Many Windows desktop and laptop users have probably heard of DirectX, especially if their computer is used for gaming. Installing DirectX incorrectly can cause various issues with components and applications on your computer, so it’s important to know how to reinstall DirectX.
DirectX is a combination of APIs developed by Microsoft to solve a variety of tasks, mainly related to games and multimedia. An application programming interface (API) is a set of rules or procedures that allow computers or applications to communicate with each other.
- When you need to reinstall DirectX on your computer
- How to check DirectX version
- How to update DirectX via Windows Update
- Using the DirectX Web Installer for End Users
- How to reinstall DirectX using the System File Checker
- Article Conclusions
- How to reinstall DirectX on Windows (video)
Because game consoles have almost the same specs across all of their devices, this makes it easier for developers to optimize their games because they only need to tweak configurations to match the specific console’s specifications. PC games are more complex due to the sheer number of combinations that users use when it comes to graphics cards and processors.
DirectX allows the game to communicate directly with your device’s hardware – graphics card and processor – allowing the game to perform at its best based on your PC’s specifications. This is one of the main reasons why Windows has such an overwhelming advantage over other operating systems when it comes to running PC video games.
When you need to reinstall DirectX on your computer
DirectX is heavily involved in controlling 3D graphics, sound, video, and even gamepad functions when it comes to certain programs or games. If DirectX is malfunctioning, it can lead to distorted sound, corrupted graphics, or other serious problems when you try to run programs or games. It may look as if the hardware on your device has become faulty.
In the worst case, the application would encounter a fatal error and not start at all. In such cases, the best way to solve the problem is to reinstall DirectX, which should add any missing components or repair faulty ones.
In this guide, we will show you how to reinstall DirectX on Windows in different ways. The instructions in this article will help you reinstall DirectX in Windows 11 and Windows 10, as well as in earlier versions of the operating system: Windows 8.1 (Windows 8) and Windows 7.
How to check DirectX version
It is worth noting that not all graphics cards are compatible with the latest version of DirectX, so the optimal version for your device may not be the latest. This is especially true for older graphics cards.
You can use different methods to get DirectX version information on a PC. For example, the built-in Windows tool is the “DirectX Diagnostic Tool”, which shows all DirectX-related drivers and components currently available on your computer. It is a good tool for checking important computer specifications, including Windows version, processor, memory, graphics card, audio device, and DirectX version.
To find out which DirectX is installed on a given computer, follow these steps:
- Call the “Run” dialog box by pressing the “Win” + “R” keys.
- In the “Open:” field, type “dxdiag” and then click “OK”.
- After a few seconds, the DirectX Diagnostic Tool should appear and the DirectX version should be visible at the bottom of the System Information section.
Pay attention to the feature levels supported by the graphics card.
How to update DirectX via Windows Update
Modern versions of Windows already have DirectX installed as part of the operating system. This component is regularly updated along with other system components.
The first thing you should look out for when trying to fix DirectX related errors is system updates. It might just be a new update that will fix all the issues.
Go through the steps:
- Right click on the start menu.
- Select Options from the context menu.
- Select “Windows Update” in Windows 11 and “Update and Security” in Windows 10.
- Click on the “Check for Updates” button to have the operating system start searching for available updates.
If there are any updates available and they weren’t automatically installed for some reason, your OS will find them and install them, then restart your computer.
Using the DirectX Web Installer for End Users
Although more recent versions of Windows come with a version of DirectX pre-installed, you can still manually download the setup file and run the installation. This is useful when Windows updates have been disabled for some reason, or the installed DirectX is causing errors.
Do the following:
- Download the “DirectX End User Executable Libraries Web Installer” from the Microsoft website at: https://www.microsoft.com/en-US/download/details.aspx?id=35 .
- After downloading the installer, run it to install DirectX.
- In the Install Microsoft® DirectX® window, select the “I accept the terms of this agreement” radio button and click the “Next” button to continue.
- On the next page, you will be prompted to install Bing Bar. Uncheck this item to not install the toolbar in the browser. Click on the “Next” button.
- The installation wizard will check your version of DirectX and identify any components that need to be installed. When it’s done, click the “Next” button to start the installation.
- The components are downloaded and then installed.
- In the “Installation Complete” window, click the “Finish” button.
- Restart your computer.
As a result, DirectX should be updated to the latest version.
How to reinstall DirectX using the System File Checker
The last method uses the Windows System File Checker (SFC), which scans your PC for missing or corrupted files and attempts to fix them using a cached copy located in the Windows folder.
This method includes, among other things, the installation of DirectX.
You can use the Command Prompt (CMD) or Windows PowerShell run as an administrator to run the SFC.exe utility. Read the detailed article about using the “System File Checker” tool.
Do the following:
- Launch command prompt with administrator rights.
- In the command line interpreter window, type the command, and then press “Enter”:
- The system tool will start scanning your computer. The time it takes to complete the task depends largely on the specifications of your PC and the size of your hard drive.
- Once the scan is complete, the tool will automatically repair any damaged or corrupted files it finds.
- Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
If no corrupted or lost files were found, you will receive a message explaining the situation.
Given that there is no safe and easy way to completely uninstall DirectX on computers running newer versions of Windows, the methods above are the best way to reinstall DirectX to fix the issues. But if the games on your computer still won’t launch after a successful DirectX reinstall, you may be dealing with a faulty graphics card.
The DirectX component is built into the Windows operating system to improve performance in games and applications. In some cases, DirectX malfunctions. Therefore, the user needs to know how to reinstall DirectX on Windows 10 and Windows 11, or on a different OS version. Reinstalling DirectX is done using Windows Update, the DirectX Web Installer, or using the System File Checker method.