How to Reset Your Graphics Driver (2022)

Nobody enjoys having graphical issues, especially when gaming or trying to watch something. It tends to be pretty rare these days to have strange stuttering and freezing issues, but it’s not unheard of.

In this article, we’ll cover how you can reset your graphics driver if you happen to run into issues while gaming.

Why Should I Reset My Graphics Driver?

You probably don’t need to reset your graphics driver in most cases. Usually, if you’re having issues with stuttering and flickering, it is generally temporary and should go away in a few seconds. However, if these issues persist, you should try resetting them.

How To Reset Your Graphics Driver for Windows

There are two main ways to reset your driver, with only a few differences:

The Easy Way

The easiest way is by entering this shortcut:

WIN + CTRL + Shift + B

This shortcut works for Windows 10 & 11, and it will immediately reset your driver. Your screen should flicker and beep before finishing the reset.

Behind the scenes, though, this command actually sends some telemetry data to Microsoft regarding GPU bugs, as confirmed on Reddit by a Microsoft employee. Per that employee, “A driver reset/recovery is a likely side-effect but not the primary intent and not guaranteed.” It might not always work, and repeated attempts may crash your PC in some cases,

The Reliable Way

If the easy way doesn’t work, you should try the recommended method through Device Manager.

  1. Open Device Manager, and click Display Adapters.
  2. Right-click on your graphics device and click “Disable Device.”
  3. After that, your screen(s) should flicker and go dark while Windows defaults to your onboard graphics.
  4. Once they come back, right-click and hit “Enable Device” and it should flicker again and fix the issue.

This is the official method from Microsoft, and it should be your go-to if you keep experiencing issues. It doesn’t impact your system, as it just defaults to the onboard graphics from your CPU.

If somehow neither of these options fixes the issue, try rebooting. If you still have issues after a reboot, you might have more severe problems.

The macOS Way

Unfortunately, if you’re gaming on a Mac and are having graphical issues, all you can do is reboot your machine. macOS treats the graphics driver as part of the operating system, so only a reboot will fix it.

What If I’m Still Having Problems?

If you’re still experiencing issues with your graphics card, you may need to take some bigger steps.

Reinstall Graphics Drivers

You may need to reinstall your graphics card driver, which you can do in that same Device Manager window. This should clear up any potential software issues regarding your GPU. It’s a simple two-step process:

  1. In Device Manager, right-click your GPU and click “Uninstall”.
  2. Reboot your PC.

After you reboot, Windows should reinstall the appropriate drivers for your GPU. If Windows fails to do so, you can download them manually through your manufacturer’s website.

Update Your Graphics Drivers

If reinstalling them doesn’t work, there may be a new driver version that you need to get.

Both AMD and NVIDIA have their own ways of updating their drivers through their proprietary software. You can download GeForce Experience for NVIDIA cards here, and you can find the AMD equivalent Adrenalin here.

If there are still problems after that, it may be an issue with a specific program you’re running or a hardware issue. In either case, you should take a deeper dive into your PC’s diagnostics. This could be a symptom of a more significant problem, such as a faulty power supply or a dying GPU.

Wrapping It Up

Graphical issues can be scary for anyone, especially with the recent GPU stock issues that have plagued gamers over the last two years. Thankfully, there are plenty of troubleshooting options we can take to fix any potential software issues long before you need to worry about replacing a GPU.

While resetting your graphics driver may not be an end-all-be-all fix, it can quickly get you back up and running without needing to worry about complicated solutions. All you need to do is WIN + CTRL + Shift + B!

Jeff Nabors
Jeff Naborshttp://www.jeffnabors.best
Jeff Nabors is a self-described "internet person". He's been writing about tech and gaming for the last few years now, between running podcasts and Dungeons and Dragons games. You can learn more at www.jeffnabors.best, or catch him live on Twitch www.twitch.tv/RKDnc

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