How to Download and Install DirectX

Instructions on updating to the latest version of DirectX

All modern Windows operating systems include DirectX by default, so you probably won't ever need to install DirectX manually.

However, Microsoft has been known to release updated versions of DirectX, and installing the latest updates might be the fix to a DirectX problem you're having—such as dsetup.dll errors—or may give performance increases in your games and graphics programs.

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Follow the steps below to update DirectX in any version of Windows. Installing DirectX will take less than 15 minutes.

Depending on the version of Windows you're using, you might not be in need of a new version of DirectX. See the section below these steps to confirm that DirectX will work for your computer. If you're not sure which DirectX version your computer has installed right now, there are instructions for doing that at the very bottom of this page.

These steps work on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

How to Download and Install DirectX

  1. Visit the DirectX download page on Microsoft's site.

  2. Select the red Download button to save the setup file to your computer.

    Screenshot of DirectX download page on the web
  3. Open the dxwebsetup.exe file and complete the DirectX installation by following directions from Microsoft's website or from the DirectX installation program. It should take less than a minute to install.

    Screenshot of DirectX install dialog in Windows 10, focusing on Next button

    Read carefully through the setup procedure. You might be asked to install something else like the Bing Bar. Just uncheck whatever you're not interested in to avoid installing it.

    Whatever DirectX files are missing will be replaced as necessary. See the next section below for more information about DirectX in specific versions of Windows.

  4. Restart your computer, even if you're not prompted to do so.

  5. After restarting your computer, test to see if updating to the latest version of DirectX corrected the problem you were having.

    Person downloading DirectX installer
     Lifewire / Maddy Price

DirectX Windows Versions

All versions of Windows do not support all versions of DirectX. Here's more on how each version of DirectX works across the Windows family.

DirectX 12 is included with Windows 10 and is only supported in that version of Windows. Updates to DirectX 12 related files are only available through Windows Update. No standalone version of DirectX 12 is available.

DirectX 11.4 & 11.3 are only supported in Windows 10. As with DirectX 12.0, updates are only provided through Windows Update.

DirectX 11.2 is supported in Windows 10 and Windows 8 (8.1+) only. Any updates to DirectX 11.2 related files are made available in Windows Update in those versions of Windows. There is no standalone download available for DirectX 11.2.

DirectX 11.1 is supported in Windows 10 and Windows 8. Windows 7 (SP1) is supported as well but only after installing the Platform Update for Windows 7.

DirectX 11.0 is supported in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7. Support for Windows Vista is available but only after a platform update. Get the 32-bit version here or the 64-bit one here.

DirectX 10 is supported in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.

DirectX 9 is supported in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. If you have a program that calls for a DirectX 9 file in Windows 10 or Windows 8, installing the downloadable version (the process above) is the way to solve that problem—it will not "downgrade" your DirectX 10/11/12 install! This is also the latest version of DirectX that's compatible with Windows XP.

How to Find the Current DirectX Version Number

You can check which version of DirectX is installed on your computer through the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.

  1. Execute the dxdiag command from a command line interface, such as the Run dialog box (WIN+R) or Command Prompt.

  2. If you see a message asking about checking for digitally signed drivers, press Yes or No; it doesn't really matter for what we're looking for here.

  3. Open the System tab.

    DirectX Diagnostic Tool in Windows 10
  4. Look for the DirectX Version entry at the bottom of the list to see the DirectX version number.