10 Fixes: Display Driver Stopped Responding And Has Recovered

Encountering system freezing while running resource-intensive tasks is a common sight. But as the resources free up, the system becomes responsive and fluid once again.

However, if you spot the “Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered Windows 7” error after the system recovers, it is a problem worth exploring. The error code pops up because the system’s graphics processor is unable to start within the stipulated time.

Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered Windows 7 fix

Ignoring the “Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered Windows 7” error can gravely hurt the longevity of your GPU and system. Windows may produce this error message due to a variety of reasons – so don’t fixate on the idea that your graphics card is faulty, or unusable.

We will list out a series of possible methods for the “Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered Windows 7 fix“, which you can try out to prevent this error in the future. Without further ado, let’s jump into the causes behind this graphics card error message.

Why does “Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered Windows 7” Error Occur

The “Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered Windows 7” error message stems from a variety of reasons. It could something as trivial as an outdated GPU driver or a major problem with the graphics card hardware. 

  • The GPU drivers haven’t been updated for a really long time.
  • You are inflicting workloads on the system that are far greater than your system’s hardware capabilities. 
  • Your graphics card has an underlying hardware issue or, is heating up beyond normal temperature levels.
  • A recent operating system update that isn’t compatible with old GPU drivers.
  • You have made tweaks to the default hardware settings, to get an additional boost in performance(overclocking).

10 Solutions to Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered

Here are the 10 easy methods for Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered, which can resolve your issue:

  1. Close Unnecessary Programs and Applications
  2. Adjust Visual Effects for Better Performance
  3. Update your graphics drivers
  4. Uninstall and then reinstall your graphics drivers
  5. Increase the TDR timeout for your GPU
  6. Set Hardware to Default Settings
  7. Check if GPU Is Overheating
  8. Clean the GPU
  9. Reinstall Windows Operating System
  10. Replace your Graphics Card with a New One

Close Unnecessary Programs and Applications

If you have the nasty habit of running too many applications and programs in the background, then the system may frequently encounter the display driver stopped working error.

Make it a habit to use minimal active programs, especially if you have a low-end system with average computing power. It is best to stop unnecessary background processes and the useless programs that run when the system starts up.

You can open the task manager to see the list of active programs that are consuming the maximum system resources, and then decide which ones to terminate. If you use Google Chrome or any similar program and have the always running in background setting enabled, it can result in slow system performance. 

Adjust Visual Effects for Better Performance

As device owners, we expect Windows and applications to look visually stunning and run fast. The problem is that it isn’t possible for low-spec systems, that have weaker graphics cards and processors, to run Windows OS in full glory.

The animations, shadow effects, and many more settings can put undue stress on an old, integrated, or discrete GPU. To adjust your system for better performance, do as follows:

  • Open the File Explorer on your system and right-click on This PC. A drop-down menu will open. Choose the Properties option from the menu.
  • On the About page, find the Advanced System Settings option and click on it.
  • Now, locate the Performance option in the System Properties window, and then click on the Settings button.
Display Driver Stopped Responding
  • By default, Windows keeps the “Let Windows choose what’s best for my computer” options enabled.
  • Find the Adjust for Best Performance option in the list and click on it.
Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered
  • Now, click on the Apply button to apply your new settings, and then click on OK.
  • Now, reboot Windows and try to run applications and programs to check if the display driver error pops up again.
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Note: You may see some visual downgrades, especially if you were using the Adjust for Best Appearance setting. There is even a Custom setting that allows you to select/deselect the visual effects and animations for Windows. But we don’t recommend using it unless you are sure of what each effect does.

Update your graphics drivers

Outdated graphics card drivers can generate a variety of display driver errors, and it is best to keep them updated. To update your graphics drivers, repeat the following steps:

  • Click on Start and then type Device Manager in the search bar. Alternatively, you can press Win Key + R to open the Run box, and then type the devmgmt.msc command, and click on enter.
Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered Windows 8 fix
  • Find the Display Adapters option from the list and then click the arrow option to reveal the available display devices. You will see two adapters if you have both the integrated graphics processor and discrete graphics card present in your system.
Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered Windows 10 fix
  • Right-click on the display adapter you want to update and then select the Update Driver option from the list.
  • From the new window, click on the Search automatically for Drivers and let it search for the latest available drivers. 
Display Driver Stopped Responding fix
  • If it is unable to find a new version of the graphics driver, make a note of the version which is installed on the system. Now, try to search if your device manufacturer(Nvidia or AMD) has released a new driver for your graphics card and download it.
  • You can install the downloaded executable driver file by using the Update Driver menu. Another easy method is simply double-clicking on the driver executable file, and following the on-screen prompts to finish the installation.
  • Now, restart your system and try running a GPU-intensive application, to see if the display driver errors message still appears.

Uninstall and then reinstall your graphics drivers

It is a possibility that your display driver is buggy and contains corrupt files, despite updating it. So, it becomes necessary to completely wipe out the current graphics card driver, and then do a fresh installation of the latest graphics card driver.

  • Download the latest version of your graphics card drivers from the manufacturer’s website, and make a copy of it on a USB drive for backup.
  • Press Win Key + R to open the Run box, type the devmgmt.msc command, and click on OK.
run box
  • Scroll down to the Display Adapters option and expand it using the arrow button. Now, right-click on the display adapter and then select the Uninstall Device from the menu.
uninstall graphic drivers
  • Windows may prompt you for a reboot to apply changes, and chances are that your display resolution will revert to the lowest. Don’t worry if it happens, because your system doesn’t have a display driver.
  • Now, open the download location and right-click on the driver file. Click on run as administrator, and then begin the graphic driver installation process.
  • You can also do the fresh driver installation process using the Update Driver feature of Device manager. Just browse for the new driver file on your system and then select it to begin the installation.
Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered Windows 7 fix
  • Once the new graphics card drivers are installed, reboot your system. Now, try running a GPU intensive game or application to check if the display driver error persists.
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Note: Windows can automatically reinstall the drivers if you uninstall them. The problem with this approach is that it may not find and install the driver version that you want to install and check. Disable the internet connection before you try out this step, and then re-enable it once you are finished. 

Increase the TDR timeout for your GPU

TDR (Timeout Detection & Recovery) is a feature built into Windows which resets the graphic driver if the GPU doesn’t respond in the stipulated time. The reason behind TDR is pretty simple – to let you restore to a working desktop window rather than rebooting the system.

But the default delay time of 2 seconds might not be good enough for every graphics card, which results in abrupt suspension/closing of the application and even BSOD. 

So, you can extend the default delay time from 2 seconds to a value that allows enough time for the GPU drivers to respond. This method requires tweaking your Windows Registry settings and modifying the registry values of TDR. To increase the TDR timeout for your GPU, do as follows:

  • Press Win Key + R to open the Run box. Type Regedit in the Run box and press the Enter key to launch the Registry Editor
open registry
  • Navigate to the right-hand side menu and find the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE directory. 
  • Expand it by clicking the arrow key and then clicking on System. Now, expand the System directory and then click on CurrentControlSet and then Control
Display Driver Stopped Responding fix
  • Locate the GraphicsDriver directory and click on it.
  • Now, you need to create a new registry value inside the GraphicsDriver directory. Right-click on the left pane and click on New. Then select the QWORD (64-bit) Value in the context menu. 
TDRDELAY q-word
  • Remember that, if you have a 32-bit Windows operating system then you need to select and create a DWORD (32-bit) value.
  • Rename the new QWORD (64-bit) Value to TdrDelay and then double-click on it to modify the default values.
TDRDELAY q-word
  • Input 8 in the Value Data option, and keep the Base as Hexadecimal. The number “8” here denotes the new delay time in seconds. 
  • Click on OK and close the registry editor. Restart your system and relaunch a GPU-intensive app or game to check for the display driver error.
  • If your graphics driver doesn’t respond in 8 seconds(which is good enough for most GPUs), you can try changing it to 10 seconds.

Note: Creating a new registry value or editing existing ones(if not done wisely) can damage the Windows configuration and other files. Always make a backup copy of your registry settings before making any changes to it.

You can do this by right-clicking on the Computer directory and clicking on the Export option in the context menu. Enter the name for your registry copy, and save it on your internal storage and USB drive for added security.

Set Hardware to Default Settings

Low and mid-spec system owners use overclocking to squeeze more performance out of their hardware. Check if the “display driver has stopped responding and has recovered” error began appearing after you overclocked your GPU.

If it happens to be the case, then you need to restore the hardware to its default settings. You can use a software utility like MSI Afterburner to revert the GPU overclocking. 

Check if GPU Is Overheating

GPU overheating is very common for old systems that haven’t been cleaned in a while. Dust particles seep via the cabinet and slowly canvass the entire GPU, including the heatsink, fins, fans, etc.

These blockings get dense with time and obstruct the airflow of the GPU cooling system, which causes the temperatures to go beyond permissible limits.

In such cases, Windows prompts a TDR error and shuts down the GPU or the entire system to save the hardware from further damage.

core temp

You can use a reliable temperature checking tool like CoreTemp, or HWInfo to check the idle GPU temperature and the maximum temperature at peak loads. If you see it crossing 80-85 degrees celsius on a very basic load, then you need to clean your GPU.

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Clean the GPU

You can try cleaning the GPU to increase its airflow and thus stay under the ideal temperature range. Begin with basic cleaning attempts to remove visible dust and dirt clogging the heat sink and fans on the GPU. Be gentle, and do not scrub the GPU board with too much pressure.

You can try replacing the thermal compound on the GPU to improve heat dissipation, but only if you understand how to pull apart and reassemble the GPU. Now, reconnect the GPU to the system and check the ideal temperature and try running a GPU-intensive application. 

Reinstall Windows Operating System

The last probable cause of the “Display driver stopped responding and has recovered” issue can be either a new Windows OS update or corrupt registry files. If you notice this display driver error post a windows update, you can attempt a windows restore but if the registry files are corrupt, then a fresh Windows OS install is the last resort.

You can choose to do it via the Reset Windows option, or create a bootable Windows installation media. The end goal is to delete every last trace of the current OS installation and then reinstall Windows on your system.

  • Create a bootable Windows USB drive and restart your computer. Enter the boot device menu by pressing the designated F-Key for your system.
  • Select the USB drive and boot the PC and then select the region and preferred language. Click on Next.
install windows
  • Now, accept the EULA and then choose the custom install option. Select your Windows installation drive and click on the Format option. It will format everything on the drive and let you do clean windows install.
custom install windows
  • Click on Next and follow the on-screen prompts once the installation is finished.
  • Now, install your GPU drivers and check if the system for display driver errors.

Replace your Graphics Card with a New One

Despite trying every method mentioned above, if you still see the “Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered” error, then your GPU is faulty. You can choose to repair the GPU if it’s under warranty and is repairable.

Most of the time, you need to purchase a new GPU as the cost of repair may exceed the price itself. Alternatively, you can try out another GPU to check for motherboard defects, if any.

Conclusion

Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered” error doesn’t necessarily indicate a hardware fault or driver problem. The problem could be TDR itself, and you can either extend the delay time or completely disable this vexing Windows feature. 

FAQ

What Do I Do If My Display Driver Keeps Crashing?

You can try updating the display driver or attempt a clean reinstall of the latest drivers. If that doesn’t work, you can try putting less load on your computer, and closing unnecessary programs.

How Do I Find My Display Driver?

You need to know the official hardware name and model of your GPU, to find its display drivers. Open your System Properties to know about the GPU name, and then search the internet for the latest available display drivers. Alternatively, you can let Windows automatically find the latest ones using the Update Driver feature of Device Manager.

Why Is My Graphic Card Not Detected?

The graphics card may not be detected by your computer, due to missing/outdated drivers or a hardware defect. It could be due to loose connecting cables, low power, or a defective GPU. If your physical connections are fine and still the system cannot find the graphics card, either your power supply falls short of giving adequate power to the GPU or there is a GPU failure.

How do I fix display driver stopped responding and has recovered Windows 10?

You can try the driver fixes first, after which you should attempt modifying TDR values or disabling them entirely. If that doesn’t work then a thorough GPU check followed by a Windows OS reinstall is recommended.