Has your screen ever gone off for a second, turned back on in a while, showing an error titled ‘Display Driver Stopped Responding And Has Recovered’ at the bottom right corner of the screen?
Many Windows 10 users face this issue when playing games or running other applications. If this happens repeatedly, it can be annoying. Here’s how you can fix this.
What does this error message mean?
The display driver enables your PC to access the graphic card or video card. The video card generates all the graphics that we see on our computer screens. Without a good graphics driver, your display quality will be subpar. Even if you use a high-end video card, the presence of a faulty video driver or display driver will render it useless.
It can be a significant issue if you play PC games; you might witness sudden frame drops or even a black screen. This happens when your Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) does not respond and lags behind the processor. Timeout Detection and Recovery (TDR) is a feature that detects this issue and, by default, restarts your display driver.
This is when your screen pop-ups with the error message – Display Driver Stopped Responding and has Recovered. However, restarting the display driver might not always provide a long-term solution.
Why does your display driver stop responding?
One might encounter the ‘Display Driver Stopped Responding and has Recovered’ error due to one of the following reasons:
- Graphic driver may be out of update.
- Too many apps are running on your PC at the same time.
- Overheating of your GPU due to dust.
- Timeout Detection and Recovery time might be set too low for your GPU to respond.
- The display driver might be corrupted.
- Your graphics card might be defective.
- A corrupt registry or faulty system files.
These are some of the problems that might directly affect your GPU, decreasing its performance and efficiency.
9 solutions to ‘Display Driver Stopped Responding And Has Recovered’
We have compiled a handful of solutions to help you with this error. These methods have proved to be useful for many and should work for your PC as well.
There are nine ways listed below. Depending on the cause in your specific case, a method might or might not work for you. Let us start with the basic ones.
Solution 1 – Try relieving some stress off the GPU
Too many applications running at the same time might slow down the GPU on your computer. Each application requires a graphical interface for the user to interact. Multiple applications would require various screens, hence increasing the load of your GPU. This might cause your display driver to stop responding, and then be recovered by the TDR feature.
So, try closing some programs that are running. This might solve the issue very easily. There are two ways to do this. First, close the program from the taskbar, by hovering over the application tile and then clicking on the red cross that appears, as shown below.
Another way is to close the application using the Task Manager. Open it, select the application, right click, and select “End Task”.
Solution 2 – Uninstall the current display adapter and reinstall it
In order to reinstall your display adapter follow these steps:
- Press the Windows + R keys to launch the Run window.
- In the Run dialog box, type devmgmt.msc and then press Enter to start the Device Manager.
- Expand the display adaptors in your Device Manager.
- Right-click on the graphics driver, and then select Uninstall. The uninstallation process will start, follow the on-screen instructions to complete it.
- Restart your PC.
- During the next startup, Windows should reinstall the display adapter driver by default.
If your computer doesn’t do this by default, visit the official website of your GPU’s manufacturer to download the display driver and reinstall it manually. Most likely it will be either Nvidia, AMD, or Intel.
Note: If there is more than one graphics card installed on your system, follow the same steps above for each one of them.
Solution 3 – Update your graphics drivers
Check if a new version of your graphics driver is available. To check:
- Go to the official website of GPU’s manufacturer. Most likely it will be either Nvidia, AMD, or Intel.
- Click on the Downloads section or Support section and check if a new version is available for your computer’s GPU.
- Download and install the graphics driver.
Companies keep releasing updates to their existing versions to make them better. Updating the drivers might resolve the issue.
How to find your display driver to check for the GPU specifications?
- Go to the Start Menu
- Type ‘Device Manager’ and open it up
- Search for the Display Adaptors section and expand it
- Select your device and right-click it
- Then click on the Properties option
- Select the Driver tab
- You will see all the information about your current drivers here
Solution 4 – Increase time limit in TDR for GPU
When the GPU does not respond within the time limit allotted by TDR, you will be notified with a “display driver stopped responding and has recovered” error message. Modern-day computers are capable of executing thousands of operations in a second. Similarly, GPUs process a huge amount of information in a single second, to make your games and videos appear realistic. When it fails to do so in the required time limit, you might run into performance issues.
Manually setting the timeout parameter might fix your system. You need to open the Registry Editor to perform this fix.
Warning: Only perform this fix if you are confident in your technical know-how, because editing the registry incorrectly can cause major problems.
Here is how to increase the TDR time limit:
- On your keyboard, press Windows + R.
- In the dialog box, type “Regedit.” Press Enter to launch the Registry Editor.
- Go to the left pane in the Registry Editor and navigate to the following location:
- The contents of GraphicsDrivers will now be visible in the right pane of the window.
- Right-click anywhere in the space and select New.
- If the version of Windows is 32-bit, select DWORD (32-bit) Value. If it is 64-bit, select QWORD (64-bit) value.
- Type the name TdrDelay as the new registry value and press Enter.
- Double-click on the TdrDelay, enter the value “8” and then click OK.
- Now, restart your PC after closing the Registry Editor.
Check if the graphics issue has resolved. If the problem still persists, you can delete the TdrDelay registry you just created, and move on to the next solution.
Solution 5 – Check your GPU hardware
Another cause of the ‘Display Driver Stopped Responding and has Recovered’ error could be that your GPU is overheating. The radiator that carries heat away from the GPU might have accumulated a lot of dust or the cooling fan may be malfunctioning.
To clean the GPU:
- Shut down your PC.
- Carefully take out the GPU and clean it. Especially the radiators and heat sinks.
- Place the GPU back.
- Restart your PC.
Once your PC is running again and there is load on your graphics card, check that the cooling fan on the GPU is spinning normally.
Solution 6 – Set default settings for all hardware components
This issue can also occur as a result of overclocking. Overclocking happens when CPU, GPU, or any other component runs at a higher clock rate than the factory default. Hence, set all your hardware components on default and then restart your PC. You can also disable Overclocking.
To disable overclocking, follow these steps:
- Every system has a BIOS key assigned by the manufacturer (F11, F12, Ctrl+Alt+Del, etc.), press it during the startup.
- BIOS menu will appear. Select the Advanced tab.
- Go to Processor and Clock Options.
- Check for Overclocking Option.
- If it is enabled, disable it.
- On your keyboard, press the F10 key for saving the settings.
- Select Yes when asked to exit the settings.
Solution 7 – Adjust visual effects
Disabling some of the visual effects can help resolve the ‘Display Driver Stopped Responding and has Recovered’ error. It allows for better performance of your PC. Follow these steps:
- In your Windows search bar, type ‘Adjust the Appearance and Performance of Windows‘
- Select the Visual Effect tab.
- Click on Adjust for Best Performance.
- Click Ok to close the window.
- Restart your PC to let the changes take effect.
Once your system has rebooted, check if the display driver issue has resolved.
Solution 8 – Reinstall Windows 10
There is a potential that the ‘Display Driver Stopped Responding and has Recovered error is coming up due to corrupted Windows system files.
In this case, a fresh installation of Windows 10 can resolve the problem:
- Type Settings in your Windows search bar and open it.
- Go to Update and Security.
- Select Recovery, then click on Get Started under the “Reset This PC” section.
- Follow the steps as shown on screen.
Warning: Create a backup of all your data before reinstalling Windows 10. A new installation deletes all your data, which is impossible to recover.
Solution 9 – Replace your video card
This is the last option that you are left with if nothing has worked so far. If the error still persists, your video card might be defective. Either take your PC to a repair technician to confirm this possibility, or if you have a spare video card lying around, replace your current GPU with that one to see if it clears the issue.
If your video card is identified as the source of the problem, you will have to buy a new one.
Note: If you are someone who requires a high-end graphical configuration, go for a premium video card. Otherwise, an entry-level unit can get the job done, and it is affordable as well.