GPU UPGRADE: Do You Need to Uninstall Your Old Graphics Drivers Before Installing a New GPU?

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When you are new to the computer hardware and want to change your old GPU to a new one, then you would want to uninstall your previous GPU model. Then only you can install your new GPU model inside the PC case.

If you look it up on the internet, you may find thousands of answers about how you can do it or should not do it. While some of the answers may be relevant to your cause, most of them might not.

To help ease your confusion on whether you should uninstall your old GPU before installing the new one, we have compiled this post just for you. Basically, this is an old question that has been asked by many users for more than a decade.

Do I have to uninstall my old GPU and then install my new GPU? The answer to that is a resounding yes. Let us read to find out whether you should uninstall your old GPU model before installing a new graphics card inside your new PC case.

Is it necessary to uninstall old graphics drivers before installing a new card?

You would be surprised to know that the answer to that question is actually a no. That is right. Because of the massive developments that have taken place over the years, you can now do a lot using your PC.

Of course, we will be discussing only about the Windows PC device, whether it is a Windows system or a macOS unit. So, if you are looking for a macOS PC device, then you may want to look elsewhere.

But you would find this information for yourself. You never know when you might want to make the switch to the Windows PC model. The moment you switch on your PC device, it notices the changes that have taken place inside it.

You will be notified that something is new in there. It helps you to download the latest drivers present from the new card from the maker’s website. So, how do the drivers work on your new PC device?

You may want to know that the drivers are software that lets the Windows OS work flawlessly on your PC. They help your system to communicate and transfer the data on your system. These instructions are stored in several areas and come with many registry entries.

As you change the cards, the Windows Plug n Play manager creates a new profile on your new card. This lets you have a seamless transaction happen. However, sometimes, you would see some minor changes on the old driver that might not work with the new driver software.

It happened when your old driver was of a different make, and the new one was of a different manufacturer. If you are changing from AMD to Nvidia or Nvidia to AMD, this issue may rise up in there.

Likewise, when you are going in for the same maker, like Nvidia or AMD, that is already there with your system, then you may not face any issues at all. We delve deeper into this concept and understand how the Nvidia & and AMD drivers work, and when to uninstall them, and how.

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What is a GPU driver?

For those of you who are not aware of a GPU driver, it is a communication ability that lets your OS connect with the components present on your PC unit. These drivers are the blocks that allow the components to mediate between all of the components inside your PC device.

The graphics card drivers work the same as other components in the PC device, like your CPU. They deal with applications and games and help you to perform other tasks effortlessly. You may want to update your graphics driver by adjusting the graphics on the games & apps.

Are Nvidia & AMD drivers necessary?

Both the Nvidia & AMD graphics card drivers are necessary when it comes to the functioning of the PC device. You really cannot operate on one smoothly without these components inside. The drivers enable you to control the GPU model and let the OS communicate with your device.

Hence, you would want to get the new version installed in there. This helps you to take complete advantage of the features that are present on the GPU. You can tweak the resolution of the monitor and view the images in a better way.

When you do not install the proper GPU drivers in there, then your PC device might crash or get damaged. You may also find that the screen may flicker, stutter, and the frame rate might become slower than it is supposed to.

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How to uninstall old GPU drivers?

Since you now know that you do not have to uninstall the GPU drivers always, you would want to know how to perform it rightly. You will want to know that the AMD maker has a cleanup utility app that can get rid of the old files of the AMD graphics card drivers.

Unfortunately, you will want to beware that Nvidia does not come with this kind of software. That is why you have to do the process manually or use the third-party program to complete the download.

The Windows operating system enables you to do manual driver removal effortlessly, using the device manager or the control panel. But you may want to know that it can leave some of the remaining data in your system.

As these files can cause some issues for your PC device later, many users tend to make use of third-party apps for the removal. Besides, you uninstall the drivers using the utilities that are there on your Windows OS machine.

Below is the process of doing the removal of the files on your Windows system:

1. Using the device manager

Here is what you need to do using the device manager:

  • You want to right-click on the Windows icon and then choose the device manager.
  • Use the display adapter option in the menu & double-click.
  • You should locate the GPU name and right-click on it.
  • Choose the uninstall device from the menu options.
  • A window shows up. Choose the delete the driver option and uninstall option.

Please do the above steps and then reboot your system for things to work just fine.

2. Using the control panel

Here are a few of the steps that you need to do using the control panel.

  • Type the control panel on the search bar on your Windows system.
  • Open the control panel option present there.
  • Click on the uninstall program link.
  • When uninstalling Nvidia software, then you would want to remove all the Nvidia names that are present in there.
  • Likewise, when you are uninstalling any GPU brand, then you would want to do the same.
  • Choose them one by one and use the uninstall option to delete them.

3. Using the third-party software

When you are uninstalling the drivers manually, then you may find it quite challenging and also time-consuming. When you are looking for a clean uninstallation, then you can make use of the third-party app for doing so.

With the display driver uninstaller

The display driver uninstaller is, also called as the DDU, is the most durable app for getting rid of the AMD & Nvidia GPU drivers from your PC machine. You can rest assured that it will not leave anything behind in the PC machine, and all your files will get deleted.

You can use the DDU in the normal working scenario, but the manufacturer insists that you make use of it in safe mode on your Windows system. That is because it can provide you with stability in the deleting process.

When you want to make use of the app in normal mode, then you can do the cleanup, restart your PC machine, and then clean it again. Of course, you have to restart it. When you want to work on the app, then you need to set the Windows backup so that you can reset the Windows.

Please do not forget to disconnect the internet before you start the process until you are able to install the new drivers in there. This is done to block the Windows updates and automatic driver installments that are present there.

It also deactivates automatic driver installation once the process is complete.

With the driver manager

You can also make use of the driver manager to do the uninstallation process. It comes with a simple interface. This is how you can find whether all the system drivers are deleted or not after downloading the app on your PC device:

  • It would help if you launched the driver manager and then clicked on the refresh button to see the system drivers.
  • Now, you need to get the GPU driver, choose it, and click on the remove button. This helps in deleting the driver.
  • You can make use of the additional features present on the driver manager.

You can use some of them that are given below, for instance:

  • Driver’s Name.
  • Driver’s Company.
  • Driver’s Version.
  • Driver’s Path.

You can gain some useful data from the above, like the number of working drivers, the number of drivers that start at the system bootup, paused drivers, and the number of drivers that start using the operating system.

Additionally, you can also adjust the behavior of the startup of the driver using this particular tool. You can adjust it to such that you can start it up manually if you want to. Yes, some of the users do that.

Using the driver booster

The driver booster is another Windows software that you can use for uninstalling the drivers and even updating them if you want. You will be delighted to know that the interface is simple to use.

This is how you can use the software.

  • You need to open the driver booster and then click on the scan option in there.
  • Check for the driver of the GPU brand you use, and then choose them one by one.
  • If you are using AMD, then choose all the AMD names, and if you are using Nvidia, choose the Nvidia options.
  • You should select on the uninstall option from the content menu to remove the data.
  • Now, you should restart your PC device once the uninstalling is complete.

Some of the helpful features of the driver booster include the following:

  • The rescue center for restoring your Windows software.
  • The game boost enhances your gaming.
  • There is the fix no sound for fixing the sound errors.
  • You can use the fixed network failure to rectify the internet connection.

We recommend you use the driver booster’s paid version to use the extra features.

Driver Fusion

You can make use of the free driver installer for the Windows system. It is known as driver fusion, which helps you to update the drivers and check the health of your PC device. Given below is how you need to download and make use of it on your PC device.

  • You should download & launch driver fusion.
  • Please open the driver cleaner section and then choose the display drivers category.
  • Choose the Nvidia drivers and select on the clean button.

You might want to make use of the paid version of the software for using essential features.

AMD Cleanup Utility Tool

When you are using the AMD graphics card driver, then you can make use of the cleanup utility tool from the same maker. The device not only helps in removing the GPU drivers but also the audio drivers, software, and registries as well.

  • You need to download the tool from the official AMD website.
  • You need to install & launch it. The software needs your permission for booting into safe mode.
  • It will help if you choose the yes option. Once the booting in safe mode is complete, it will ask you to remove the AMD software that is already there.
  • You need to click on the ok option.
  • Finally, you need to reboot your PC machine, so please confirm.

What happens if you have already installed the GPU on your PC device?

So, what happens if you have already installed the GPU on your PC device? What can we do about it? That is because you are having some minor hiccups here & there because of the old drivers. You are faced with the dilemma of what to do about it.

Let us see what we can do about it and solve this issue:

  • You would want to check all of the existing drivers that you have installed are up to date. When you have the Nvidia graphics card model, then please download Nvidia’s GeForce Experience software if you have not done it.
  • Then you would want to open it and automatically check if the drivers are updated.
  • When you are using the AMD card, then you will have to make use of the AMD Radeon Graphics driver installer. It can automatically detect the drivers and install the software your PC requires.
  • You may have updated the driver or a corrupt file and found residual components found in the uninstalled drivers.

The Windows device has an in-built tool that can help you detect whether you have an existing issue:

  • You need to right-click on the Windows logo.
  • Now choose the device manager option.
  • It would help if you double-clicked on the display adapter option.
  • You should right-click on the GPU model and select the scan for hardware changes.
  • When your Windows system finds a problem, a yellow exclamation icon appears, and you can troubleshoot the issue.

When you have to remove the issues, you have to uninstall the drivers using the above methods. You need to make the installation as we have provided you with in the following paragraphs.

How to install the new GPU drivers?

Installing the graphics card driver does not have to be a tedious task because it is pretty simple. You can install the new GPU drivers inside your PC case by following the instructions that have been provided by the manufacturer.

If you look closely, you can find a CD that contains the instructions on how you want to go about things with your new GPU driver. Whether you find the DVD or not, you can also get the drivers from the website of your manufacturer.

So, please don’t get upset about it. You either go to the Nvidia or AMD website and get the latest details from there and then download it. Of course, you will need to restart your PC system once your driver has completed the process.

The GPU drivers later get automatically updated when the new version is released on the market.


Do I need to uninstall the old driver?

When you want to update the driver, then you can make use of DDU. It is highly suggested that you make use of it when you are changing the graphics card of your PC device. This is true for a different brands.

What happens if you don’t uninstall GPU drivers?

When you don’t uninstall GPU drivers, then your PC device will crash immediately. You will face similar issues like the flickering of the screen, monitor stuttering, and artifacts. So, it would be best if you uninstall GPU drivers.

What happens if you uninstall the graphics driver?

If you uninstall the graphic drivers, then Windows makes use of some basic drivers for displaying your screen. You will be prompted to use the new hardware found option when you have rebooted your PC device.

You can cancel that option and then install the latest drivers from the brand that you want to do.

How do I uninstall Nvidia drivers for a new graphics card?

You can uninstall Nvidia drivers for the new graphics card by typing the program into the search box. Then you need to select the add or remove programs option. It would help if you chose the programs and features option and then choose the Nvidia applications.

You can choose on the uninstall button that is present on the top bar. You can repeat the same for other software Nvidia has placed on your PC device. It is quite a simple process to accomplish.

What to do when switching from Nvidia to AMD GPU?

You can make the switch from the Nvidia to AMD GPU by uninstalling your Nvidia drivers on your PC device. Then you will need to download and install the AMD drivers on your PC device. You need to adjust the settings as required, and you can now enjoy the improved performance.

Summing up

This is it. We have ended our discussion on do you need to uninstall your old graphics drivers before installing a new GPU. We hope that you benefited through this post and were able to make up your mind.

It does not have to be that complicated. We saw several new things and read new concepts. When you want to answer to your question, it depends on your needs & preferences. When you are installing a new GPU from a different manufacturer, then it is a yes.

You have to uninstall the old drivers using one of the methods that we have discussed with you in the above post. When you have already installed a new GPU, but are having some minor hiccups, then you will want to clean the PC case and remove unwanted drivers and registries.

It might be slightly cumbersome and frustrating for some of you, but trust us, it is definitely worth it. That is because you can then enjoy your new GPU’s full performance capabilities. Besides, it makes the PC device more functional, reliable, and very durable.

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