GeForce Experience is, in my opinion, a bloatware program. Why should anyone have to sign up for an account, just for updating the video drivers?
That’s like telling users, hey maybe you want to stop using our software, which is precisely what I do. I never do install it, when I’m updating my video card’s drivers. This comes at a small trade-off though, I forget to update my GPU drivers, it’s always a version or two or 7, behind in terms of updates. That’s not exactly a bad thing though, I’ve had my fair share of experience with bad drivers, most recently in September 2020 where games would just freeze for a split second, and caused massive lag spikes. Although in that case, I got the driver via Windows Update, that’s a different headache to deal with.
Anyway circling back to the topic at hand, there are some programs, e.g. Tiny Nvidia Update Checker, which offer a way to get NVidia driver updates, without the hassle of the Experience app. EnvyUpdate is the latest application which joins that list. The program is portable by default, and you have an option to “install” the tool if you want to. EnvyUpdate weighs at 566KB, which is quite tiny. The interface is equally minimal.
When you run it, the program detects your GPU automatically, and displays the name at the top of the window. It also lists the current version of the Nvidia driver version that is installed on your computer. The next line, tells what the latest version is.
Hit the three-dot button, to view a couple of additional options. Here you have options to toggle whether you want the mobile (laptop) version of the driver, or the DCH (Declarative Componentized Hardware) one. Unchecking both options will fetch the regular graphics drivers, which you should use if you are on a desktop with a PCI-E graphics card.
See that button with the arrow icon in the bottom right corner? Click it, and EnvyUpdate will open your default web browser to load the Nvidia website. The page that it loads is for the latest game ready driver for your graphics card. The utility will not download and install the driver on its own, this is good because you have more control over the update. If you don’t want the current version, you can simply ignore it. Minimizing the window sends EnvyUpdate to run in the system tray.
Click on the autostart button to make EnvyUpdate run when your computer boots. The install button, as I mentioned earlier runs the program as a regular application.
EnvyUpdate is an open source utility, written in C#. Do you open Control Panel > Add/Remove programs to check the version of your Nvidia driver, and then go to the official download page to check for updates? This program is going to save you that bit of effort, and help you with a single-click. You don’t need the latest driver if your computer is working fine, unless its a game ready driver for a new game that you want to play.
Now you, what is your preferred way to update your graphics driver?
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