when you update your graphics driver, it may get corrupted, bugged, or glitched during the process.
If that’s the case, the drivers can malfunction during the processing of certain tasks & can induce random loss of monitor signal, display flickering, black screen, stuttering, freezing, or hanging the system.
In these circumstances, you can first try to restart the GPU driver. If the issue persists, then resetting and reinstalling the driver will definitely relieve you from the trouble if it relates to the graphics driver. Continue reading to know all the steps you need.
How to Restart Graphics Card Driver
If you experience freezing, black screen, or stuttering, the first thing to look at during troubleshooting is your graphics driver. Restart means it turns off the graphics driver & then boots it again, whereas reset concludes erasing customized settings & restoring to default status values.
So, restarting the graphics driver is a quick good starting point before diving into resetting or reinstalling the driver. Don’t get afraid of failing your GPU, as updating or reinstalling can fix the issue most often.
Here are 3 methods to restart the graphics card driver without restarting the full system:
1. Custom Resolution Utility
This CRU software is developed by ToastyX and aimed to create desired custom resolutions as you wish. So if you are willing to make custom resolutions for your stretched 4:3 aspect ratio in CS: GO, this software will be very handy.
However, that’s not our intention here & we are focusing on restarting the driver. That being said, the zip file also comes with a reset & restart application after extraction & that’s what we need.
Here is the full procedure to restart the graphics card driver with CRU:
- Download the CRU Software zip file from the website.
- Extract the compressed file with WinRAR or 7-zip.
- Find the restart64.exe file.
- Double-click the exe file.
This will restart the GPU driver without a system restart.
If you don’t want to use 3rd-party software, don’t worry, you can use Windows PowerShell.
Follow our guide to remove Graphics Card from Motherboard.
2. Windows PowerShell
You can use Windows built-in PowerShell to restart the graphics card driver.
Here are the steps to restart the GPU driver with PowerShell:
- Press Win+X & select Windows PowerShell (Admin).
- Type pnputil /enum-devices /class Display in the command prompt.
- Select the full Instance ID & copy the line by pressing Ctrl+C.
- Type pnputil /restart-device “Instance ID” & hit enter.
An example, for me, is pnputil /restart-device “PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_0046&SUBSYS_392017AA&REV_02\3&11583659&0&10”
After hitting enter, the monitor screen will go black for a second & will restart the GPU driver. Don’t worry, this screen being black for a second is not a matter of concern, as it is just restarting the driver.
3. Windows Shortcut Key Command
You can also reset the graphics driver with a Windows 10 shortcut key. Press Win+Ctrl+Shift+B to restart the driver & see if your issue still remains.
How to Reset GPU Driver
If the quick restart method goes fruitless, then you have to reset the GFX driver.
Here are the steps to reset the graphics card driver:
1. Reset Nvidia Graphics Card Driver
When you install the Nvidia driver, then there will be Nvidia control panel that comes with the driver. We have to access that control panel to reset the graphics driver. If your Nvidia card is not detected, you can fix that by reinstalling or updating the driver, which is discussed in the later part.
Here are the steps to reset the Nvidia GPU driver:
- Right-click on the blank desktop & choose NVIDIA Control Panel.
- Find & click on Manage 3D settings under 3D Settings section.
- Click on Restore below the settings section on the right bottom side.
Reboot the computer & you have successfully reset the Nvidia graphics driver.
2. Reset AMD Graphics Card Driver
For an AMD graphics card, you have to go into AMD Radeon Software.
Here are the steps to reset the AMD GPU driver:
- Right-click to open up the context menu & select AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition.
- Select the System tab & find Factory Reset.
- Click on the Factory Reset to reset the AMD driver to default settings.
3. Reset Intel Graphics Card Driver
Like Nvidia & AMD graphics drivers, we also have to use Intel’s graphics driver control panel.
Here are the steps to reset the Intel GPU driver:
- Open the context menu by right-clicking on the desktop & select Graphics Properties…
- Choose Advanced Mode & hit OK.
- Select 3D from the left section.
- Click on Restore Defaults from the right bottom side & hit Apply.
How to Reinstall Graphics Driver?
Your problems should be solved by now by resetting the driver. However, if your issues didn’t go away, consider reinstalling the graphics driver.
Here are the ways to reinstall the graphics driver:
1. Display Driver Uninstaller
DDU also known as display driver uninstaller is used to clean uninstall the graphics card driver. This software is very handy when you need to get rid of the old driver files or install a new graphics card.
Here are the steps to uninstall graphics driver with DDU:
- Download DDU & open the app.
- Choose GPU from Select device type.
- Select your graphics card manufacturer from the Select device dropdown.
- Click on Clean and restart.
This will clean uninstall your graphics card driver.
2. Control Panel
You can use the Windows control panel to uninstall a graphics driver.
Here are the steps to uninstall the graphics card driver from the control panel:
- Press Win key & search control panel & click the control panel.
- Click on Uninstall a program.
- Find your graphics driver & right-click on it.
- Click on Uninstall to uninstall the driver.
3. Device Manager
There is another option to uninstall the graphics card driver from the device manager.
Here are the steps to uninstall GPU driver with Windows device manager:
- Press Win+X & select Device Manager.
- Locate Display adapters & expand it.
- Right-click on the graphics card name & choose Uninstall device.
- Tick the box Delete the driver software for this device & click on Uninstall.
This will uninstall your graphics driver from the system.
After uninstalling the driver, head to the graphics card manufacturer’s site, download the latest driver & install the new driver. Then reboot the system to complete the process.
What to do if resetting the GPU driver doesn’t help?
You can update windows, clean the system, reseat the card properly, and check the cables are tightened properly.
Is it OK to reset the graphics driver?
If you encounter freezing, flickering, black screen, resetting the driver may help to get rid of the issues.
What is the shortcut Windows key to restart the graphics driver?
Press Win+Ctrl+Shift+B to restart the graphics card driver without rebooting the system.
To wrap up, when the graphics driver becomes faulty, several issues can pop up.
You can reset the driver through their respective control panel. You can also reinstall the driver for a fresh copy of the driver.
In this article, I explained how easily you can troubleshoot graphics card driver-related problems by resetting it. If you have any further queries, please leave a comment.