- Each device that is part of your system works with the use of a device driver. The display driver is the one used for your graphics card either the one integrated in your motherboard or an external one from nVidia or AMD.
- A display driver that crashes enters in an automatic recovery mode which sometimes may fail. Usually this hurts your performance and interrupts your work so it needs to be fixed as soon as possible by resetting the driver, updating it or checking your cables.
- A device driver is a very important software component which makes your computer perform smoothly. Check out other driver fixes or tutorials on our website.
- Speaking of software, Windows is a huge operating system. Bugs happen all the time so we have an awesome Windows 10 errors hub for you.
Your graphic card is one of the most important components, therefore problems with the graphics card can be quite serious. A number of Windows 10 users reported that display driver failed to recover from the timeout, therefore let’s see how to fix that error.
Display driver failed to recover from timeout, how to fix it?
Display driver failed to recover from timeout error message can cause many problems on your PC, and speaking of issues, here are some of the most common problems that users reported:
- Display driver stopped responding and has recovered Intel – This can be a big problem an affect any graphics card. To see how to fix this problem, be sure to check out Display driver stopped responding and has recovered article for detailed solutions.
- Attempt to reset the display driver and recover from timeout failed AMD – Sometimes you might encounter this problem with AMD graphics card. To fix the issue, try using the default driver and check if that helps.
- Display driver failed to recovered Excel, Explorer, every few seconds – Sometimes this problem appears only in specific applications. To fix the problem, it’s advised that you update your graphics card drivers.
- Display driver failed to start black screen, blue screen – This problem can appear if you’re due to issues with your graphics card. To fix the issue, switch to the integrated graphics and check if that helps.
- Display driver keeps failing Windows 10 – If this problem keeps occurring, you might be able to solve the problem simply by underclocking your graphics card.
- Video driver failed to initialize – In some cases, you might encounter this error if your graphics card is faulty. To fix the problem, inspect your graphics card and make sure that it’s working properly.
- Display driver quit working – This is another common problem that you can encounter. However, you should be able to fix this issue by using one of our solutions.
Solution 1 – Uninstall your graphic card driver
This error is mostly related to your graphic card and its driver, therefore users are suggesting that you remove your graphic card driver as a temporary workaround. To do that, follow these steps:
- Press Windows Key + X on your keyboard to open Power User Menu. Select Device Manager from the list.
- Once the Device Manager opens locate your graphics card driver, right-click it and choose Uninstall from the menu.
- If available check Delete the driver software for this device and click OK.
- After the driver is uninstalled restart your computer.
Alternatively, some users suggest using Display Driver Uninstaller to remove the display driver. To use this tool simply download it and follow the instructions on the screen.
After you remove your display driver, Windows 10 will install the default driver instead. Users reported that the default driver fixed the problem, but bear in mind that using the default driver will influence your performance, especially in games.
Solution 2 – Download the latest drivers
Your graphic card requires the latest drivers in order to work properly, and if your drivers are outdated you might get display driver failed to recover message. To fix this problem we highly recommend that you download the latest drivers for your graphic card.
Updating your graphic card driver is quite simple, and if you removed your driver now you just need to visit your graphic card manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your graphic card. After installing the latest drivers, this issue should be fixed. We recommend this third-party tool (100% safe and tested by us) to automatically download all the outdated drivers on your PC.
Solution 3 – Underclock your graphic card
Sometimes in order to fix these types of problems you need to underclock your graphic card. By underclocking your card you reduce the performance of your graphic card but at the same time you also reduce the heat emission. Bear in mind that underclocking your graphic card can be dangerous, therefore underclock your graphic card at your own risk.
According to users, they changed the following values:
- Core from 570MHz to 400MHz
- Shader from 900MHz to 700MHz
- Memory from 3000MHz to 2800MHz
Bear in mind that you might need to use different values for your graphic card. Once again, underclocking your hardware can be potentially dangerous and lead to system instability, so use extra caution.
Solution 4 – Overclock your graphic card
By using the overclocking software you can change the hardware settings of your graphic card and increase its performance. Few users reported that their graphic card wasn’t getting enough power, and after overclocking their graphic card and increasing the voltage of their GPU the problem was fixed.
We have to mention that overclocking can be dangerous and cause system instability or even permanent damage to your PC if you’re not careful, therefore if you decide to overclock your graphics card bear in mind that you’re doing it at your own risk.
Solution 5 – Check if your graphics card is working properly
Sometimes this problem can occur if your graphics card is faulty, so you might want to try it on a different PC and check if the problem occurs again. Alternatively, you can try replacing the graphics card and check if that fixes the problem.
Solution 6 – Perform a Clean boot
Sometimes Display driver failed to recover from timeout message can appear due to third-party applications on your PC, and in order to fix the problem, it’s advised that you perform a clean boot. To do that, just follow these steps:
- Press Windows Key + R and enter msconfig. Now press Enter or click OK.
- System Configuration window will now appear. Go to the Services tab and check Hide all Microsoft services. Click Disable all button.
- Go to the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.
- List of startup applications will now appear. Right-click the first item on the list, and choose Disable from the menu. Repeat this step for all startup items on the list.
- After disabling all startup items, go back to the System Configuration window. Click Apply and OK to save changes and restart your PC.
Once your PC restarts, check if the problem is still there. If not, it means that one service or application is causing the problem. To find out which application is the issue, it’s advised to enable disabled applications one by one or in groups. Keep in mind that you need to restart your PC every time after enabling a group of applications or services in order to apply changes.
Solution 7 – Try using a different connector
Several users reported that this was caused by the connector on your graphics card. According to them, Display driver failed to recover from timeout only appeared when using a certain connector. After using a different connector on their graphics card, the issue was completely resolved.
Keep in mind that this is just a workaround, and if one connector isn’t working properly, it’s possible that your graphics card is faulty, so you should consider replacement in the future.
Solution 8 – Switch to the integrated graphics
According to users, sometimes Display driver failed to recover from timeout message can appear due to issues with your graphics card. Many users have both dedicated and integrated graphics, and sometimes your dedicated graphics can have certain issues.
As a temporary workaround, users are suggesting to switch to the integrated graphics. You can do this using the graphics card software on your PC, or by making the change in BIOS. After switching to an integrated graphics, the issue should be resolved and you’ll be able to use your PC without any crashes.
Solution 9 – Close background applications
Sometimes background applications can lead to this issue. Background applications can stress your graphics card and cause Display driver failed to recover from timeout error to appear.
To fix this problem, it’s advised that you close all unnecessary background applications. Keep only the essential applications running and check if the problem still appears. If the issue doesn’t appear, perhaps you should remove any recently installed applications.
There are several ways to remove an application, but the best one is to use an uninstaller software. In case you’re not familiar, uninstaller software is a special application that will remove the selected application along with all of its files and registry entries.
By using an uninstaller application, you’ll ensure that the application is completely removed and prevent any leftover files from interfering with your PC. There are many great uninstaller applications on the market, but one of the best is Revo Uninstaller, so be sure to try it out.
Solution 10 – Check your GPU temperature
Sometimes Display driver failed to recover from timeout error can appear due to high GPU temperature. Your heatsink or fan might be filled with dust, and that can cause your temperature to rise.
To check if your temperature is the problem, we advise you to use a temperature monitoring software such as AIDA64 Extreme. If your temperature is outside of recommended limits, you need to clean your fan and heatsink on your graphics card. To do that, simply open your computer case and use the pressurized air to clean it.
After cleaning your fan and heatsink, the issue should be resolved completely.
If the display driver fails to recover from the timeout, be sure to remove and update your graphics card driver. If that doesn’t work, you might want to try some other solution from this article.
FAQ: Learn more about graphic drivers
- How do I reset my display driver?
Windows has a certain hotkey combination just for this. Simultaneously press these keys: Window+Ctrl+Shift+B
- Why does my display driver keep crashing?
Most of the times either the driver itself is bad and needs an update or the GPU is overheating from dust or overclocking which makes the display driver to crash.
- Does Windows 10 install drivers automatically?
Yes! Windows 10 automatically connects to the Internet if it can and downloads and installs drivers. Sometimes, the drivers are just generic and installing them according to the device’s instructions will help you enable all the performance and features that device has to offer.
- Does updating drivers increase performance?
If we are talking about graphic cards (GPUs), usually a graphic driver updates enables better performance. This is especially true when talking about new games that appeared after the GPU was launched.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness in March 2020.