You were using the PC just fine some moments ago. For some reason, you needed to restart the PC. Now when you have logged in to Windows, you notice something weird.
Your PC is using the Windows basic display drivers, and Nvidia drivers and software are all gone.
If you are on the same page, know that you are not the only one! Luckily, I have some good news for you. I will be showing you how to fix the issue for good.
Why does the Nvidia driver keep uninstalling itself?
Nvidia driver keeps uninstalling itself due to a conflict with the Windows auto driver update feature. Sometimes, the Nvidia GeForce Experience software, buggy drivers, or a defective GPU also cause issues.
Stay with me and read the whole post to learn more in detail.
What Happens When the Nvidia Driver Uninstalls Itself?
When the Nvidia driver uninstalls itself, the dedicated Nvidia GPU will not run at its full potential. The operating system’s basic display drivers will let the GPU output a display, but you cannot do anything graphics intensive.
Nvidia is known for its powerful PC GPUs, and they are the most popular dedicated GPU makers.
Some CPUs come with integrated GPU, while others don’t. A CPU without an integrated GPU depends on a dedicated GPU to output a display. Otherwise, you cannot get a display on your monitor.
Whether your PC has a CPU with an integrated GPU or not, you can always install a dedicated GPU. The dedicated GPU will handle all the graphics-intensive tasks better than the integrated GPU.
We have a wide range of CPUs from both Intel and AMD and a wide range of dedicated GPUs from Nvidia and Radeon. So, these dedicated GPUs need drivers to communicate with the CPUs properly.
Different GPUs will have separate drivers, which will get updated frequently. So, there will be many versions too. These drivers are not installed with the dedicated GPUs, as you can pair them with different CPUs. So, you must install the drivers after the GPU installation.
Then how will your PC output a display; you might ask?
All operating systems have a basic or generic display driver, which works mainly across all CPU and GPU pairs.
These generic display drivers are not optimized for a particular CPU-GPU pair. So, depending on your GPU manufacturer and model, you have to download the latest driver from the internet.
The situation is identical when the Nvidia driver uninstalls itself. You cannot use the dedicated GPU at its full potential, and you miss out on the extra performance of the GPU.
Games and other graphics-intensive tasks will take a hit. You would still be able to perform the essential functions, but that’s it.
Therefore, it is necessary to prevent the Nvidia driver from uninstalling itself. Otherwise, you will not get the benefits of buying a powerful dedicated GPU.
I will discuss how to fix the issue in the next section.
How To Fix Nvidia Driver Keeps Uninstalling Itself
Preventing the Nvidia driver from uninstalling itself is not as complicated as you might think.
Following a few steps, you can solve the issue pretty quickly and easily.
Here are the steps to prevent the Nvidia driver from uninstalling itself:
1. Stop Windows from automatically updating drivers
Windows downloads and installs the operating system updates and the driver updates. Though it works fine for operating system updates, the driver updates might cause issues.
Windows might install the wrong driver or not install it correctly, leading to inconsistencies like the driver uninstalling itself.
So, you can stop Windows from automatically installing and updating the drivers.
Here’s how to do it:
- Type ‘Advanced System Settings’ on Windows search and click on View Advanced System Settings.
- Go to the Hardware tab and click on Device Installation Settings.
- Select No and confirm by clicking on Save Changes.
- Download and install the driver from the Nvidia website.
- Restart your PC.
Now Windows should not download and install driver updates on its own. You would need to manually install the drivers every time an update is available from the Nvidia website.
2. Fresh reinstall Nvidia drivers manually
Often, just reinstalling the drivers is not enough to fix the issue. Some temporary files remain on the PC and conflict with the OS, leading to the driver uninstalling itself.
So, we are going to reinstall the drivers from scratch. It involves deleting all the current files and installations, downloading fresh copies, and installing them.
Do the following:
- Go to the official Nvidia driver download page, select your GPU model and download the drivers.
- Turn on airplane mode on PC if you have not gone through method 1 (Stop Windows from automatically updating drivers). Turning on airplane mode will stop Windows from automatically installing the drivers. If you have completed method 1, Windows will not auto-install the drivers. So no need to follow this step.
- Right-click on the Windows logo/start menu button and go to Device Manager.
- Expand Display Adapters and uninstall the Nvidia drivers by right-clicking each of them.
- Go to Control Panel by searching on the Windows search.
- Click on Uninstall a Program under Programs.
- Find all programs and packages labeled as Nvidia and uninstall them one by one.
- Right-click on the taskbar and go to Task Manager.
- Click on More Details if you do not see a long list of programs and their CPU, RAM, and other usages.
- Right-click any Nvidia processes (if available) and click on End Task for each of them.
- Restart your computer.
- Open the drivers you have downloaded at the beginning of this method.
- Select Custom Install.
- Select GPU Driver and PhysX. It is better to skip GeForce Experience as it can sometimes cause issues.
- Select Clean Install.
- Skip any prompt and let it install the drivers.
- Turn off airplane mode if you had turned it on before.
- Restart the computer.
Your PC should boot with the latest Nvidia drivers installed and not uninstall the driver itself.
3. Delete Nvidia driver log files
If you are still facing the issue after following the above two methods, try deleting the log files from the registry.
It is common for software not to clean the logs when you uninstall them. So now, we will attempt to clean the logs manually.
Do as follows:
- Type ‘Services’ on the Windows search and click on Services.
- Stop all Nvidia services by selecting them, right-clicking, and clicking on Stop.
- Right-click on the taskbar and go to Task Manager.
- Right-click any Nvidia processes and click on End Task for each of them.
- Open Windows search and type ‘Registry Editor’ and select it.
- Select Yes if prompted.
- Go to the following path, and delete the entry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Logging.
- Repeat for the following path too: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\NVIDIA Corporation\Logging
- Download and install the latest driver from the Nvidia website.
Check if your issue persists or not.
4. Update BIOS
Using the latest GPU with a BIOS version launched before the GPU can cause the issue. So check if you have any BIOS updates pending.
Here’s how to do it:
- Press the Win+R key to bring the Run window.
- Type ‘msinfo32’ and press Enter.
- Click on System Summary from the left panel and note the installed BIOS version under BIOS Version/Date field.
- Google the exact model of your motherboard and go to the official website.
- Go to the Downloads/Packages/Installs section (depends on the motherboard manufacturer and how they name it).
- Check the version of the latest stable BIOS. If you have the latest version installed, you’re all good. Otherwise, keep following the next steps.
- Download the latest stable BIOS from the website.
- Follow the instructions of the motherboard manufacturer on how to install the new BIOS. Any power interruptions during the BIOS update will brick the motherboard. So you need to be careful about it.
- Install the Nvidia drivers manually following method two above.
The BIOS update should fix the auto uninstall issue for your Nvidia GPU.
When Does the Nvidia Driver Auto-Uninstall Issue Occur?
The Nvidia driver auto-uninstall issue occurs when Windows auto-updates the drivers, the Nvidia GeForce Experience software has problems with the drivers, or when you try to install both the Nvidia Game Ready and the Nvidia Studio driver.
Nvidia driver starts uninstalling itself the most when Windows updates the drivers automatically. It causes incompatibility issues which ultimately force the drivers to uninstall when turning the PC off.
So, the driver will uninstall itself, causing flickering on display. Then Windows will log out automatically. When you log back in, you will see no Nvidia drivers.
The same thing happens after you have turned the PC off. When you turn on the PC, the drivers will auto uninstall, and you will be logged out of Windows.
Another way the issue occurs is through the Nvidia GeForce Experience software. When the software has bugs, it will continue to uninstall and reinstall the drivers upon PC restart.
Lastly, there are two different categories of drivers. If you try to install both, you will face issues as only one category is allowed.
The Nvidia Game Ready driver is focused on real-time rendering. So, it is best for a gaming PC. The Nvidia Studio driver is for workstation PC (video rendering, working with games, etc.), so it has its separate use cases.
Question: Does Nvidia automatically uninstall old drivers?
Answer: With the latest Nvidia GeForce Experience software, Nvidia automatically uninstalls old drivers except for the previous version. So, it will store only two versions: the current version and the previous one.
Question: What happens if you uninstall the graphics driver?
Answer: If you uninstall the graphics driver, your display output will be based on the operating system’s generic display driver.
Nvidia is a reputed name in the world of graphics cards. Most gamers choose Nvidia for gaming GPU.
Sometimes the Nvidia driver uninstalls itself due to conflict with Windows updates or Nvidia GeForce Experience software.
Luckily, there are fixes to resolve the issue in minutes.