Sometimes, you might need to roll back an NVIDIA driver update. While it is usually recommended to make sure that all your system software and drivers are fully updated, there are occasions where you may find that the latest updates cause more problems than they fix. If this is the case with your NVIDIA graphics drivers, then knowing how to roll back your update, and use a previous driver, may be helpful.
So that's what we're going to run through today. If you are unfortunate enough to be impacted by a bad update, these tips might be what you need...
Why you might need to revert to a previous driver
As we suggested above, occasionally an update, intended to solve one problem, ends up creating others. There are numerous examples out there, of updates that have been more of an issue than what they were trying to fix. Some common problems related to graphics driver updates include:
- Intermittent failures that cause games to crash
- Slower frame rates
- Blue screens instead of being able to see the game you are trying to play
The good news is that Microsoft has recognised that updates can cause compatibility problems. So if you have updated your drivers, and found that you have run into issues, Microsoft has built-in safeguards to allow you to unwind those updates. Let's take a look.
How to roll back an NVIDIA driver update
- Press the Windows key and type Device Manager into the search bar, then open the app
- Scroll down until you find Display Adapters. Click on the arrow to open a sub-list
- Select the Nvidia device, and right-click
- On this menu, select Properties
- In the Properties Window, select the Driver Tab. You will then see a list of options
- Select Roll Back Driver to revert to the previous driver
- You will need to choose a reason for why you want to roll back to the previously installed drivers. Choose whatever is most appropriate
- Click Yes to revert back to previous drivers
This will uninstall the latest drivers, and reinstall the previous version. Once you have done this, you can't then roll back again to an even earlier version. If the rollback option is unavailable, there is a way to uninstall your graphics driver and install an earlier version.
How to uninstall drivers
- Open your Control Panel
- Select Programs and Features
- Locate the NVIDIA Graphics Driver
- Click on it and select Uninstall/Change
- Confirm that you wish to uninstall it
- Restart your PC after the uninstall process has finished
Once you've uninstalled your driver and rebooted your computer, go to the NVIDIA website and use the Manual Search function to find the drivers you want to install. Download the driver, then double-click on the downloaded file to install it. This will then install your chosen version of the drivers, allowing you to get back to playing your games, hopefully, glitch-free.
How To Roll Back an NVIDIA Driver Update On Windows 11
Now, if you have upgraded your OS to Windows 11, or have bought a new computer with it pre-installed, you may be wondering what you can do if you find yourself experiencing issues.
Happily, the process remains the same as it was for Windows 10. So follow the steps we outlined above, as they will work for Windows 11 as well.
If the option to roll back driver is greyed-out, then it means one of two things:
Either your computer hasn't had a previous driver installed, or your computer didn't retain the driver files for the previous version.
In this case, follow the steps for uninstalling drivers, and then find the drivers you wish to install.