Getting a new Radeon graphics card and installing it into your PC isn’t all you need to do. You also need to know how to install and update your AMD driver.
Driver installation is essential, and you have a couple of options for this.
Windows 10 will automatically search for drivers when you first install the card.
Unfortunately, this option is far from perfect, but AMD has excellent driver support, which is one reason that they have remained a leader in graphics card technology for so long.
There are two relatively simple ways to download and install your new AMD drivers.
- Radeon Software – This is probably the simplest way to install your Radeon drivers. Most modern AMD graphics cards come with this software out of the box, and you usually won’t even have to do anything extra as updating is automatically taken care of. However, there are some caveats involved with this, which we will take a closer look below.
- Manually Installing The Drivers – This is a more traditional way to install your updates. There’s nothing wrong with doing this, but it’s preferred by users who like to have everything that happens inside their PC under their control. We’re looking at you, Linux users.
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Getting New Drivers Via Radeon Software
Before installing Radeon Software, your first step is to uninstall the old drivers that are currently on your PC. This applies if you’re upgrading an AMD card and if you’re switching from NVIDIA to AMD. This is as simple as uninstalling any other program from your computer.
Step 0 – Uninstalling The Previous Drivers
To uninstall your previous drivers, go to the Control Panel, then Add or Remove Programs.
From here, find the AMD Software and click uninstall. The process is pretty standard and will be the same for any other application. It’s important to note that your screen might blink or turn black for a few seconds during the uninstallation. There’s no need to panic as this is normal when making changes to your graphics drivers.
Before the process can be completed, a system restart is necessary, so be sure to save and exit any programs that you have been working on.
If you previously had an NVIDIA GPU, you should look for NVIDIA Control Panel and uninstall it. This will delete all the additional software that came with the driver.
It’s possible that there will be some “leftovers” in the system’s registry and that you might need a deeper uninstallation process.
For this, we recommended that you use Display Driver Uninstaller. However, to use this program you will need to enter Safe Mode. Here’s what to do:
Download the file and extract the folder before you head over to Safe Mode.
To enter Safe Mode, hold down shift and click on the Restart button in the taskbar. This will take you to the Windows Troubleshooting screen. From there, open Advanced options, then Start-up Settings, and then restart.
Once your computer restarts, you will see multiple boot options. Select Safe Mode with number 4 on your keyboard.
Once your computer boots up, go to your downloaded folder where you extracted DDU. Start the application, select AMD or NVIDIA graphics driver on the right and then press Clean and restart.
Be patient as the process can take a while. After a few minutes, your computer will automatically restart using a normal boot.
Step 1 – Preparing For The Installation Of The New Driver
The first thing you need to do is download the actual software from AMD’s website. Once you are on their official download page, you will be presented with two choices: downloading the AMD Driver Auto-Detect Tool or downloading the exact drivers for your graphics card.
Either way, before you start the installation process, it’s important to close all running applications, including your firewall and anti-virus. Don’t worry, AMD won’t damage your machine and you will be perfectly safe. Closing all applications is necessary because the installation wizard will be able to access any files that those running processes might have been using.
Step 2 – The Installation
Once the installation process begins, you will be prompted by a standard End User Licence Agreement. You will need to accept it and move forward. However, there are two different options for accepting.
You will either need to use the Express Install or Custom Install.
Before choosing either option, be aware that your screen might flicker or turn black for a few seconds during the installation. Again, this is nothing to worry about.
The Express Install
The Express Install is exactly what it sounds like. It is designed to require minimal user interaction while still performing its task. It will install all driver components and core software to the default location: C:\Program Files\AMD\
Once the installation process is completed, you will be prompted to either restart your computer or simply close the installer. If a restart isn’t necessary, you will only be given the option to exit to your desktop.
The Custom Install
The Custom Install is a bit more complicated, but that is the price you pay for customization.
You will first see a screen with two options. If you already uninstalled the previous driver version, the left side of the window will simply show that there are no drivers installed, and you can proceed with your custom installation.
However, if you haven’t already removed your previous drivers, Radeon Software will offer to do it for you. There are two additional options here, Express Uninstall and Custom Uninstall. The first option will automatically find all components associated with Radeon Software and remove them, while the latter will allow you to delete only certain components or all of them.
There is also a third option on the same screen: Search for Legacy Drivers. This will redirect you to AMD’s download page where you can search for any older drivers that you might need.
It’s important to note that after you choose and execute one of these three options, you will need to rerun the application to begin the installation itself.
When you open it again, there should now be no previous drivers found. You can proceed to the custom installation of your new drivers.
On this screen, you will be given options of which components you wish to install. Simply check or uncheck whatever you want and you can proceed.
Before proceeding, it’s recommended that you choose the default installation location (C:\Program Files\AMD\).
You will also have two additional options: Install and Clean Install. The latter will attempt to remove any remnants of the previously installed drivers before installing new ones.
If you’ve been following this guide so far, the previous driver files are probably already deleted and you won’t even see this option. If that’s the case, simply click Install and wait for the installer to finish.
Once this is done, you will be offered the option of installing Radeon ReLive if your system is eligible for it. ReLive is essentially a screen capture software by AMD, which also allows you to stream. While there are better options out there, it’s still a relatively useful tool and it comes free with your graphics card, so it’s worth a try.
Again, if a reboot is necessary, you will be offered that option alongside the option to close the installer. If there’s no need for a reboot, the only option offered will be to close the installer. You have now successfully installed new drivers for your graphics card.
Manually Installing The Drivers
To do this, you will need to repeat the same process as in the previous section by going to the Control Panel and then Add or Remove Programs. Here, you will find the AMD Software and click uninstall.
As before, you should use Display Driver Uninstaller to ensure any files are gone from your PC if they are related to your previous drivers.
After you have done this, you can go to AMD’s website and select the driver for your specific GPU. This menu is easy to navigate and shouldn’t present any issues. After you choose your graphics card, you will see options for each available operating system on which the drivers can be installed. Choose your OS and click ‘Download’.
After the executable is downloaded, start it and click ‘Install’. Once the process is finished, you are all set to game to your heart’s content.
How To Reinstall AMD Drivers
It’s necessary to address this aspect of driver installation as there are some driver-related issues that can hinder your gaming experience and can only be solved by reinstalling your drivers.
For the most part, the process is the same as installing a new driver, except you’ll be reinstalling the same driver.
Before starting the installation process, you can remove the driver as we explained in the previous section. If you don’t, you will again be given this option when starting the Custom Install, but not if you choose the Express Install path.
If you feel like your problem is more deeply rooted, you can try the Display Driver Uninstaller. This is a relatively simple and straightforward program, but it’s still best to use it while in Safe Mode.
After completing the uninstallation of your drivers, it’s time to reinstall them. The process here is relatively simple. We have described each method in the previous sections, so simply follow those instructions and you will be all set.