[Solved] Nvidia Unable to Change Display Mode

Whenever you launch a game, you receive an error message saying ‘Unable to change display mode’. You can’t even play the game because of this error message. That can be frustrating. What to do to fix this annoying error? Don’t worry. Try the four methods below then the error may be fixed.

Method 1: Close Problematic Applications
Method 2: Manually Change Display Mode
Method 3: Uninstall and Reinstall New Nvidia Drivers
Method 4: Temporarily Disable Security Software

Method 1: Close Problematic Applications

Some certain programs could block display mode changes. Once the error message pops up, click on the details. Then you should see a list of apps which are blocking the display mode changes. Closing those applications should help fix the error.

To exit a running application, just locate it on the task bar, right-click on it and then select Exit or Close.

If you cannot locate the application on the task bar, you can close it using the Windows Task Manager:

1) On your keyboard, press Ctrl+Shift+Esc, then the Task Manager window will pop up.

2) From the Task Manager Processes tab, right-click on the program that you wish to close, then select End Task.

Once you close all problematic applications, re-launch the game and see if the error persists. If the error persists, there might be some other background programs causing this error. The Google Drive is one of the applications reported by many users that can cause this error. Disabling all background programs might help.

To disable all background programs, open the Task Manager, then end all running programs from the Processes tab.

If Method 1 doesn’t work, you can try Method 2.

Method 2: Manually Change Display Mode

The error could happen because the display mode is automatically selected. Some users have reported that they fixed the error by manually changing the display mode, for example, changing the Display Mode to Optimus. So try manually changing Display Mode and see if it works for you:

1) Open the Nvidia Control Panel.

2) Click on 3D Settings > Manage Display mode, and then select the Display Mode you want. You can firstly try the ‘Optimus’ Display Mode, if it doesn’t fix the error, try the ‘NVIDIA GPU only’ Display Mode.

If Method 2 doesn’t work, continue to try Method 3.

Method 3: Uninstall and Reinstall New Nvidia Drivers

Outdated Nvidia drivers can cause the ‘Unable to change display mode’ error. To fix this error, you can try updating your Nvidia driver to the latest version. Before that, uninstall the current Nvidia driver.

Here’s how to uninstall the current Nvidia driver:

1) Open the Device Manager.

2) Expand the category ‘Display adapters’.

3) Right-click on your Nvidia graphics card and select Uninstall device.

4) Check the checkbox ‘Delete the driver software for this device’ and then click on Uninstall.

After you uninstall the graphics driver, download the latest Nvidia driver from the official website of Nvidia. Double-click on the downloaded driver file and then follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver.

Once done, reboot your computer, launch a game and see if the error is resolved.

Method 4: Temporarily Disable Security Software

The Nvidia driver can be blocked by the Windows security software. You can try temporarily disabling your security software and see if that resolves the error. If that works, you can add an exception for the Nvidia display driver in your security software’s settings so it won’t be blocked again.

To add your Nvidia driver to the exclusions of your security software:

1) Press the Windows + S keys to open the search box.

2) Type ‘windows security‘ and then click on Windows Security from the result list.

3) Click on Virus & threat protection.

4) Under Virus & threat protection settings, click on Manage settings.

5) Under Exclusions, click on Add or remove exclusions.

6) Continue to click Add an exclusion.

7) Navigate and then add the Nvidia driver file (.exe) to the exclusions.

Once done, launch a game and check to see if the error is resolved.

The Nvidia ‘Unable to change display mode’ error can make you frustrated. Fortunately, there are some possible solutions. Try the above four methods in this post and you may find one that helps fix the error. If you have any questions while troubleshooting this error, feel free to drop a comment below.

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