Windows allows easy control and management of all the drivers. There are multiple ways for you to refresh or reset your graphics drivers. These methods depend upon your Operating System and Graphics Card.
Most of them are simple processes that only require a few minor tweaks to your settings.
However, please only reset your graphics driver during emergencies. Frequent resets may cause many system and application problems.
When to Reset Graphics Driver
There are a few cases where you may need to reset your Graphics Driver. These scenarios include:
How to Restart or Reset Graphics Driver on Windows
Please find some of the methods to restart or reset your graphics driver on Windows down below and adopt one according to your preference.
Restart Graphics Driver Using the Hotkey Combination
The easiest and quickest way to refresh your graphics driver is to use the default keyboard shortcut. Please press the Windows, Ctrl, Shift, and B keys at the same time to restart your graphics driver.
By default, doing so will produce a Beep sound and turn your screen black for a short time. Then, your display will start operating normally.
Restart Graphics Driver Through PowerShell
If you prefer using commands to restart your Graphics Driver, you can do it using Windows PowerShell. It allows you to separately refresh your external drivers along with the built-in graphics device driver.
Here are the steps to refresh your drivers through PowerShell:
- First, press Windows + X and select Windows PowerShell (Admin).
- Type the following command and press Enter:
pnputil /enum-devices /class Display
- It will show the details of all your Display adapters.
- Copy their Instance ID. Then, enter the command as follows:
pnputil /restart-device “Paste the Instance ID”
- As an example,
pnputil /restart-device "PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_1299&SUBSYS_06B01028&REV_A1\4&3a8b0de2&0&00E4"
Restart Graphics Driver Through Task Manager
It is also possible to restart your external or dedicated graphics driver from the Task Manager. If you kill the driver process, Windows will automatically restart it. Here’s how you can end the graphics driver process in the Task Manager:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch the Task Manager.
- In the Processes tab, scroll down to Background processes.
- Look for your NVIDIA or AMD, or other driver processes.
- Right-click on it and select End task.
- Sometimes there may be more than one instance of the process. Please end the task for all of them.
Shortly afterward, Windows will restart the driver. Or you can launch an application forcing Windows to do so as well.
Reset Graphics Driver Using Their Settings
All Graphics devices have their individual settings interface through which you can reset their settings to default. The method is different for separate devices. The following steps show the process for INTEL, NVIDIA, and AMD Graphics Drivers:
INTEL Graphics Driver
- Right-click on your Desktop and select Graphics Properties.
- Click on 3D.
- Then select Restore Defaults. If it’s grayed out, you already have default settings on your driver.
- Click Apply and close the settings. Then, restart your PC.
NVIDIA Graphics Driver
- Right-click on your Desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel.
- Go to Manage 3D settings.
- Under Global Settings, click on Restore.
- Then, close the settings. Then, restart your PC.
AMD Graphics Driver
- Right-click on your Desktop and select AMD Radeon Settings.
- Go to the Preference tab.
- Here, select Restore Factory Defaults.
- Close the settings and restart your PC.
Reset Graphics Driver From Device Manager
Using the Device Manager, it is possible to both refresh and reset your graphics driver. To refresh the driver, you can simply disable and enable it. Here’s how you can do so:
devmgmt.mscon the Run dialog box (Win + R) to open the Device Manager.
- Expand Display Adapters.
- Right-click on your driver and choose Disable device.
- Confirm with Yes.
- Then, right-click on the driver and select Enable device.
- Again right-click on it and choose Scan for hardware changes.
To reset the driver, you need to reinstall it. Follow the steps below to perform this task:
- Open Device Manager and expand Display Adapters.
- Right-click on the driver and select Uninstall device.
- Click Uninstall.
- Then, restart your PC. It will automatically install any missing drivers during a reboot.
Reset Graphics Driver Through Control Panel
As mentioned in the previous method, uninstalling and reinstalling the driver will reset it to the default configuration.
You can also use the Control Panel to reset your graphics driver software. Please follow the instruction below:
- Launch the Run dialog box, type
control, and press Enter.
- In the category view, look for Programs and select Uninstall a program under it.
- Search for and select your graphics driver. Then click on Uninstall.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
- Download the latest compatible driver from the AMD, NVIDIA, or Intel website and install it.
How to Reset Graphics Card on Mac OS
On Mac PCs, the graphics driver is a part of the operating system. So, you can only reset this driver by performing a system reset.
It is, however, possible to refresh the driver by resetting the PRAM or NVRAM. Before doing this, please remember to disconnect any external devices from your PC.
Here are the methods to refresh as well as reset the Mac Graphics Driver:
Refresh Graphics Driver by Resetting PRAM or NVRAM
- Shut down your Mac.
- Press the power button to boot it up again.
- After the gray screen appears on your screen, press and hold the Option + Command + P + R keys on your keyboard for 20 seconds.
- Release the keys after the second startup sound or after the Apple logo disappears for the second time.
Reset Graphics Driver Through System Reset
If your system experiences some graphics issues that persist even after a PRAM reset, you can reset your system altogether. Make sure to back up your mac before applying this method.
Follow the steps below to execute a system reset on Mac:
- Go to Apple icon > System Preferences.
- Click on System Preferences from the menu bar and select Erase All Contents and Settings.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
How to Reset Graphics Driver on Linux
Resetting the Graphics Driver on a Linux OS like Ubuntu is a little more technical than on other systems. The external graphics adapters also have different methods to reset, which you can consult with their technical support personnel.
However, we have mentioned the general way to reset the graphics driver in a Debian-based Linux system. Here are the steps for this operation:
- Open the Terminal.
- First, make a backup of your configurations before resetting the graphics driver package. To do so, enter the command:
sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bk
- Now, enter the following command to update the apt library:
sudo apt-get update
- Then list installed graphics packages using the command:
apt-cache pkgnames "graphics device"
Please replace “graphics device” with intel, amd or nvidia.
- Once you figure out the package name, enter the command below while replacing “packagename” with the actual package name:
sudo apt install "packagename"
Resetting the Driver Does Not Solve My Display Issue.
If resetting the driver does not solve your issue, your system may have other problems. For further troubleshooting the graphics card, we have a comprehensive guide on graphics card-related problems. This definitely should be of more help in debugging the issue.
Windows Does Not Install the Driver After Restarting My PC.
This issue may happen if the setting that allows for automatic download is somehow disabled. Please follow these steps to fix this issue:
- Go to Settings > System > About > Advanced System Settings.
- In the Hardware tab, click Device Installation Settings.
- Choose Yes and click on Save Changes.