Failed to Create D3D Device: 6 Easy Solutions You Can Use

Get your games working again

by John Nedelcu
John Nedelcu
John Nedelcu
Windows & Software Expert
Ever since I got my first computer, I wanted to know how it worked and how components were communicating between them to make such a marvellous machine work.... read more
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Launch errors are too familiar for gamers as if the game senses our desire to play and refuses to give us what we seek. So is the case with the Failed to create D3D device or the less common but equally annoying Failed to create D3D9 device error.

Both of these errors are being reported by players launching games through Steam, and it seems to be isolated to only a few titles, including Left 4 Dead 2, CS: GO, Borderlands 1 & 2, Portal, and Rocket League.

Luckily, the route you’ll need to take is the same to fix both D3D and D3D9 errors, as they have a common cause. So, we will go through the usual troubleshooting steps when you see these errors.

What causes the D3D error?

The D3D Error is often a reference to a DirectX Error, precisely a Direct3D error. Several factors can cause a Direct3D error, including:

  1. Outdated or incorrect drivers Ensure you have the most current drivers installed for your graphics card.
  2. Insufficient system resources – Your system might need more memory or processing power to run the game.
  3. Software conflicts – Other software running in the background can interfere with the game and cause a Direct3D error.
  4. DirectX version issues – The game may require a newer version of DirectX than what you have installed on your system.
  5. Corrupted or damaged game files – Sometimes, the files can become corrupt or damaged, causing the Direct3D error.

With the causes covered, let us explore some fixes you should apply.

How do I fix Failed to create D3D or D3D9 device error?

Before you even venture into our recommendations, you should restart the computer. A restart is a general fix but may be effective. It will force a few processes to stop and may help fix a failed to create d3d device error.

1. Verify the integrity of game files

  1. Launch Steam, right-click on the problematic game, and go to Properties.
    failed to create d3d device
  2. Click on the Local Files tab, then click on Verify Integrity of Game Files.

Valve has kindly baked into Steam the option to check if your game files have become corrupted or if something is missing from the game installation directory.

This can help if your antivirus or antimalware software has decided to block or quarantine a file.

If the Failed to create D3D device or D3D9 device errors have been caused by an error of the graphics driver, giving the system a fresh start might solve the issue.

2. Update Windows to the latest version

  1. Open Settings using the keyboard shortcut Win + i.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Click on Check for updates.
    failed to create d3d device

Keeping your Windows operating system up to date is essential because you benefit from the latest bug fixes and security updates.

Sometimes, these updates include compatibility patches which can fix mishaps like the Failed to create D3D device or failed to create D3D9 device errors.

3. Update your graphics drivers

3.1 Updating Nvidia graphics cards

  1. Right-click on your desktop and select Nvidia Control Panel.
  2. Take note of your driver indicated in the Control Panel.
    failed to create d3d device
  3. Now head over to the Nvidia website, and hit the Drivers tab.
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  4. Fill up the form provided and hit Search to get your driver.
  5. Now hit download, double-click the downloaded file to launch the installer, and follow the prompts.
  6. Restart your computer.

3.2 Updating AMD graphics cards

  1. Right-click on your desktop and select AMD Radeon Software.
    failed to create d3d device
  2. Under Driver & Software, click on Check for Updates.
  3. Install the new driver and reboot.

One of the best ways to fix the failed to create D3D, or D3D9 device error is to update your graphics driver.

These errors are caused by a problem with the graphics card or its driver, so a driver update will usually be the solution.

To go one step beyond, we strongly recommend performing a clean install of the graphics driver or using a utility like DDU to remove the graphics driver altogether before installing the new one.

Note: If you use DDU to uninstall your graphics driver, you must go to the graphics card manufacturer’s website and manually download either the driver or the graphics software (GeForce Experience or AMD Adrenalin).

Besides the solutions presented above, you can also try specialized software like Outbyte Driver Updater to scan your device for outdated, damaged, or missing drivers and automatically update them with brand-new versions.

Get Outbyte Driver Updater

4. Set game launch options

  1. Open Steam, Right-click on the game, and select Properties.
    failed to create d3d device
  2. On the General Tab, select Set Launch Options and type -w 1920 -h 1080.
    failed to create d3d device
  3. Click OK.
  4. Finally, launch the game.

Note: instead of 1920 and 1080, use your monitor’s native resolution.

This will force the game to launch with the specified resolution. Unfortunately, some of these games are a bit older, so they don’t always cooperate with newer hardware and higher resolutions.

This can cause a problem when the game tries to launch with a low resolution, so you will need to force the desired resolution.

5. Run the game in compatibility mode

  1. Navigate to your game installation folder, right-click on the executable, and select Properties.
  2. Click on the Compatibility tab.
  3. Click Run this program in compatibility mode for and manually select an older version of Windows to run the game.

Once you have enabled compatibility mode, you can launch the game, which should clear the Failed to create D3D or D3D9 device error.

6. Enable services

  1. Press Windows + R, then type msconfig and hit Enter.
  2. Go to the Services tab.
  3. Make sure that all Nvidia or AMD services are enabled. (If you are unsure which services these are, click on Enable All).
    failed to create d3d device
  4. Reboot your PC

In pursuing more performance, some users disable certain services that they deem unimportant. Still, we cannot stress this enough: you should never disable these if you are not 100% sure of the changes you are making, as this could lead to game crashes or, even worse, system instability.

These fixes will help you fix both Failed to create D3D device and Failed to create D3D9 device errors when launching games on Steam.

If you encounter issues with Steam games, let us know in the comments section below.

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