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Graphics card not working? Here’s what to do [easy fixes]

There are plenty of things you need to account for when your graphics card is not working. Here’s what to look out for.

zotac graphics card
Image: Joe Rice-Jones / KnowTechie

Graphics cards are the lifeline of gamers, allowing them to play graphics-intensive games on their PC. Most modern-day games require a graphics card, and without it, the catalog of games that you can enjoy substantially decreases.

While not having a graphics card is disheartening, having a graphics card and it not being detected is truly sad and frustrating.

Sometimes, a user may find that their PC has stopped detecting their graphics card without showing any reason. This may also happen with newly purchased graphics cards.

If you are facing it yourself, don’t panic, as here I have given a complete guide on how to find out why the graphics card is not detected and how to fix it.

What To Do When Graphics Card Is Not Detected

You need to account for many things when your graphics card is not working. Follow the solutions I have provided below, and you should be able to solve this problem.

Method 1: Enable Graphics Driver

Suppose your PC is suddenly not detecting your graphics driver or switched to the integrated graphics automatically.

In that case, you need to check if the dedicated graphics driver has been disabled from the Device Manager.

This is pretty simple, and here is how you can do it:

  • Type Device Manager on the Windows search bar and select the top result.
  • Look for the Display Adapters option and expand it.
  • Right-click on the graphics driver and click on the Enable Device option. 
windows device manager detect graphics card
Image: KnowTechie

NOTE: If the Enable Device option is missing and you disable it, the graphics driver is already enabled. You can simply head to the next solution. 

enable device windows graphics card PC
Image: KnowTechie

After enabling the graphics driver, your PC should now detect the graphics card.

Method 2: Restart Your Graphics Driver

Another easy fix for this issue is restarting the graphics driver. When your PC cannot detect the Graphics card, restarting the graphics driver can force it to get detected if the issue is related to the drivers.

Restarting the graphics driver resets the graphics driver. Windows automatically does this when a display driver crashes to recover it by reinitializing the display driver.

You can also manually reset the graphics driver, as shown here, which can fix this issue.

Method 3: Check If The Correct Graphics Drivers Are Installed

Another thing you need to check is whether the correct graphics drivers are installed. This is especially relevant if you have purchased a new graphics card or if the processor comes with integrated graphics.

Windows can solely detect the integrated graphics and install its drivers instead of the dedicated graphics card.

Also, even if Windows detects the new dedicated graphics card, it will only install its default drivers.

Installing the correct drivers can help your solve this issue. So, how to install the correct graphics drivers? 

It is quite easy as you only need the correct software to install it automatically. Using a Nvidia graphics card, you must use GeForce Experience.

Similarly, AMD graphics card users need to install the Radeon software. 

To fix various PC problems, we recommend DriverFix

This software will keep your drivers up and running, thus keeping you safe from common computer errors and hardware failures. Check all your drivers now in three easy steps:

  1. Download DriverFix (verified download file)
  2. Click Start Scan to find all problematic driers
  3. Click Update Drivers to get new versions and avoid system malfunctioning.
graphics card pc drivers
Image: KnowTechie

Running these applications will automatically install the relevant drivers and you can further update them from the same place.

Method 4: Reinstall The Graphics Driver

If the graphics drivers become corrupted, then your PC may not detect the graphics card. Try reinstalling the graphics driver and see if that fixes this issue.

Here is how you can reinstall your graphics driver:

  • Open the Device Manager again and expand the Display Adapters.
  • Right-click on the Graphics driver and select the Uninstall Device option.
uninstall pc graphics driver
Image: KnowTechie
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to completely uninstall the drivers.
  • Restart your PC.

You can reinstall the graphics drivers using GeForce Experience or Radeon, as mentioned in method 3.

Method 5: Check If The Cables Are Correctly Connected

Now we are moving to the more hardware-related causes that can lead to this issue.

The first thing you need to check is whether the monitor is connected to your integrated graphics, the port on the motherboard, or directly to the graphics card.

graphics card ports
Image: KnowTechie

One of the many mistakes non-tech savvy users do is connect the HDMI cable or the Display cable with the motherboard’s port instead of the Graphics card.

This can be the reason why your graphics card isn’t getting detected. 

Also, make sure the cables are damaged or torn. Taking care of these cables is important as they are prone to tear.

Method 6: Reseat The Graphics Card

The next thing you can do is make sure the Graphics card is correctly seated on the PCIe x16 slot.

New PC builders often have trouble seating their graphics cards correctly, not applying the required force in fear of damaging the motherboard.

If the graphics card is not seated properly, then your PC won’t detect it.

So, turn off the PC, remove the power cables, open the PC cabinet and check if the Graphics card is properly seated. Remove it and reseat it, then turn on the PC. 

graphics cards on piles of cash
Image: KnowTechie

Now, check if your PC detects the graphics card. If not, then another thing you can try is removing the graphics card and seating it on another PC. 

Check if the graphics card works on the other PC. If it does, then move to the next solution. If it doesn’t, then move to the last solution.

Method 7: Update BIOS

If the graphics card is working on the other PC, then it is likely a hardware or BIOS issue. The thing you can do now is update the BIOS.

You need to head to the manufacturer’s website of your motherboard and read the instructions on how to update it. 

Always remember that updating BIOS is risky and you need to do it properly or face permanent damage.

Method 8: Check For Other Hardware Issues

If updating the BIOS also doesn’t work, it’s likely a hardware-related issue. One of the prime suspects is the PCIe slot you had seated your graphics card.

If there are more PCIe x16 slots on your motherboard, try seating the graphics card there and see if the PC detects it now.

semiconductors on motherboard
Image: Unsplash

Also, make sure the SATA cables are correctly connected and not torn. 

Method 9: Repair Or Buy A New Graphics Card

If none of the above solutions helped you fix this issue, your graphics card is likely malfunctioning or broken. If the card still has a warranty, then take it to any nearby service center and have it fixed.

If it’s not covered by the warranty or has ended, you would be better off buying a new graphics card.

Wrapping Up

So, there you have it. Now you know what to do when your graphics card is not detected. Don’t forget to leave your feedback in the comment section and stay connected.

Editor’s Recommendation
driverfix screenshot on purple background

To fix various PC problems, we recommend DriverFix

This software will keep your drivers up and running, thus keeping you safe from common computer errors and hardware failures. Running this application will automatically install all relevant drivers.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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