Installing the latest Intel HD Graphics Driver on Microsoft Surface Pro, Pro 2 and Pro 3

The Microsoft Surface Pro, Pro 2 and Pro 3 fetch all needed device drivers from Windows Update. This is a very neat thing because you don’t have to bother with searching and manually installing them.

The only problem I see there is that the graphics drivers for the Intel HD Graphics chipset are not up to date with the most recent upstream driver from Intel. As I occasionally play games (also my Surface is plugged in to A/C the most of the time I am using it) I want the best GPU performance possible (read: latest driver). The Microsoft-provided Intel GPU driver is a customized version – mainly to to optimize the battery life and ‘fit’ the device more nicely. It is probably not a good idea to follow this post if you mainly use the Surface on battery power. Feel free to read on if you have your reasons to install the latest driver.

If you have downloaded the most recent GPU driver from Intels Download Center and try to install it, you will most likely get an error that reads something like “The driver being installed is not validated for this computer. Please obtain the appropriate driver from the computer manufacturer.”.

There are numerous of threads in the internet which suggest to disable Driver Signature Enforcement but this is a bad and hackish thing.

Update: Lee points out that is is now possible to download the zipped driver directly from Intel Download Center, no more need to use 7-Zip.

The driver can be installed much easier:

  1. Obtain Lastest Intel HD Graphics Driver (.zip) from Intel Download Center
    1. Selsect “Graphics”, “Laptop graphics driver” and the chipset (for example the Surface Pro 1 uses a 3rd gen HD4000)
    2. Select your Operating System and download the driver
  2. Install 7-Zip
  3. Right click the downloaded .exe and select “Extract to …”
  4. Right click the bottom left corner on your desktop and select “Device Manager”
  5. Open “Display adapters”, right click the graphics card and hit “Update Driver Software…”
  6. Select the “Browser my computer for driver software”
  7. Select “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer”
  8. Click “Have Disk…” and browser to the extracted Intel Driver Software!
  9. In the subfolder “Graphics” open the .inf file
  10. Now click “Ok” and continue installing the driver by hitting “Next”…

Once the driver was installed this way, you can upgrade to the next version just by running the Intel Driver installer Exe.
This may be needed after the first time, if the right-click-menu on the desktop shows “Unable to load resource”, where the Intel Control Center menu entries should be.

Enjoy your updated graphics drivers and the now available Intel Control Panel.

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13 comments

  • Lee

    I tried what you suggested, but there was no “extract to” option when right clicking the exe. For others, instead of clicking the download now button, follow the link for detailed driver description and documentation, and there is a zip version there.

  • Philip

    I’ve got the problem that my TV doesn’t show the whole screen and on Intel’s support page they solve that with the HD Graphics Control Panel which is only integrated in the graphics driver. The way you install the driver that Control Panel is not installed with it, right? The problem is I use my Surface in battery mode as well as to watch movies on my TV… I’m not sure if it would be the right thing to update the driver. What do you think?

    • nico

      Should be worth a try. The Control Panel is installed with the driver and also offers settings regarding battery saving. The Microsoft drivers surely are more optimized in terms of battery saving on the Surface but I don’t think it will be a big impact. Just try it – if you are unhappy you can always uninstall the Intel drivers.

  • warr_n

    i couldn’t play ffxiv for the longest time and its because i didn’t have the updated drivers. reddit told me the problem and u guys showed me how to fix it!!! <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3 i can make use of my ffxiv subscription!!!

  • Pesoen

    i just tried to install the lates, and it just says the latest driver is allready installed, no update needed. do i have to remove the driver and then install the other one or?

    • nico

      Which Surface device? If you have followed the exact steps then you should be able to replace the driver. If it does not work – it may be current. You can be sure if you can find the “Intel® Graphics Control Panel” on your computer.

  • Ricky

    This steps don’t work. I followed the exact steps and restarted but it still shows the same version 10. And now I can’t find my intel graphics panel in the system tray. Once youtube video says that I need to uninstall the current graphics drivers but I don’t want to mess with that.

  • Ricky

    Sorry these steps did work. I was looking at the wrong version # on the website. How do I get access to my intel control panel?

    • nico

      It is located in the Windows Control Panel as “Intel HD-Graphics”. Right click on the desktop should also show two Intel menu points.

  • ThreeDCG

    Worked Great! I did the earlier drivers first with the inf then used the exe on the latest drivers to get a full install. No issues at all. I tried another method and it failed miserable earlier had to use a hard boot restore point to recover. I would highly suggest this method and get the earlier drivers use the inf update method then get the latest driver and use the exe for a full install.

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