Microsoft has been steadily rolling out version 1903 to computers across the planet, which means it’s time for another reminder: if you haven’t reinstalled your GPU drivers since then, do it now.
In case you weren’t aware, major Microsoft updates have a bad habit of reverting some files to older driver versions. This usually only happens twice a year around the launch of the October and April content patches, unless something massive breaks and Microsoft has to roll the whole thing back and then reissue the patch all over again.
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But even when the whole update doesn’t break a bunch of your apps or fall down in its own vomit, major Microsoft updates have a nasty habit of messing with your GPU drivers. It’s a problem that happens to both AMD and Nvidia owners, and if you’ve taken a look at the Radeon Adrenaline Suite after a major Windows install, or checked GeForce Experience/Nvidia Control Panel, chances are you’ll have missed this:
That’s right — as far as Nvidia is concerned, there isn’t a GPU driver installed at all. You wouldn’t know that from looking at the desktop, because when your PC restarts after a major update, everything seems like it’s working properly. Videos play, apps open and games seem to play without much trouble. But the rollback of some driver files can result in compatibility issues, and lower performance.
Fortunately, you can resolve all of this with a clean install from your preferred graphics drivers. Both AMD and Nvidia have a clean or custom install option within their driver suite, which sets you up with a fresh version of drivers sans any previous settings from older drivers. There’s also the option of nuking all the drivers entirely with Display Driver Uninstaller, which you can get here.
So if you’ve upgraded to the latest Windows Update, then update your GPU drivers as well. Your PC will thank you.