FIX: Can’t install DirectX in Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • DirectX is a set of programs and protocols that is vital for the functioning of your Windows 10 PC, especially if you are a gamer or an avid 3D or video designer.
  • DirectX is a set of software tools like any others, so issues with it are bound to appear. If that happens, simply check out the steps in the article below for details.
  • This articles is part of a much large hub dedicated towards Windows 10 issues, so make sure you save it for later if the program is giving you a hard time again.
  • WIndows 10 issues are bound to appear, so check out our dedicated Directx page for more interesting articles.
can't install directX
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DirectX is a crucial component of Windows 10, required by many multimedia applications. However, sometimes there might be DirectX errors on Windows 10, and today we’re going to show you how to fix them.

How can I fix DirectX errors in Windows 10?

  1. Install the previous version of DirectX
  2. Reinstall your graphics card drivers
  3. Reinstall one of the previous updates
  4. Download Visual C++ Redistributables
  5. Download the missing .dll files
  6. Make sure you meet recommended system requirements
  7. Install DirectX using the Command Prompt

1. Install the previous version of DirectX

Some applications require older versions of DirectX in order to run properly, and you have to install it manually. To do that, you can download the installer from here.

After you’ve downloaded the file, install it and restart your computer. After your computer restarts, most DirectX errors should be fixed.

If you want to install an older version of DirectX, check the link above. But if you’re interested in the latest version and how it improves GPU performance, read this article.

2. Reinstall your graphics card drivers

  1. Press Windows Key + X and choose Device Manager.
  2. When Device Manager starts, go to Display Adapters section and locate your graphic card driver.
  3. Right click the driver and choose Uninstall.
  4. Check Remove the driver software for this device and click OK.
  5. After you’ve uninstalled the driver, restart your computer.
  6. When your computer restarts, go to your graphic card manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your graphic card.
  7. Install the downloaded drivers.

Few users reported that DirectX problems were fixed simply by reinstalling their graphic card drivers.

Want the latest GPU drivers? Bookmark this page and always stay updated.

1.1. Update drivers automatically

If this method doesn’t work or you do not have the necessary computer skills to update/fix the drivers manually, we strongly suggest to do it automatically by using Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool.

This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best automatized solution. Below you can find a quick guide how to do it.

  1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updater
  2. driver updater starting window
  3. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically.
    • Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates.
    • All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
  1. driver updater diagnozing
  2. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC.
  3. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once.
    • To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name.

Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
driver updater scan finished
Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Disclaimer: some functions of this tool are not free.

In addition to reinstalling drivers, users also suggest removing any overclocking tools such as MSI Afterburner. If you’re using these tools, be sure to remove any overclock settings before uninstalling them.

3. Reinstall one of the previous updates

  1. Open Settings app and go to Update & Security.
  2. Go to Windows Update section and click on Advanced options.
  3. Click View your update history.
  4. Click on Uninstall updates.
  5. Before uninstalling an update you have to do a bit of research and find which of these updates is a DirectX update.
  6. Uninstall that update and restart your computer.

Sometimes previously installed updates can cause issues with DirectX, and if that’s the case, you might have to uninstall these updates.

If you’re having trouble opening the Setting app, take a look at this article to solve the issue. Find out if a specific update is installed or not with the help of this guide.

4. Download Visual C++ Redistributables

Run a System Scan to discover potential errors

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Few users reported that installing Visual C++ Redistributables has fixed DirectX errors. Users recommend downloading and installing this package. If that package doesn’t work the list of all Visual C++ Redistributables can be found here.

5. Download the missing .dll files

Using this solution can lead to potential system instability, so use it at your own risk.

Few users report that you can fix DirectX errors on Windows 10 simply by downloading the missing .dll files and moving them to WindowsSystem32 (for 32-bit versions of Windows 10) or to WindowsSysWOW64 (for 64-bit versions of Windows 10) folder.

This solution might not be the safest if you download these missing files from the internet, so keep that in mind. Alternatively, you can copy the missing .dll files from another computer that you use.

6. Make sure you meet recommended system requirements

I know it’s probably unlikely, but if you’re using an older computer, you might want to check if it meets the minimum system requirements for running DirectX. Here are minimum system requirements for DirectX 12:

  1. Windows 7 32 bit or 64 bit
  2. DirectX 12 compatible graphics card
  3. .NET Framework 4
  4. 1 GB RAM
  5. 2 GHz Duo Core CPU

7. Install .NET Framework using the Command Prompt

  1. Go to the Search, type cmd, and open Command Prompt as Administrator.
  2. Type the following command and press Enter: DISM /Online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:NetFx3 /All /LimitAccess /Source:D:sourcessxs
  3. Wait for the process to finish.
  4. Restart your computer.

To install the .NET Framework, you’ll basically need to use the good old DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) service. If DSIM fails, quickly fix it with this step-by-step guide.

However, we’re not going to use the ‘whole’ tool, but just a part of it that will allow us to install the .NET Framework.

DirectX is an integral part of all Windows operating systems, therefore any DirectX problems can cause your favourite applications to stop working.

If you have any DirectX problems on Windows 10, feel free to try some of our solutions. For more suggestions or questions, reach for the comments section below.

Can’t access Command Prompt as an admin? Take a closer look on this guide.

FAQ: Learn more about DirectX

  • What is DirectX used for?

Since DirectX is a collection of application programming interfaces for handling multimedia, video, and game programming, and video, it is an integral part of any gamer’s Windows 10 PC.

  • What can issues with DirectX lead to?

Certain 3D and video editing programs and even movie playback software cannot work without it.

  • How can I get DirectX?

You can get the latest compatible version of DirectX from their official website, but sometimes it also comes bundled when you install or upgrade your graphics card drivers.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in April 2016 and was revamped and updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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