How to fix DirectX errors on Windows 11

by Cesar Cadenas
Cesar Cadenas
Cesar Cadenas
Cesar has been writing for and about technology going on for 6 years when he first started writing tech articles for his university paper. Since then, his passion... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • DirectX is a library of APIs that are essential for Windows computers to display video, audio, and video games.
  • However, as essential as it may be, DirectX may fail from time to time for a wide variety of reasons.
  • This guide shows multiple ways to troubleshoot and fix DirectX problems.

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DirectX is arguably one of the most important software libraries for Windows 11. It’s a series of application programming interfaces or APIs that handles tasks for different types of media on Windows computers.

Namely, it boosts the performance of both audio-video hardware as well as its components.

It can greatly improve the experience of video playback and gaming by getting the most out of graphical fidelity and sound quality. DirectX is vital for professionals who are in media production, visual design, and more.

There are many different kinds of APIs in DirectX, all of which are catered to do specific things. Direct3D, in particular, is one of the most important and popular of all the DirectX APIs. It’s used a lot in game development for Windows and Xbox consoles.

Why do I get a DirectX error?

By and large, DirectX is updated automatically so there are rarely be any issues, but sometimes there’s that odd moment where you’ll encounter an error. Sometimes your drivers aren’t up to date or there’s a glitch or something got corrupted along the way.

There is a myriad of reasons why DirectX won’t work for you. This guide will show you multiple ways to fix DirectX errors like updating to the latest version and performing a system restore.

Upgrading to the latest version is important to fix the runtime issue plaguing the video game.

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Valorant is a popular free-to-play video game that many players have pointed out has frequent issues with DirectX, namely the Runtime API. Because of how pervasive the issue is, it’s important to point it out.

Before fixing DirectX, you’ll need to check out which DirectX version you have. The latest version is DirectX 12 and is native to many Windows 11 devices. An outdated version may be the cause of your problems.

How do I fix DirectX errors on Windows 11?

1. Checking the DirectX version

  1. Click on the magnifying glass icon on the bottom taskbar to bring up the Search bar.
  2. Type dxdiag and click on the first entry you see to run the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.
  3. Underneath the System tab, you will see which the version of DirectX installed on your computer.
  4. As you can see in this example, this computer has DirectX 12. If you don’t have this version or DirectX 12 Ultimate installed, it recommended that you download the latst version from Microsoft.

2. Download the latest version of DirectX

  1. On your preferred search engine, search for Download DirectX 12 and click the first entry you see. This will begin the dowload automatically.
  2. You’re going to download the dxwebsetup.exe file. Click Open file.
  3. A small window will appear asking if you want to make changes. Select Yes.
  4. An installation wizard will appear to guide you. Select I accept the argeement.
  5. Click Next in this next window. You’re also given the option to install the Bing bar. It’s recommended that you deselect this option to save you computer space.
  6. At this point, DirectX 12 will begin downloading and installing.
  7. As soon it’s done installing, click Finish.
  8. For good measure, go back to the DirectX Diagnostic Tool and double the version.

3. Using Device Manager

  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. Select Device Manager and open the tool.
  3. Identify which driver you want to update. As an example, this guide will select to update the drivers for the computer’s processors.
  4. Click on the arrow to expand.
  5. Select the driver you want to update and right-click it. Then select Update driver.
  6. A wizard will appear to give you an option on how you want to update the drivers. It’s recommended that you select Search automatically for drivers.
  7. If an update is found, Windows 11 will automatically download and install it. If there’s no update, you’ll get this screen.
  8. After the driver has been successfully updated, select Close.

In case that did not work, we recommend giving a try to DriverFix that will scan your PC for missing or outdated drivers and prompt you to update them.

4. Checking for Windows Updates

  1. Click on the Start button and select the Settings icon.
  2. Click on Windows Update on the left.
  3. Select Check for updates to have Windows 11 download and install any updates, including drivers.

5. Installing optional updates

  1. Some driver update may be considered optional by Windows 11. If you’re still experiencing DirectX issues, download the optional updates by clicking on Windows Update in the settings menu.
  2. Select Advanced options.
  3. Under Additional options, select Optional updates.
  4. In the next window, click the Driver updates drop-down menu and select the optional update you want to install.
  5. Then select the blue Download & install button.
Note icon
Upgrading to DirectX 12 will solve the Runtime issue plaguing Valorant players.

6. Disable third-party apps and startup services

  1. Press the Ctrl + Alt + Del keys on your keyboard.
  2. Click Task Manager to open the Task Manager window.
  3. Click on the Startup tab and switch over.
  4. In the Startup tab, you will find a list of all the apps and services that run as soon as your turn on your computer. These apps can slow down your computer and conflict with others.
  5. Right-click a service and then select Disable.
  6. Check to see if DirectX works now. If it is, then the app or service that you disabled was the culprit.
  7. If you want further control and wider range over which startups service are activated, open the search bar and type in System Configuration.
  8. Select the first entry you see.
  9. Go to the Services tab and you will see all of the background services currently running on your PC.
  10. Tick off the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox to remove them.
  11. Select Disable all to shut down all these process. This is not permanent as you can go back and enable them back on.
  12. Hit the Apply button.
  13. Restart your PC and see if DirectX works. If it is, then one of these services caused the problem.
  14. It’s recommended that you enable them one by one so you can find the problematic app.

7. Running command prompt

  1. In the search bar, type in command prompt.
  2. Select Run as administrator.
  3. Enter the command sfc /scannow to run the System File Checker.
  4. System File Check will scan Windows 11 and verify each file. This will take some time.
  5. Once the scan is complete, all of your system files will have been checked and repaired.

8. Perform a system restore

  1. Press the Windows key + R to bring up the Run dialog.
  2. In the dialog box, type rstruit then hit Enter to open the System Restore wizard.
  3. In the System Restore wizardm click Next.
  4. The next window will show you the restore point currently available. Select the restore point and hit Next.
  5. Hit Finish and the computer will revert back to the point when DirectX worked or before the problems started occurring.
Note icon
Be aware that restoring the system should be a last resort. This process will erase everything created or added after that restore point.

Are there any other issues with DirectX or WIndows 11 I should know about?

As with any operating system, Windows 11 is seeing continuous fixes. Just recently the KB5008215 patch came out which fixes the file explorer crashing problem, lagging issues, and even added the new emoji Clippy.

And some other DirectX errors are plaguing some games. League of Legends, for example, has had DirectX errors earlier in 2021. FIFA 2021 had the same issues as well that were caused by corrupted game files.

It’s important to make sure your windows 11 stays healthy, free of any corrupted files or malware slowing everything down. Because of this, it’s recommended that you download PC Health Check to test your system and make sure it stays healthy.

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions on other Windows 11 problems or bugs. And leave comments about guides that you’d like to see or information on Windows 11 features.

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