[Sticky] How to Properly Install Graphics Drivers (NVIDIA)
Installing graphics drivers is very important, and most people do it the WRONG way. In this thread, you will learn the correct way to install NVIDIA graphics drivers. Other brands like AMD and Intel will be a bit different.
- If you already have a NVIDIA graphics driver installed and want to install a new one: follow every step.
- If you just want to uninstall a graphics driver for whatever reason: follow the first four steps.
- If you're replacing a graphics card: follow the first four steps.
- If you are installing a new graphics driver on a new computer: steps 1-4 probably won't apply to you (but look at them anyway just in case).
STEP 1: Download the newest graphics driver but DO NOT install it or run it. You can find it on your GPU manufacturer's website. For NVIDIA, look here. To make sure you get the most stable driver, download the latest WHQL version and just leave it on your desktop or wherever. Make sure it's compatible with your graphics card and operating system, by searching appropriately using the link provided earlier in this step. It will download an executable file - once again do NOT run it yet.
STEP 2: Close all your work/tabs/whatever, and don't bother opening them up again until you finish every single step. If you already have a graphics driver installed, uninstalling it will be the first step. To do so, RIGHT CLICK Computer, select Properties, and then click Device Manager on the upper left corner.
STEP 3: Inside the Device Manager, expand "Display adapters", and you'll see your graphics card listed. Right click on your graphics card's name, and select Uninstall. Make sure you select the checkbox that says "Delete driver software for this device". This will uninstall the old graphics driver, which may take a little while.
STEP 4: Your graphics driver is now uninstalled. Restart your computer. Alternatively, if you're replacing your graphics card, rather than restarting your computer you should turn it off and replace the graphics card now.
STEP 5: If there was no previous driver and you're installing a brand new one on a new computer, you will start with this step. Otherwise, if you've followed steps 1-4 then you're now up to this step. Temporarily disable your anti-virus until reboot. Every anti-virus program should have this feature. It will be in the Windows task bar on the bottom right of your screen: click the upwards pointed arrow next to the time/date, and then right click on your anti-virus program and look for the option to temporarily disable until restart).
STEP 6: Run the driver executable that you downloaded in Step 1.
STEP 7: After running the driver executable, you'll have to agree to some stuff. Once all that is done, you'll get to the Options or Installation Options screen pictured below. Check Custom (Advanced) and then hit NEXT.
STEP 8: Now you get to choose which features you want to install or uninstall. It's quite self-explanatory. The actual driver always installs, and can't be unchecked, so ignore it. You'll see 3D Vision Controller Driver and 3D Vision Driver - unless you're using NVIDIA 3D Vision or 3D Vision 2, uncheck these two boxes. Next is the HD Audio Driver, which you won't need unless you're using a computer monitor/TV that has built-in speakers. NVIDIA GeForce Experience is another option, which is only useful if you wish to use ShadowPlay (which is an inferior recording program to begin with). Last but not least is PhysX System Software, which you should install so leave it checked. Underneath all of this is a checkbox that says "Perform a clean installation" -> you absolutely MUST check this. After all of this, click NEXT.
STEP 9: The GPU driver should be installing now, which will take a few minutes. Let it finish, and then click Restart Now when the option shows up. Once restarted, congratulations! You have successfully installed your new graphics driver. You can now start gaming again, or do some advanced driver-level image tweaking discussed here, here, and here.