Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered

Display driver error is typically accompanied by the following symptom:

“The graphics cards drivers will initially crash then recover moments after, during game play”

Some other users report experiencing this error while surfing the internet, so it’s not exclusive to game play, but it does typically occur when the graphics card is under some stress. This error is known to occur on virtually every version of Windows.

Fortunately, the Display driver stopped responding and has recovered error can be solved, providing you know what you are doing. In this post, I intend to outline several methods that have proven very effective at solving this problem.

What Is Display Driver Stopped Responding and Has Recovered?

When your computer first boots up or while running an application, such as a media file or video game, the operating system or application will suddenly crash, freeze or exit to the desktop. In more grave situations, a blue screen of death (BSOD) may appear, accompanied by either a Display driver has stopped responding and has successfully recovered or a Display driver stopped responding and has recovered error message.

The error occurs when the Timeout Detection and Recovery (TDR) feature timeouts out after a period of inactivity or unresponsiveness from the graphics card (GPU). The graphics card is then reinitialised using the default (WDM) Windows Display Model.

What Causes It?

So what causes this relatively common error? Well, like with many errors you may encounter on your computer, the causes can be quite plentiful. Your best option is always to ensure all your drivers are up-to-date and working correctly.

However, of the various causes, the most common tend to be the following:

The graphics card driver is corrupted, missing or outdated.
The graphics card is outdated and not fully compatible with the version of Windows you are using it on.
The graphics card drivers are conflicting with one or more applications currently running in the background.
The GPU is taking an unusually long time to display the graphics to the monitor.

How to Fix It

So how do you fix this error? Well, there are many different things that you can do, but only a couple of these solutions tend to give the end user the desired results.

Below are the methods I would adopt in the same situation.

Update Graphics Card Drivers

The first thing for you to consider when faced with this issue is the graphics card drivers. You’ll want to ensure that your drivers are the most recent.

If you find that your drivers are outdated, then you will need to visit the website of your graphics card brand and locate the most recent drivers off there. In most cases, updating the drivers will fix the problem; just make sure you install the correct drivers for your version of Windows, as you do not want to create new problems while trying to solve an old one.

If this all seems complicated to you, then there are driver updater tools that you can use, which will automate the entire process. So I recommend you check one of those programs out.

Check Your Hardware

“A failing hardware component is capable of causing system instability”

Thus, you should consider testing your hardware components to ensure that they are not the cause of the error. In order to do this, you have several options. The first is to use Device Manager. To access this tool, simply do the following:

  1. First, boot into your computer with full administrative rights.
  2. Then press Windows key + R, type devmgmt.msc into the Run Command box, and then click on OK.


  1. Once Device Manager loads up, you can check the status of a component, by double clicking on it and looking at its Device Status on the General Tab.


Alternatively, you could take each component out of your computer and test it on a working system.

If that option is not open to you, then you can use stress testing software, which will evaluate the integrity of your system. There are many different kinds of stress testing software, such as MemTest86, which is designed for testing memory and FurMark, which is designed for testing your GPU.

Close All Running Programs

If you have a lot of programs running at the same time, it can seriously degrade system performance, depending on the amount of resources your computer has available. Thus, it’s always a good idea to close all or at the very least, any program(s) that you are not using prior to playing a computer game or surfing the web.

If the error occurs whenever you attempt to use a particular program, then there is a good chance that the error is due to corruption within the program itself. Consider closing that application and then monitoring whether or not it fixes the problem.

Clean the GPU

A GPU that is overheating can and typically does cause a lot of problems. Fortunately, most overheating is the result of dust build up, which can very easily be fixed. Using either a duster or a cloth, switch off your computer, then proceed to clean the dust from out of your system. It’s likely that you’ll have to clean a lot more than just the GPU when you do this, especially if up till now, you’ve never cleaned the computer.

Compressed air is a favourite amongst many computer experts, so I’d recommend you considered buying some of that to clean your computers insides.

Popular Read:: How to Fix High CPU and RAM Usage in Windows 10/8/7

Reinstall Your Operating System

If your operating system is corrupted in any way, it can cause the display driver stopped responding and has recovered issue to occur.  You can try using optimization software to fix it, but in the event that the damage is too severe, you may need to consider a clean installation.

Keep in mind that you will lose all your data in the process, so you will need to back things up first. Alternatively, you could try a repair installation, this method will not erase any of your personal data however the chances of it fixing the error are much slimmer.

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