AMD Graphics Drivers Automatically Removed By Windows Update (How To Fix)

Over the past few months, my Windows PC has developed an annoying issue. Sometimes when I boot up, I launch a game or video editing program… and get hit by lag and performance stutters. I might just about get 1 FPS in Rocket League if I’m lucky!

I then check Task Manager, and I notice that the graphics card is no longer showing up. Why is this? And how can it be fixed? The short answer is:

Windows Update can clash with AMD’s own driver management software, resulting in a mismatching GPU driver version – that stops the GPU from working. To fix this, you should re-install the AMD drivers, and stop Windows Update from doing this again in the future.

Overview: AMD vs Windows Display Drivers

Before diving into exactly why this issue happens, it’s worth recapping on the ‘battle’ between display drivers.

1-2 decades ago, when you purchased a new piece of hardware or a peripheral, it often came with a CD/DVD containing drivers on them. These ‘drivers’ are bits of software that tell the Windows operating system how to control the hardware (or peripheral). Without these drivers, Windows would often ignore the new hardware – or just say that it’s an unknown and unrecognized device.

New device not recognized error
New device not recognized

You would plug in some headphones, and… nothing would happen. Or you would install a new graphics card, and then be stuck at some awful resolution when booting up Windows.

But since then, Windows started getting much better at automatically downloading drivers when you installed a new piece of hardware or peripheral. This works well in the majority of cases, however some devices are too complex for Windows to manage completely.

As a result, Windows will sometimes install a basic version of the required drivers, but the user can then install the full drivers later. When it comes to AMD graphics cards, you will now be able to boot into a good resolution (after installing a fancy new graphics card) – and you might be able to play some games too.

But you certainly won’t be able to use the full power from the graphics card, or turn on some AMD-specific settings like Radeon Super Resolution and Radeon Anti-Lag:

AMD Radeon Super Resolution is great but it can make game graphics too sharp
AMD Radeon Super Resolution is great but it can make game graphics too sharp

As a result, it is often better to go straight to AMD and install the graphics card display drivers from there – bypassing Windows entirely. After all, what’s the point in only having basic display drivers when you have some really expensive GPU?

Why AMD and Windows Sometimes Clash (And Windows ‘Deletes’ The AMD Drivers)

Windows is needy and clingy. There, I said it. Even if you make the sensible decision to bypass Windows (and install the full display drivers directly from AMD), sometimes it will come along and remove these drivers. The graphics card will then disappear from Windows, and the AMD Software suite will say:

“Windows Update may have automatically replaced your AMD Graphics driver. Hence, the version of AMD Software you have launched is not compatible with your currently installed AMD Graphics driver”

AMD Software suite warning

It links to a helpful FAQ page, which explains that Windows has probably reset the graphics driver.

Windows automatically deleted my AMD graphics card drivers
Windows automatically deleted my AMD graphics card drivers

Gee, thanks Windows. I’ll go back to playing Cyberpunk 2077 with 1 frame a second! Who needs a fully functioning graphics card, anyway?

Well, I do. So here’s how to fix this problem once and for all.

How To Fix This (Two Simple Steps)

In general, you need to do two things here: reinstall the AMD drivers, and then stop Windows from resetting these drivers every few weeks.

Step 1: Restore The AMD Drivers

When you get the “Windows Update may have automatically replaced your AMD Graphics driver” error from the AMD software suite, you have two main options:

  • Repair the drivers.
  • Completely uninstall and reinstall the drivers.

To repair the drivers, simply launch the AMD installer (this is usually in the C:\AMD\ folder), and click “Repair” and “Drivers Only”:

Repair the AMD drivers to restore them
Repair the AMD drivers to restore them

Then restart your computer, and it should hopefully restore the proper AMD drivers.

But if you still have issues with the GPU missing, you will want to do a full uninstall and reinstall. The first step here is to go into Windows Settings, go into Apps and Programs and search for “AMD”:

The option to uninstall the AMD Software suite
The option to uninstall the AMD Software suite

When clicking “Uninstall” here, the AMD Software suite will appear and ask you which drivers to remove. Click the check box next to your graphics, and click “Uninstall”:

The AMD Software uninstaller asking you which drivers to remove
The AMD Software uninstaller asking you which drivers to remove

After this is done, you will need to restart your computer. At this point, you will not have any AMD graphics drivers left on your computer. You can then start the process of installing the display drivers again, by downloading the latest AMD Software: Adrenaline Edition program from Then click the downloaded “exe”, to start installing it:

Extracting the AMD Software suite to install it
Extracting the AMD Software suite to install it

After a minute or two, this will launch an AMD software launcher which asks you what to install. Here you can choose to install just the basic AMD drivers, or the full drivers and software suite:

AMD software suite and drivers being installed
AMD software suite and drivers being installed

Click install and (after another restart) the proper AMD GPU drivers will now be installed on your computer. This will restore the full graphics performance, allowing you to finally play games and get more than 1 FPS again – woohoo!

However this issue might rear its head again soon, so the final step is to stop Windows Update from resetting the display drivers again.

Step 2: Stop Windows From Deleting the AMD GPU Drivers In The Future

Unfortunately both Windows 10 and 11 suffer from this issue, whereby Windows randomly decides that your manually installed AMD display drivers are ‘old’ – thereby installing ‘newer’ drivers which are incompatible (and, in-fact, older than what you already had installed).

Many users suffer from this issue, and the only solution is to try and change an internal Windows setting to stop Windows Update from ‘fixing’ (i.e. corrupting) the AMD driver. There are three possible approaches here, although not all options work for all users:

  1. Change ‘Device installation’ settings.
  2. Use RegEdit to stop automatic driver updates.
  3. Use Group Policy Editor to disable driver updates.

Option #1: Change ‘Device installation’ settings

Windows has a built-in option to download manufacturer’s drivers (or not). You can disable this by searching for “Change device installation settings” selecting “No” in the dialog box that appears:

The option to disable device driver downloads
The option to disable device driver downloads

While this option can work for some drivers, it is a bit less reliable in stopping Windows updates from overwriting the AMD GPU drivers.

Option #2: Use RegEdit

Some users have reported being able to modify a registry setting, to block Windows Update from impacting GPU drivers. To do this, launch regedit by pressing Windows key + R and typing “regedit”:

The option to launch regedit on Windows
The option to launch regedit on Windows

Then navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Policies > Microsoft > Windows > DriverSearching, and find the option “DriverUpdateWizardWuSearchEnabled”.

Update the value to be “0” (meaning disabled), and click OK. Restart your computer for this change to take effect.

Note: not all versions of Windows will have this registry option available. If you don’t have a “DriverSearching” folder under “Windows”, you are probably running an unsupported version of Windows for this option.

Option #3: Set a Group Policy

Windows Pro has a Local Group Policy Editor, which is designed for system administrators to manage settings across a range of computers (on the same network). This Group Policy Editor also (thankfully) has an option to stop automatic driver updates.

The video below walks you through how to disable this setting, but in general you need to click Windows key + R (to launch the Run dialog), type “gpedit.msc” and navigate to Computer Config -> Admin Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update, then enable the “Do not include drivers with Windows Updates” option:

Hopefully at least one of these approaches works for you! Some users report that nothing seems to work, and Windows keeps resetting their display drivers, but I was able to stop this issue via the group policy approach.

cropped A picture of me Tristan
About Tristan Perry

Tristan has been interested in computer hardware and software since he was 10 years old. He has built loads of computers over the years, along with installing, modifying and writing software (he's a backend software developer 'by trade').

Tristan also has an academic background in technology (in Math and Computer Science), so he enjoys drilling into the deeper aspects of technology.

Tristan is also an avid PC gamer, with FFX and Rocket League being his favorite games.

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below. Please note that all comments go into a moderation queue (to prevent blog spam). Your comment will be manually reviewed and approved by Tristan in less than a week. Thanks!

38 thoughts on “AMD Graphics Drivers Automatically Removed By Windows Update (How To Fix)”

    • Sorry to hear it Azri – the final steps (uninstall and reinstall) worked fine for me. Feel free to reply back with more details of your setup (OS, AMD GPU model) and I can try and take a further look in-case I can think of any further steps for you to tru. Or feel free to email me directly at tristan (at) techoverwrite (dot) com.

  1. Thanks for this. Had to fight with this issue again after Windows 11 removed my drivers and replaced them with who knows how many years’ old version. I squarely blame Microsoft for being lazy about this issue.

  2. Dude you are a life savior. I am facing this problem for years. The clear install and factory reset option worked smoothly for me. I used the option 1 for stopping windows and now we wait. Thank you mate this was a frustrating problem <3.

    • Hmm sorry to hear it, Jani. I’ll keep an ear out, in-case I hear of other methods to stop this. My drivers have stopped being auto-rolled back now which is nice, but if I hear of other ways to stop this, I’ll update this article.

  3. There is one other option but it’s not for the faint of heart. There is an alternative OS build called AtlasOS. It uses win10 kernel but is very slimmed down to the point you gain some FPS and reduce input latency – however there is no windows update features anymore so manual updates are needed when security patches are needed. So you may want two machines one for just gaming and other for work, business, research, banking, and etc..

  4. A few days ago I had this happen to my PC with Windows replacing the drivers. I followed the steps here (uninstalling and reinstalling AMD Adrenalin) however now the framerate I get in games like Overwatch is far lower than I was getting before. Additionally if I open the Task Manager when I have Overwatch open, it says the CPU is always at 100% whether I’m in a game or in the menus. Do you know how I could fix this?

    • Hmm sorry to hear it Sean. It does almost sound like Windows is skipping the graphics card here. Do you ever see any GPU usage, or is it always around 0%? Double check the AMD Adrenaline settings in-case the graphics card is (essentially) ‘switched off’ for Overwatch. Also ensure that your HDMI or DP cable is plugged into your graphics card, not your motherboard (worth stating this because it’s easy to play around with the cables in situations like this, and forget that you need to be plugged into the GPU).

  5. I tried everything of the above and more. Still, during games, black screen, and the error Windows Update may have automatically replace your AMD graphics drivers.

    I think I tried everything, but the issue still persists.

    • Sorry to hear it, and that’s crazy that your drivers get updated during games! I only saw the issue once ever 1-2 months. I’ll keep digging around and update this article if/when I hear of more possible solutions.

  6. AMD should sue Microsoft for this. One thing that worked for me in Win10 was that I hard-locked all windows updates.

    • Hard-locking Windows updates will definitely work too, that’s true (although it’s a pity that some of us have to resort to such drastic measures). I hope this can be resolved ASAP for sure.

  7. Thanks man, I have the same issue but it’s only triggered on the first time boot, so after a few restarts or ‘unplug and re-plug’ the power, then it will boot again.

    Somehow AMD drivers exist and I can open the Adrenaline software without any warning.

    Please let me know if you know about the cause of that issue, thanks.

    • Hey ZackCypher, hmm that’s odd for sure. Unfortunately I haven’t heard of that specific case (i.e. where it only sometimes happens, but overall the drivers are appearing fine). I will keep an eye out and reply back if I find out more though.

  8. Hi there, I have an old laptop that uses a dedicated AMD GPU, but after the update my APU is nowhere to be seen, even on device manager and applist, only the Intel HD Graphics. I did all the steps but still no hope for this. Maybe you can help me deal with this? Thanks.

    • Sorry to hear it Ashe, usually these steps work well. Does the AMD software literally not detect the AMD GPU at all, or does it recognise it fine, but then the GPU disappears again after a restart? I haven’t heard of this particular case before, but I will keep an eye out and reply back if/when I hear of extra steps to take for your case.

  9. Hey Tristan, is there any other ways to keep Windows from updating my drivers other than the three options you provided? Option #1 didn’t work for me, my Windows doesn’t have the DriverSearching option in option #2, and I can’t run “gpedit.msc” in option #3 because I think because I don’t have the Pro version of Windows. I’m having this issue about 3 times per day and I’m tired of reinstalling drivers lmao. Anything will help thanks!

    • Hey Jacob, really sorry to hear these tips didn’t help you out (and that you’re having this 3 times a day – that’s crazy annoying!). Unfortunately it worked fine for me after trying these options, and I haven’t had it reoccur since (even after reinstalling my OS for an unrelated problem). I’ll keep an eye out and update this article if/when I find more options to try though.

  10. I’ve tried all the 3 methods to stop windows update, it stays disabled, but once I install the driver again, the updates continues running lol.

    • Sorry to hear that. Unfortunately it now works okay for me so I can’t easily debug other potential options. I’ll keep an eye out though, and update this article if/when I find more options to try. It’s such a frustrating issue 🙁

  11. Hi Tristan, I just got the update yesterday and I had no idea what was going on but the first step doesn’t work for me because the AMD software app does not open at all for me. The only display adapter that shows for me is the Intel HD graphics one. Will I still be able to use the second method?

    P.S. I have followed the first step and after uninstalling it and installing it, I still get the error (that the AMD graphics hardware has been detected).

    • Hello, sorry to hear that you’re still having issues. It’s a frustrating issue for sure.

      So is Windows ‘instantly’ updating the drivers, after you manually install the AMD ones? Double check the Windows Update history/log to confirm whether this is the case.

      If it is, it could be worth disabling Windows update for a week or two (there should be a pause option) and then manually installing the AMD drivers. Maybe after some time, Windows Update will then stop removing the AMD drivers?

  12. I try everything 3 month ago: not working (Windows still delete AMD drivers!). The only solution is cut Windows Updates. Microsoft should stop acting like a child!

    • It’s frustrating for sure Mickey, thanks for sharing your experience/solution. Sorry to hear that only cutting Windows Updates worked for you, but I’m not too surprised – Microsoft seems to be making a proper fix harder than it should be.

  13. Hi Tristan, thank you for the article.
    I get what seems to be a related issue, basically my video drivers stopping to work and being overrided by what seems to be a similar version from Windows side. The AMD software stops working, showing the PA-300 error when trying to start it. I seem to have stopped Windows update to updating the video drivers, as per your article and other similar ones.
    But I have the strangest trigger. It seems my PC is working fine. And, when I plug in my headphones, bam, screen goes black, and video stops working completely and I can’t turn it back on. When I restart the PC, screen is working normally (even at 1080), but AMD software wont load since “wrong drivers”.
    It is absolutely triggered by the instant I plug in my headphones. Not every time. Just some times. And it is getting much worse with every Windows update. A few months ago it was once a month, now it’s every other day.
    I have a Ryzen 5 5600 (with no integrated graphics), a Radeon 6500XT, and Windows 11 Pro. Motherboard B550M DS3H.
    Even if I can’t solve it, I would at least like to find some shortcut key with which to turn the screen back on so I don’t lose my work.
    Although I know it’s probably Windows, this is driving me nuts. I am even suspecting the motherboard because of the headphones thing.
    What do you think? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Benito,

      That’s a really frustrating (and weird) trigger, sorry to hear it!

      Yes I agree, it almost sounds like some weird motherboard conflict with Windows which is causing the wrong drivers to be ‘fixed’ when you plug in some headphones.

      Have you tried with a different brand of headphones and see if it still happens? Naturally it shouldn’t be happening at all, but I’m curious if there’s something specific with your headphones (and motherboard) that is causing the problem.

      I hope you can get this sorted. I’ll keep an eye out in-case I read of others having similar troubles.


      • I have found out the origin of the problem. The drivers are not the cause, they are the consequence. The problem I’m having is static electricity somehow. When I plug the headphones, there’s some static going on between the case and me. Somehow that triggers some motherboard protection that makes it shutdown (although the fans are still working, that’s what made me think I was just out of video). And, surprisingly, when I restart the system, the consequence is the AMD video drivers have been changed.
        I’ve done some research about the static issue but it’s out of context for your article.
        Since I’ve stopped plugging in things with my PC on (I now connect and disconnect headphones by software), I got no issues with video drivers. Let’s see how that holds for the next windows update (which did make trouble for my video drivers even before the headphones thing).


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