Buggy drivers are one of the most common reasons users experience issues with games. Poor performance, stutters, graphics artifacts, crashes, inability to launch, or straight-up broken games are often a result of using a bad graphics driver. Uninstalling a graphics driver is the first thing you should do when troubleshooting such issues. Here is how to uninstall a graphics driver in Windows 10 and 11.
Uninstall Graphics Driver in Windows 10/11
Start with a driver rollback if the problems appeared after updating a GPU driver.
- Press Win + R and run command:
This command will launch Device Manager in Windows 10 and 11. You can also use Windows Search or right-click the Start menu button and select Device Manager.
- Find the Display adapters option and expand it.
- Right-click your graphics card and select Properties.
- Switch to the Driver tab and click Roll Back Driver. Confirm the action if necessary.
- Windows will roll back the driver right away. Note that your screen may blink a few times, which is normal for this kind of operation. The screen resolution might also get lower, and Windows lose some of its fancy effects and animations. Also, if you use Windows 11, the operating system will switch from rounded to sharp corners.
It is important to note that you can roll back the GPU driver only if you have updated it at least once. In other words, Windows has to have an old driver version to restore.
How to Uninstall Graphics Card Drivers in Windows 10 and 11?
Try removing the GPU driver if the driver rollback feature is unavailable or does not help fix the issues. The procedure will be identical for all GPU manufacturers, whether you use Intel, Nvidia, or AMD.
Before you uninstall the graphics driver on your computer, make sure to download the correct version and have it ready for installation. Always download drivers from the official Nvidia, AMD, or Intel websites, and never use so-called “driver packs.”
The best way to uninstall graphics card drivers in Windows is to use a third-party app called Direct Driver Uninstall. It is safe and free for use, so you should not worry about servicing your computer with an unknown app. Still, if you prefer not to download unknown apps, we have a dedicated section in this article describing how to uninstall graphics card drivers without additional software.
- Download the DDU utility from its official website. It can uninstall any graphics driver on your computer without leaving any traces. That is essential to ensure a new driver will not conflict with the old files. We also recommend using it if you want to change your graphics card from Nvidia to AMD or Intel (or vice versa).
- Extract the files somewhere on your computer.
- Press Win + R and type msconfig.
- Switch to the Boot tab and place a checkmark next to the Safe boot option.
- Click OK and restart your computer. It will launch in safe mode, which is necessary to complete the operation–you cannot uninstall graphics card drivers when they are in use, and Windows does not use most of its drivers, including GPU, when in Safe Mode.
- Once on the desktop, press Win + R and run:
- Go to the Boot tab and uncheck the Safe boot option. This is necessary to ensure your computer boots in normal mode once you are done uninstalling the GPU driver.
- Click OK but do not restart your computer!
- Launch the DDU app. Windows might warn you that it cannot reach SmartScreen to check the app. Press Run.
- Once the self-extracting archive finishes copying files, open the DDU folder and launch Display Driver Uninstaller.
- Find the Select device type drop-down and pick GPU.
- Next, select your GPU manufacturer from the drop-down list below. It is either Intel, AMD, or Nvidia.
- Click Clean and restart, then wait for your computer to uninstall the GPU driver.
Once back on the desktop, proceed with installing a new graphics card. Note that you will notice that Windows is missing some of its effects and uses lower resolution with improper scaling. That is okay for a system without a GPU driver. Everything will return to normal once you install a compatible and correct driver.
How to Uninstall Graphics Card Drivers Without Third-party Apps?
If you prefer not to use third-party apps for servicing your computer, you have two options for uninstalling graphics card drivers: uninstall from the Control Panel or perform the so-called “Clean Install.” The latter will only work in case you want to reinstall the graphics driver for the current GPU.
To uninstall graphics card drivers from the Control Panel, do the following:
- Press Win + R and type control to launch the Control Panel.
- Switch to the Category view and click Uninstall a program.
- Find all apps that contain Nvidia or AMD in their names and uninstall them. Note that if you have a computer with an AMD processor, there would be an extra app called AMD Chipset Software. Keep it installed since it has nothing to do with your graphics card.
It is worth noting that this method is not perfect, as it might leave some traces behind, which is why we consider the DDU app the best method to uninstall graphics card drivers in Windows 10 and 11.
If you plan to install the GPU driver once again, you can let the new driver do the job for you. Intel, AMD, and Nvidia have a so-called “Clean install” mode that deletes all the bits of the currently installed GPU driver and replaces them with a new version. Download the driver you need (it can be even the currently installed or older version) from the official AMD, Intel, or Nvidia website, run the installer, and check the Clean Install option. After that, proceed with the on-screen instructions.
That is how you uninstall graphics card drivers in Windows 10 and 11.