How to fix “Display Driver Failed to Start” error on Windows 10?

by Lucia Danes - -
12

Question

Issue: How to fix “Display Driver Failed to Start” error on Windows 10?

Hello. I'm not a tech-savvy person, though I'm a heavy PC user, so the problem that started this morning after I installed Windows 10 update is just miserable. When the PC restarted, the screen got frozen after 2-3 secs and started flickering. Then it refreshed, but the “Display Driver Failed to Start” pop-up showed up at the lower-right corner of the screen. Ok, I guess the problem is driver LOL. Though how can I update it?

Solved Answer

Display Driver Failed to Start is a pop-up error that explicitly indicates a problem with Windows display driver, which hasn't been resolved since 2016. Despite many threads on the official Microsoft's website,[1] the company remains silent and does not provide a single recommendation on how users could fix “Display Driver Failed to Start” error.

The exact culprit of the Display Driver Failed to Start error is not clear. Nevertheless, taking into account the fact that, in most cases, it strikes freshly updated[2] or upgraded Windows 10 devices, the problem seems to be at Microsoft's end. It might be that the update you've installed (rather some of its components) are incompatible with your device or the system failed to recognize display drivers.

The symptom of the Display Driver Failed to Start bug are rather straightforward. The system freezes frequently, the view flickers, speed may diminish, and similar. Besides, people should receive a message from Notifications Center saying:

Display Driver Failed to Start
Display Driver failed to start; using Microsoft Bad Display Driver instead;
Check Windows Update for a newer display driver.

The error message itself is rather explicit. Unfortunately, people reported that merely installing Windows updates or updating display drivers did not fix Display Driver Failed to Start error. If you have no idea how could you address this issue, we'll provide you a couple of appropriate solutions:

Display Driver Failed to Start error

Scan the system for malware

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Messages like Display Driver Failed to Start pop-up are quite frequently misused by hackers. Thus, if your PC started behaving abnormally out of nowhere, we would strongly recommend you to check the system for malicious entries.

For this purpose, we would strongly recommend using . This utility is dedicated to both system's protection and optimization. Therefore, it will scan for malicious programs and files, as well as address corrupted or missing entries that may be triggering driver problems.

Install Windows Updates

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This method is the most primitive one. Each time your PC encounters a problem, you should navigate to Windows Settings by pressing Windows key + I and open Updates and Security tab. Then press Check for updates and let the system install all available updates.

Install Windows Updates

NOTE: the updates will finish installing only when you restart the system. Thus, make sure to check if the Display Driver Failed to Start error has been fixed only after installing updates and rebooting the system.

Update or Reinstall Display driver

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  • Right-click on Windows key and select Device Manager.
  • Expand Display adapters section.
  • Right-click on your display driver and select Update driver.
  • Reboot the system afterward.

Update display driver

If the update failed to work, you might need to uninstall the driver and install its latest version from the manufacturer's website:

  • Open Device Manager as explained above and expand Display adapters section.
  • Right-click on the display driver and select Uninstall device.
  • Now mark the Delete the driver software from this device check box and click Uninstall.
  • Reboot your PC and open Device Manager once the system boots up.
  • Open Action tab and click Scan for hardware changes.

Reinstall display driver

The system should now scan for the compatible device driver and install it automatically. If it fails to do so, you may need to navigate to the manufacturer's website and download the latest version (make sure its compatible with your device) of the driver manually.

Enlarge GPU processing time

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The display driver issue might be related to the TDR (Timeout Detection and Recovery),[3] which has a fixed time to allocate for the GPU response. When the latter fails to respond on time, the error may occur. To address the problem, you have to change TDR time-out settings to enlarge GPU response time.

  • Press Windows key + R, type regedit, and press Enter.
  • Use the left pane to navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM -> CurrentControlSet -> Control.

Enlarge GPU processing time

  • Click once on the GraphicsDrivers entry in the left pane.
  • Now right-click on a space in the right pane and select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value (DWORD (64-bit) Value for 64-bit versions).
  • Name the new entry as TdrDelay and press Enter.
  • Double-click on the TdrDelay registry and set its value from 0 to 8.
  • Click OK to save the changes and close Registry Editor.
  • Reboot your PC.

Use System Restore Point

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Those who started experiencing flickering screen, random restarts, and other display-related problems without an apparent reason should try to enable System Restore Point.

NOTE: this option is possible only if you had created a System Restore Point before the problem started.
To enable the Restore Point, follow these steps:

  • Go to Start menu and enter system restore in Windows search box.
  • Select Create a Restore Point.
  • Click on System Restore button and click Next.

Enable system restore point

  • Select the system restore point that was created before the problem started and select Next.
  • In case you see only one restore point available, mark Show more restore points check box.
  • Select the restore point and click Next.
  • Restart your computer to finish your system restore.

Roll back the Update

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

If your PC started working abnormally after the installation of any Windows update, it might mean that update contains corrupted components or that it failed to install. In some rare cases, Windows updates are incompatible with the device. Thus, you should try to remove the update that has been recently installed:

  • Press Windows key + I and select Update and Security.
  • Click View installed update history like below the Check for Updates button.
  • At the top of the window, click Uninstall updates.

Remove corrupted update

  • Right-click on the Windows update you suspect to be corrupted and select Uninstall.
  • Finally, restart the system and check if the problem has been resolved.

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About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Security researcher

Lucia Danes is the news editor at UGetFix. She is always on the move because the eager for knowledge makes her travel around the globe and attend InfoSec events and conferences.

Contact Lucia Danes
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