SOLVED! Skyrim Not Detecting Graphics Card

SOLVED! Skyrim Not Detecting Graphics Card

Overall, quite a few factors affect the gaming experience of Skyrim players but visual is one of the most influential ones. For optimal enjoyment, many people willingly spend big bucks on graphics cards so they may play Skyrim in the highest settings. Usually, after players finish installing the new graphics card, they only need to set the card that Skyrim runs with and that is it. That being said, reports of Skyrim not detecting graphics card still pop up from time to time.

An Overview Of The Situation

You have a hard time getting Skyrim to detect the graphics card of your computer? In that case, you have come to the right place. This article would tell you everything about issues with graphics card detection while playing Skyrim.

Card Detection Failure: Fixes

Once it comes to card detection failure, different players resort to different solutions with varying degrees of success. Nonetheless, if you wish to play Skyrim on the highest settings as soon as possible, you should give the following measures a try.


While it sounds simple, restart could deal with a wide range of bugs including card detection failure. That is why if you cannot get Skyrim to run with the new card, you should restart your computer at the earliest opportunity. The moment the computer comes back on, launch Skyrim then see how things turn out. For most of the time, restart is going to eliminate bugs that prevent the game from detecting your graphic card.

Note: An interesting bug may appear on occasion: Skyrim fails to detect the new graphic card but the game still runs with it. To determine whether the bug is active, go to SkyrimPrefs.ini, search for sD3DDevice= and check out the displayed GPU. If the correct card shows up, it’s ok to conclude that the game is running as you desire. With the graphic card improving the visual of Skyrim in practice, you don’t have to be anxious about card detection.

Change Settings Here And There 

In the beginning, you need to open the companion program of your graphics card then apply changes to relevant settings. For instance, if you own a NVIDIA graphics card, launch NVIDIA Control Panel and assign NVIDIA to Global as well as Program Settings. In addition, take some time to reconfigure the graphic settings of your computer too so your new graphic card is the default card for running programs. Last but not least, it’s suggested that you right-click the Skyrim executable file, choose Execute with graphics processor and select your graphics card.

Update The Graphics Card Driver 

Nowadays, when a need arises, people would be able to download the driver for graphics cards from various websites. Certain graphics card companion programs even allow automatic updates for the driver which is a big plus. In any case, once the driver is up-to-date, Skyrim is going to detect your graphic card with relative ease. That means you should have free reign to optimize visual features of the game.

Check Out The PCI Slot 

Shut down your computer, disconnect the power supply and open the case. Next, detach the graphic card then look for signs of damages on the PCI slot. If the slot is in good condition, feel free to move to the next fix. However, if the slot appears to be damaged, it’s widely advised that you carry out repairs. In the meantime, you could attach your graphic card to one of the remaining PCI slots as a stop-gap solution.

Examine The Graphics Card

None of the above fixes seem to resolve the card deletion failure? If that happens to be the case, you should consider the possibility that you have a bad graphics card. One way to test whether your card is working is to install it on another computer. If the card deletion failure persists on the second computer, you may want to pick up a new card.

What Might Have Gone Wrong 

Generally speaking, Skyrim could go haywire for various reasons but if it’s unable to detect your graphics card, you should keep these possibilities in mind.


For your information, despite being a critically acclaimed game, Skyrim is still filled with all sorts of bugs.  A number of bugs in Skyrim go away by themselves over time so players don’t have to do anything. Still, some persisting bugs may prevent features of the game from performing properly and graphics card detection is not an exception. Because of that, if you cannot get Skyrim to run with the new graphics card, it’s a good idea to add bugs to your list of suspects.


To put it plainly, Skyrim won’t automatically change the graphics card that it uses to run unless players change the settings in advance. You notice Skyrim not detecting graphics card of your computer following the installation of a new card? Then there is a good chance that the card detection failure is the consequence of improperly configured settings. As long as the settings remain unchanged, there is no way for Skyrim to run with the new graphic card instead of the old one.


Since graphics cards rely on drivers to communicate with computers, the status of drivers dictates the operation of graphics cards. If the driver of your graphics card is in top shape, you could make most of the card with relative ease. On the other hand, if the graphics card driver becomes corrupted, obsolete and so on, the card is going to act up. Therefore, to be thorough, it’s strongly recommended that you take driver into account when you troubleshoot the card detection failure of Skyrim.


All in all, PCI slots play a key role in the installation and operations of graphic cards. Designed for the attachment of hardware, PCI slots serve as the link between computers and graphic cards. Needless to say, if the slot you use for the new graphic card experiences problems, your computer and its programs cannot detect the card. Usually, it’s wise to seek assistance from the pros to resolve troubles that involve PCI slots.


Assuming that there is nothing out of the ordinary with your computer, the graphic card is likely the one behind the card detection failure. In case you don’t know, the delicate nature of graphic cards means they get damaged easily. Thus, if your graphic card sustains damages that compromise its integrity, Skyrim won’t be able to run with it. Unsurprisingly, multiple articles covering the topic of Skyrim not detecting graphics card regard card as a probable cause.

What Graphic Card Works Best For Skyrim?

Owing to differences in preferences, the gaming community is at odds about the best graphic card for Skyrim. That being said, to have a good time with Skyrim, you should stick to GTX 960, GTX 980, RTX 3060, RTX 3080, … Since graphic cards don’t exactly come cheap, it’s essential to think about your wallet as you shop for graphic cards. Also, when you buy graphic cards, you need to prioritize well-known retailers for good measure.

How Long Do Graphic Cards Last?

Countless factors affect the lifespan of graphic cards but on average, a standard card lasts between three and five years. If you use the recommended settings, keep the temperature at reasonable levels and alike, your graphic card would hold together for a long time. In the case that you overclock the card, let it get too hot, …it’s natural that your card would break down quickly.

Could I Install Graphic Cards On Laptops?

It depends. A number of laptops permit users to install graphic cards directly while others require the use of intermediaries, adapters, … Noteworthily on certain laptops, it’s impossible to change the graphic card. Because of that, you should get to know the characteristics of your laptop prior to the installation of graphic cards.

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