For every single pixel on a computer screen, whether it is the text from Microsoft Word or a drawing detail from AutoCAD, that pixel is drawn by a graphics display card (sometimes referred to as a graphics card or graphics adapter). For the Windows operating system and installed software to communicate with the graphics card, a graphics driver acts as the intermediary to the graphics display card.
As the Windows operating system gets updated and, computer BIOS updates are applied to a computer, the graphics display driver needs to be updated as well. If you are experiencing issues with the display flickering or not displaying correctly, updating the graphics display driver will usually correct these issues.
This article discusses how to update the graphics display driver.
Identifying the Graphics Card
There are several ways to identify the computer graphics display card. However, the easiest way is the following:
- Click on the Windows Start button, then type System Information into the search box, and then press the Enter key.
- The following System Information dialog box will be displayed. From the left side panel, expand the Components entry and then select the Display entry. On the panel displayed on the right side, the graphics display adapter will be listed in the Adapter Type or Adapter Description entries.
If you see both Intel and NVIDIA display hardware listed, like above, your system is likely to use switching technology to intelligently switch between the two display cards depending on the current system requirements. For example, for high-end CAD operations, the NVIDIA display card would likely be used. When using a laptop in low power battery mode for email and word processing, the Intel onboard display card might be used to limit power usage. If your computer has two display cards listed, you need to update the graphic display drivers for both sets of hardware.
Updating Windows Graphics Drivers
This video explains how to update your computer’s Windows Graphics Driver.
Before you start updating your computer’s Windows Graphics Driver, make sure you are logged in as administrator (i.e., not a standard user). Then, follow these steps:
- Display the Windows Run dialog box by pressing the Win + R keys (the Windows key and the “R” key at the same time) on the keyboard. This will display the Windows Run dialog box.
- Type devmgmt.msc in the Open entry and then press the Enter key or click the [OK] button.
- The following Device Manager dialog box will be displayed. Expand the Display Adapters entry, then right-click the name of the graphics card and then select Update Driver from the displayed context menu.
- Select Search automatically for updated driver software.
- Your computer will scan for available updates and download and install them automatically.
- Once the updated graphics display driver is installed, you will be informed and asked to restart your PC.
- Restart your computer, and the graphics display driver will have been updated.
If the above steps fail, another way to update the graphics display driver is to manually download the driver directly from the graphics hardware manufacturer website. Make certain to match the downloaded driver with the graphics adapter that was listed in the Device Manager dialog box.
Download the drivers and install them using the provided setup program.