How to fix it: ‘The display driver could not be started’

Have you ever encountered a problem where the display driver could not start? If so, you can read this post about solutions to this problem. Also, Techquack can help you optimize Windows 10.

Most of the problems that Windows 10 users encounter are related to their graphics driver in one way or another. One of the most common problems is the “Display Driver Failed To Start” error in Windows 10, which, as the name implies, is a notification that the graphics card driver is not starting. This very specific problem usually occurs after a Windows 10 update. It can also occur if the video card driver installed on your PC has some inconsistencies. There may be other problems, but these two are the most common.

What does it mean to “display driver not be started?”

What does "display driver cannot be started" mean?

Display Driver Failed To Start Windows 10 error can happen with any type of video card, whether it is NVIDIA, AMD, or Intel video card. In this article, we will try to find possible ways to fix the “Display Driver Failed To Start” error in Windows 10.

Obviously, the “Display Driver Failed To Start” error is caused by a defective display driver. If you get this error, you can still use Windows, but poor PC performance may prevent you. To solve the problem, simply update the display driver.

The exact cause of the “Display Driver Failed to Start” error is unclear. However, given that most of the time it’s new or updated Windows 10 devices, the problem seems to be on Microsoft’s side. It may be that the update you installed (or. some of its components) is incompatible with your device or the system does not recognize the display drivers.

The symptoms of the “Display Driver Failed to Start” error are quite simple. The system often freezes, the view gets blurry, the speed may decrease, and so on. In addition, a message should appear in the Notification Center stating the following

The display driver has not started.
The display driver did not start; use the wrong Microsoft display driver instead;
Check Windows Update for a newer display driver.

The error message itself is pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, it has been reported that simply installing Windows Update or updating the display drivers does not fix the Display Driver Failed to Start error. If you don’t know how to fix this problem, we offer you some solutions:

There are several ways to fix Windows 10’s “Display driver failed to start” error.

Ways to fix the "Display Driver Failed to Start" error in Windows 10.

Windows 10: Update the display driver

Step 1: Open the Device Manager by right-clicking the Start menu button and then the Device Manager button.
Step 2: Once Device Manager is open, expand Display Adapters, right-click the built-in or dedicated video card entry, and then click Update Driver Software. This will open the software update wizard.
Step 3: Click the first option “Automatically check for driver updates” to have Windows 10 automatically check for driver updates and install them if they are available.

Once installed, you will see the message “Windows has successfully updated the driver software”. If the update is not available, you will see the message “Update not found” on the display.

Note that updating to the latest version of the display driver may not solve the problem in some cases. In other words, the error may appear even if you are using the latest version of the display driver. If updating the driver does not help, try the following solutions.

Reinstall the display driver for Windows 10

If there are no updates for your display driver, reinstalling the display driver may solve the problem.
Here’s how to reinstall the graphics driver in Windows 10.

Step 1: Open the Device Manager (see instructions in Method 1), expand Display Adapters, right-click the name of the graphics hardware, and then click Remove.

NOTE: If you get an error message or have trouble uninstalling the driver, please use this special software to uninstall graphics drivers.

Step 2: Click the OK button when the confirmation window opens. If you are prompted to restart, restart your computer once to complete the uninstallation.
Step 3: Download the latest display driver from the PC or graphics hardware manufacturer’s website, run the installer, and follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver.

Get in touch with Microsoft Support

You can contact Microsoft support through the built-in “Contact Support” feature to get help from support. You can ask Microsoft support to call you back. Or talk to Microsoft support to resolve the issue immediately. You can launch the Contact Support app by typing “Contact Support” in the search box and pressing Enter.

You can reinstall Windows 10 without losing data

If none of the above solutions solve the problem, you can try reinstalling Windows 10. You can do a full reinstall or reinstall Windows 10 without data loss.

Troubleshoot hardware and devices

The Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter can detect problems with drivers and related hardware. If possible, a troubleshooter will troubleshoot the detected problem. Please follow the steps below:

Step 1: Click the Start button and go to Settings > Updates and Security > Troubleshooting.
Step 2: Scroll down to select Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter and click Run Troubleshooter.
Step 3: Reboot the system after the troubleshooter is complete.

Windows 10 configuration for improved performance

Windows 10 allows users to choose the effects they want to activate on their system, allowing them to customize the balance between appearance and performance. If the display driver doesn’t kick in, you can tweak Windows 10 to get better performance at the expense of a certain look to ensure the application runs smoothly.

Here’s a guide on how to adjust for better performance.

Step 1: Open File Explorer.
Step 2: Right-click on that computer and select Properties.
Step 3: Click the Advanced System Settings button.
Step 4: On the Advanced tab, in the Performance section, click the Settings button.
Step 5: On the Visual Effects tab, select Customize for better performance.
Step 6: Click Apply and OK to save your changes.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

The display driver could not be started; please use the main Microsoft display driver instead. The error message "Display driver could not start" appears if the graphics driver installed for your embedded or dedicated graphics card could not start normally.

Display driver failure can be caused by an outdated or corrupt display driver, an overheated graphics processor, an old or defective graphics card in your computer, a corrupt system or registry files, or too many programs running on your computer.

Solution 1 : Uninstall and then reinstall the video drivers.
Solution 2 : Update the drivers for graphics.
Solution 3 : Increase the TDR timeout for your GPU.
Solution 4 : Unload the GPU.

To reset the graphics driver at any time, just press Win+Ctrl+Shift+B: the screen will flash, you will hear a beep and everything will immediately return to normal.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.