How to install and upgrade GPU drivers on Windows 10

GTX 1070
GTX 1070

GPU drivers are incredibly important to have installed and up to date, to ensure even the best graphics card works as intended and you avoid encountering issues in PC games. A GPU driver is essentially software that handles communication between Windows 10, games and applications, and the graphics card component. It's very important.

Luckily, regardless as to whether you're an NVIDIA fan or on team red with AMD, it's easy to install drivers with a new GPU and keep them updated.

AMD GPU drivers

AMD Radeon Software

AMD Radeon Software

AMD uses the new Radeon Software to manage drivers, GPU settings, and game-specific options. Downloading and installing the software is straightforward, and if you're not sure of the GPU you have, AMD offers an auto-detect utility that can point you in the correct direction.

Checking for updates within Radeon Software can be achieved by opening up the suite and clicking on the update button in the lower left-hand corner of the window. The software will periodically check for updates and alert you with a notification, which can serve as a shortcut to the update process.

NVIDIA GPU drivers

NVIDIA GeForce Experience

NVIDIA's current software package is a strange one. Like AMD, the company has rolled out an updated suite that looks modern and fresh but bundles it with the older settings app, so you have two places to manipulate settings. Installing the driver can be achieved by heading to the NVIDIA website and either downloading the detector tool or specifying the GPU you have installed.

To check for updates, you'll need to launch the GeForce Experience app, since the traditional settings area does not sport this feature. With the GeForce Experience window open, choose the Drivers tab at the top and hit "check for updates." If an update is available it'll be displayed below with a button to install.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

3 Comments
  • No mention of DDU? A missed opportunity there. Also, Intel video drivers are used by many but are missed here?
  • Reboot in safe mode and uninstall gpu drivers with DDU. After doing so, reboot in normal mode and install the new gpu drivers.
  • From various postings I've read regarding NVIDIA's 'GeForce Experience' software, I'm not sure if it really helps optimize for games I have, or if it's better to tweak them myself in the game's settings. I don't really want to install it if I'm not going to be using it, but it sure would be nice if you could get a pop-up notification about an updated driver even without the 'GeForce Experience' software. What do the rest of you think?