Whatever device you may be using, it always seems like there is an update for something. What if I told that it’s possible for you to make mistakes by updating your device drivers.
If you didn’t know that, it may sound crazy because an update is supposed to fix problems right? That’s true, but there are times when you shouldn’t update something because it can cause issues.
Now I’m not saying to never update things, but I’m going to be going over some mistakes many people including myself have made when updating the Nvidia graphics driver.
I’ll be going over things you shouldn’t do, two different ways of how to update/install the Nvidia graphics driver, and troubleshooting common Nvidia driver issues if you encounter any.
Updates Are Great, But…
Don’t get me wrong, driver updates can be amazing, but there are some important things you should know about them.
Before you even update any drivers be aware that updates have the potential to improve or to degrade your gaming experience.
But that’s mostly for other drivers because video drivers are updated all the time with each update frequently containing performance enhancements and other critical fixes.
Should I Update?
You should update your drivers, but only if the updates are critical. Examples of critical updates are security updates, bug fixes, and performance updates.
So how do I know if the update is for security, bug fixes, and or performance updates specifically intended for me? Before you update a driver it usually tells you what version it is and the release date of the new update.
Simply search in Google “geforce game ready driver” followed by the new version number (for example: “version 418.81“)
So the final result would be: geforce game ready driver version 418.81. When you search that it will typically display news on geforce.com related to the update notes followed by a date.
Always check the release date and make sure it’s the same as the release date you saw on the update so you know you are on the right page.
If the news talks about anything related to security, bug fixes, and or performance updates that affect you then update your graphics drivers.
To be honest you are probably going to find yourself always updating your graphics drivers, I never find myself in situations where I don’t need to update them because they always seem to be big updates affecting me.
So Whether I Should Or Not, How Do I Update Them?
Like I said earlier I’m going to be showing you two different ways to update your graphics drivers.
Method 1 (I recommend skipping this and using method 2):
- Open up your windows start menu
- Search “device manager”
- Click the left arrow by “display adapters“
- Notice that it will show your graphics cards name after clicking the left arrow
- Click the name of your graphics card (example of the name: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070)
- Then click the black icon with the green arrow pointing up that’s located on the top header (when you hover your mouse over it, it says “Update device driver“
- A menu will pop up asking how you want to search for the drivers and there will be two options. You will want to click on the option that says “Search automatically for updated driver software“.
- It will perform a search and find any drivers automatically for you online.
- It will let you know whether it found any updates.
Method 2 (I frequently use this method and it’s one of my favorites, but if you are having installation issues skip this step and go to “Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore” for troubleshooting):
- If you don’t have NVIDIA GeForce Experience I recommend downloading the software here.
- There are a couple of different options you can download.
- I recommend the “Automatic Driver Updates” option for it is very convenient and what I personally use.
- Once it’s finished downloading open the .exe and go through the installation process
- When it’s finished installing you may need to restart your computer
- If you need to update your drivers through the NVIDIA GeForce Experience panel click the arrow on the bottom right corner of your screen (it’s attached to the task bar and located by the date and time) to reveal the “NVIDIA Settings“.
- Right click the “NVIDIA Settings” (it’s the green and black icon) and there should be an option for you to click called “NVIDIA GeForce Experience“
- After clicking it will open up GeForce Experience.
- By default, you are on the HOME page.
- To the right of the Home page is the DRIVERS page.
- It will let you know if there is a driver available for update.
- If it doesn’t let you know about a new driver click “CHECK FOR UPDATES“.
- It will tell you the version of the driver and the release date and if you click on the arrow pointing down next to the DOWNLOAD button it will tell you what’s new about it.
- Click the big green “DOWNLOAD” Button if you wish to download the latest update.
- Once it’s finished downloading I usually hit “EXPRESS INSTALLATION“.
- You will be prompted that the installation wants to make changes to your device and accept the prompt if you want to continue.
- You should be good to go after the installation! But you may want to restart your computer.
Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore
Sometimes you may encounter issues with updating your devices graphics driver. I have encountered problems a couple times myself.
If you are having issues with NVIDIA GeForce Experience like error messages or issues installing it then you may need to do a clean installation using this different method and that should fix almost any problem you may be having.
Before starting this method you should know what graphics card your computer has. If you don’t know what graphics card you have click the “Start Menu” and search for “System Information” and click on the application it brings up.
Click on Components then Display and then look at the Item Name and Graphics Card under the Value tabs. It should say your graphics card if you have one.
You will also need to know if your system is a 32 or 64-bit system. So if you don’t know what your system is go to the “Start Menu” again and this time search “Control Panel” and open it up.
Click “System and Security” then “System” and it will say System type: 64-bit or whatever kind you have.
- To do a completely clean installation you will need to uninstall all your NVIDIA drivers.
- To do this download and use the free program called “Display Driver Uninstaller“.
- If it downloads in a zip format just drag and drop the zip folder wherever you’d like it.
- Right click the zip file and click unzip.
- Open the unzipped file and run the .exe
- If it says to run it in safe mode, don’t worry about doing that; it should still work.
- Click on “Clean and restart“.
- After completing step 2 you are ready to download the NVIDIA Drivers.
- Go to this specific site and fill out “Option 1” for manually installing a fresh pair of NVIDIA Drivers.
- Knowing your systems graphics card and system type will help you fill this out.
- After the NVIDIA Installer is done downloading click on it to open.
- Wait for it to check your system.
- At License Agreement hit the big green AGREE AND CONTINUE button.
- In the Options section, be sure to do a Custom installation and NOT an Express Installation.
- When it’s finished installed restart your PC and you’re good to go!
There are always going to be Nvidia graphics driver updates and knowing this sort of information can benefit you, especially if you are into gaming.
Snippets of this information (like the section where I talk about whether you should update your graphics drivers or not) can be a great addition to your knowledge database and even be applied when updating other drivers on your computer.
NVIDIA GeForce Experience is one of my favorite ways of updating my graphics driver. Not only does it help you update them, but it’s packed with additional features that really help improve your gaming experience.
As always, I’m always here for anybody if they have any questions, comments, or ideas related to this post. So feel free to drop a comment and I’ll try to get back to you asap!
As always, I wish you the best and happy gaming!