DirectX: frequently asked questions


DirectX is a technology that helps create the special visual and audio effects that come with games. It can help your computer get more performance out of demanding multimedia programs such as games and movies.

Here are answers to some common questions about DirectX.

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What are the different parts of DirectX?

  • Direct3D. This helps make three-dimensional animation possible on your computer monitor. Direct3D is designed to provide a powerful link between your computer's video card and software programs that can show three-dimensional (3‑D) objects. The faster your computer can process animation, the more realistic the 3‑D objects, light, and motion on your monitor will appear to be.

  • DirectDraw. This helps produce two-dimensional (2‑D) visual effects. Your computer's video card and many software programs use DirectDraw to communicate with one another before sending the finished visual image to the monitor. Computer games, 2‑D graphics packages, and Windows system features all use DirectDraw.

  • DirectSound. This boosts the performance of audio effects on your computer and makes many subtle effects in audio mixing and playback possible. It provides a link between software programs and the hardware on your computer. DirectSound provides multimedia software programs, such as games and movies, with hardware acceleration, mixing capabilities, and access to the sound card.

Do I need DirectX?

Yes. DirectX allows you to use multimedia software with complex sounds or moving images. DirectX is included with this version of Windows and with most of the games that require it.

Where can I get DirectX?

DirectX comes standard with this version of Windows, and also comes with most of the games that require it.

Which version of DirectX do I have?

At a minimum, on this version of Windows, you have DirectX 10. To learn how to check which version of DirectX is on your computer, see Which version of DirectX is on your computer?

Can I uninstall DirectX?

No. It's an integral part of the Windows operating system and can't be removed.