Getting a new Radeon graphics card and installing it into your PC isn’t the end of work. You need to know how to install and update your AMD drivers. Driver installation is necessary, and there are a couple of options for this.
The good thing about Windows 10 is that it will automatically search for drivers when you first install the card.
However, this option is far from perfect, and it’s commendable that AMD has really good driver support, which is necessary for them to have remained in the game for this long.
In essence, there are two, relatively simple ways to download and install your new AMD drivers.
- Radeon Software – This is probably the simpler way to install your Radeon drivers. The good thing about most modern graphics cards is that they come with this software out of the box, and most of the time you don’t even have to do anything extra as everything is automatically taken care of for you. Still, there are some caveats here and there, so we’ll still share detailed instructions below.
- Manually Installing The Drivers – A more archaic way, so to say. There’s nothing wrong with this model, but it’s more likely to be used by users who prefer to have everything that’s happening inside their PC under their control. We’re looking at you, Linux users.
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Getting New Drivers Via Radeon Software
The first step before installing Radeon Software is to uninstall the old drivers you have on your PC. This applies if you’re upgrading an AMD card and if you’re going from Nvidia to AMD. Luckily, this is as simple as uninstalling any other program from your computer.
Step 0 – Uninstalling The Previous Drivers
You simply go to the Control Panel, then hit Add or Remove Programs.
In there, find the AMD Software and click uninstall. The process is pretty standard and will be the same as for any other application, although 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 a standard thing to happen.
Before the process can be completed, a system restart is necessary, so be sure to save and exit any programs you might’ve been working on.
If you had an NVIDIA GPU previously, you should be looking for Nvidia Control Panel and uninstall it. This will delete all the additional software that comes with the driver.
Important note: it’s possible that there are some “leftovers” in the system’s registry and that you might need a deeper uninstallation process.
For this, it’s recommended that you use Display Driver Uninstaller. However, to use this program you will need to go into Safe Mode. Here’s what you should do:
Download the file and make sure to extract the folder before you head over to Safe Mode.
To get into Safe Mode, hold down shift and click on the Restart button in the taskbar. This will take you to Windows Troubleshooting screen. From there head on over Advanced options and then into Start-up Settings and then restart.
Once your computer restarts again, you will see multiple boot options available and select Safe Mode with number 4 on your keyboard.
Once your computer boots up, head on over 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 some time. After a few minutes, your computer will automatically restart and bring you to a normal boot.
Step 1 – Preparing For The Installation Of The New Driver
Obviously, the first thing you should do is download the actual software from AMD’s website. Once you get to 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 starting the installation process, it’s important to close all running applications, and that includes your firewall and anti-virus. But don’t worry, AMD won’t damage your machine and you’ll be perfectly safe. Closing all running applications is necessary because the installation wizard will be able to access all the files that those running processes might have been using.
Step 2 – The Actual Installation
Once the installation process begins, you will be prompted with a standard End User Licence Agreement. Of course, you’re going to accept it and move forward. But with that acceptance comes a key branching.
You’re either going to use the Express Install or Custom Install.
Before clicking on either of them, 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 pretty much what it sounds like. It is designed to have minimal user interaction while still doing its job. It will install all driver components and core software to the default location – C:\Program Files\AMD\.
After the installation process is completed, you will be prompted to either restart your computer or simply close the installer. If the restart is not necessary, then you will only be offered the option to exit to the desktop.
The Custom Install
On the other hand, the Custom Install is a bit more complex, but it’s the price you pay for customization.
First, you will see a screen with two options. Now, if you already uninstalled the previous driver version, the left side of the screen will simply show that there aren’t any drivers installed, and you can proceed to your custom installation.
However, if you haven’t removed your previous drivers manually, Radeon Software will offer to do that for you. There are two additional options here, one being the Express Uninstall and the other the Custom Uninstall. The first one will automatically find all components associated with Radeon Software and remove them, while the latter will give you options between deleting only certain components or deleting them all.
There is also a third option on the same screen – Search for Legacy Drivers. This will redirect you to the AMD’s download page where you can search for older drivers that you might need.
It’s important to note that after you choose and execute either of these three options, you will need to rerun the application to get to the actual installation.
Then you will open it and see that there are now no previous drivers found. You can now proceed to the custom installation of your new drivers.
On this screen, you will get options on which components you wish to install. Simply check or uncheck what you want and need and you can proceed.
Important note 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 the remnants of the previously installed drivers before installing the new ones.
However, if you’ve been following this guide so far, the previous driver versions are probably already deleted and you won’t even be offered this option. If that’s the case, simply click Install and wait for the installer to finish.
After this is done, you’ll be offered the option of installing Radeon ReLive if your system is eligible to it. ReLive is essentially a screen capture software by AMD, and it also offers streaming. Although there are better options out there, it’s still a relatively useful tool and it comes free with your graphics card, so why not?
Once again, if the reboot is necessary, you’ll be offered that option as well as the option to close the installer. If there’s no need for a reboot, then the only option offered will be closing the installer. And there you go: you have successfully installed new drivers for your graphics card.
Manually Installing The Drivers
To do this, you’ll have to repeat the same process as in the previous section where you go to the Control Panel and then Add or Remove Programs. Here you will find the AMD Software and click uninstall.
Much like before, you should use Display Driver Uninstaller to make sure everything is gone from your PC in regards 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 easily navigable and shouldn’t pose any issues. After you choose your graphics card, you will get options for each available operating system on which the drivers can be installed. You should choose your OS and click ‘Download’.
After the executable is downloaded, you will start and click ‘Install’. After the process is finished, you will be set to game to your heart’s content.
How To Reinstall AMD Drivers
It’s necessary to cover this aspect of driver installation as well since there are some driver-related issues that can hinder your gaming experience and which can only be solved by reinstalling your drivers.
For the most part, the process is the same as installing the new driver, except you’ll be installing the same driver.
Before starting the installation process, you can remove the driver the same way we explained in the previous section. If you don’t, you’ll once again be offered this option when starting the installer if you choose the Custom Install option, 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. It’s a relatively simple and straight-forward program, but it’s best to use it from the Safe Mode.
After completing the uninstallation of your drivers, it’s time to reinstall them. Luckily, the process here is relatively simple. We have described each method in the previous sections, so you can follow those instructions and you will be all set.