How To Optimise The Installation Of NVIDIA Graphics Drivers

Image: NVIDIA

When did graphics drivers get so massive? Take the latest ones from NVIDIA, 416.34, which hover around 500MB. That's half a gig! While there's not much you can do about the download size, it is possible to slim down the installation itself, leaving you with only the core, necessary files on your system.

While the GeForce installer allows you to deselect a number of components, including the GeForce Experience, HD Audio and the like, there's still a lot of crap you can't forgo, such as telemetry, the auto-updater, Shield controller support and Node.js... of all things.

Fortunately, that's where a tool called NVSlimmer comes to the rescue. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to use it to cut the fat from your NVIDIA drivers.

1. Grab NVSlimmer

NVSlimmer is a tool created by "uKER" that lets you customise the contents of any GeForce driver package. Get the latest version (v0.5 at the time of writing), and extract it to its own folder.

2. Download the latest NVIDIA drivers

The easiest way to get the newest drivers is to hit up NVIDIA's download page. Once you've selected your card's generation and model, and your operating system, you'll be directed to a download link. Save it to the same folder as NVSlimmer.

3. Run NVSlimmer and load in the driver

Image: Lifehacker

Double-click the NVSlimmer executable. When the program loads, you'll immediately be asked to select a driver package. Chose the one you copied into the NVSlimmer folder.

After a minute or two, the treeview will be populated with all the components found in the package. By default, only the minimal set is selected: the core files for the driver and installer, and PhysX.

3. Apply changes and install

Click "Apply". The treeview should shrink dramatically, leaving only the three core options. After this, you'll see a confirmation box, asking if you'd like to install the slimmed drivers. Click "Yes", and you'll see the familiar GeForce installation screen. For here, just follow the prompts.

4. Repackage the drivers (optional)

If you'd like to keep the streamlined drivers around, click the "Repackage" button, and select a destination folder to save the new file. This will take some time as the program deletes and recompresses everything, but once it's finished, you'll be left with a smaller file (around 30 per cent saving).

This new installer acts just like the normal NVIDIA one, so if you ever need to reinstall, just double-click it and away you go.

NVIDIA driver slimming utility [Guru3D]


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