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Why do I keep getting Windows 10 driver errors?

If you keep getting driver errors in Windows 10, a video driver could be to blame. Luckily, the problem is easy to troubleshoot.

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I have seen several instances where Windows 10 consistently produces driver errors. In each case, these error messages occurred on systems that were upgraded from a previous Windows version, as opposed to systems that run a clean Windows 10 installation.

Generally, the problem is that an outdated and partially incompatible driver has been carried over from the previous operating system. This doesn't seem to be an issue for native Windows drivers that are included with the OS, but it can be an issue for third-party drivers. This is especially true for video drivers, which may produce an error stating that the display driver stopped responding and has recovered.

If the system is experiencing a problem with a third-party video driver, then the solution to the problem is to download and install the latest driver. Many video manufacturers build functionality into their drivers that will allow you to check for an update simply by clicking on a system tray icon. There are some situations where you may have to completely uninstall the existing driver before installing a new one.

If you aren't sure which driver is causing the problem -- or if the problem is not related to a video driver -- then you will need to work through the Device Manager. You can access the Device Manager by right-clicking on the Start button and selecting the System command from the shortcut menu. When the System dialog box appears, click on the Device Manager link. The Device Manager displays all of the system's devices, and will call attention to any devices that are experiencing problems.

You can typically right-click on a device and choose Update Driver Software to correct the problem. If that doesn't work, then right-click on the device and choose the Scan for Hardware Changes option. It could be that the device has been detected incorrectly. The shortcut menu even has options for uninstalling the existing driver or disabling the device.

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This was last published in May 2016

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