FIX: GeForce Experience preparing to install error

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • The Nvidia GeForce Experience is an app that all gamers should use if they want their graphics to be optimized for the latest games.
  • Unfortunately, the GeForce Experience app does come with its own fair share of issues, such as the Preparing to install error.
  • For more articles on this useful app, check out our dedicated Nvidia GeForce Experience hub.
  • Avid gamers should also take a look at our Gaming page for more interesting information.
FIX: GeForce Experience preparing to install error

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GeForce Experience is software that some users update Nvidia graphics card drivers with. However, GeForce Experience can get stuck at the preparing to install screen for some users when they try to update their Nvidia GPU drivers with it.

Consequently, users can’t update their graphics card drivers with GE when that issue arises.

How do I fix the GeForce Experience’s preparing to install error

1. Select the Run as administrator option for GeForce Experience

First, make sure you’re running GeForce Experience as an administrator. Right-click the GeForce Experience shortcut icon to open a context for it. Select Run as administrator on that menu.

Run as administrator option geforce experience preparing to install

If you don’t have a desktop shortcut for GeForce Experience, open the folder its EXE is in. Then right-click the executable file for it in that folder to select Run as administrator.

2. Restore your 3D settings to default

If you’ve changed your Nvidia 3D settings in any way, restoring them to default might fix the preparing to install error as it has for other users.

  1. Right-click the Windows desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel.
  2. Expand the 3D Settings category on the left side of the window.
  3. Click Manage 3D settings to open the options shown directly below.
    Manage 3D settings tab geforce experience preparing to install
  4. Click Restore to change the 3D options back to their default values.

3. Manually download the graphics driver from NVIDIA’s website

You might be able to update your graphics card driver without GeForce Experience by downloading it from Nvidia’s website yourself.

  1. First, make sure that GeForce Experience isn’t running (check the Processes tab in Task Manager).
  2. Next, open the Download Drivers page on Nvidia’s website.
  3. Select your graphics card and Windows platform on the drop-down menus.
    NVIDIA download driver page geforce experience preparing to install
  4. Click the Search button.
  5. Click Download to save the driver installer to folder.
  6. Then open the NVIDIA graphics driver installer as an administrator.

4. Disable third-party antivirus software

Antivirus scanning might also stop GeForce from installing the driver package. So, turn off any third-party antivirus software you have installed on your desktop or laptop.

Right-click the system tray icon for your antivirus utility to open a context menu that will probably include some kind of disable shield setting. Select the disable context menu option to temporarily deactivate the antivirus scanning before opening GeForce Experience.

Norton Security's context menu geforce experience preparing to install

5. Turn off Windows Security

If you don’t have a third-party antivirus utility, turn off Windows Security.

  1. Click Windows 10’s Type here to search taskbar button.
  2. Type Windows Security in the search box.
  3. Click Windows Security to open that utility.
    Windows Security geforce experience preparing to install
  4. Select Virus and threat protection on the left of the window.
  5. Click Manage settings to open the option shown directly below.
    Real-time protection option geforce experience preparing to install
  6. Toggle the Real-time protection option off.
  7. Then try updating the graphics card driver with GeForce.

6. Reinstall graphics card driver

Some users might need to reinstall Nvidia graphics card drivers to update them. Our Display Driver Uninstaller guide provides details for how you can fully uninstall Nvidia drivers with that utility.

After uninstalling the graphics driver, download the required GPU driver from Nvidia’s website as outlined for the third resolution.

Display Driver Uninstaller window geforce experience preparing to install

So, there are a few potential fixes for GeForce Experience’s preparing to install error. However, you don’t need GeForce Experience to install updated Nvidia drivers. As mentioned, you can manually download the required driver package from Nvidia’s site.

Alternatively, you can utilize general driver updater software for updating GPU drivers.

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