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How to Fix NVIDIA GeForce Driver Download Failures

rtx 4080

How to Fix NVIDIA GeForce Driver Download Failures

Key Points

  • NVIDIA GeForce drivers are important for optimizing performance and stability in gaming and other graphical tasks.
  • Uninstalling and reinstalling GeForce Experience can often fix driver download failures.
  • If GeForce Experience fails, users can manually download drivers from the NVIDIA website.

Are you having NVIDIA GeForce driver download failures? No system is foolproof, which is a lesson I’ve learned in IT time and time again. However, one of the key things about maintaining your system is learning how to adapt and overcome any obstacles that might mount. If it’s time to update your video card’s driver set, you might face download errors.

Today’s guide will teach you how to rectify most of these issues. It isn’t quite as clear-cut as it used to be when dealing with video card drivers. However, there are straightforward methods you can take to make the most of your situation. With any luck, you should have your gaming rig up and operational in no time at all with the help of this guide.

What Are NVIDIA GeForce Drivers?

If you’re new to the world of computing, you might be wondering why you should update your drivers in the first place. Simply put, games and software present new challenges for any video card. What might have worked a year ago for playing something like Elden Ring might be poorly optimized for The Finals. It is something PC gamers have dealt with for several years.

Simply put, drivers are a way for your computer and GPU to interface directly and communicate. You’re using the GPU to handle the heavy lifting when it comes to any sort of graphical processing task. Using the latest drivers for the latest games can help with stability issues, and might even bring along some new features for a title to increase performance.

How to Fix NVIDIA GeForce Driver Download Failures

I struggle to think of an NVIDIA user who hasn’t dealt with driver download failures of some stripe. I remember having issues with GeForce Experience directly after purchasing my GTX 980 back in 2015. The software as a whole is much better than it was nearly a decade ago. However, there are still some occasional errors that crop up.

Thankfully, a lot of this comes down to user maintenance, as you’ll discover. If you don’t want to use GeForce Experience for handling your GPU, there are other options as well.

Step 1: Uninstall GeForce Experience

nvidia geforce driver download failures
Uninstalling GeForce Experience can fix most issues you might have with the software.

You might be using GeForce Experience to handle all of your driver tasks. Occasionally software just stops working, either due to file corruption or some other unseen force. This is generally rectified by just uninstalling the program as a whole. To go through with uninstalling GeForce Experience, you can type in Add or Remove Programs in your startbar on Windows 10 and 11.

From there, type in GeForce Experience and click Uninstall. Let it go through the process, which can take a minute depending on your system. When it’s finished, you should be ready for the next step to fix your GeForce driver download failures.

Step 2: Reinstall GeForce Experience

nvidia geforce driver download failures
Downloading the latest version of GeForce Experience can fix most driver download issues you experience.

Often, one of the root causes of GeForce driver download failures can come down to using an outdated version of GeForce Experience. After uninstalling the software, you can find the latest version here. Go ahead and download that and go through the installation process. This should take much time, the installation process is generally faster than uninstalling the software.

Make sure that your freshly installed instance of GeForce Experience can see your GPU and you should be ready for the next steps.

Step 3: Check for Drivers

nvidia geforce driver download failures
The driver tab on GeForce Experience should let you know if you’re up-to-date with your display drivers.

Once inside GeForce Experience, you can hit the updates tab and click Check for Updates. Depending on user preferences you’ll have the option of Game Ready or Studio drivers. If you’re gaming, the Game Ready drivers are going to be your best bet. These are generally optimized and tuned towards the latest titles, making games like The Finals and Lego Fortnite run like a top.

If your drivers are current, you aren’t likely to see the option to download a fresh set. This step is contingent on running an older set of drivers to verify functionality in the next step.

Step 4: Download Drivers

On the chance that you can install a new set of drivers, go ahead and go through the download process. Depending on your internet connection, this can take a moment. I typically keep the window open on a second screen while working on something else, just to monitor the download. If it fails, you should receive an error on the screen.

The download should go through with no problems, however. You can skip the next step if you’ve got the driver download working as intended through GeForce Experience. Users who have experienced another driver download failure do have options.

Step 5: Download Drivers Manually from NVIDIA Site

Official downloads for NVIDIA drivers
You might have to install the display drivers directly from the NVIDIA site if you’re having issues.

So you tried downloading from the official software and got more NVIDIA GeForce driver download failures — what now? Thankfully, you can readily go here to download the correct set of drivers for your GPU. Make sure you select the correct operating system, device type, and GPU. You don’t want to install desktop drivers for the RTX 4090 on a laptop GPU for example.

If GeForce Experience’s download options have failed, you can readily get a whole slew of drivers from NVIDIA’s official site. Before the GeForce Experience was stable, I would check the official site periodically for pertinent updates.

Step 6: Install New Display Drivers

No matter how you installed your new drivers, just go ahead and go through the installation process. Some users have a general preference as to how they conduct the driver install. I’ve personally just left it at the default for years without experiencing any performance loss or issues.

I do recommend doing a clean install if you can, which means uninstalling the previous display drivers. You’ll occasionally run into errors when downloading drivers and installing them over the previous ones. This usually just results in things like odd performance quirks and the occasional stutter. More often than not, you should be fine.

The drivers should install without a hitch, meaning you’ve fixed any NVIDIA GeForce download driver failures you might have experienced.

Step 7: Verify Functionality

With your freshly installed drivers, just make sure everything works as intended. I generally boot up the most recent gaming obsession I have to check that I don’t have any performance losses. Sometimes, drivers can be a bit finicky in what they do with certain titles. Usually, it is fine. I did have to go through this entire process recently to try The Finals on my PC.

For whatever reason, my current GPU just wasn’t entertaining the thought of downloading the latest drivers. The steps mentioning GeForce Experience are what I followed to the letter to get functionality restored and the latest drivers installed.

Closing Thoughts

Dealing with NVIDIA GeForce download driver failures is a drag. However, it is just part of the experience of dealing with a powerful GPU sometimes. I previously ran AMD drivers and would experience similar issues running the included software for checking updates. No system is bulletproof, but just about everything has a diagnosis and solution to restore your intended functionality.

How to Fix NVIDIA GeForce Download Driver Failures Summary

1. Uninstall GeForce Experience from your computer.
2. Download and reinstall the latest version of the GeForce Experience.
3. While in GeForce Experience check for the latest drivers for your system.
4. Download the latest drivers for your GPU.
5. If GeForce Experience still isn’t working, download the latest drivers for your GPU from the NVIDIA site.
6. Install your up-to-date display drivers.
7. Make sure everything works and you aren’t experiencing performance loss.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to use GeForce Experience?

Not really, but it does help if you’re looking to use features like in-game filters or NVIDIA Shadowplay.

Should I update my drivers regularly?

If you’re experiencing stability issues with games or just general performance loss, updating your drivers can help.

Does NVIDIA release drivers often?

Yes, generally speaking, they’ll have driver updates out for major releases and hotly anticipated games.

Can you download any driver set from NVIDIA's official website?

You can find drivers there dating back to the 900 and 1000 series GPUs.

Can I stick with my current stable driver?

Absolutely, although some games do require more up-to-date drivers like Baldur’s Gate 3.

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