Install only the driver for Nvidia graphics cards - gHacks Tech News

Install only the driver for Nvidia graphics cards

When it comes to drivers for Nvidia graphics cards, most computer users probably either use the drivers that are included with their operating system, or install a driver package for the card from Nvidia.

These driver package has grown over the years. It includes the driver that is required, and then other components that may or may not be required depending on how the computer is used.

The Nvidia Graphics Driver will install 3D Vision components, an HD audio driver, PhysX System Software, or GeForce Experience for instance when you don't select custom installation to turn these off.

But even if you disable all components but the graphics driver, you will get some extra services and Telemetry installed on the system.

Installing only the Nvidia graphics driver

One of the things that users who are concerned about this increase in components may do is install only the graphics driver, and that without running the Nvidia installer at all.

The following instructions walk you through the steps of installing only that driver and nothing else. Please note that you need to be sure that you don't need any of the extra components, as they won't be installed.

Also note that the driver installation will still add components, such as the two services Nvidia Display Container LS and Nvidia Telemetry Container. Make sure you remove those or at least disable them.

Step 1: Remove the old Nvidia driver from the system

It is recommended that you remove the old driver completely from the computer before you install the new driver on it.

Check out our guide on uninstalling Nvidia drivers completely from a Windows machine. Basically what you do is use a program called Display Driver Uninstaller for that.

Step 2: Download the latest Nvidia driver

Head over to Nvidia's official driver downloads website, and fill out the fields there to download the driver for your video card and operating system.

Step 3: Extract the driver

nvidia driver archive

I have used the excellent software Bandizip for that, but other archive programs may work as well. With Bandizip, all you need to do is right-click on the downloaded driver file, e.g. 382.53-desktop-win10-64bit-international-whql.exe, and select "open with Bandizip".

The archive opens, and you may extract the content of the package to the local hard drive.

Step 4: Install the driver on Windows

You need to open the Windows Device Manager as you will be installing the driver using the Control Panel applet. The easiest way to open the Device Manager is to tap on the Windows-key, type hdwwiz.cpl, and hit the Enter-key.

nvidia update driver

Locate your video card there, you find it under Display Adapters, and right-click on it and select Properties.

update driver nvidia

Switch to the driver tab, and click on the "update driver" button that is listed there on the page.

Select "browse my computer for driver software" on the next window, and select the Display.Driver folder as the folder that you want Windows to search for drivers for the video card.

install nvidia driver manually

Hit the next button, and wait for Windows to finish scanning the folder for suitable drivers. It will pick up the display driver, and install it on the machine.

You should get a "Windows has successfully updated your drivers" notification in the end.

nvidia driver installed

This indicates that Windows has installed the new driver for the Nvidia graphics card, and will use it from that moment on.

Closing Words

If you just need the graphics card driver, then this is one option to ensure that only it gets installed. While you can run the Nvidia installer, uncheck all options, and clean up the system afterwards for pretty much the same effect, it is probably easier and faster to do it this way instead.

Now You: How do you install graphics drivers on your systems?

Summary
Install only the driver for Nvidia graphics cards
Article Name
Install only the driver for Nvidia graphics cards
Description
The guide walks you through the steps of installing only the display driver for Nvidia graphics cards on Windows without using the Nvidia driver installer.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Q said on June 30, 2017 at 5:09 pm
    Reply

    What About The Nvidia Control Panel?
    This is Needed To Manage Desktop Colour Settings & Manage 3D Settings.

    1. Tom Hawack said on June 30, 2017 at 6:25 pm
      Reply

      Same here. Good question (not only “therefore”!). I’d hope the driver only install includes the Control Panel otherwise it would be a problem given uninstalling Nvidia uninstalls it all …

    2. TianlanSha said on June 30, 2017 at 7:50 pm
      Reply

      What I do is:

      1. Rename the .exe to .7z and extract it
      2. Launch setup and install only the driver and PhysiX with a clean installation
      3. Launch Everything and type “nvtelemetry”
      4. Force unlock and delete it with IObit Unlocker
      5. Eat instant noodles with mushroom flavor and watch Boku no Hero Academia

  2. Jed said on June 30, 2017 at 5:35 pm
    Reply

    Does this method add NVIDIA Control Panel or not?

    1. Tom Hawack said on June 30, 2017 at 6:27 pm
      Reply

      Redundancy with Q’s above comment but given the possible issue worth being emphasized :)

  3. Armond said on June 30, 2017 at 5:55 pm
    Reply

    Thanks Martin. Unfortunately it still install the Vulkan RT components. Seams it runs the VulkanRT-Installer.exe file. Hope there is a way to prevent this.

  4. Tom Hawack said on June 30, 2017 at 5:58 pm
    Reply

    Great article, Martin, one of those so valuable fully explained tips.

    I do use the Nvidia graphics driver and I remember having read one of your articles [http://www.ghacks.net/2012/12/26/make-sure-you-only-install-nvidia-drivers-you-need/] which I applied immediately, and most fortunately.

    I continue to install the graphics driver only, moreover after having uninstalled the current driver.
    Concerning this tip, only one thing bothers me (but that’s me…), which is having to use a 3rd-party application such as the ‘ Display Driver Uninstaller’ you mention. I’m not fond of that. Means I uninstall the driver, have a low-res screen, open Device manager and update … the sequence bothers little old me :)

    Maybe I’ll call courage for help and nevertheless try the tip. I must ad that I update the graphics driver only when it is notorious the update includes security and aims not only at updating a few variables in order to gain 1/100 second on this or that game.

  5. JRave said on June 30, 2017 at 6:54 pm
    Reply

    I do this in a similar but different way, since I need the control panel and a couple other drivers.

    Unzip the entire archive into a folder. Once you enter the folder you can now delete unneeded subfolders.
    Keep the following folders/files and delete the rest.

    Display.Driver Folder
    HDAudio Folder (Can Delete if not needed)
    NVI2 Folder (A part of the Installer)
    Physx Folder (Can Delete if not needed)
    EULA.txt
    ListDevices.txt
    setup.cfg
    setup.exe

    After you remove the other stuff and have just the above left, you can double click the setup.exe and it will run the Nvidia Installer and -only- install the above drivers. (Display, HDAudio, and Physx) It cuts out the extra bloat they keep adding while still allowing you to uninstall the drivers from add/remove programs. It also includes the Nvidia Control Panel. I also just noticed it installed Vulkan Run Time Libraries as well, which seems to be baked into the display driver completely.

    The only downside to this, is if Nvidia changes their installer layout.

    1. John said on June 30, 2017 at 9:30 pm
      Reply

      When you need to update to a new driver, what you usually do?

      Do you use DDU, or you just extract the mentioned folders again to update with setup.exe?

    2. P said on July 1, 2017 at 5:48 am
      Reply

      I’ve used this method for years but I noticed there is a major delay in installing drivers when you have many graphics cards, I wonder if this method will install them faster.

    3. N said on July 1, 2017 at 4:22 pm
      Reply

      I can’t believe I’ve found a helpful article the day after it was published.

      Had some trouble with OBS and didn’t want to update to the latest Nvidia drivers, as they came with the 3.0 GeForce “Experience”.

      I followed the above advice and everything is working flawlessly now, with no bloat.

    4. hiten said on October 13, 2017 at 7:12 pm
      Reply

      Do you know which folder to keep for Nvidia Optimus?

      Some laptop need Optimus to switch between two graphics adapters (discrete Nvdia + onboard Intel).

    5. ced said on June 18, 2018 at 8:34 pm
      Reply

      hello
      in which subfolder is the control panel ?
      thanks

  6. sdv said on June 30, 2017 at 7:19 pm
    Reply

    i think if you use the speakers on the monitor (hdmi/dp) you’ll probably need to install the hd audio driver too.

  7. lgjr3491 said on June 30, 2017 at 9:31 pm
    Reply

    Following you method, I still have NVIDIA Telemetry & NVIDIA Display Container LS in Services. From an unpacked download, isn’t using Custom Install with only the driver selected and ‘Clean Install’ accomplish the same thing?
    And yes, the NVIDIA Control Panel is still available & operational here.

    Win 7 x64 Pro

  8. Theo said on July 1, 2017 at 9:34 am
    Reply

    We became in to state when guide is needed to install graphic driver, what a mess. Thanks ghacks for even to put spotlight on this issue as I am returning AMD graphic card owner.

  9. Pete said on July 1, 2017 at 7:27 pm
    Reply

    Works perfect ! Extract and use only the “Display Driver”-folder for updating the driver ……….
    No other bloated crap included, very good !

  10. TelV said on July 2, 2017 at 12:06 pm
    Reply

    As mentioned in your secondary link Martin, the telemetry annoyances only manifest themselves in post v375.70 updates. I installed v359 to address the security issue described in the following Nvidia security bulletin but haven’t bothered to upgrade further: https://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3808/kw/security

    I wasn’t aware of the telemetry additions until reading both articles though and won’t do so now.

  11. Clooney said on July 3, 2017 at 4:03 pm
    Reply

    Little logical mistake: After using DDU you’ll not find anymore the Nvidia-Card in your Device-Manager ;-)

    Thanx for the Guide!

  12. Pete said on July 3, 2017 at 5:22 pm
    Reply

    Did not use DDU !
    Just updated the nVidia-driver in the Device-Manager , by pointing to the ( extracted ) Display-Driver folder……..works perfect on my Win10x64 !

    1. Tom Hawack said on July 3, 2017 at 5:40 pm
      Reply

      Interesting. Pete, did you uninstall current drivers before installing new (clean install) or did you simply overwrite?

  13. Pete said on July 3, 2017 at 7:22 pm
    Reply

    ” simply overwrite? “……………..yes !

    1. Tom Hawack said on July 3, 2017 at 7:33 pm
      Reply

      I was asking because Martin and others advise to remove the old driver first :

      “it is recommended that you remove the old driver completely from the computer before you install the new driver on it.”

      Perhaps because more than the simple Display-Driver (that of the folder) is concerned, at least when updating with the work-around for the first time. Next updates would be less concerned as I see it.

  14. Pete said on July 3, 2017 at 11:41 pm
    Reply

    Maybe you are right, but just updating the driver, without uninstalling it first, did not gave me any headache !
    nVidia is working flawless on my rig , besides all existing files will be overwritten by updating them……….

  15. oliver said on October 30, 2017 at 10:36 pm
    Reply

    Always uninstall drivers thru win programs first.
    thats why ppl end up with problems, and unless verified with +200 installs on +30 computers,
    i dont believe its better to over write stuff, to save 1 min out of 5-10 min doing it right.

    Dont use D.DU. as uninstaller.
    Its a CLEANING tool to use after all Nv related files are uninstalled thru software panel.
    And yes, depending on settings it will remove the gpu/monitor from device manager,
    which is recommended and moni/gpu will be “back” once new driver is installed.

    After extracting the driver exe, i usually remove the 3D folders (no 3D moni anymore),
    as well as camera/telemetry/shield/HD audio (if you dont use sound over HDMI out) folders i dont need.

    And i have to laugh at ppl that dont upgrade drivers because of telemetry and stuff,
    the gain is always higher than what “you” lose, and besides some beta drivers i was always able to fix problems rather than add any.

    not even talking about the fact that lots of ppl complain about Nv telemetry and other things, if that really is an issue for you: play offline.
    all “your” store-rewards cards give more info away than what Nv collects on your pc…

    ppl saying they switch to amd because they dont like to deal with updates, you’re willing to get less performance out of a noisier and hotter card that consumes more power.
    At least for maxwell/pascal (vs amd cards) it doesnt make any sense to me…

    Besides that, the last 2 amd (gpu) driver releases were just 4 days apart. so yeah, lol..

  16. CarlS said on November 16, 2017 at 6:35 pm
    Reply

    In the current 388.31 driver isntall, in the NVI2 sub-directory there is a DLL. You cannot run the NVIDIA installer if that directory / DLL is missing. Also in that sub-dir is NVNetwork Service application.

    Can anyone explain why a video driver, even one which manages multiple connected-to-the-PC monitors, needs a mandatory network service?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 16, 2017 at 7:02 pm
      Reply

      I mentioned the service briefly here: https://www.ghacks.net/2015/12/27/disable-nvidia-streamer-service-to-improve-video-card-performance/

      It seems to be part of GeForce Experience. I don’t know what it does exactly, even after searching the Internet. It did cause quite some issues however for some users.

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