How to Change the Default Display Adapter on Windows 10

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Most PCs can generate graphics through an “integrated graphics chip”. This is located in the CPU (central processing unit), which is the brain of your computer. However, if you bought yourself a dedicated graphics card for gaming or video editing, you probably want it to do the heavy lifting on graphics tasks.

We’ll show you how to set up a dedicated graphics card as the primary resource for your computer’s graphics needs.

In theory, your computer should switch between integrated graphics cards and dedicated graphics cards depending on the demands of the task at hand. Sometimes this leads to bugs in order to get the most consistent performance possible. To make sure that your expensive graphics card does the job, it’s usually best to set it as your default graphics provider.

The Microsoft Basic graphics card is the default display graphics driver if the system cannot find the driver installed by your graphics card manufacturer. This ensures that you will be able to see the image on your screen after upgrading to Windows 10 and install the correct graphics card driver later.

Using automatic detection

  • Turn off your computer. Rebooting won’t give you enough time to complete the process.
  • Disconnect the monitor cable(s) from the video connectors on your current video card. You can identify the display ports by the type of cable: they use VGA, DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort.
  • Connect the monitor cable(s) to the video ports on the desired video card to replace the video card. You may have to replace the monitor cables or use a converter if the second video card uses other types of ports.
  • Turn the computer on. If everything was done correctly, the splash screen will appear on your monitor.

Using BIOS or UEFI

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  • Boot into BIOS or UEFI to access the hardware setup. If you have Windows 8 installed on your computer, then it is running UEFI. To restart UEFI, open the wonderbar, search for “UEFI”, select “Settings”, select “Advanced Boot Options”, then click “Restart Now” on the “Advanced Boot” menu. Otherwise press the setup key – usually F1, F2, DEL, ESC or F10 “during the boot screen to enter BIOS.
  • Find the “Main video card” setting in the BIOS / UEFI and change it to the desired video card. The BIOS features, location settings and naming conventions vary from computer to computer. The option contains a combination of the words display, adapter, graphics, card, video, card, integrated, device, and controller. You can also switch from an integrated graphics card to an expansion graphics card by setting “Integrated graphics device” to “Always disable”.
  • Save and exit BIOS / UEFI. If you don’t save, the setting won’t change.

Disable the integrated graphics card in BIOS

To enter the BIOS, you need to press a specific key on your keyboard when starting the device. There are many choices, such as F1, F2, F5, DELETE, etc. etc. This key is usually displayed at startup. Watch the startup carefully or look online for more information. Either way, press this button while the unit is booting and you should enter the BIOS.

Again, every BIOS has different settings and you need to go through all the options and look through each submenu until you find the “Main graphics card” option. Here you want to set the IGP (integrated graphics processor) to the lowest priority and your PCI-E slot to the highest priority. When finished accept all changes, exit the BIOS and restart the device.

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