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How to Download NVIDIA Drivers Without GeForce Experience

An NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPU.
Kiklas/Shutterstock.com

Want to download drivers for your NVIDIA GeForce GPU without installing NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience application? NVIDIA doesn’t make them easy to find, but you can do it. Here’s how to avoid GeForce Experience on Windows.

It’s Your Choice

We’re not bashing GeForce Experience here. It has some neat features like the ability to automatically optimize graphics settings for your PC games and record your gameplay. It also can automatically search for and install driver updates. You’ll have to find and install updates manually if you skip the GeForce Experience application.

But GeForce Experience is also a heavier application that requires you sign in with an account. You even have to sign in with an account just to get driver updates. If you’d like to install your drivers the classic way—just the drivers themselves and the NVIDIA Control Panel tool—you can.

How to Download NVIDIA’s Drivers Without GeForce Experience

You can download the drivers from NVIDIA’s website. Either head to the newer GeForce Drivers page and use the “Manual Driver Search” section or use the classic NVIDIA Driver Download page.

Whichever page you use, you’ll have to know the model of your graphics card, whether you’re using a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows, and which type of driver you want. (Not sure which GPU you have or what type of Windows operating system you have? Scroll down for instructions on how to find out.)

The “Game Ready Driver (GRD)” features optimizations for the latest games and is intended for gamers, while the “Studio Driver (SD)” prioritizes stability and is intended for creative professionals

Use the fields to select your drivers and click “Search.” When you’re done, click the “Download” button to get the drivers.

How to Install the Drivers Without GeForce Experience

Download the driver’s EXE file and double-click it to install like any other application. Let the installer extract its files and begin installation.

After the installer extracts its files and starts, you’ll be prompted to choose the kind of installation you want. By default, it will try to install the “NVIDIA Graphics Driver and GeForce Experience” software.

Be sure to select “NVIDIA Graphics Driver” instead to avoid installing NVIDIA GeForce Experience.

How to See Which NVIDIA GPU You Have

To check which NVIDIA GPU you have on your Windows 10 PC, open the Task Manager. You can do so by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc or by right-clicking the taskbar and selecting “Task Manager.”

Click the “Performance” tab at the top of the Task Manager window. If necessary, click “More Details” at the bottom of the Task Manager to expand the Task Manager and view the tabs.

Select the “GPU” entry in the sidebar here. Look for the name of your GPU near the upper-right corner of the Task Manager window.

If you have multiple GPUs in your system, click each and examine their names. If you have a gaming laptop, there’s a good chance you have both NVIDIA graphics and Intel graphics. Look for the name of the NVIDIA GPU.

How to See Whether You’re Using 64-bit Windows

To check whether you’re using a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows, head to Settings > System > About. You can open the Settings window from the Start menu or by pressing Windows+i.

Look for the “Device specifications” section on this screen. To the right of “System type,” you’ll see whether you’re using a “64-bit operating system” or a “32-bit operating system.”

Remember, You’ll Have to Update Them Manually

You’re now responsible for updating your own NVIDIA drivers. They won’t automatically check for updates or download and install new versions of your GPU drivers for you. That feature requires the NVIDIA GeForce Experience software.

How to Uninstall GeForce Experience

By the way, if you already have the NVIDIA GeForce Experience software installed, you can uninstall it while leaving your drivers installed.

Just head to Control Panel > Uninstall a Program, search for “nvidia,” and uninstall the “NVIDIA GeForce Experience” application. Leave the other NVIDIA driver entries installed.

Or Just Use Windows Update

If you don’t play PC gamers, you can always just get your drivers via Windows Update. Don’t install anything from NVIDIA and Windows will automatically install drivers for your GPU. However, the drivers won’t be the most up-to-date for the latest PC games and you don’t get utilities like the NVIDIA Control Panel.

Having the latest drivers is important for gamers, but the average PC user can get by with the drivers from Windows Update.

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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