“Display Driver Failed To Start” is a display error that appears on a Windows PC when the graphics card driver malfunctions. It may lead to screen blackouts, game crashes, or distorted visuals on your computer. Luckily, there are various ways to sort out the error, such as reinserting the graphics card and updating the display drivers.
- The display driver error indicates some problem with the Nvidia graphics card driver or the graphics card.
- It may fail to start due to technical abnormalities, malware attacks, or using outdated Windows or driver versions on your PC.
- You can fix the error by restarting or updating the Nvidia graphics card driver, performing SFC and DISM scans, and reinserting the Nvidia graphics card into its slot.
What Causes The Display Driver Failed To Start Error?
There are innumerable causes behind the error, such as using older versions of Windows on your computer. In addition, the graphics card driver may not work if it is not up-to-date with the latest versions. Faults may occur during the installation of system updates, hence causing trouble with the driver.
Besides these, conflicting software programs, malware, and viruses may also stop the display driver from starting. Another reason for this issue could be the overheating of the Nvidia graphics card, which may happen if your computer does not have adequate ventilation.
How To Fix Display Driver Failed To Start Error?
For starters, you can restart your PC or the Nvidia graphics card driver from the Device Manager to try and eliminate the problem. Also, read how we solved the Intel Chipset Device Software Failed error.
Restart Your PC
Restarting the PC is the first step to resolving the Nvidia display driver error. It erases bugs and incorrect cache data in the system, possibly causing this error. Hence, restart the PC from the Start menu.
Restart Graphics Card Driver
The graphics card driver may develop temporary glitches or bugs that disrupt its functioning. Hence, restarting will refresh the driver and remove any corrupt data within it.
- Right-click on the “Windows” symbol on the “Taskbar.”
- Select “Device Manager” from the menu.
- Navigate to and expand “Display Adapters.”
- Right-click on the “Nvidia Display Driver.”
- “Disable” the driver from the sub-menu.
- Wait for a minute and “Enable” it. This will restart the graphics card driver on your PC.
Also Read: How To Disable AMD Gaming Evolved.
Update The Nvidia Display Driver
Using older versions of the display driver can cause frequent game crashes, screen freezes, and other graphics-related issues on your computer. Update the driver from the official Nvidia website using these steps.
- Head to https://www.nvidia.com/download/index.aspx.
- Select your Nvidia Graphics Card Series and Product Type. Make sure to enter the correct information in all boxes.
- Hit the “Search” button.
- If an update is available for your graphics card, you will see a “Download” button and additional information about the update on your screen.
- Download the driver on your PC.
- Once downloaded, go to “Device Manager” and right-click on “Nvidia Display Driver.”
- Select “Update Driver.”
- Pick “Browse My Computer For Drivers.”
- Click “Let Me Pick From A List Of Available Drivers On My Computer.”
- The computer will look for the installed file. Select it from the results and press “Next.”
- The Windows will begin “Updating The Driver.”
Use Hardware And Devices Troubleshooter
Hardware And Devices Troubleshooter is a built-in tool that lets your system detect and fix ongoing troubles with your hardware devices, like the Nvidia graphics card driver.
- From the “Update And Security” window, navigate to “Troubleshoot.”
- Press “Additional Troubleshooters.”
- Find “Hardware And Devices.”
- Press “Run The Troubleshooter.”
Run SFC AND DISM Scans
The System File Checker (SFC) searches for corrupt or missing files and repairs them with the correct version. Meanwhile, Deployment Image Servicing And Management (DISM) can solve problems with the Windows update or installation.
Running these checks rules out any glitches or errors on your computer that may affect the graphic card driver’s operation, and can help with fixing the display driver failed to start error.
- Type “cmd” in the “Search Bar” and launch the “Command Prompt in Administrator Mode.”
- Execute the command “sfc/scannow.”
- Wait for the scanning to complete.
- Then, enter “dism/online/cleanup-image /checkhealth and press Enter.”
- Next, proceed with the code “dism/online/cleanup-image /scanhealth.”
- Lastly, run “dism/online/cleanup-image /restorehealth.”
Also Read: How To Clear DNS Cache? [Detailed Guide]
Resort To The Previous Driver Version
It is possible to use the previous driver version on your PC and undo any faulty updates. However, this fix applies only if you have recently updated your Windows.
- Double-click the “Nvidia Display Driver” from the “Device Manager” screen.
- You will see a pop-up.
- Go to the “Driver” tab and click “Roll Back Driver.” The driver will roll back to the previously installed version.
Reinstall Display Driver
You can uninstall the current Nvidia display driver from your PC and reinstall a newer version from the manufacturer’s website. Uninstall the Nvidia display driver from the Device Manager window and Download it from the Nvidia website using “Steps 1-5” from “Fix 3:Update The Nvidia Display Driver.”
Switch The Computer’s Power Supply
Power supply fluctuations can also affect your computer’s display driver. In fact, a user posted on Microsoft Community that they fixed this error by plugging the PC into a different power socket. So, change the power source of your PC and see if the problem is gone.
Scan For Malware And Viruses
The presence of malware and viruses can hinder the computer’s usual working in many ways, including tempering with the graphics card driver. Therefore, scan your PC with Microsoft Offline Defender or reputable third-party antivirus software programs like McAfee and Avast.
- Go to the PC “Settings” page from the “Start” menu.
- Click on “Update And Security.”
- Navigate to the “Windows Security” section and select “Virus And Threat Protection.”
- From the new window, go to “Scan Options.” You can find it under the heading “Current Threats.”
- Mark “Microsoft Defender Offline Scan” and hit “Scan Now.” The system will initiate scanning for malware and viruses.
Update Your PC
Outdated or old versions of Windows may not support the latest changes available for the graphics card driver. Therefore, keeping your PC up-to-date with the most recent updates is necessary to maintain its hassle-free performance. Besides, read our extensive guide on How To Update Windows, which covers all the currently available Windows versions.
- Select “Update And Security” from “Settings.”
- Head to the “Windows Update” page and press “Check For Updates.”
- The PC will look for available updates for your Windows.
- “Download And Install” the updates if prompted.
Optimize Your Computer For The Best Performance
You can adjust the PC for the best performance to enhance its Graphical User Interface (GUI) by turning off unnecessary visual effects. The computer will disable animations and other attractive visuals to make it operate more smoothly.
- Head to “This PC” from the “Desktop.”
- Right-click anywhere on the screen to access the mini-menu. Select “Properties.”
- It will take you to another screen. Click on “Advanced System Settings.”
- Go to the “Advanced” tab.
- Press the “Settings” button in the “Performance” section
- On the “Visual Effects” section, select “Adjust For Best Performance.”
- Click on “Apply” then “OK” to save the changes.
Perform A System Restore
Doing a system restore will undo the latest changes made to your system, including software installations or modifications in system settings, and restore it to the previous state. Hence, save a backup of essential data in an external storage device you want to keep after the process.
On the other hand, the PC will need a restore point to go back to. So, this solution only applies if you already created a system restore point before making significant changes to your computer.
- Write “System Restore” in the “Search” box and click “Create A System Restore” from the results.
- Choose the “System Protection” tab and hit the “System Restore” button.
- Pick “Next.”
- Highlight a “Restore Point” and click “Next.”
- Press “Finish” to start the process.
Look For Graphic Card Issues
Problems with the Nvidia graphics card can also lead to display driver troubles on your PC. Open the PC and check if the graphics card is overheating. If yes, remove the card from the case and let it sit for about 10 minutes before reinserting it. Make sure you place the card correctly into its case.
Reinstall Your Operating System
Reinstalling Windows may become necessary if all the quick fixes above do not solve your issue. Remember to back up your computer’s data to an external storage device before the reinstallation. Additionally, our team used the same fix for the error: Unable To Recover Your PC, System Drive Too Small.
Download Installation Media
- Get the correct Windows Installation Media tool for your Windows version by clicking “Download Now.”
- Prepare an empty USB with a minimum of 8GB storage and plug it into your PC.
- Launch the “Installation Media Tool” once downloaded.
- You will see a dialog box. Select “Create Installation Media (USB Flash Drive, DVD, Or ISO File) For Another PC.”
- Pick “Next.”
- Mark the box beside “Use Recommended Options For This PC” and hit “Next.”
- Select the connected flash drive and click “Next.”
- Mark the “USB Flash Drive” option and go with “Next.”
- The PC will start “Downloading Windows.” Wait for it to complete.
- Hit “Finish.”
- Plug this USB into the PC, which needs Windows installation.
- Select “Next.”
- Click on the “Install Now” button.
- Agree with the terms and conditions and press “Next.”
- Go with “Custom: Install Windows Only (Advanced).”
- Pick the “Target Disk” and “Format” it.
- Press “OK.”
- Again, hit “Install Now” to proceed with the installation.
- Highlight the disk where you want to install the Windows and hit “Next.”
- You will see an “Installing Windows” box.
What To Do If None Of The Solutions Work?
If none of those mentioned above fixes resolves the error, you can suspect the issue lies within your Nvidia graphics card. Unfortunately, you will have to replace the card with a newer one or take the system to a technical expert so they can seek the underlying trouble.
You can use these fixes when facing “Display Driver Failed To Start” on the Nvidia graphics card. On a side note, create a system restore point whenever you make any changes to the PC. This way, you can take your PC one step backward if it malfunctions after the modification.
Frequently Asked Questions
The error appears when the graphics card driver fails to function properly due to incorrect placement or technical faults.
You can restart the graphics card driver, update the driver from Nvidia’s website, and run SFC and DISM scans to resolve the issue.
Regularly update your graphics card driver, use the latest version of Windows, and frequently run antivirus scans to avoid this error.
- FIXED: Windows Wireless Service Is Not Running On Computer.
- Fixed: Unable To Recover Your PC, System Drive Too Small.
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[Errors Troubleshooting Expert]
Arsalan Shakil (aka GuyThatDoesEverything on YouTube) is a PC Tech Enthusiast and Electronic Geek. With over 10+ years of experience in Electronics, he then decided to explore Software Engineering to design embedded products and automate existing hardware solutions.
When he started tearing down old cameras to understand how they worked, he was shocked (literally, when he got zapped by a flash discharge capacitor), giving him the power (debatable) to fall in love with videography/photography. He also started making some fun videos that later became YouTube tech reviews.
- 10+ years of experience in Electronics design, embedded solutions, and prototyping
- Majored in Software Engineering
- Research paper publication in IEEE for Embedded Military Uniform & LoRa WAN wireless technology
- Specialized in IoT Solutions
- PC Enthusiast & PC Modder
In his local region, he’s known to expose cheap PSU brands, often claiming fake certification or false claims on the box. He’s a true nerd and needed some friends in his life. Then he met some guys who work at Tech4Gamers, and they also came out to be equal nerds who suggested he join Tech4Gamers as a Hardware Expert.