How to Update Nvidia Drivers

Get the latest graphics card drivers on Windows 10 and macOS

This article explains how to update Nvidia drivers for both Windows 10 and macOS.

How Do I Update My Nvidia Drivers on Windows 10?

There are a few ways to update Nvidia drivers on Windows 10; the best method is to download the appropriate driver directly from the Nvidia website and install it manually.

You can also use Windows Device Manager, the Nvidia GeForce Experience app, or rely on Windows Update to provide driver updates. Downloading the driver manually is the best option. The Device Manager method doesn’t always find the latest driver; the GeForce option can fail to install your driver with little explanation; and waiting for Windows Update isn’t viable if you’re trying to resolve a driver problem.

Here’s how to update your Nvidia drivers in Windows 10:

  1. Navigate to the Nvidia driver download site.

    The Nvidia driver download site.
  2. Enter your Nvidia card information and click Search.

    SEARCH highlighted on the Nvidia driver download site.
  3. Locate the latest driver, and click Download.

    DOWNLOAD highlighted on the Nvidia driver download site.
  4. Click Download again.

    DOWNLOAD highlighted on the Nvidia driver download site.
  5. Once the driver is downloaded, run the installer and select Save as.

    Saving an Nvidia driver with Save as highlighted
  6. Leave the path as it is unless you have a specific reason to change it, and click OK.

    OK highlighted in the Nvidia installer.
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation of the driver.

Why Can’t I Update My Nvidia Drivers on Windows 10?

When you can’t update your Nvidia drivers on Windows 10, you could be dealing with a handful of different problems. Some of them are easy to fix, and others are more difficult.

Here are the most common reasons you can’t update Nvidia drivers on Windows 10:

  • Trying to install the wrong driver: Ensure the driver you’re installing is designed for your video card and operating system. It has to match the exact video card, or it won’t work. In some cases, there may be a conflict between a brand new driver and your specific hardware configuration.
  • Installing through GeForce experience: For various reasons, downloading and installing driver updates through GeForce Experience tends to fail. If you’re trying to use GeForce Experience, close it and try downloading the driver from Nvidia manually through their website.
  • Try using Safe Mode: Boot your computer into Safe Mode, remove the driver, and install the new driver.

How Do I Update My Nvidia Drivers on macOS?

Under most circumstances, you shouldn’t have to update your Nvidia drivers manually on your Mac. Apple bundles the latest Nvidia drivers with system updates, so you should get the latest and best drivers via system update as they become available. Since Macs have much fewer hardware configurations than Windows PCs, it’s easier to create drivers that will work without hardware conflicts or bugs, and relying on automatic updates is usually safe.

If you’re experiencing a driver issue and there’s nothing available via system update, you can download Mac Nvidia drivers and install them manually. However, before you do, it’s essential to back up your system. Since this isn’t the recommended method of updating Nvidia drivers, you may experience unforeseen issues, so you’ll want to have a system backup ready just in case you need it.

If the Nvidia site doesn’t have a driver for your specific graphics card and macOS version, do not attempt to download and install something that seems close enough. The graphics card and macOS version of the driver must match your own exactly. 

Here’s how to manually update Nvidia drivers on Mac:

  1. Navigate to the Nvidia driver download site.

    The Nvidia driver download site on a Mac.
  2. Enter the exact product type, series, and product name of your graphics card, select your macOS version, and click Search.

    SEARCH highlighted on the Nvidia driver download site.
  3. Check the Release Notes section to see if your Mac is listed. If it isn’t, the driver won’t be compatible. If your Mac is listed, click Download.

    DOWNLOAD highlighted on the Nivida driver download site.
  4. Double click the installer when it finishes downloading, and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation.

    Continue highlighted on the Nvidia driver installer on a Mac.

Should I Update My Nvidia Drivers?

The drivers that allow your Nvidia graphics card to function are updated and tweaked over time to account for different hardware configurations, optimization, and performance. When an Nvidia graphics card is still relatively new, it will receive regular driver updates that boost performance. Unfortunately, that changes as a card gets older, and eventually, most driver updates end up fixing bugs and hardware conflicts instead of improving performance.

Since newer cards can benefit a lot from updated drivers that improve performance, it’s a good idea to keep your driver up to date if you have a recent card. When updates slow down and primarily address bug fixes, it’s a better idea to stick with the driver you have unless you start having problems. 

While updating an Nvidia driver will typically result in improved performance or the same level of performance with more stability, there’s always a chance that an update will result in a new bug or hardware conflict. That’s why you sometimes have to roll back a driver after installing it. It’s also why you may want to refrain from updating your Nvidia drivers unless you’re experiencing an actual problem.

It's all true for both Windows PCs and Macs, but there is a slight difference. Macs equipped with Nvidia cards automatically receive the latest Nvidia drivers bundled with system updates. You can update your Nvidia driver manually on a Mac, but you shouldn’t unless you’re experiencing a problem.

  • What's the latest version of Nvidia drivers I can download?

    The latest version depends on whether you need Nvidia Game Ready drivers, GeForce graphics drivers, or one of a host of other game drivers. Game Ready drivers come out as frequently as once a month, while many drivers don't follow a regular schedule. Your best bet is to visit the Nvidia driver download site regularly or install Nvidia's GeForce Experience app to ensure you aren't missing out on anything.

  • How do I update Nvidia drivers if I'm running Windows 8?

    As long as you're running Windows 8 on a 64-bit system, you should be able to update your Nvidia drivers manually. Visit the Nvidia driver download site; next to Operating System, select Windows 8 64-bit, select from the other dropdown menus and search for drivers appropriate for your Nvidia product.

  • How do I update Nvidia drivers if I'm running Windows 7?

    Just as with Nvidia drivers for Windows 8 (see above), if you're running Windows 7 on a 64-bit system, you can find the appropriate drivers for your Nvidia product via the Nvidia driver download site.

  • How do I update Nvidia drivers if I'm running Ubuntu Linux?

    After installing Nvidia drivers on an Ubuntu system using the Ubuntu Graphics PPA page, you'll automatically receive regular driver updates from the PPA, so your system will remain up to date.

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