Identifying your graphics driver
Hardware manufacturers frequently issue updates for their drivers to ensure your PC components deliver optimal performance. If you haven’t been keeping your drivers current, you’re likely overdue for an update.
Fortunately, the process for updating your graphics drivers, audio drivers, and all your other drivers is largely the same. If you’re performing your own updates, you first need to find your graphics driver and identify its model and manufacturer. You need to know which version you have in order to check if your graphics driver is out of date.
Open the Windows Start menu and type device manager. Open the Device Manager when the option appears. (Or, type device manager into the Cortana search bar.)
Open Display adapters. Right-click your GPU (graphics card), and select Properties.
Navigate to the Driver tab and note your GPU’s model and version number.
To see if you need an update, compare your model and number against the latest version of your driver — the next section will help you learn how to find that info.
How to check if GPU drivers are up to date?
First, identify the current version of your GPU’s driver. Then check your GPU manufacturer’s website for the latest drivers. If the current version of your GPU’s driver matches the version on your PC, then your driver is up to date. If not, you’re running an outdated driver, and you should install the latest version.
Along with figuring out how to check GPU drivers, if you’re also wondering how to check what graphics card you have and whether it’s up to date, you can explore the latest GPUs while you’re there.
Automatically update your graphics driver
The easiest and most convenient way to update your graphics driver is to do it automatically with AVG Driver Updater. It’ll scan your PC and detect any outdated or malfunctioning drivers, then find and download the most current drivers without you having to do a thing.
AVG Driver Updater is available for Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7, and it’s compatible with Nvidia, AMD, and over 100 other major brands. Download it today and get a free scan.
Here’s how to update your graphics driver automatically with AVG Driver Updater:
After installing AVG Driver Updater, click Scan Drivers to check whether your computer is running outdated and malfunctioning drivers.
AVG Driver Updater will perform a complete system scan and alert you if it finds any outdated drivers. After the scan is complete, click Update Selected to update all your old drivers at once.
You can also click Show details next to any specific driver on the list to update it individually.
Whether you choose to update all your drivers at once or just some, AVG Driver Updater will find your new drivers and install them automatically, with just a single click. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Manually update your graphics driver
If you want to find driver updates yourself, you’ve got a few options. Several of the top graphics card manufacturers offer automatic driver updaters, and most offer driver updating software that you can download directly from their websites.
On Windows PCs, there are two ways to update your drivers on your own. The first is to use the built-in Windows Update service, which handles updates for your OS and various Microsoft programs, along with driver updates for a range of popular hardware. You can also take a more surgical approach through the Device Manager utility and update your drivers one by one.
Here, we’ll show you how to update your graphics driver on Windows 11, 10, and 7.
Downloading from the GPU manufacturer
Having identified your graphics card make and model, you can usually download the latest drivers straight from the manufacturer’s website. Here’s how to get your GPU driver directly from the two most popular brands, Nvidia and AMD:
How to update Nvidia graphics drivers
Go to the Nvidia homepage and click Drivers in the top-right menu.
Select the relevant specs from the dropdown lists and hit Search to find the latest Nvidia driver updates for your GPU.
Check that the recommended download is compatible with your hardware, operating system, and other preferences. Then click Download.
When prompted again, click Download once more.
Once the drivers have finished downloading, click the exe file to launch the setup wizard. Follow the instructions to complete the installation.
How to update AMD graphics drivers
Go to the AMD homepage and select Downloads & Support from the top menu.
Click Drivers under the Radeon Graphics & AMD Chipsets heading.
Select your specific GPU model from the product list and click Submit.
Select your operating system from the list to find the compatible driver version and click Download.
After the download completes, click the exe file to launch the AMD graphics card driver update. Follow the instructions to finish the installation.
Using Windows Update
Windows Update is mostly used for OS and other Microsoft updates, but it can detect some types of outdated drivers as well. (Note that with Windows Update you can’t search for specific updates, such as a new graphics driver.)
Here’s how to use Windows Update to check for driver updates on Windows 11, 10, and 7.
How to update graphics drivers on Windows 11
Open the Start menu and click Settings.
Select Windows Update in the left menu.
Click Check for Updates and install any available driver or software updates.
How to update graphics drivers on Windows 10
Open your Start menu and click Settings (the gear icon).
Click Update & Security.
In the Windows Update section, click Check for updates to see if there are any software updates available for your machine. If so, install them. If not, you’ll have to wait until a new update is ready.
How to update graphics drivers on Windows 7
Open the Start menu and type windows update. Then, click Windows Update in the results.
Click Check for Updates and wait while Windows Update searches for available updates.
Install any updates you find. It’s always recommended to update your software whenever possible.
If Windows Update fails to install driver updates, you can update Windows 7 manually via the Microsoft Updates Catalog. These updates should include the most up-to-date versions of necessary drivers.
Using Device Manager
Unlike Windows Update, the Device Manager tool lets you search for specific software updates — including a new graphics driver. Here’s how to use it to update your graphics driver on Windows 11 and 10. Note that the process is the same despite the different OS interfaces.
Open the Windows menu and type the phrase device manager. Open the Device Manager from the results.
Click Display adapters in the drop-down menu, right-click on your GPU, and select Properties.
Navigate to the Driver tab and click Update Driver.
Click Search automatically for drivers.
If Windows finds an updated version of your driver, you can install it now. If not, it may mean that you already have the latest version of your driver or that Windows was unable to find a newer one. You can search with Windows Update or go to the manufacturer’s website to double-check.
Why should I update my graphics driver?
Your graphics driver is responsible for everything you see on your screen. Without it, your OS can’t tell your graphics card what kind of images to create. Graphics drivers are an integral part of how your computer works, and they can cause a lot of problems when they get outdated.
Updating your graphics driver can improve your computer’s performance, fix 100% disk usage and other bugs, unlock exciting new features, and even protect against vulnerabilities that hackers are trying to exploit.
Black screen on Windows
Your PC screen going black suddenly — the so-called “black screen of death” — is caused by critical system errors that force Windows to shut down unexpectedly. PC black screen crashes can be the result of a wide range of software and hardware defects, including outdated or faulty graphics drivers. Updating drivers not only helps prevent errors in the first place, but it can even fix the Windows black screen of death.
Get better performance
Older drivers can struggle with newer software, especially modern video games and complex editing software like Photoshop or video production apps. If your computer is having a hard time keeping up, the fix may be as simple as updating your graphics driver.
In recent tests, our resident performance experts found that updating graphics drivers significantly boosted the FPS in our games — by over 100% in Red Dead Redemption 2, one of the most demanding games out there. Updated drivers also ensure you get the most out of other games like Ark: Survival Evolved and GTA V.
In fact, updating your drivers is a great way to boost the overall performance of your gaming computer.
New drivers offer big FPS improvements for gamers.
As well as unlocking higher resolution graphics and increased FPS, updating your graphics driver can also speed up your PC and boost your computer’s performance, not only for gaming but for any multimedia application. And if you plan on overclocking your GPU to squeeze out extra performance from your graphics card, it’s especially important to have the latest driver installed.
Fix bugs and other issues
Computers are complex machines and a lot can go wrong. Outdated drivers don’t always get along with the newest games and other programs.
An uncooperative, outdated driver can cause screen flickering, stuttering and lags, seemingly random error messages, and even program crashes. An overworked GPU can also cause problems, so take steps to prevent overheating and monitor your GPU temperature while gaming or performing other graphics-intensive tasks.
Outdated drivers can cause your games to suddenly crash.
If you’re upgrading your gaming PC or building one of your own, GPU manufacturers want you to choose their own products — so they’re usually quite transparent about what they’re working on and how they plan on continuing to solve these issues in future updates.
Enjoy new features and options
In the fight for GPU supremacy, the big-name manufacturers have been trying to outdo each other with new features and options in their graphics driver updates. A quick driver update can result in more features and greater performance optimization and customization through the many new tools made available.
Sometimes, GPU manufacturers even use drivers to add completely new technology to their products. For instance, Nvidia recently introduced DLSS (deep learning super sampling) technology that uses AI to simulate high-resolution graphics without suffering performance slowdowns.
When to update your graphics driver
Nvidia, AMD, and many other GPU manufacturers all offer automatic updates for their drivers, but if you prefer to update your drivers manually, it’s good practice to check for updates at least every few months.
You should consider updating your drivers if:
You’re experiencing graphical problems and don’t know why.
Many issues arise because of a faulty driver. If your screen is flickering or lagging, if things don’t look right, or if your games and apps start unexpectedly crashing, check out your driver.
Your Device Manager shows an exclamation mark icon.
This is Windows’s signal that something is wrong with a given component of your computer.
You want your games and apps to look and run better.
As mentioned above, updated graphics drivers can boost performance significantly. If your favorite game or other program isn’t working well, check if there’s a driver update available.
AVG Driver Updater takes all the guesswork out of updating your drivers — not just your graphics driver, but all of them. With millions of drivers in its database, AVG Driver Updater will easily source updated drivers and install them automatically for all the hardware in your PC.
Updating your graphics driver couldn't be easier
With AVG Driver Updater, it’s incredibly easy to update your graphics driver as well as all the other drivers on your PC. Forget about hunting down new drivers and going without the latest features and performance boosts simply because you’ve forgotten to update.
With an extensive database covering over 100 of the top manufacturers, AVG Driver Updater will make sure you always have the latest drivers for all your computer’s hardware. Get a free scan today to see which drivers you’re missing.