How to Reset a Graphics Card (GPU)
While your graphics card is absolutely necessary for your PC to function (especially if you are a gamer), it can also be the cause of a lot of headaches. In fact, if you are wondering why your PC shuts down when gaming, there is a decent chance that your GPU is to blame.
Typically, most of the problems with your graphics card will be due to the hardware. However, that does not mean that you need to buy a new card whenever it malfunctions. In some cases, you would be surprised just how much of an impact cleaning your graphics card could have.
That said, the software can be to blame for some issues related to your graphic card.
A software issue is more likely if you are overclocking your GPU, but it is best to troubleshoot the software even if you aren’t. Resetting your GPU is a great place to start if you are having problems.
Here, we’ll show you how to reset a graphics card. There are multiple types of resets, ranging from refreshing the drivers to reinstalling them. This guide will go through all of them.
How to Restart Graphics Card Drivers
If your graphics card has a persistent problem, then restarting its drivers will not fix it. However, restarting the drivers could solve minor problems that seem to appear out of nowhere. For example, if your monitor suddenly begins showing artifacts, it is possible that restarting the drivers will fix the problem.
There is a simple shortcut that you can use to restart your drivers. Press Win+Ctrl+Shift+B. You will notice your monitor freeze for a second or so and then continue to function normally.
If this does not solve your problem, you can try resetting the drivers.
How to Reset Your GPU’s Overclock Settings
Before we dive into resetting your drivers, it is important to determine if overclocking your GPU is causing the problems that you have. Overclocking, while great for squeezing additional performance from your graphics card, can lead to instability and unforeseen issues. This is especially true if you overclock your card to the extreme.
The easiest way to reset your graphics card’s overclock is through the same program that you used to overclock. You can either move all the options and sliders back to their default settings or look for a ‘Reset to default’ button.
If you are using MSI Afterburner, the reset button can be found towards the bottom of the user interface. Just remember that the button may be elsewhere if you are using a skin.
On a related note, remember that MSI Afterburner can also be used to underclock your GPU. If your GPU is running into stability issues, underclocking the GPU might help a little.
How to Reset Graphics Card Drivers
If you want to completely reset the drivers of your graphics card, simply follow the steps below.
- Open Device Manager. You can do this by typing ‘Device Manager’ in the search bar or by going to the Control Panel and then clicking on ‘System’.
- Once Device Manager is open, you need to click on ‘Display Adapters’. You will see a list of all your display adapters, including your GPU.
- Right click on your GPU and click ‘Uninstall’. Confirm the uninstall and close Device Manager.
- Restart your PC.
- Your PC will automatically reinstall your graphics card drivers.
Remember that in rare cases, it is possible that your PC does not automatically reinstall your GPU drivers. As such, it may be a good idea to have a setup of your GPU’s drivers on your hard drive/SSD.
How to Reset GPU Software
Whenever you install drivers of your GPU, a control panel is also installed that can be used to monitor the GPU and change certain settings. Sometimes, resetting all the settings can solve problems with your GPU.
For NVIDIA, the software is called NVIDIA Control Panel. You can open it by right-clicking on your desktop or from your list of installed apps. Once the panel is open, all you need to do is to click the ‘3D Settings’ button and then click ‘Restore Defaults.
The AMD control panel is called AMD Radeon Settings and can be accessed in a similar manner to the NVIDIA Control Panel. Once you have opened the settings, all you need to do is to click the ‘Preferences’ button and then click the ‘Factory Settings Default’ option. Once you confirm the reset, it will take a few moments for the reset to complete.
How to Reset GPU from BIOS
It is also possible to reset your graphics card from your BIOS. However, the BIOS menu on each PC model may be different (including the method to open BIOS). As such, we cannot guide you in a step-by-step manner. Still, here are general directions on how to reset your GPU from the BIOS menu.
Open the BIOS menu (consult your PC’s manual on how to do this). Here, you need to locate the ‘Advanced Chipset Features’ option or something similar. From there, you need to enable the ‘Video BIOS Cacheable’ option. Lastly, exit the BIOS. Your PC will restart and your graphics card will have reset.