What Happens When You Uninstall Graphics Drivers on Windows

A graphics driver (video card, GPU, and display) plays a major role in the Windows experience. It’s a tiny program that connects the graphics card to the operating system. That way, your CPU’s built-in graphics or the dedicated graphics card can do a better job at performing basic and intensive tasks. However, there are times when you run into display errors or performance issues with resource-intense applications. You may need to uninstall graphics drivers on your PC.

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Sometimes when your Windows PC fails to detect an external monitor or even shows a black screen on the connected device. Corrupt or outdated graphics drivers can be the major factor here. You can uninstall NVIDIA or integrated graphics drivers and start from scratch. However, you should learn the implications of your steps. Here’s what happens when you uninstall graphics drivers on Windows.  

Consequence of Uninstalling Graphics Drivers on Windows

Since graphics drivers are an important part of your Windows system, you may wonder if uninstalling improperly it can cause any problems. In most scenarios, your computer will be completely fine with uninstalling graphics drivers. There are a few caveats, though. If your system has native graphics drivers, you may notice washed-out colors and incorrect resolution, despite what your monitor actually supports.

While using an add-in GPU, the system kicks in the on-board graphics. However, some AMD Ryzen CPUs lack integrated graphics, and it may make your computer unusable.

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When you uninstall graphics drivers, the computer falls back to the default graphics drivers for the on-board graphics chip to ensure smooth display output on the connected monitor. With that, you can run basic software like Microsoft Word, Notepad, or Mail app. But if you open Photoshop, any video editing app, or play any game from Xbox or Epic Games, you’ll notice that overall sluggishness in the interface and experience.

It is excruciating to run such software without any performance issues. That’s why the app or the game will prompt you to install a dedicated driver for your graphics card. After all, the game or a creative program you want to use the required hardware (GPU) to its best capacity. Without detecting the same, your game might not even start up. We advise downloading the latest drivers before you uninstall the current ones. It makes the reinstalling drivers’ process quite seamless.

When Should You Uninstall the Graphics Driver

Here are some of the scenarios on which you need to uninstall the graphics drivers:

  • Display glitches like a black screen, blurry text, and more.
  • Performance issues in the latest games.
  • High export times while editing a 4K video or completing 3D work.
  • Outdated files and registry entries from old drivers.  

Identify and Download the Latest Drivers for the GPU

You need to first identify the correct model number of your GPU and download the latest drivers for it. Here’s how to identify the graphics chip on your computer. Let’s take NVIDIA as an example.

Step 1: Right-click on the Windows key and open Task Manager.

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Step 2: Select Performance from the sidebar.

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Step 3: Select GPU and note down the exact GPU model for your PC.

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Step 4: Press the Windows + I keyboard shortcut to open the Settings app.

Step 5: Select System and go to the About menu.

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Step 6: Check the system type under the Device specifications menu.

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Step 7: Head to the NVIDIA Driver’s download page.

Step 8: Select relevant options such as product type, product series, product, OS, language, and hit search.

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Step 9: Click ‘Download’ from the following menu.

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You are all set to uninstall graphics drivers from your Windows PC. You can repeat similar steps for the AMD drivers or Intel Arc drivers.

How to Uninstall Graphics Drivers

You can use the Device Manager app to uninstall graphics drivers.

Step 1: Right-click on the Windows key and open the Device Manager menu.

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Step 2: Expand Display adapters and right-click on the integrated graphics. Select Uninstall device.

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Step 3: Confirm the same from the pop-up menu.

You can restart the PC, and the system downloads the required drivers during the reboot process. We have shown uninstalling AMD graphics in the screenshots above. You can read our dedicated post to completely uninstall existing GPU drivers (including NVIDIA) correctly.

You can reinstall the drivers from the same Device Manager menu. You can right-click on the graphic drivers and select Update drivers.

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You can ask the system to check and install the latest drivers on your PC. It detects your downloaded drivers and updates the same. The entire process won’t take much of your time.

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Understand the Role of Graphics Drivers on Windows

Your Windows PC’s graphics drivers acting up can leave you with a below-average experience. While you can perform basic web browsing and draft Word documents, the glitches appear in demanding tasks like video editing, gaming, 3D work, and RAW editing.

Reinstalling the graphics drivers should troubleshoot the problem. But before that, you should learn the implications of your action and take the necessary steps to avoid any unpleasant scenarios.

Last updated on 24 August, 2023

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