How to Update Drivers for Video Card

By Gregory Hamel

A video card, also called a graphics card or display adapter, is a computer device that controls video output and assists the central processing unit with rendering graphics. Computers require software called drivers to be installed along with video cards and other hardware so the computer knows how to use the hardware. Updating the drivers for video cards can increase hardware performance.

Update Video Drivers with Device Manager

Step 1

Click "Start," right-click "My Computer" or "Computer," "Manage" then "Device Manager."

Step 2

Expand the device field called "Display adapters" by clicking on the plus (+) sign next to it.

Step 3

Right-click on your video card, select "Properties," click the "Driver" tab, click "Update Driver..." then choose "Search automatically for updated driver software." Wait as your system searches for and installs new drivers.

Step 4

Restart your computer.

Download and Install Video Drivers

Step 1

Follow Step 1 from Section 1, right-click on your video card and select "Properties." Note the name and manufacturer of your video card.

Step 2

Go to the website of your video card's manufacturer and search for downloads specific to your video card and operating system. Nvidia and AMD are two popular video card makers that host driver downloads for their cards (see Resource links below).

Step 3

Download a driver update for your video card.

Step 4

Run the driver install/setup .exe file that you download. An installation wizard will appear and guide you through the setup process. Typically you will click "Next" and accept a license agreement as the wizard installs the drivers.

Step 5

Restart your computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Bad driver software is a common cause of computer errors. If errors occur after a driver update, consider replacing the new driver with a different one.