How to Use Windows DirectX to Troubleshoot Your PC - dummies

How to Use Windows DirectX to Troubleshoot Your PC

By Dan Gookin

A diagnostic is a computer tool you can use to help troubleshoot something that happened in your PC. There are a number of diagnostic tools built into your computer. One of them, DirectX, was introduced by Microsoft in the 1990s to help game programmers better use the PC’s hardware muscle.

You can use the DirectX diagnostic tool to check on not only how the DirectX system is working but also whether you have problems with video, sound, and other basic PC components. Here’s how:

  1. Press Win+R to bring forth the Run dialog box.

  2. Type dxdiag and press Enter.

  3. If prompted, click the Yes button to confirm that you want to proceed.

    Behold the DirectX diagnostic tool as it peruses your PC’s system. Wait until it’s done before you proceed.


  4. Click the Next Page button to view information about each different part of your PC, those various things controlled by the DirectX software.

    Check the Notes section, at the bottom of the window, to see whether any problems are reported.

  5. Close the DirectX Diagnostic Tool window when you’re done.

    Click the Exit button.

Your PC most likely has the best version of DirectX for whatever software you use. The only time you need a DirectX update is when you install new software that requires it. For example, when installing a new game, you may be prompted to upgrade to the latest version of DirectX. Do so at that time.

DirectX is smart enough that an older version cannot overwrite a more current version.

DirectX versions 10 and later are available only for Windows 7 and Windows Vista, not for Windows XP.