There may be several reasons to remove your Nvidia video card drivers from your system, whether because of corrupted existing drivers or a change to another brand of video adapter card. You can use Windows “Add or Remove Programs” to remove the unwanted drivers but there will be times when the default Windows uninstaller either fails to complete the uninstall or leaves pieces of the old software and drivers scattered across the computer.
In the process of removing the Nvidia drivers and related software there will be widespread system changes made and for safety two preliminary steps should be carried out before commencement of the actual driver removal process.[symple_box color=”red” fade_in=”false” float=”center” text_align=”left” width=””] Firstly it is strongly recommended to create a full system or image backup. After the backup a System Restore Point should be made.
If you are using a Nvidia CPU or Chipset it would be also be a further safeguard if you had a copy of the Nvidia chipset drivers, just in case.
In this guide we’ll use a small app called Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) which works on Windows XP through 10, is portable requiring no installation, and will remove all traces of Video drivers and associated software installed by AMD, Nvidia, and Intel powered graphic processors. It will also remove registry entries created during the installation of the graphic processor.
Go Here to download Display Driver Uninstaller. Save the zip file to somewhere you can find it, then use your favorite zip utility to extract the files to a folder of choice. Oddly you’ll have to extract the self extracting executable file created, by clicking on it, and then you’re good to go.
Open the application by left clicking on the Display Driver Uninstaller.exe file located in the folder created earlier. After a few seconds this dialogue box will appear warning that the computer is not running in safe mode. It is most important the the computer be running in safe mode so as the Nvidia drivers are actually not running during the removal process. This ensures complete removal of the software. You could of course start your computer in safe mode before you run DDU, but now we’ll allow the application to restart the computer. Save any data in any other programs you have running and select YES to restart the computer.
When the computer restarts in safe mode the screen resolution will be greatly reduced as the Nvidia drivers will not be loaded making Windows run in its default resolution.
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IMPORTANT: When you open Display Driver Uninstaller for the first time it will turn off Windows Automatic Driver Install which will prevent Windows from automatically reinstalling what DDU removes. More about this later.
The DDU interface now opens showing the interface and options for complete Nvidia driver removal. DDU can remove AMD, Nvidia, and Intel, drivers and will auto detect the graphics system installed in the computer. In this example the Nvidia GeForce GTS250 graphics has been detected and complete details of the driver and associated software can be displayed if required by clicking the button “Show extended log”
The program options can be accessed by clicking the “Options” text at the top left. The default options should suffice for all normal program operations.
Depending on your reason for removing the graphic drivers options 1 and 3 below should cover all scenarios with the only difference between them being either a computer restart or shutdown after driver removal. Option 2 should be avoided.
After making your selection above (and installing a new card if applicable) restart the computer and install the drivers for your new, or existing graphic card.
If you are removing a add-in graphics card and reverting to on board graphics and suffer a black screen it may be necessary to “enable” the on board graphics in the Bios. See your computer or motherboard manufacturers manual for instructions on this.
The one remaining task is to turn Windows Auto Driver install back on. The easiest way to do this is reopen DDU and click on the bottom right hand box “Set Windows Automatic Driver installation to default. It is not necessary to be in Safe Mode to reset this option.
Should you have any questions on removing your video drivers please ask in our forums.