How to Find My Graphics Driver

by Cee Jay

Video cards are responsible for creating the graphics you see on the computer screen. A top-of-the-line graphics card will have little functionality if the drivers for it are not installed. It helps to know which driver you have before attempting to upgrade. Driver information is found in more than one place and is retrieved without opening the computer case.

Device Manager

Right-click the desktop and click either "Personalize" or "Properties," depending on the operating system.

Click "Advanced," then "Adapter." Alternatively, Vista and Windows 7 users look beneath "See also" and choose "Display."

Click "Change Display Settings," then "Advanced Settings," unless you're on the Adapter tab and the graphics card and version is listed. Look beneath "Adapter Type" to see the type of card you have.

Click "Properties" and go to the "Driver" tab. The driver date and driver version is shown near the top of the dialog box.

Registry Editor

Click "Start" and type "Regedit.exe" to open the registry editor.

Click the plus signs to expand "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\hardware\DeviceMap\Video."

Double-click "Device\Video0." The value shown is the location in the registry that contains video driver information. For example, if it says "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services", you would look for whatever word comes after "Services." Write down the entire value.

Go back to the first registry folder "Computer" and click to expand the folders corresponding with the ones discovered in Step 3.

Double-click "InstalledDisplayDrivers" to see the current graphics driver.

Tip

  • check The start-up message that loads when the computer starts sometimes displays information about the graphics card. It flashes quickly and may require a few restarts to read the details.

About the Author

Cee Jay began writing professionally in 2009 with work appearing on various websites. She has been repairing computers since 2000 and focuses on topics related to PC support/repair. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Franklin University and also studied advanced language arts at the Center for Arts and Sciences.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Technology - Graphics Card image by Rob Hill from Fotolia.com