Graphics drivers magnify the power of the GPU to maintain smooth communication between the hardware & the software. This helps in executing demanding tasks like gaming, streaming, and photo & video editing. For issues such as system crashes, flickers in the screen, and once-smooth graphics stuttering like a broken record, it is usually advised to reset the graphic drivers. So, what exactly does resetting the graphics driver do, is it good, and how to reset them on Windows 11? Let’s find out!
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What Does Resetting Graphics Driver Do?
Resetting the GPU driver involves restarting or reinstalling the software responsive for communication between the PC’s operating system and the graphics hardware. The graphics card driver is responsible for rendering images and videos on the PC. When it malfunctions, it causes issues such as screen flickering and a black screen. When you reset the graphics driver, it restores default settings, clears out the cache or junk files, improves performance, resolves display glitches, and removes bugs if any.
Is it Good to Reset the Graphics Driver?
Graphics drivers allow the hardware to display images and other graphical content on the screen. Although Windows resets the graphics drivers automatically when any error is detected, sometimes you might need to do the same manually. Now doing so can be beneficial in some circumstances, such as:
- Fixing Glitches: Resetting graphic drivers fixes display glitches, distortion, visual artifacts, flickering, frozen, or black screen issues, and other abnormalities.
- Improves Performance: It clears junk files, frees up any locked cache data, removes bugs, and improves graphic performance, especially if there are lags or slowdowns in games and applications.
- Compatibility: It can address compatibility issues that arise after software updates or hardware changes.
- Troubleshooting: Resetting graphic drivers is helpful in troubleshooting and resolving driver issues or graphics-related problems before considering more drastic solutions.
However, there are a few cons and precautions as well that need to be considered:
- Configuration Loss: All graphics-related temporary files are cleared, and custom settings & configurations are reset to default once the driver is reset.
- Temporary Solution: It is a temporary solution that can fix immediate issues. However, it might not address underlying hardware problems.
- Issues with OS updates: In some cases, Windows may try to automatically update the GPU driver after you have reset it. Occasionally this could cause conflicts or issues with the newly installed driver.
How to Reset Graphics Driver Windows 11
You can tell if your graphics card is dying based on its performance and other factors. Sometimes you might not necessarily need to change it. Just resetting the drivers can also help. So, let’s discuss different methods to do the same.
Method 1: Reset Using the Keyboard Shortcut
It’s the easiest way. All you need is to press Windows Key + Ctrl + Shift + B simultaneously and you are done. This will restart and refresh the graphics card driver. Although the screen might flicker for a couple of seconds, you do not have to worry as your work will not be lost.
Moreover, this process is comparatively safer as it does not interfere with active apps on the PC and can be performed even if you do not have a Windows Administrator account enabled.
Method 2: Use Device Manager
Device Manager gives you access to update, disable, or troubleshoot the system hardware components. You can reset the GPU drivers on it.
Method 2.1: Re-enable GPU Drivers
You can disable the graphics drivers temporarily and then enable it again to reset the unit. Follow the steps:
1. Open Device Manager and double-click on Display adapters to expand it.
2. Right-click on the graphics driver.
3. In the context menu, click on Disable device.
Wait for a few seconds.
4. Once disabled, right-click on the GPU driver and select Enable device.
That’s it. The driver will be reset now and resolve any form of glitches or other issues.
Method 2.2: Uninstall and Reinstall GPU Drivers
Another way to reset the graphics driver in Windows 11 is to reinstall it, allowing it to start afresh. Follow the steps below:
1. Expand Display adapters in Device Manager.
2. Right-click on the graphics driver on the PC and select Uninstall device.
3. Tick the checkbox in the prompt to confirm the action and complete the uninstallation process.
4. Once done, Restart the PC.
Method 3: Reset Using Windows PowerShell
Windows PowerShell is an in-built utility, that you can use to automate tasks and make changes to the PC. Follow the steps for resetting the graphics driver using it:
1. Press the Windows Key, search for Windows PowerShell, and click on Run as Administrator.
2. Type the command: pnputil /enum-devices /class Display and hit Enter.
3. You will see the Instance ID of the display adapters. Select the ID and copy it.
4. Copy the command: pnputil /restart-device “[Instance ID]”, paste it into the terminal, and hit Enter.
Note: Make sure to add the previously copied Instance ID. Also don’t forget to add quotations around the ID.
Method 4: Reset Using Task Manager
Task manager lets users monitor and manage the performance of system resources. Follow the steps below to reset the graphics driver on it:
1. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL and click on Task Manager.
2. In the Processes tab, find the process that involves the GPU on the PC.
For example, for an NVIDIA graphics card, processes would involve NVIDIA, and similarly for AMD.
3. Right-click on it and then click on End task.
4. Repeat the same for all NVIDIA/AMD tasks.
Also Read: 7 Best GPU Temperature Monitor Tools
Method 5: Reset Using Graphics Card Settings Window
Graphics card manufacturers such as NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel provide a distinctive GPU control panel. This allows users to fine-tune graphics-related parameters such as display resolution, refresh rate, etc. to optimize the performance.
Method 5.1: Nvidia Graphics Drivers
NVIDIA users can use the NVIDIA Control Panel to reset the graphic driver settings to default. Follow the steps below:
1. Right-click on Desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel from the context menu.
2. Under 3D Settings, click on Manage 3D Settings, followed by Restore.
4. Restart the PC.
Method 5.2: AMD GPU Drivers
AMD graphics card users follow the steps below:
1. Open the AMD Radeon Sofware on the PC and click on the gear icon at the top-right corner.
2. In the System tab, click on Perform Reset next to Factor Reset.
Also Read: How Long Should My AMD GPU Last?
Method 5.3: Intel Graphics Card
Follow the steps to reset the Intel GPU drivers to default settings:
1. Right-click on Desktop and click on Graphics Properties… option in the context menu.
2. Click on 3D and under Quality, click on Custom Settings.
4. Finally, click on Restore Defaults at the bottom.
5. Restart the PC.
Method 6: Use Display Driver Uninstaller
It’s optional but if required, you can use Display Driver Uninstaller to completely remove the graphic drivers. However, make sure to boot into Safe Mode before the process. Install the latest drivers from the respective manufacturer’s website.
Precautions and Tips to Follow While Resetting GPU Drivers
When resetting GPU drivers on the PC, there are some essential precautions and tips that you need to consider to minimize the risk of encountering problems during or after the process:
- Save and Backup Important Data: Save the work progress (if any), close all apps, and ensure that data are backed up. Although driver resets do not affect personal files, it is better to be safe.
- Download Latest Drivers: Download the latest and the right GPU drivers for the specific graphics card model from the manufacturer’s website.
- Use Reliable Tool: If you’re using a DDU, download one from a trusted source only to avoid potential threats such as malware or viruses.
- Restart after Reset: It is important to Restart the PC to ensure that the new drivers are properly installed and functional.
- Do not Reset Frequently: Resetting the graphics drivers is good, but should only be done when required. Frequently doing the same could trigger issues.
- Revive Frozen Drivers: Occasionally, after you reset the GPU drivers, you might find others in a frozen state. In such cases, you may need to re-enable them in the Device Manager.
Recommended: LHR vs Non LHR GPU: Which Cards are Best for Gaming?
We hope our guide helped you understand what resetting the graphics driver does. If you have any queries or suggestions for us, do let us know in the comments box below. Stay tuned to TechCult for more such tech-related info.