Drivers and Software

How to Download and Install DirectX (Versions 12,11,10,9)

How to Download and Install DirectX

The 5 Easy Steps to Help You Install or Update to the Latest DirectX Version

What is DirectX?

DirectX is Microsoft’s popular hardware acceleration technology which is essential for high-demanding applications such as video games and high-resolution movies. There was a time when you had to download DirectX separately, but nowadays, Microsoft added it as a Windows component. This is why since Windows 8 the only thing required to do to receive the latest version is to simply install Windows updates.

Some people experience issues with DirectX particularly if its updates haven’t been installed properly. To fix any performance issues in your games or other applications, you need to learn how to download and install DirectX manually.

Usually, the first thing to try would be updating DirectX using Windows Update which does all the work for you. On some systems that might not work because of issues with receiving and installing updates, so in that case, this may not be a solution. Take a look at the following guide which presents the best method to install DirectX for any Windows version.

Step-by-step download and install instructions

  1. Download Microsoft’s dedicated updater application using this link.
  2. When you click the download button you will also be greeted by Microsoft’s attempt to download other programs. Uncheck those boxes and choose the ‘No thanks and continue’ blue button.
  3. After your download has completed you simply need to open the installation program and follow the instruction of the setup. The best part is that it doesn’t matter what version of Windows you have. DirectX can be installed and updated even if you’re still running Windows XP. All the required files that are missing will be correctly installed and you don’t need to worry about the details.
  4. Although in some cases you might not see a prompt to restart your PC, it’s still recommended to do so. This ensures that your install was successful.
  5. After the restart process, it’s time to check if your issues have been fixed. That’s all, you’re done.

DirectX versions

  • As there are multiple DirectX versions available, you might want to check to see if your version is the latest – DirectX 12 if you use Windows 10.
  • To do that just type dxdiag into the Start Screen and your system will immediately find the diagnostic tool. When you open it you will see various system information including the DirectX version right at the bottom.
  • Windows 10 users should have DirectX 12 which is only supported on their systems. It’s not available for older Windows versions.
  • Older DirectX versions include 11.4 and 11.3 which once again are only compatible with Windows 10.
  • There are also DirectX 11.0, 10, and 9 which are more inclusive in terms of operating system support.
  • DirectX 11.0 and 10 offers extended compatibility up to Windows Vista while DirectX 9 works all the way to Windows XP.

Something worth mentioning about DirectX versions is that you might have multiple ones installed at the same time. There are some games that require older versions of DirectX. It depends on the way they’ve been developed, so older games will most likely not be compatible with newer DirectX updates. This is why you shouldn’t worry if you plan on trying older games on a newer system because it will come with all the required DirectX files together with its installer.

DirectX Troubleshooting

  • In that same DirectX Diagnostic Tool used to confirm the version of your DirectX install, you can also check the other tabs to make sure that everything works correctly. On the Display tab, you should see a small panel with DirectX features such as DirectDraw Acceleration and they should all be enabled.
  • If some of these appear disabled, that most likely means that you’re using old hardware. To benefit from the superior graphical performance of DirectX you might have to upgrade your system’s video card.


  • Uninstalling DirectX is not possible, at least in any official way. You shouldn’t need to do it anyway, because it’s an essential part of the way Windows processes graphics. Those extra versions might become unnecessary at some point, but they shouldn’t bother you.
  • It’s not a good idea to try to delete them by going through the System32 folder. If there are issues with a particular game, then reinstalling it will also restore the DirectX version required.