Why is my PC not detecting my graphics card?

Everything from gaming to video streaming requires the services of a graphics card. Some devices may offer integrated graphics hardware but will never have the power of a separate card.

What do you do when you try to install a new graphics card and your PC doesn’t detect it?

Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you determine the source of the problem and find a solution.

Device Manager

Image: KnowTechie

Device Manager is the first thing to check when it comes to a PC not detecting new hardware.

Luckily, most modern computers come with an integrated graphics card, so you can still work on the machine even if it can’t see yours.

Check under the display adapters tab. You should see your graphics card. If so, try right-clicking and activating it. Then switch your monitor input to the ports on the card to see if that fixes the problem.

If you don’t see it listed under display adapters or it still won’t transmit video after activation, you’ll need to do some additional troubleshooting.

Outdated drivers

graphics card pc drivers
Image: KnowTechie

Computers and the technology that supports them are popping up in nearly every industry, from the console the nurse uses to check your vitals to the smart boards at your local school.

About 81% of teachers see great value in digital learning tools, but they are only effective if they work.

Another troubleshooting tip is to check for software issues. In most cases, all the information you need to keep these machines running smoothly is at your fingertips.

If your drivers are outdated, your graphics card will malfunction or stop detecting altogether. You may need to update your existing drivers or install new ones.

The easiest way to complete this troubleshooting step is to go to your card manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your GPU model.

Your graphics card should work once you install them. If not, skip to the next troubleshooting tip.

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To fix various PC issues, we recommend DriverFix

This software will keep your drivers operational, protecting you from common computer errors and hardware failures. Running this application will automatically install all relevant drivers.

BIOS updates

Modern computers refer to BIOS settings as UEFI, but the old term has become so well known that they have become interchangeable.

Going into BIOS/UEFI settings may fix issues if your motherboard is the problem. Find the GPU in your BIOS settings.

You should be able to activate it if it appears. You will need to move on to hardware troubleshooting if this is not the case.

Plugs and sockets

If the device manager and BIOS menu do not detect your graphics card, hardware failure may be the cause.

Before you rush out to buy a new motherboard or graphics card, start with the basics – make sure everything is plugged in.

The power cords connecting the graphics card from your power supply should be seated properly and the card should be properly seated in its PCIe x16 slot.

Something as simple as not pushing the card far enough could cause all of these issues.

Power supplies

computer power supply unit (psu)
Image: Joe Rice-Jones/KnowTechie

You may end up with a black screen if your power supply (PSU) is not generating enough power to handle the demands of your GPU.

You don’t need the most powerful PSU, especially if you’re just into casual gaming or streaming.

Still, you should have something that can handle the highest demands of your GPU without interfering with machine operations.

It’s also good to make sure your graphics card has power. You should be able to see it when you start the computer.

Even if your PC doesn’t detect the card, powering it up should start the cooling fan and light up any equipped LEDs.

If everything is plugged in and you’re not getting power, it could be an issue with your PSU instead of the graphics card.

Other hardware issues

zotac graphics card
Image: Joe Rice-Jones/KnowTechie

If you’ve followed all of these troubleshooting steps and your PC still doesn’t detect your graphics card, there may be another hardware failure.

Try installing the graphics card on another computer to see if the problem is with the GPU. If the card works, it may indicate a different hardware issue on your PC.

Troubleshooting these issues can be tricky, especially if you don’t know where the problem lies.

To fix various PC issues, we recommend DriverFix

This software will keep your drivers operational, protecting you from common computer errors and hardware failures. Check all your drivers now in three easy steps:

  1. Download DriverFix (download file verified)
  2. Click on Start analysis to find all problematic dryers
  3. Click on Update Drivers to get new versions and avoid system malfunctions.

Running these apps will automatically install the correct drivers and you can update them from the same place.

Get your graphics card back on track

No one wants to spend a ton of money on a graphics card so it doesn’t work with their PC. Hopefully one of these tips will fix your problem and get you back to doing what you love.

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Editor at ReHack Magazine with a passion for cybersecurity, AI and all things tech. Offline, you’ll find me zipping around the neighborhood on my motorbike or gorging on the latest true-crime documentary.