Your graphics card is a crucial component for gaming, video editing, 3D modeling, and other graphics-intensive tasks. However, sometimes Windows fails to detect the graphics card, resulting in poor performance or not being able to use the dedicated GPU at all.
Fortunately, there are several troubleshooting methods you can try to fix the graphics card not detected error in Windows 10, 8, 7 and get your PC running smoothly again.
Table of Contents
- Why Is My Graphics Card Not Detected?
- Fix 1 – Enable Hidden Devices in Device Manager
- Fix 2 – Update or Reinstall GPU Drivers
- Fix 3 – Enable PCI Express in BIOS
- Fix 4 – Check GPU Seating and Power Cables
- Fix 5 – Uninstall Recent Windows Updates
- Fix 6 – Test Graphics Card in Another PC
- When to Seek Professional Help
Why Is My Graphics Card Not Detected?
There are a few potential reasons why Windows might not detect your graphics card:
- Outdated or faulty drivers – Graphics card drivers act as the communication interface between the hardware and operating system. If they are outdated or corrupted, detection issues can occur.
- Disabled or hidden device – The graphics card may show up as hidden or disabled in Device Manager if there are hardware or software conflicts.
- Loose connections – Make sure the GPU is properly seated in the PCIe slot and all power cables are firmly connected.
- Damaged graphics card – In rare cases, physical damage to the video card can cause the not detected error.
Fix 1 – Enable Hidden Devices in Device Manager
The first step is to check if Windows has mistakenly hidden the graphics card in Device Manager:
- Open Device Manager (right-click Start menu and select Device Manager)
- Click “View” and tick “Show hidden devices”
- Expand the “Display adapters” section
- If your graphics card shows up with a yellow exclamation icon, right-click it and select “Enable device”
This will make the hidden GPU visible again so Windows and apps can utilize it properly.
Fix 2 – Update or Reinstall GPU Drivers
Outdated or corrupt drivers are often the culprit for graphics card detection issues (). Here are a few methods to update the drivers:
- Automatically – Let Windows update the drivers by going to Device Manager, right-clicking your GPU, and selecting “Update driver”. Choose automatic driver update.
- Manually – Download the latest driver from Nvidia or AMD’s website, uninstall the existing driver using DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller) in safe mode, then install the updated driver.
- Third party apps – Use driver update utilities like Driver Easy to download the correct GPU driver model and install it for you (). Much simpler than manual methods.
Updating to the newest driver version often resolves graphics card detection and performance problems.
Fix 3 – Enable PCI Express in BIOS
Your motherboard BIOS has settings that control GPU detection and compatibility. Enter BIOS setup on boot, go to advanced settings, and:
- Make sure PCI Express is enabled as the interface for graphics cards ()
- Above 4G Decoding may need to be enabled for high VRAM GPUs
- Check if integrated graphics is disabled if you have a video card
Save changes and exit BIOS. Enabling PCIe and adjusting related settings will ensure Windows detects your Nvidia or AMD graphics card correctly.
Fix 4 – Check GPU Seating and Power Cables
It’s also important to check the physical graphics card seating and power connections:
- Remove the graphics card and reseat it firmly in the PCIe x16 slot so it clicks completely into place
- Inspect the 6-pin/8-pin power connectors and make sure they are fully inserted into the GPU ()
- Check the PSU cables for any loose wiring or damage
- Dust out the PCIe slot and GPU fans in case of debris buildup
Secure connections are vital for the motherboard slot to detect and communicate properly with the installed video card.
Fix 5 – Uninstall Recent Windows Updates
Some users have reported issues with graphics card detection after certain Windows Updates ():
- Go to Settings > Update & Security
- Click “View update history”
- Uninstall recent problematic Quality or Feature updates
- Restart your PC and check if the GPU is detected properly again
Rolling back updates can resolve conflicts with drivers or hardware detection issues temporarily introduced by patches.
Fix 6 – Test Graphics Card in Another PC
If you have tried all other troubleshooting methods but the GPU still fails to show up in Windows, the video card itself may be faulty:
- Remove the non-detected graphics card and install it in another, working PC
- Boot up the second computer and check if the GPU is detected normally
- Run GPU benchmark/stress tests to confirm card is functioning properly
Testing the graphics card in a separate PC will confirm if the GPU itself is damaged and needs to be replaced, or if the issues lie with the original motherboard or operating system.
When to Seek Professional Help
If you have attempted all the troubleshooting steps but Windows persists in not detecting your installed graphics card, it’s best to seek assistance from a computer technician at this point for hardware-level diagnosis and repair.
Issues that may require advanced technical servicing include:
- Faulty PCIe slot on motherboard
- Failing PSU unable to deliver sufficient power to GPU
- Bent/snapped pins on graphics card slot interface
- GPU solder joints cracked from overheating
Seeking professional PC repair can determine if your graphics card issues require component-level soldering and replacement.
Graphics card not detected errors can cause serious performance issues and prevent proper PC operation. However, in most cases, there are fixes you can attempt yourself before seeking repair shop assistance:
- Enable hidden devices in Device Manager
- Update GPU drivers (automatically or manually)
- Adjust BIOS settings related to PCIe compatibility
- Check graphics card seating and power cables
- Uninstall problematic Windows Updates
- Test GPU in second computer to confirm hardware faults
Following one or more of these troubleshooting steps will often resolve graphics card detection issues and get your PC gaming, editing, and general graphics use back up to speed.