How to find your previous NVIDIA driver version (specially if I upgraded from a previous Windows installation)?


So I jumped on the Windows 10 wagon. Everything was working, fast, and great but honestly its not yet polished compared to Window 8.1 (especially the One Drive. Damn. That One Drive implementation in Windows 10 is such a big regression!). There maybe some quirks on this new Microsoft baby but I will not be discussing them in this post. So right now, let’s focus on the more important part of this post…

how to know your previous NVIDIA driver version (specially if you upgraded your Windows previous Windows installation to Windows 10).

After the upgrade, all my driver versions were bumped to their latest versions. My graphics card driver went from a driver version I could not remember to the latest version 353.62.

If you are someone who plays graphically demanding games, you’ll know that this is not good.

Indeed, this is not good. The driver update ruined my Witcher 3 gameplay. The game now gives me more lags and more stuttering all over its maps.

So in order to get a hold of the peaceful and non-abusive game stuttering, I decided to get back to my old driver version. But how? I don’t remember my previous driver version. Also, I don’t have a backup installer. The answer?

Check your file versions.

Yes. Your file versions!

Windows.old folder

If you already upgraded your machine to Windows 10, you may have noticed this new folder in your Drive C:

Windows.old Folder
Windows.old Folder

This folder (yes, the one highlighted) is you previous Windows installation (Yes, again. This is your Windows 8.1 / 8 / 7 programs). So theoretically, everything that you installed in your previous Windows version is in here. True enough the NVIDIA folder is found in this folder.

NVTray location
NVTray inside the Windows.old folder

Now, how do are we going to check for the file driver version? Which file are we going to inspect? Is it hard?

Relax dear reader, this will be a walk in the park. Here are the steps:

  • Find your NVIDIA folder in the Windows.old folder. Most of the time, the NVIDIA folder is found in the “Program Files” folder inside the Windows.old folder.
  • Find “NVTray” file in your NVIDIA folder.
    Next, we should find and inspect the NVTray file. Why the NVTray file? You can actually check other files but personally I selected the NVTray file ’cause I noticed that every driver update bumps the NVTray file version to the version of the driver that you are going to install. In short, the software driver version is = to the NVTray version.
Display Driver Location (Windows.old)
Display Driver Location (Windows.old)
  • Right click NVTray and select Properties.
  • Head to “Details” and see the “Product Version”.
    Offhand, you will see that the product version does not make any sense. However, if you look closer, you will see that the last five (5) numbers (which in my case is 3.5354) in the “Product Version” is actually the driver version of the driver installed in your older Windows system (3.5354 = 353.54).
NVTray version
NVTray version

And that’s it!

This may not be the best method out there but it worked in my case. Remember, there are so many ways in killing a cat (at least that’s what my teacher told me when I was younger).

If you have a better method, please feel free to comment it below. Enjoy! 🙂


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