The Desktop Manager Was Unable to Start Because WDDM Is Not in Use

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When attempting to use some of the newest display features in recent versions of the Windows operating system, you may occasionally receive an error message warning you that the Desktop Window Manager could not start because Windows Display Driver Model is not in use. You can remedy this issue by installing specific drivers for your computer's graphics card.

Desktop Window Manager

  • Desktop Window Manager is a feature introduced in Windows Vista, and it is also included in Windows 7. This feature allows your computer to use its graphics card to render part of the Windows Aero interface, such as window transitions and desktop objects. To work properly, Desktop Window Manager must be able to continuously communicate with the graphics card, and it does this by using the Windows Display Driver Model.

Windows Display Driver Model

  • The Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) is the name of the architecture that allows Desktop Window Manager to communicate with graphics cards. All major graphics card manufacturers supply WDDM-certified drivers to their customers so that users can take advantage of the visual bells and whistles in recent versions of Windows.

Drivers

  • Not all drivers released by graphics card manufacturers are WDDM-certified. This can be problematic because non-certified drivers may prevent your computer from being able to access certain visual features, and this can cause the error message mentioned above. While official drivers released by NVIDIA, AMD and other major manufacturers are typically WDDM-certified, this is not always true of beta drivers or drivers released by lesser known video card manufacturers.

Resolution

  • You can eliminate the Desktop Manager error message by navigating in your browser to the download page of the company that manufactured the processor on your graphics card. If you are unsure which graphics chip is on your card, refer to the card’s documentation. Once you’ve correctly identified the manufacturer, go to that company’s website and download the current drivers for your card. Install the drivers by double-clicking on the executable file you downloaded and then reboot your computer.

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