DirectX for Windows

  • Free
  • In English
  • V 9.29.1974.1
  • 3.5
  • (9237)

Softonic review

Free multimedia APIs from Microsoft

DirectX is a free collection of APIs (application programming interfaces) for programming graphics and sound. This allows developers, primarily game developers, to easily create fully-featured games that run on Windows. Most users aren't even going to notice DirectX working - it just runs when it needs to, without telling you. Interacting with it otherwise is a little more complex and will need programming know-how.

Free tool to control sound and graphics cards

DirectX is a technical tool that helps game developers interact with sound and graphics cards. Although it can be installed on any computer, most users won’t ever need it. It runs when you play a game made with DirectX and that’s it. You’re only going to need to get to know it better if you want to program with it yourself. It has one of the most agile runtime processes amongst this category. 

What is DirectX used for?

DirectX is a set of Windows interfaces. Developers program to the DirectX API, which lets their programs - often games - interact correctly with sound and graphics cards. In turn, makers of sound and graphics cards recognize DirectX, so they know what to do when a program made with DirectX accesses their functions. 

Do you already have DirectX?

Since DirectX doesn’t have an interface like other apps (it won’t appear in your apps list, for example), you’ll have to get a little more technical to check if it is already installed on your computer.  To check, follow these steps:

  • Click Start, and then click Run
  • Type dxdiag, and then click OK
  • On the System tab, note the version of DirectX that is displayed on the DirectX Version line
  • On the various tabs, check the version information for each DirectX file
  • When you are finished checking file versions, click Exit
  • The DirectX installation

    If you find that DirectX is not installed on your computer (or the version is very old), you’ll have to download DirectX again to use it. The download is simple and how you might expect - you download and run the .exe as normal. The installation is slow, which might prove a little frustrating and - watch out - the app tries to install Bing during installation.

    How do you open the DirectX control panel?

    Since DirectX isn’t a normal app, you can’t open it in the usual way. Instead, press the Start button and type “dxdiag” into the box. Your computer will ask you if you want to run DirectX. 

    The window that opens is a very traditional-looking Windows interface. All the data it provides is just informational - lots of details about your system, the display settings, rendering features and drivers, sound information, and current input devices. You don’t interact with this information - there’s an error window and, if you’re programming and make a mistake, the error will show up here. You go back and fix it, and the error will disappear.

    Who needs DirectX?

    There are two situations in which you might need DirectX.

  • If you play games on your PC that require DirectX to work. You might already have it.
  • If you're programming things that need access to the sound and graphics cards, you may also need DirectX.
  • It's worth bearing in mind that DirectX isn't the only tool of its type. There are other APIs that interact with graphic cards, and many of them are more modern. You can compare this with a valid app like Runtime, That said, if you're playing or developing certain games or on certain (probably older) machines, you might well need it.

    A tech tool most won’t need

    DirectX is a solid piece of technology that's been around for years and still going strong. The graphics and sound technology work very well (which is why it's still relevant even though it's very old), and the interface is very usable, even though it's very old-fashioned.

    Most of us, however, will never see it - unless you're programming, you'll never even have to open it, as it will just run in the background without you noticing. DirectX isn't really the kind of software that you want or don't want. If you need it, you'll have to install it and it's a pretty painless experience.

    Recent changes

    The most recent version of DirectX improves Windows 10 compatibility and adds Variable Rate Shading (VRS) support. Other recent versions added DirectX Raytracing support, Depth Bounds Testing, and Programmable MSAA.


    • Reliable
    • Easy to install
    • Most users will have a really easy time using it


    • Installation is slow
    • Unnecessary for all but a very few
    • Not the most modern

    Older versions

    DirectX for PC

    • Free
    • In English
    • V 9.29.1974.1
    • 3.5
    • (9237)

    User reviews about DirectX

    • Sarwar Ramim

      by Sarwar Ramim

      nice so sweety and khub kajer. loving for children and also ous. thx love softsonic

    • Leila Almasi

      by Leila Almasi

      Currently, I have Directx 9 on my Windows 10. And, I must say, it is the best API with the best documentation. I will definitely download the latest v More

    • Amit Kummar

      by Amit Kummar

      No wonder this software is still the predominant API in the world. I've been using directx 9 on my mac since 2013. Even with the rise of new APIs like More

    • Anonymous

      by Anonymous

      Pretty good.
      Pretty good. Installation is slow though. It has pretty good graphics and everything
      Pros: Graphics
      Cons: The installat More

    • Anonymous

      by Anonymous

      Thank You.
      i used the download link at top of site sorry i didnt dl the toolbar or the regcleaner pro thing i use my own... sorry but on the up  More

    • Anonymous

      by Anonymous

      Not installs.
      It Just Not Installs and says 'A cabinet file necessary for installation can't be trusted'. It Is Essential for Games and I bet it More


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