Why did I lose 3D display mode when I upgraded to the next version of Windows 10?

Raymond Chen

A customer was using the 3D display mode feature, which can be selected from the Display settings:

Display resolution
1920 × 1080 (Recommended)
Display orientation
3D display mode

They found that after an update of Windows 10, the 3D display mode option disappeared. The customer liaison said that the log files are unavailable from the customer but was nevertheless hoping for some background information that could help with troubleshooting.

The graphics team explained that in order to get 3D display mode, you must have a graphics card that supports it, a driver that is capable of producing it, and a monitor that can render it. They also note that nothing has changed in the system recently with respect to support for 3D display mode.

One thing that did change was manufacturer support for 3D mode.

In March 2019, NVIDIA announced that the April 2019 the GeForce Game Ready Drivers would be the last version to support NVIDIA 3D Vision. They advise that users who wish to continue using 3D Vision remain on that driver version, which will receive critical updates until April 2020.

The customer checked their video driver and noted that it had been upgraded to a version that no longer supports 3D. They confirmed that rolling back to the older version of the driver restored the 3D display mode option.

Mind you, we have already passed the end of support for that version of the driver, so the customer is basically on their own now with an outdated, unsupported driver.


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  • Joshua Hudson 0

    I guess there’s limits to DirectX 10’s claim of “if the hardware doesn’t support it we’ll do it in CPU” so applications don’t have to feature check anymore.

    • Dan Bugglin 0

      Of course there are. I wouldn’t expect DirectX to give me a VR experience if I don’t own a VR headset.

      That probably only supports common features that make sense to emulate in CPU. As an example, anyone can dream up a new, esoteric feature for a new graphics card; DirectX obviously can’t support CPU emulation for features that haven’t been invented yet, so it’s unreasonable to expect them to support any feature based on that alone.

      3D displays/TV were a fad, nVidia probably dropped support because they were no longer popular enough to make maintaining the feature worth it. And the same lack of popularity likely explains why DirectX never supported emulating it.

      • MGetz 0

        Not having a reference device actually really hurts the ability to prototype though. I have some stuff I’d love to test DXR for… but I can’t because I don’t have RT hardware in my development laptop. I realize that RT on CPUs is extremely expensive (I’ve run PoVRAY before) but it’s still very doable. Even below a single FPS I think it’s worthwhile for validation and testing of code at a minimum.

      • switchdesktopwithfade@hotmail.com 0

        Kinect was glorious, so who killed it? Why is Nintendo 3DS being shelved rather than remake every 3D classic? Did people really not like 3D Blurays? Yeah right. There are no 3D fads because tech companies don’t allow them to happen, usually by stonewalling new content. We keep getting forced and prodded into VR even though I read very bad things about the kind of mental programming that can be done using high frame rates like VR’s 90 fps.

        • Masamune3210 0

          In order of comment

          Kinect was a glitchy nightmare. Hardware was good but software was absolute garbage 99% of the time.
          Nintendo 3DS is extremely underpowered for doing much big 3D gaming. Trust me, I have 5 of the things. If anyone wants them to be good at everything it would be me. Plus the 3D gave most people headaches to the point of most people just leaving the switch all the way off
          3D movies at home never really took off because 3D tv’s never took off. At least 5 different ways were tried that I can think of off the top of my head and none of them were particularly good.
          There is no “mental programming” in VR. The only thing that’s happening at 90 FPS is you losing your lunch due to motion sickness possibly.

          • Marc K 0

            I don’t think the Kinect hardware was good. The camera resolution was 640×480. I can’t imagine poor image detail did much to help the software implementation.

  • word merchant 0

    The customer could of course mimic 3d mode by reducing the screen resolution as far as possible, smearing engine grease on both his glasses and the screen, then asking a friend to shake the monitor from side to side very quickly. An occasional head-but of the nearest wall would be sufficient to keep the 3d headache going.

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