How can I check my video card’s drivers?

Karlyn K March 16, 2014
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I am getting an error that says my hardware acceleration might br turned off and to make sure my video card has the latest drivers.I dont know where to look for these things

  1. Jeff F
    March 16, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Karyln,

    My name is Jeff and I'd be happy to assist you with finding the latest drivers for your video card and enable hardware acceleration. Without getting into the nerdy details of it, hardware acceleration uses your computers hardware to perform calculations that otherwise would have been calculated by the much slower software. Typically, enabling hardware acceleration is possible without updating your drivers. In fact, it's usually enabled by default. I'd like to start first by seeing if we can't just enable hardware acceleration without updating your drivers. Unfortunately, without knowing which software is giving you this error or what video card you have, I can't be too specific on the process.

    If Adobe Flash is the application that you need hardware acceleration enabled for, right-click a flash object (such as a YouTube video) and click Settings. You'll want to check the Enable hardware acceleration check box and see if this fixes your problem.

    Take a look at the relevant articles that I posted below for more information on updating video card drivers. If you need more assistance afterwords, please include your video card make and model along with the software that requires hardware acceleration to be enabled. To find out which video card you have, you may use the device manager.

    You may find the device manager by going to your start menu and selecting "Run", or on newer versions of Windows simply search "Device Manager" from the start menu. If you choose to use the Run dialog, enter "devmgmt.msc" without quotes and press enter. This will launch the Device Manager application, hopefully. Your video card will be listed under Display Adapters. Here you may search for updates for your video card's drivers using Microsoft Update. To do so, right click on your video card and choose "Update Driver Software". This will bring up another dialog box prompting you to select how you want to look for these updates. Here you should select "Search automatically for updated driver software". Windows will then search its database for newer drivers for that device. I go into greater detail on how to find updates for your video card's driver (or really, any other devices driver) because Microsoft never seems to be able to find the updates for my drivers. Remember, just because Windows says it's up-to-date, doesn't mean that it actually is. The best way to know for sure is to compare the current version number listed in the Device Manager with the manufacturers website for that particular video card.

    Relevant Articles
    How To Safely & Easily Update Your Video Card Drivers by Craig Synder
    Update Windows Drivers For Free With IObit Driver Booster Beta by Matt Smith
    Update Your Hardware Drivers For Free With Device Doctor by Karl L. Gechlik

    I highly recommend SlimDrivers (free). A more reliable method of updating your drivers, however, is to go directly to the manufacturers website. For example, if your video card is manufactured by Nvidia, go to Nvidia's Driver Download page. Otherwise, odds are good that your video card is manufactured by AMD, in which case you'd want to go to AMD's Driver Download page. AMD and Nvidia both provide software that is capable of auto detecting which drivers you need. AMD AutoDetect. Nvidia AutoDetect.

    As a general rule of thumb, if your drivers are working fine and there isn't a serious need to update them, don't. The only circumstances that I update my video card drivers is if the update offers support for functionality that I do not yet have and need, or addresses some bug/security fix that I would like to resolve.

  2. Hovsep A
    March 16, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    if it is nvidia? then try this online driver scanner from NVIDIA
    http://www.nvidia.com/Download/Scan.aspx?lang=en-us

  3. Chuck W
    March 16, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Before an answer can be provided, we need to know the brand name of your computer, the operating system used, and whether or not the computer sellers help files are still on the hard drive.