Fix: Laptop Doesn’t Recognize The Second GPU For Gaming

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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Second GPU not recognized

Some gamers have complained over Microsoft forum that they’re unable to play games on their laptops because they have two graphics cards and the laptop only recognizes its onboard GPU.

Solutions to solve a ‘dual-GPU problem.’

  1. Check if drivers are up to date
  2. Disable onboard video Device
  3. Disable onboard GPU in BIOS
  4. Additional solutions for graphics


Check if drivers are up to date

We’re going to start slow with solving our problem. So, let’s check if drivers for your PCI-Express graphics are up to date.

This may look like an obvious solution, but it is very common because we’re often too busy performing other tasks on the computer and we forget to update our drivers.

In case you don’t know how to check if your graphics card drivers are up to date, do the following:

  1. Right click on My Computer and go to Properties
  2. On the left side of the screen click on Device Manager
  3. Under Display Adapters find your PCI-Express graphics card, right click on it and go to Update Driver Software…

If you’re looking for an even a quicker solution to update your computer drivers, use the TweakBit Driver Updater. This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus.

Here’s how to use this software:

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting window
    2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically.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.Check if drivers are up to date
    3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. 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.
      Update drivers automatically
      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 features of this tool are not free.

This process will update your GPU driver software in case it isn’t up to date. If your drivers are up to date, and you’re still facing the same issue, try some of the next solutions.

Disable onboard video Device

Obviously, you put another graphics card in your laptop because it is better than the onboard GPU.

But sometimes, the onboard GPU is the one preventing other graphics card from normal working. In order to solve that, try to disable your onboard graphics card.

Here’s how to do that:

  1. Right click on My Computer and go to Properties
  2. On the left side of the screen click on Device Manager
  3. Under Display Adapters find your onboard graphics card, right click on it and go to Disable

Disable onboard GPU in BIOS

Maybe your PCI-Express GPU is not even active, to determine that and tun it on, you will have to do some work in the BIOS.

Here’s what you should do to list your PCI-Express graphics card as a primary graphics device:

  1.  Restart your laptop
  2. Open the BIOS menu (Pressing the F2 or the Del key during computer startup usually opens the BIOS menu)
  3. Select the Advanced tab using the left/right arrow keys.
  4. Select the Video Configuration option using the Up/Down arrow keys.
  5. Go to First Display Device or Primary Display Adapter (depends on motherboard model)
  6. Select the PCI-Express Graphics option and press Enter
  7. Press F10 to save the new settings

Additional solutions to fix graphics card issues

If you have another solution, reach the comments because the more solutions we have, the easier it would be to solve the problem.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2015 and has been since revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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