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How to Reinstall Your NVIDIA Drivers

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Can’t get an uncapped framerate if your display doesn’t work.

As someone who both uses a PC for gameplay purposes and inexplicably attracts random software failure, I’ve had to acquaint myself with my graphics cards’ various ins and outs over the years. Though the display capabilities of NVIDIA cards improve every year, the software that runs them is… not an exact science, let’s say. If your display starts freaking out on you and you’re pretty sure it’s not a hardware problem, it might be a good idea to do a clean install of your NVIDIA drivers. Here’s how.

  1. Before anything, go to the drivers page on NVIDIA’s website. Enter your graphics card’s specs and download an installer for the latest drivers release. Don’t use it just yet, you’ll need it for later.
  2. Assuming you’re using Windows 10, open your start menu, and click the gear for settings. Type “Add or Remove Programs” in the search bar to get the program list, then click “Programs and Features” on the top right for a more detailed list.
  3. Scroll down until you find the NVIDIA software. There should be a few things here, and we’re going to uninstall all of them, but start with the Graphics Driver, since you’ll need to restart your computer after you uninstall it. To actually uninstall it, just right click it, click “Uninstall/change,” and follow the prompts. Don’t worry about uninstalling the Graphics Driver; your computer will default to its internal display drivers, which will be fine until you reinstall.
  4. After you restart your computer, return to the detailed programs list and uninstall the rest of the NVIDIA programs. You shouldn’t need to restart again.
  5. Once all of the NVIDIA stuff is gone, it’s time to open that installer you downloaded before. Open it up, and follow the prompts until you reach the choice between “Express” and “Custom” installation. Click custom. Leave all of the programs it’s going to install checked, but make sure to also check the clean installation option near the bottom of the window. This’ll ensure no weird glitches from the old installation are carried over, though if you had any NVIDIA presets, you will have to set them again.
  6. Let the installer do its thing, restart one more time, and you should have fresh copies of all of your NVIDIA drivers and programs ready to do their jobs properly (hopefully).