Install NVIDIA GPU drivers on N-series VMs running Windows

Applies to: ✔️ Linux VMs ✔️ Windows VMs ✔️ Flexible scale sets

To take advantage of the GPU capabilities of Azure N-series VMs backed by NVIDIA GPUs, you must install NVIDIA GPU drivers. The NVIDIA GPU Driver Extension installs appropriate NVIDIA CUDA or GRID drivers on an N-series VM. Install or manage the extension using the Azure portal or tools such as Azure PowerShell or Azure Resource Manager templates. See the NVIDIA GPU Driver Extension documentation for supported operating systems and deployment steps.

If you choose to install NVIDIA GPU drivers manually, this article provides supported operating systems, drivers, and installation and verification steps. Manual driver setup information is also available for Linux VMs.

For basic specs, storage capacities, and disk details, see GPU Windows VM sizes.

Supported operating systems and drivers

NVIDIA Tesla (CUDA) drivers

NVIDIA Tesla (CUDA) drivers for NC, NCv2, NCv3, NCasT4_v3, ND, and NDv2-series VMs (optional for NV-series) are tested on the operating systems listed in the following table. CUDA driver is generic and not Azure specific. For the latest drivers, visit the NVIDIA website.


As an alternative to manual CUDA driver installation on a Windows Server VM, you can deploy an Azure Data Science Virtual Machine image. The DSVM editions for Windows Server 2016 pre-install NVIDIA CUDA drivers, the CUDA Deep Neural Network Library, and other tools.

OS Driver
Windows Server 2019 451.82 (.exe)
Windows Server 2016 451.82 (.exe)


Microsoft redistributes NVIDIA GRID driver installers for NV and NVv3-series VMs used as virtual workstations or for virtual applications. Install only these GRID drivers on Azure NV-series VMs, only on the operating systems listed in the following table. These drivers include licensing for GRID Virtual GPU Software in Azure. You don't need to set up a NVIDIA vGPU software license server.

The GRID drivers redistributed by Azure don't work on non-NV series VMs like NCv2, NCv3, ND, and NDv2-series VMs. The one exception is the NCas_T4_V3 VM series where the GRID drivers enable the graphics functionalities similar to NV-series.

The NC-Series with Nvidia K80 GPUs don't support GRID/graphics applications.

The Nvidia extension always installs the latest driver. The following links to previous versions are provided to support dependencies on older driver versions.

For Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019, Windows 11 21H2 and Windows 10 release up to 22H2:

For Windows Server 2012 R2:


The Azure NVads A10 v5 VMs only support vGPU 14.1(512.78). vGPU 15.1 support is expected by early March.

For links to all previous Nvidia GRID driver versions, visit GitHub.

Driver installation

  1. Connect by Remote Desktop to each N-series VM.

  2. Download, extract, and install the supported driver for your Windows operating system.

After GRID driver installation on a VM, a restart is required. After CUDA driver installation, a restart is not required.

Verify driver installation

Please note that the Nvidia Control panel is only accessible with the GRID driver installation. If you have installed CUDA drivers then the Nvidia control panel will not be visible.

You can verify driver installation in Device Manager. The following example shows successful configuration of the Tesla K80 card on an Azure NC VM.

GPU driver properties

To query the GPU device state, run the nvidia-smi command-line utility installed with the driver.

  1. Open a command prompt and change to the C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\NVSMI directory.

  2. Run nvidia-smi. If the driver is installed, you will see output similar to the following. The GPU-Util shows 0% unless you are currently running a GPU workload on the VM. Your driver version and GPU details may be different from the ones shown.

NVIDIA device status

RDMA network connectivity

RDMA network connectivity can be enabled on RDMA-capable N-series VMs such as NC24r deployed in the same availability set or in a single placement group in a virtual machine scale set. The HpcVmDrivers extension must be added to install Windows network device drivers that enable RDMA connectivity. To add the VM extension to an RDMA-enabled N-series VM, use Azure PowerShell cmdlets for Azure Resource Manager.

To install the latest version 1.1 HpcVMDrivers extension on an existing RDMA-capable VM named myVM in the West US region:

Set-AzVMExtension -ResourceGroupName "myResourceGroup" -Location "westus" -VMName "myVM" -ExtensionName "HpcVmDrivers" -Publisher "Microsoft.HpcCompute" -Type "HpcVmDrivers" -TypeHandlerVersion "1.1"

For more information, see Virtual machine extensions and features for Windows.

The RDMA network supports Message Passing Interface (MPI) traffic for applications running with Microsoft MPI or Intel MPI 5.x.

Next steps

  • Developers building GPU-accelerated applications for the NVIDIA Tesla GPUs can also download and install the latest CUDA Toolkit. For more information, see the CUDA Installation Guide.