In this guide we will look at a specialized tool to completely remove your NVIDIA video card drivers. This free tool called "Display Driver Uninstaller" or DDU is very useful for completely removing unwanted video display drivers, for example if you want to change the brand of hardware adapter you're using, or maybe because of a corrupted driver, or a failed update caused issues, etc. Sure you can use Windows inbuilt Add Remove software which may or may not be successful at removing everything associated with the video card driver. It has been reported Windows native uninstaller has missed pieces of these rather large drivers and actually preventing a successful reinstall or update.
DDU works on all versions of Windows from XP through 10, is portable meaning it requires no installation, and is capable of removing all components including those in the registry of AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel powered graphics processors. DDU can be downloaded from the link at the top of this guide.
Warning: Removing these drivers will make extensive system changes and as usual before any such change is contemplated a full system backup is recommended, followed by creating a restore point. Also if your system has an NVIDIA CPU or Chipset it would be advisable to have a copy of the chipset drivers as well.
Note also that when DDU is run for the first time it will turn off Windows Automatic driver Install in order to prevent some versions of Windows from automatically reinstalling what DDU removes. We shall turn it back on later.
Once downloaded use your favorite unzip tool to decompress the file. One quirk with DDU is once you've decompressed the file into a new folder you will have to click the newly created DDU v(whatever).exe which will run the self expanding file and create a file named Display Driver Uninstaller.exe necessary to run the program.
Once this file is double clicked the interface will open with a warning that the system is not running in safe mode. If you are using Widows 8 and above be sure to read the warning that you will need the password for Windows 8 through 10 to enter safe mode because a pin does not work.
Click the arrow in the drop down box.
It is very important before removing Video drivers to start the computer in safe mode to ensure the existing NVIDIA drivers are not running during the removal process, necessary to ensure complete removal of the driver software. You could manually start your computer in safe mode but we can make DDU do that for us. Select "Safe Mode" from the drop down options and the "Launch" box shown above will change to "Reboot to Safe Mode" Do be sure to close any other running programs and saving any data first. Click "Reboot to Safe Mode".
The computer will begin to reboot and you should see a dialogue box advising DDU is attempting to create a Restore Point. Once restarted in safe mode the screen resolution will look decidedly bad compared to that of the NVIDIA driver, that is normal and is caused by Windows loading its own video drivers, so do not be concerned. DDU will start automatically with a dialogue box similar to that below. In our example DDU has detected the version of Windows, and the video card currently used along with some information about the existing drivers. The default program options from the menu bar should suit most users, but for more information click extended log which may have some extra information about the current driver software.
Sorry, but another warning. We do not recommend you accept the offer of the so called Driver Updater shown in the yellow box. Drivers should only be obtained from your computer, or hardware manufacturer.
The three main options are:
1: Clean and Restart.
Click this tab if you wish to retain your existing hardware and only need to reinstall new or updated graphics drivers.2: Clean and do NOT Restart.
Most users will not use this tab as the computer may have blue/black screen even before the drivers are fully removed.3: Clean and Shutdown.
Click this tab if you are going to change your graphics card, requiring of course complete power shut down.
Make you selection from the three choices, change your graphics card if applicable, and install your new driver.
If you are using DDU to remove your graphics card and revert to on board graphics and suffer a black screen you may have to enable the onboard graphics in the Bios. Consult your computer or motherboard manufacturers manual for instructions on this setting.
If you would like Windows to take care of updates the option has to be re-enabled, to do so open DDU and normal mode will be fine, then click the tab shown below. That's it.
We hope this guide will assist in completely removing your NVIDIA video/graphics drivers but if you have any questions on this or any other computer issue please do not hesitate to ask in our forums.
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Remove NVIDIA video drivers with DDU. 220.127.116.11
How to completely remove NVIDIA video drivers