How to Download and Install DirectX

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All contemporary versions of Windows operating systems come pre-installed with DirectX, eliminating the need for manual installation in most cases.

Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that Microsoft periodically releases updated versions of DirectX. Installing these updates can serve as a solution to any DirectX-related issues you may encounter, such as dsetup.dll errors. Moreover, updating DirectX can potentially enhance the performance of your games and graphics programs.

To ensure that you have the latest version of DirectX installed, follow the straightforward steps outlined below. The process of updating DirectX typically requires less than 15 minutes.

  1. Open your preferred web browser and visit the official Microsoft DirectX webpage.
  2. Locate the section on the website that provides the latest version of DirectX.
  3. Check the system requirements to ensure compatibility with your operating system.
  4. Click on the download link associated with the latest DirectX version.
  5. Save the setup file to a location on your computer that is easily accessible, such as the desktop.
  6. Once the download is complete, locate the setup file and double-click on it to initiate the installation process.
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions provided by the DirectX installer.
  8. Accept the license agreement and choose an appropriate installation location if prompted.
  9. Allow the installer to complete the installation process, which may involve extracting and copying necessary files to your system.
  10. Once the installation is finished, restart your computer to ensure that the changes take effect.

Upon rebooting your computer, you should have the latest version of DirectX installed and ready to use. This update can address any DirectX-related errors you may have been encountering and potentially improve the performance of your games and graphics programs.

Please note that if you’re using Windows 10, DirectX updates are typically delivered automatically through the Windows Update service. In such cases, manually installing DirectX may not be necessary unless specifically recommended by Microsoft or required for troubleshooting purposes.

How to Download and Install DirectX

  1. Visit the DirectX download page on Microsoft’s site.

  2. Select your preferred language from the drop-down box and then choose Download to save the setup file to your computer.

    Screenshot of DirectX download page on the web
  3. Open the dxwebsetup.exe file and complete the DirectX installation by following directions from Microsoft’s website or from the installation program. It should take less than a minute to install.

    Screenshot of DirectX install dialog in Windows 10, focusing on Next button

    Read carefully through the setup procedure. You might be asked to install something else like the Bing Bar. Just uncheck whatever you’re not interested in to avoid installing it.

    Whatever DirectX files are missing will be replaced as necessary. See the next section below for more information about DirectX in specific versions of Windows.

  4. Restart your computer, even if you’re not prompted to do so.

  5. After restarting your computer, test to see if updating to the latest version of DirectX corrected the problem you were having.

DirectX Windows Versions

All versions of Windows don’t support all versions of DirectX. Here’s more on how each version of DirectX works across the Windows family.

DirectX 12 is included with Windows 10 and is only supported in that version of Windows. Updates to DirectX 12 related files are only available through Windows Update. No standalone version of DirectX 12 is available.

DirectX 11.4 & 11.3 are only supported in Windows 10. As with DirectX 12.0, updates are only provided through Windows Update.

DirectX 11.2 is supported in Windows 10 and Windows 8 (8.1+) only. Any updates to DirectX 11.2 related files are made available in Windows Update in those versions of Windows. There is no standalone download available for DirectX 11.2.

DirectX 11.1 is supported in Windows 10 and Windows 8. Windows 7 (SP1) is supported as well but only after installing the Platform Update for Windows 7.

DirectX 11.0 is supported in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7. Support for Windows Vista is available but only after installing the Platform Update for Windows Vista.

DirectX 10 is supported in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.

DirectX 9 is supported in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. If you have a program that calls for a DirectX 9 file in Windows 10 or Windows 8, installing the downloadable version (the process above) is the way to solve that problem—it will not “downgrade” your DirectX 10/11/12 install! This is also the latest version of DirectX that’s compatible with Windows XP.

How to Find the Current DirectX Version Number

You can check which version of DirectX is installed on your computer through the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.

  1. Execute the dxdiag command from a command-line interface, such as the Run dialog box (WIN+R) or Command Prompt.

  2. If you see a message asking about checking for digitally signed drivers, press Yes or No; it doesn’t really matter for what we’re looking for here.

  3. From the System tab, look for the DirectX Version entry at the bottom of the list to see the DirectX version number.

    DirectX Diagnostic Tool in Windows 10

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