We all know the quality of the graphics processing unit (GPU) Nvidia has been producing over the years.

Being one of the best, if not the best in this market their products meet the need of graphic designers, video editors, animators, professional gamers, and other high graphic demanding jobs.

geforce-rtx-2080-ti

Though, if a user suddenly gets an “NVIDIA graphics driver is not compatible with this version of windows” error during update/install, it causes panic.

Since you can’t install the NVIDIA driver, there is no advantage of having the graphics card. Does this mean your windows do not support the driver you are trying to install? Or, do you need to purchase a new graphics card?

In this article, we will cover what is this issue, how it occurs as well as how you can rid of this concern.

Why Nvidia Graphics Driver is Not Compatible With This Version of Windows Issue Appears?

As the error message states the Nvidia driver you are trying to install is not meant for your operating system. There is nothing wrong with the GPU hardware, instead, this issue lies between your Operating system and the driver.

NVIDIA-graphics-driver-is-not-compatible-with-this-version-of-windows
Image: NVIDIA graphics driver is not compatible with this version of windows

The most possible reason for this issue can be you are trying to install a 32-bit driver into your 64-bit windows or vise-versa.

As long as the architecture of both systems is different, it may cause such problems while installing the driver.

So make sure you check your windows bit version and then install the correct Nvidia driver in order for a smooth installation process.

How to check your operating system information?

There are multiple ways to check OS specification, however, since this issue is related to Nvidia GPU we will try to use DirectX Diagnostic tool.

  • Open the RUN dialog box, type “dxdialog” and click OK.
  • The direct diagnostic window will appear.
  • Check the operating system information, you should find the architecture version of your OS.
directX-diagnosis-tool

Another possible reason for the Nvidia graphics driver’s incompatible issue can be the build version of your windows.

Nvidia graphics drivers were not supported in predecessors of Windows 10 Threshold 2 version 1511. In fact, the supported versions were 1511 (Threshold 2 version), 1607 (Anniversary version), and 1703 (fall creators version).

In terms of build, successors of the 10586 version are supported by Nvidia drivers. To check the Windows build version the process is similar and you should find the build version right beside the operating system information.

Alternatively, try this;

How to check Windows build version?
  • Open the RUN dialog box and type “winver” to open the “about windows” window.
  • There you will find both the Windows version and build no.
windows-build-version

Even though NVIDIA makes high-quality products, it may still trigger some issues. However, once you discover from where the problem is arising you can fix it.

How to fix NVIDIA graphics driver is not compatible with this version of windows

So, now let’s see which step you should take to fix the NVIDIA graphics driver is not compatible issue…

1. Reinstall the NVIDIA graphics driver after uninstalling it

The first step towards fixing this issue is uninstalling and reinstalling the NVIDIA driver on your computer.

Most of the time this is the best solution to resolve issues related to the Nvidia graphics driver. Please follow the given instructions carefully.

  • On your windows search bar type “MSConfig”. Click on system configuration from the search result. Or you can also invoke the RUN box (Win+R) and type MSConfig to open the system configuration. Either way works.
msconfig-run-dialog-box
  • When the system configuration window appears, switch to the Boot tab and check on Safe boot also check the network option and click on OK.
  • Click on Restart when prompted and your computer will now boot into safe mode.
safe-boot-with-network-enable
  • Now open file explorer and go to Local Disk C. From both Program Files and Program Files (x86), delete the NVIDIA corporation folder.
  • Then press Win + R and type “devmgmt.msc” in the Run dialog box and press Enter. This will open the device manager window.
  • Expand the display adapter. You should see all the network adapters currently connected to the PC. From this list right click on the Nvidia adapter and select uninstall the device.
driver-manager-nvidia-driver-uninstalled
  • After uninstalling the driver go to the Boot settings again and disable safe boot mode. Wait for the prompt to restart your PC.
  • Visit this link: https://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx and download the latest Nvidia driver for your computer.
  • Remember, you need to select the graphics driver that matches your hardware(GPU) specifications.
  • More importantly, pick your operating system e.g. Windows 10 64-Bit/32-bit or Windows 7 32-Bit/64-bit. If you don’t know how to verify which windows version you are using read this section of this article. 
  • Once the download is finished, run the setup file and follow the installation instructions on the installer. Make sure to check the box “perform clean install“.
  • Finally restart your computer.

Verify if the “NVIDIA graphics driver is not compatible with this version of windows” warning appears or not. If not resolved proceed to the next method mentioned below.

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2. Download NVIDIA driver using Geforce Experience

In case the issue remains you need to use Nvidia Geforce Experience to download or update the Nvidia graphics driver.

  • n case you don’t have the Geforce experience application download it from this link: https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/geforce-experience/.
  • Now start the Geforce Experience program. If you find the application update make sure you do that.
  • Now go to the Drivers tab on Geforce Experience. It will display the driver install button or update button depending on you have the driver installed or not.
this-nvidia-graphics-driver-is-not-compatiable-with-this-version-of-windows-1-1
  • If you did not find any automatic recommendation double-check the driver status by clicking on the “check for update” button.
  • For both cases, whether it is a fresh installation or an update you need to select “Custom installation“.
nvidia-graphics-driver-installer
  • During installation, you should check the “perform clean install” option.
NVIDIA-Driver-Clean-Installation
  • After installation is completed restart your computer.

Now verify whether the “NVIDIA graphics driver is not compatible with this version of the windows” issue is resolved or not. If not proceed to the next step to update windows.

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3. Update your Windows

As we discussed earlier Windows 10 version & build can be the cause of this problem. If so, you can fix it by updating your operating system to the latest release.

Recap:

Nvidia graphics drivers were not supported in predecessors of Windows 10 Threshold 2 version 1511. In fact, the supported versions were 1511 (Threshold 2 version), 1607 (Anniversary version), and 1703 (fall creators version).

There is a possibility that your windows version is not up-to-date which is causing the issue. You can also check the history of windows 10 versions for more related information.

In order to update your Windows,

  • Search for “windows update settings” on the windows search box or press Windows + I to open the settings window.
  • Then click on update and security > select windows update.
Windows-settings-panel
  • Click on the “check for update” button.
  • Allow installation of all the important windows updates.
  • During installations of the update, windows might restart several times, do not interrupt the process.

Once the Windows update process completes checking whether the “Nvidia graphics driver is not compatible with this version of windows” warning gets resolved or not.

There is a very low possibility that the issue still remains, most of the time these three steps work really well and successfully solve the issue.

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