Fix: The display driver failed to start error in Windows 10

If you start facing unusual error on your computer screen that says “display driver could not be started” and your PC starts to hang temporarily and also stops responding at certain times. No need to worry, you are not alone in facing this error. Many Windows users complain about this problem. You will find this post extremely helpful in fixing this error.

What is a display driver?

display driver is a driver that makes it possible for your computer to use your video card. Computers without the proper drivers will have a much lower resolution than they would with the proper drivers, and will often display poor graphics, slowing down games and other larger applications.

What is the display driver failed to start error?

“Could not start display driver” error message appears on your screen when the installed graphics driver for your integrated or dedicated graphics card failed to start as usual. This error occurs when the Timeout Detection and Recovery (TDR) component discovers that the graphics card (GPU) does not recognize within a period of time and resets it with the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM). The issue occurs when the Timeout Detection and Recovery (TDR) function detects that the graphics card has not responded within the allowed time period, then the display driver resets itself to avoid the need for a reboot.

Causes of this error

  • Too many running programs or specific applications.
  • GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) overheating.
  • GPU timeout issues (most known cause).

How to fix “Failed to start display driver” error?

Here are the solutions that can be implemented to fix this error:

Restart the Graphics driver that helps if a temporary glitch causes this issue. To do this Press the Windows key + CTRL + Shift + B keys together. The screen will go black for a few seconds and it will turn to normal again.

Install Windows Updates

Microsoft regularly releases windows updates with the latest bug fixes. May the latest windows update have a bug fix for this problem. Let’s check for and install windows 10 updates.

  • Press Windows key + X and select settings,
  • Go to update and security then Select Windows Update in the left pane.
  • In the right pane, click on Download & install now (if an update is ready). If not, click on Check for Updates.
  • Wait for Windows to check for updates and install them on your computer (If available).
  • Once done reboot your PC to apply them.

windows update for windows 10

Reinstall the display driver

If updates to your display driver cannot be made, reinstalling the display driver may fix the problem. Here’s how to install the graphics driver again in Windows 10.

  • Press Windows key + S and select Device Manager, expand Display adapters, right-click the name of your graphics hardware, and then click the Uninstall option.

Uninstall Graphic Driver

  • Click the OK button when you see the confirmation dialog. If you are prompted to restart, restart your PC once to complete the uninstall process.
  • Download the latest version of the display driver from the official website of your PC or graphics hardware manufacturer, run the installer, and follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver.

increase GPU render time by regulating the timeout detection and recovery register value

Note: This method will guide you on how to modify the registry. It can help fix the problem. Still, serious problems can occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. So make sure you follow these steps carefully. It is recommended that you back up the registry before you regulate it so that you can restore the registry if a problem occurs.

On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time to invoke the Run search bar.

Type Regedit and click OK to open Registry Editor.

Locate and then press the following registry subkey:
  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Control GraphicsDrivers

From the Edit menu in the right pane, right-click in the blank space.

Press New and then select the following registry value from the dropdown menu related to your version of the Windows operating system.

If your PC is running a 32-bit operating system, follow these steps:

  • Choose the DWORD (32-bit) value.
  • Type TdrDelay as the Name and press Enter.
  • Press TdrDelay twice and add “8” for the Value data and press OK .

If your PC is using 64-bit operating system, follow these steps below:

  • Choose the QWORD value (64 bits).
  • Type TdrDelay as the Name and press Enter.
  • Double click on TdrDelay and add “8” for the Value data and click OK.

Reboot your system and check if the issue is resolved.

After regulating the registry here, if a problem occurs and you are not sure how to restore the registry, you can remove the added TdrDelay name and reboot your system.

Scan PC for malware

There are two changes regarding malware that could be causing the Failed to start display driver issue to appear. The presence of malware can trigger this error on your PC. The other possibility is that hackers using malware show a Fake display driver failed to start error to appear, which then leads to capture.

  • What you need to do here is run an antivirus or antimalware scan on your PC.
  • Run a scan and if malware is detected, remove it immediately from your PC.
  • When it’s done, restart your PC and see if the issue still occurs.

Run SFC Scan

SFC scan checks the system files on your computer for errors and fixes them.

Open Command Prompt > type sfc /scannow and press the Enter key on the keyboard of your computer.

System file checker

Reset Windows 10 without losing personal data

You can reset your Windows 10 system without losing your personal data. The process is simple. You can select to keep your files or move them before reinstalling Windows 10.

  • Click Search in the web and Windows box on the taskbar and type reset
  • Select Reset this PC.
  • Select Get Started
  • Select Keep my files.
  • Once the reset process is complete, your PC will reboot

Note:  Any apps or drivers will need to be reinstalled once the reset is complete.

Clean the GPU radiator

GPU overheating can cause the issue. And the GPU is very prone to overheating if the radiator is dusty.

Clean the GPU radiator and see if the error still persists.


These methods will surely solve your problem if tried properly. If you have any difficulties implementing these methods, please let me know in the comments.

If you still need help with something, let us know in the comments section below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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