How To Install Only The Driver On Nvidia Graphics Cards

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Nvidia logoWhen you install Nvidia drivers for a graphics card there are several items (including tracking telemetry) that are installed at the same time. Here's how to install only what you want and need.

If you own an Nvidia graphics card, you may have noticed that several items are installed when you upgrade your driver or perform a clean driver installation. The driver is necessary, but what about the other items? Depending on how you use your system you may want all, some or none of those components.

One of the things I love about Nvidia is that they release driver updates frequently. One of the things I'm less crazy about is....frequent driver updates. The latest driver download on Windows shows several components (you'll need to select Custom install instead of Express install to see these options):

  • Graphics Driver
  • 3D Vision Controller Driver
  • 3D Vision Driver
  • HD Audio Driver
  • NVIDIA GeForce Experience
  • PhysX System Software

Typically I only install the Graphics Driver and PhysX System as 3D isn't something applicable to my system. I check for updates manually, so I don't need the GeForce Experience component that checks for updates, among other things.

You'd think that choosing those options and a clean install would install only those components. Not so. A look at running processes in Task Manager shows some Nvidia entries. Those are extra telemetry tracking on Windows systems. There is no option to disable them during or after installation. I'm not opposed to tracking telemetry on general principles, but the lack of transparency during installation and the ability to opt in or opt out are problematic.

Ghacks has put together a complete guide to installing just the drivers for Nvidia graphics cards and directions for disabling Nvidia tracking telemetry. Head on over for all the details. If you want to disable the telemetry on a current Nvidia driver installation, complete directions can be found here. It's worth noting that even after you've disabled telemetry, it may reappear again after a new installation so it's good to check after a driver update.

Install only the driver for Nvidia graphics cards


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Comments

The update function was broken on mine, so I had all the bloatware and none of the touted benefits. For years have been disabling the Experience component in Taskman on boot up. PITA.

So thank you very much for this!

You're very welcome. :)

Hmm, I went into Task Scheduler and I didn't find any Nvidia entries at all.

Task Scheduler is different from Task Manager and might not contain Nvidia entries.

If you don't have any Nvidia entries in Task Manager (I only have one, Nvidia Container), I would check to make sure that the drivers are indeed installed.
(Look in Device Manager/Display Adapters. Keyboard Win + X - press M)

If you're running Windows 10, sometimes upgrades replace Nvidia drivers with Microsoft versions. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I believe Microsoft just released a major upgrade in the last few days - Windows 10 April 2018 Update.