How to Fix: Display Driver has Stopped Responding and has Recovered

Sometimes our incredibly complex computers can run into problems related to the coordination of internal tasks.  This error can occur when Windows believes that your graphics card (or its driver) has taken too much time to do its job.

More technically, Microsoft Support indicates that your graphics card caused a Windows Time Out Detection and Recovery Error and Windows attempted a reset, without success.  It could have been the result of a highly unusual circumstance and might not happen again after you reboot your computer.

If it does happen again, or if you wish to take proactive steps to prevent it from happening again, you can try the following steps to ensure that your graphics card responds in a timely fashion.

1. You May be Running too Many Applications

Exit all applications except the one you were running when the error occurred.

If there are applications that have been minimized, hover over the icon in the taskbar at the bottom (minimized applications are signified with underlining of the icon in Windows 10)

Step 1:

Right Click on Each Underlined Icon

Step 2:

Then, Click “Close Window”

Save any work that you want to save as the window closes (it will ask you if you wish to save it)

If the error does not occur again, you may have temporarily corrected the problem. However, it may return if you again run and minimize multiple applications as you did before.

If you need to have multiple applications running and/or minimized at the same time, then you might also consider one of the following, more permanent, fixes below.

2. You May be Running a Highly Graphics-Intensive Application

Realistic games can make very heavy demands on your graphics card. Try closing the most graphics-oriented application that you are currently running, to see if the error no longer occurs.

Engineering and scientific software can also be highly graphics-intensive, even if they don’t display graphics images (some use the much faster graphics processor to process mathematic calculations).

If this works, but you still need to use the graphics-intensive application, then you might consider one of the following methods to fix it more permanently.

3. Try Changing the Windows Visual Effects settings

You can also try disabling some of the Windows visual effects to reduce the demands on your graphics card:

Step 1:

Click Start. Then click Settings.

Step 2:

Look for the search box on the dialog box that pops up and then type Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows, and then click on the same phrase in the results box below.

Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows

Step 3:

Click on the Visual Effects Tab

Step 4:

Click the circle next to Adjust for Best Performance

If you don’t like the effects of this setting, you could try checking some of the features underneath to arrive at a custom configuration. Just remember that each one increases demand on the Graphics card again.

4. Change Your Time Out Detection and Recovery Setting

Change the time-out setting in your Registry so that Windows gives the graphics card more time before it triggers this error. Since this setting is normally defaulted, a new setting needs to be added to the Registry as follows.

DANGER:  Improper modifications to your Registry can permanently and seriously damage your Windows operating system. You could lose all of your work and all of your files. Have this step done by a professional unless you are qualified to perform it.  Always back up your Registry prior to making such a change .

Step 1:

Exit all Windows applications.

Step 2:

Click on Start and look for the “Search” box:

Windows Search Box

Step 3:

Enter regedit in the Search box. A search will be performed as you type.

Step 4:

Find regedit.exe in the search results and Double-Click on it to bring up the Registry Editor:

registry editor

Step 5:

Find the Graphics Drivers registry subkey by clicking down the path given below:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers:

Step 6:

While GraphicsDrivers is highlighted (as shown), Click on the Edit menu and then on New.

Step 7:

Click on the correct choice (for your operating system) in the drop-down menu, as follows:

For 32 Bit Windows

  1. Select DWORD (32-bit) value.
  2. Type TdrDelay as the Name and then select Enter.
  3. Double-click TdrDelay and add 8 for the Value data and then select OK.

For 64 Bit Windows

  1. Select QWORD (64-bit) value.
  2. Type TdrDelay as the Name and then select Enter.
  3. Double-click TdrDelay and add 8 for the Value data and then select OK.

Step 8:

Double-click on the new “TdrDelay” entry and choose Modify to bring up the edit box:

Step 9:

Close RegEdit and restart your computer.

5. There may be a problem with Your Graphics Card

Update your display driver to the latest version

Step 1:

Determine the manufacturer of your graphics card and the model number.

  1. If your graphics card is a separate card installed into an expansion or upgrade socket, inspect the part of the card that you can see from outside (the monitor will likely be connected straight to it) for labels, stamping, or printing.
  2. Check the Windows Device Manager for information on the graphics card (AKA “display adapter” in the Device Manager)

Click on Start and type “Device Manager” into the search box:

device manager on the list

Step 2:

Click on “Device Manager” (subheading “Control Panel”) to start the device manager.

Step 3:

Click on “display adapters” and inspect what is expanded below it. The make and model of your graphics card will often be given here.

Step 4:

Visit the manufacturer’s website and look for “downloads” or “drivers” or “support.”

Step 5:

Download the latest driver for your graphics card.

Step 6:

Install the driver by double-clicking on the driver file downloaded. Follow all instructions given during the driver install.

6. Your Graphics Card Hardware may be Failing

It does happen. This is not surprising since the graphics card often runs at high temperatures and “crunches” an amazing amount of numbers during normal operation.  You may have no choice but to replace your graphics card or upgrade to a new graphics card.