Windows 11, the latest iteration of Windows from Microsoft, isn’t immune to errors, nor were the previous versions. If the frequency of encountering errors remains the same or if it has seen some reduction, is a debate for another day. One of the errors on Windows 11 and the previous versions is the ‘Video TDR Failure’ error.

While most error names are self-explanatory, this one, in particular, requires a whole section just to understand it.

What is the ‘Video TDR Failure’ Error?

Many reasons cause the error, but the primary reason is the graphic card or the display driver. The ‘Video TDR Failure’ falls under the list of BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) errors. However, black replaces the “blue” screen on Windows 11 to match up to the version’s theme. TDR stands for ‘Time Detection & Recovery’. This is a Windows feature that identifies response problem(s) with the graphics card and resets it/them if needed.

The error screen, along with the error code, displays the actual source of the error. While there’s not much information provided, you can at least figure out the graphics card installed on the system. You will find this information at the bottom of the error screen next to ‘What failed’. It’s the following for the three graphics cards.

  • Intel : igdkmd64.sys
  • Nvidia : nvlddmkm.sys
  • AMD : atkimpag.sys

You can encounter the error while playing a video, a game, or running applications that require high-end graphics.

What Leads to the ‘Video TDR Failure’ Error?

Various factors and issues add up to the Video TDR Failure error. We have listed the most prominent ones for you to understand the issue before moving to the fixes.

  • Incompatible, malfunctioning, outdated, or corrupt display drivers
  • Issues with the graphics card
  • System overheating
  • Too many apps running in the background
  • Issues with the hardware

The issues listed here might sound a little too intricate, but there’s a fix for each in the following sections.

Boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode if Unable to Boot Windows Normally

In many cases, users report being unable to boot normally, thereby being unable to execute the fixes. If that’s the case with you, boot the system into Safe Mode to proceed. When you boot the PC in safe mode, it only loads the critical drivers and not third-party apps.

Booting the PC into Safe Mode helps make troubleshooting a lot easier but you can’t have it as a long-term solution. Therefore, switch to Safe Mode just execute the fixes below, to fix the error. Then revert to Normal Mode.

1. Update the Graphics Driver

An outdated graphics driver is one of the most common issues that lead to the ‘Video TDR Failure’. Plus, issues with the driver are probably the simplest to fix once you know the whole update process.

There are three ways you can update a driver on your system –

  • Offline Update using the Device Manager
  • Check Windows Update in case there’s a Microsoft update release
  • Download the driver’s updated version from the manufacturer’s website.

Here’s how you can update the driver using the three methods:

Note: We recommend following the mentioned sequence to update the driver. However, if you are certain, you can skip the order and get to the method that best suits your requirement.

Update Graphics Driver Using Device Manager

This method only installs an update if there is one on the system. If you remember downloading an update but haven’t installed it yet, follow the steps below.

Note: If you have an Intel Graphics Card installed, follow the steps mentioned here. For other graphics cards, like Nvidia and AMD, move to the last method – Download Graphics Driver Update from the Manufacturer’s Website.

To update the graphics driver, right-click on the ‘Start’ icon or press WINDOWS + X to launch the Quick Access menu. Then, select ‘Device Manager’ from the list of options.

In the Device Manager, locate and double-click on the ‘Display adapters’ option.

Next, right-click on the graphics adapter and select ‘Update driver’ from the context menu.

You will now have two options – to either let Windows automatically search for the best available driver on the system and install it or locate and install one manually. We recommend selecting the first option – ‘Search automatically for drivers’ and let Windows take care of the update.

If Windows finds an update and installs it, verify if that fixes the error. In case, an update wasn’t found, head to the next method.

Update Graphics Driver With Windows Update

All Microsoft updates are released through Windows Update. In most cases, the driver updates are installed along with the other updates. But there’s no harm in checking if there’s an update available for the graphics driver.

To update the graphics driver, right-click on the ‘Start’ icon in the Taskbar or press WINDOWS + X to launch the Quick Access menu and select ‘Settings’ from the list of options. Alternatively, you can press WINDOWS + I to directly launch the Settings app.

In Settings, select ‘Windows Update’ from the list of tabs on the left.

Now, locate and select ‘Advanced options’.

Next, select ‘Optional updates’ under ‘Additional’ options.

Note: If any optional update is available, it will be mentioned to the extreme right of the tile. If you find none available, skip the remaining steps and move to the next method.

Next, click on ‘Driver updates’.

Now, check if there’s an update available for the graphics driver. In case there’s one, tick the checkbox for it and click on ‘Download & install’.

After installing the update, restart your computer if prompted, and check if the error is fixed. In case you couldn’t find an update for the graphics driver listed here, head to the next method.

Download Graphics Driver Update from the Manufacturer’s Website

If you couldn’t find an update for the Intel graphics driver in the previous methods or if you have either Nvidia or AMD installed, here’s how you can update the graphics driver.

First, identify the current driver version in the graphics adapter properties. For this, launch the Device Manager as discussed earlier and double-click on ‘Display adapter’. Then, right-click on the graphics adapter, and select ‘Properties’ from the context menu.

In the Properties window, navigate to the ‘Driver’ tab and note the ‘Driver Version’.

Next, open Google or any other search engine, and enter your ‘Device Name’ and ‘Operating System’ as the keywords followed by ‘Driver Update’. Click on the search result that redirects you to the manufacturer’s website, which in this case, is ‘Intel’.

Here are the direct links to the downloads page for the various manufacturers.

Intel Graphics Driver

AMD Graphics Driver

Nvidia Graphics Driver

Now, check if there’s an available update. Many manufacturers have a tool embedded into the website that scans your system, identifies if there’s an update available, and lists it. If there’s an update available, download it.

Note: Before you run any tool or download an app that scans for driver updates, verify its authenticity since it could be malware in disguise of the tool.

After downloading the driver update, head to the location folder of the file and double-click it to launch the installer. Then, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. Check if updating the driver fixed the ‘Video TDR Failure’ error.

2. Roll Back Graphics Driver to Previous Version

You can also encounter the ‘Video TDR Failure’ error after updating the driver, in case the update is incompatible. It’s quite simple to fix the error in this case – simply roll back the update and revert to the previous version of the driver. Here’s how you can do that.

To roll back a driver update, launch the ‘Device Manager’ as discussed earlier. Double-click on the ‘Display adapter’ option, right-click on the graphic adapter and select ‘Properties’ from the context menu.

Navigate to the ‘Driver’ tab in the Properties window, and click on ‘Roll Back Driver’ to revert to the previously installed version.

Note: If the ‘Roll Back Driver’ option is grey, either the driver hasn’t been updated in a while or Windows didn’t save files for the previous version. In which case, you will have to install the previous version from the manufacturer’s website, as discussed in the last section.

Now, select the reason for rolling back the driver from the list and click on ‘Yes’ at the bottom to reinstall the previous version.

3. Reinstall the Graphics Driver

Various reasons cause damage to the driver, the fix for which is pretty simple – just reinstall the driver. While reinstalling may seem like a heavy task, Windows has made it quick and straightforward.

To reinstall the driver, launch the Device Manager as discussed earlier. Double-click on the ‘Display adapters’ option, right-click on the graphics adapter, and select ‘Uninstall device’ from the context menu.

Next, tick the checkbox for ‘Attempt to remove the driver for this device’ and click on ‘Uninstall’ at the bottom.

After the driver is uninstalled, restart the computer, and Windows will automatically install a fresh driver for the device. Now check if that fixed the ‘Video TDR Failure’ error. If it didn’t, move to the next fix.

4. Disable the Graphics Driver

You could be encountering the ‘Video TDR Failure’ if you have multiple graphics cards installed on the system – this could be causing conflict between the cards. In this case, it’s recommended to use the desired card and disable the driver for the others.

To disable the graphics driver, launch the ‘Device Manager as discussed earlier. Double-click on ‘Display adapter’, right-click on the graphics adapter, and select ‘Disable device’ from the context menu.

Choose the appropriate response in case a confirmation box pops up.

Check if disabling the driver fixes the ‘Video TDR Failure’.

5. Reconfigure the Power Settings

The Power Settings play a critical role in the system’s functioning and making changes to these settings can fix an error. Here’s how you can fix the ‘Video TDR Failure’ error by making minor changes to the power settings.

To reconfigure the power settings, press WINDOWS + S to launch the Search menu. Enter ‘Edit power plan’ in the search box at the top, and click on the relevant search result.

Click on ‘Change advanced power settings’ in the Control Panel window that appears.

Next, double-click on the ‘PCI Express’ option in the Power Options box that pops up.

Now, double-click on ‘Link State Power Management’ and click on the drop-down menu next to ‘On battery’. Select ‘Off’ from the list of options. Similarly, select ‘Off’ for the ‘Plugged in’ option as well.

Click on ‘OK’ at the bottom to save the changes and close the Power Options window.

Now, restart the computer and check if it fixes the ‘Video TDR Failure’ error.

6. Set the Refresh Rate to 120 Hz

Refresh rate, in simple terms, is the number of times an image can be refreshed in a second. It is measured in Hertz (Hz). While many recent monitors support a refresh rate of 144 Hz, it’s not ideally suitable and may lead to the ‘Video TDR Failure’ error on Windows 11. If this is the case, downgrading the refresh rate to 120 Hz should do the trick.

To set the refresh rate to 120 Hz, launch the ‘Settings’ app as discussed earlier. Select ‘Display’ to the right of the ‘System’ tab.

Next, scroll down and select ‘Advanced display’ under ‘Related Settings’.

Click the ‘drop-down menu’ next to ‘Choose a refresh rate’, and select ‘120 Hz’ from the list.

Note: If your PC is already running on 120 Hz or lower, you needn’t make any changes here and can head to the next method.

After changing the refresh rate, restart the computer and check if the ‘Video TDR Failure’ error is fixed. If not, move to the next fix.

7. Run Startup Repair

If none of the above fixes worked, let Windows take care of the issue. Startup Repair is a tool that identifies the issues that prevent Windows from loading effectively.

This tool also comes in handy if Windows crashes at launch and incapacitates you to execute the other fixes. In this case, you can skip the initial steps and head to the last two.

To run Startup Repair, launch Settings as discussed earlier. Select ‘Recovery’ on the right in the ‘System’ tab.

Next, click on ‘Restart now’ next to ‘Advanced startup’ to enter the Windows Recovery Environment.

Click on ‘Restart now’ in the box that appears.

Your PC will now restart and enter the Windows RE (Recovery Environment). Here, you will find three options, select ‘Troubleshoot’.

Next, select ‘Advanced options’.

Select ‘Startup Repair’ from the list of six options.

It will take a few moments to prepare Startup Repair.

Note: In case you encounter the ‘Video TDR Failure’ error right at startup and are unable to boot Windows, you can still access the ‘Startup Repair’ tool. Just switch on the computer and as soon as the screen lights up, hold the power button to turn off the system. Repeat the same process thrice, and when you turn on the system the fourth time, Windows will launch the ‘Startup Repair’.

Next, you will find a screen that reads ‘Diagnosing your PC’ which indicates that the Startup Repair tool is at work. Wait for it to complete the diagnosis and fix the errors.

After the Startup Repair process is complete, the ‘Video TDR Failure’ error should be fixed.

8. Run SFC Scan

Although not very effective, running the SFC scan has fixed the ‘Video TDR Failure’ error for a lot of users. The SFC (System File Checker) scan looks for corrupt system files and replaces them with a cached copy. If you are facing the TDR error due to corrupt system files, this scan will help fix the issue.

To run the SFC scan, search for ‘Windows Terminal’ in the Search menu. Right-click on the relevant search result, and select ‘Run as administrator’ from the context menu. Click ‘Yes’ on the UAC prompt that pops up.

If you haven’t set Command Prompt as the default profile in Windows Terminal, the Windows PowerShell tab will open at launch. To open the Command Prompt tab, click on the downward-facing arrow at the top, and select ‘Command Prompt’ from the list of options. Alternatively, you can press CTRL + SHIFT + 2 to launch the Command Prompt.

In Command Prompt, enter the following command or copy and paste it. Hit ENTER to run the SFC scan.

sfc /scannow

The scan will begin in a few moments and take a couple of minutes to complete.

Any corrupted files found will be replaced with their cached copy along the course of the scan and you will be informed of the changes made at the end.

9. Clean the Components of the PC

Dust buildup inside or around the hardware can lead to system overheating along with a bunch of other problems. When the system heats up, it affects the performance, and you are likely to encounter errors more frequently. Besides, dust buildup and overheating can damage system hardware.

Hence, it’s recommended to clean the various components by paying primary attention to the CPU fan, RAM, graphics card, and power supply unit. Ensure to clean with utmost care since a minor lapse on your end can render perfectly good hardware useless in a matter of seconds.

10. Get the Hardware Checked

If nothing works, you could be encountering the ‘Video TDR Failure’ error due to a hardware issue, primarily with the graphics card. If the graphics card is damaged, you are likely to encounter the error. In this case, we recommend seeking professional help and guidance. Contact the manufacturer or the service center and get your PC checked and repaired if needed.

With the above fixes, you can easily resolve the ‘Video TDR Failure’ error on your Windows 11 PC. Once fixed, you can resume work without worrying about losing data over a BSOD error.