Windows 10: how to update a graphics driver
Your graphics driver is what connects your graphics card with your PC. It lets them communicate so that images and videos are displayed as they should be. When something goes wrong this can be frustrating and ruin your computer experience.
A graphics card is your graphics processing unit (GPU). If you miss a graphics driver update, glitches may occur. That's because manufacturers release new versions every so often with enhancements and fixes. If you miss one of these releases it could break the communication between your graphics card and computer. Recent analysis by Microsoft found that 70% of all blue screens and PC crashes are caused by device drivers.
Don't worry, you wouldn't be the first person this has happened to and you certainly won't be the last. Many people are still in the dark about drivers and still consider it scary tech talk. If you're talking about building drivers this is a different story and we'll leave that to the software engineers! However, updating drivers is as easy as clicking a button nowadays if you use an updater tool. Plus, you can update all of your device drivers in one go, saving a ton of time. We'll show you how to do this after, but for those who like to understand how things work and want to know the manual way, we'll look at that first.
How to update graphics drivers Windows 10
Here's how to update a Windows 10 graphics driver the manual way. If you're not very technical you might wish to try the easier way, which we also outline below:
- Go to the taskbar and type "Device Manager" in the search box
- Choose "Device Manager"
- Select the "Display Adaptors" category and find your GPU
- Right-click on your graphics card, then choose "Properties"
- Go to the "Driver" tab and make a note of the model and version number of your graphics driver
- Now you want to compare the model and version against the manufacturer's most current driver which you'll find on their website
- If you're running an older version, download and install the latest version, following the instructions on the manufacturer's page
If it turns out that your driver is up to date and something is still wrong it could be you need a new graphics card.
How to update a graphics card on Windows 10
Your graphics card is the physical device that your driver connects to the computer. This would have come pre-installed with your PC or you may have upgraded it along the way. Most people never physically see their graphics card and will only think about it when something goes wrong.
If your graphics card is dying you may experience the following:
- Screen issues - if you're watching a movie or playing a game and strange things are happening on your screen (like weird colors everywhere or stuttering)
- Blue screen of death - if you get a blue screen while doing a graphic intensive task (like watching a movie or playing a game)
Now, these could also be down to a number of other problems related to your PC too so don't go buying a new graphics card just yet. It could be your RAM, hard drive, or any number of other issues. Run an online test to see how capable your graphics card actually is. Just search for "graphics card test online" and you'll get plenty of options to choose from.
If you're sure that you need to update your graphics card then you need to search for the one you want before jumping in and buying one. Once you've bought your graphics card you can take it to a repair shop to have them fit it or you can attempt to do this yourself at home.
Don't forget, you will need to download and install a new driver that matches your graphics card brand and model for Windows 10. You can do this manually, as we described above, or use an automated driver updater.
The easiest way to update a graphics driver
As we promised, there is an easy way to update your graphics driver and all of your drivers at once. That's by using a third-party tool.
Our clever developers recently finished building an automatic driver updater tool so that the rest of us don't really have to think too hard about it. This tool will look for all of your outdated drivers and then install the newer versions for you. Just like that. Best of all, it comes as part of a suite of PC optimization tools that can clear space, speed up your computer, and help protect your online privacy.
This collection of useful tools is what we call CCleaner Professional. That's because it's like taking your PC to a professional computer expert to do these tasks for you. Luckily, you can do this whenever you want at home and in a matter of minutes or even seconds (depending on how much needs updating). If you'd like to try these out you can download CCleaner Professional now and start using it straight away. You can try CCleaner and its Driver Updater for free for 14 days at no charge because we want to make sure that you're happy with it first, and are sure you'll love how it makes your PC run. You don't have to enter any credit card details so there's no chance you'll forget to unsubscribe if you don't want to continue using it. So why not download it and boost, clean, and protect your PC now?