How to Update Device Drivers in Windows 10


Tutorial:

If your computer doesn’t connect properly to the Wi-Fi or your speakers don’t make a sound, you should probably not blame your hardware for it.

Most issues are not caused by the hardware itself but by windows drivers, which are needed to functioning properly.

In this tutorial, we show you your options for updating windows device drivers to solve hardware related issues.

What are drivers and why do they matter?

Drivers are essentially a piece of software that helps Windows 10 to detect and correctly interact with hardware components, including peripherals such as mice, printers, monitors, keyboards, hard drives and any other device you can connect to your computer.

Drivers are essential for Windows 10. Without them, the best hardware can’t work properly and will cause problems. It is therefore important to keep them up to date to prevent stability and performance issues within your PC.

In what cases you have to update your drivers manually

“Windows 10 automatically detects and installs system device drivers with the Windows Updates.”

However, sometimes you may need to perform the update yourself. For example, when a piece of hardware is not recognized by Windows automatically or Windows is not able to correctly install the right drivers.

Often this is occurs when using external hardware much like a printer or new speakers. In this case you may have to install the correct drivers manually.

In some cases, you may want to update to the latest version of a driver as quickly as possible for proper functionality to avoid system bug issues.

Before you start

Prior to updating device drivers for Windows 10, you should always create a restore point, which allows you to reinstate your settings if you run into problems after a driver update. It’s really easy to do and might spare your time and nerves are lost later on.

Restore Point Windows 10
  1. Go to “Start” and type “Create a restore point”. Select the first result.
  2. With “Protection” enabled, select the drive, which you want to safeguard and click “Create”.
  3. Name the restore point, select “Create” and you are done.

The standard way: Using Windows Update

For most people Windows Update runs automatically on their computer and checks for updates on a regular basis. However, you might be one of the people who have disabled the automated updates. In this case, you should check for new updates, as soon as you run into performance issues.

Most hardware issues can be resolved with Windows automatic updates built-in to Windows 10. It’s the most reliable source of updating new device drivers, with few bugs and security issues. All the drivers that get installed with Microsoft Update are well-tested, verified and approved by Microsoft.

To check for new updates:

Check for Updates Windows 10
  1. Go to “Settings”, then “Update & Security” and choose “Windows Update”.
  2. Click “Check for updates” and wait if there are any updates found.
  3. If there are updates, Windows will automatically download and install them.

If you still have issues with a specific piece of hardware, then try to follow the next steps.

Updating device drivers manually

This method helps to update the drivers for most built-in components of your computer as well as for external devices such as wireless adapters, monitors and printers.

How to update your drivers using the Device Manager:

Device Manager Windows 10
  1. Type “Device Manager” in the search box of the taskbar and select the first result.
  2. Select the category of the concerned device and right-click on the device.
  3. Click “Search automatically for updated driver software” and select “Update Driver”.
  4. The Device Manager should now download and install the latest driver version automatically.
  5. If Windows couldn’t find a new driver, check the manufacture’s website of the device and follow the instructions there.

Reinstalling a driver using the Device Manager

In some cases, there can be problems when a device doesn’t work properly after a driver update. In this case, you should try to reinstall the driver.

  1. Type “Device Manager” in the search box of the taskbar and select the first result.
  2. Select the category of the concerned device and right-click on the name of the device.
  3. Select “Uninstall device” and restart your computer.
  4. Windows should automatically reinstall the uninstalled drivers.
  5. If not successful, try running the Windows Update Troubleshooter, which can be downloaded from Microsoft’s website.
  6. Try updating and reinstalling the driver again (see steps above).

Getting the latest driver from the manufacturer

If a driver is not built-in and available with Windows 10 or the Device Manager, you will have to get it from the manufacturer directly. This can be the case with older or specialized hardware such as printers or graphic card. Check if the driver software is delivered and included with a new product. Here is how to install a driver from an external source:

  1. Download the driver software from the manufacturer’s website or copy it from a storage medium to your computer.
  2. If needed, extract the content from the “.zip” file.
  3. Double-click the “.exe” file and follow the installation process.
  4. Type “Device Manager” in the search box of the taskbar and select the first result.
  5. Select the category of the concerned device. Right-click on the name of the device and select “Update Driver”.
  6. Select “Browse my computer for driver software” and click “Browse”.
  7. Select the folder with the downloaded driver software and click “OK”.
  8. Check “Include subfolders” to allow the wizard to find the correct “.inf” file with the instructions.
  9. Click “Next”.
  10. The driver should install automatically now.

Updating graphics drivers

To support excellent stability and performance, graphics drivers need frequent driver updates. This is due to the high requirements and fast developing technology, which is typically needed for high-resolution gaming experiences.

Even though many graphics drivers will be installed automatically with Windows Update, it is sometimes needed to get the up-to-date directly from the manufacturer of the device.

To do so, Nvidia, AMD and Intel have created graphics control panels to help you download and install the latest drivers. These desktop apps will lead you through the installation process step-by-step. You can find them via the links below (Include the links for the American versions):

  • Nvidia GeForce Experience.
  • AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition.
  • Intel Driver & Support Assistant.

If you don’t want another desktop app on your computer, you can download and install the latest graphics drivers directly from the manufacturer’s website. It can sometimes be tricky to find the right driver for your graphic card. Once you have found and downloaded it, follow the instructions of the manufacturer carefully.

Checking if your drivers are up to date

  1. Type “Device Manager” in the search box of the taskbar and select the first result.
  2. Select the category of the concerned device and right-click on the name of the device.
  3. Select “Properties” and go the “Driver” tab.
  4. Check the “Driver Date” and “Driver Version” information.
  5. Verify if this information matches with the latest driver version provided on the manufacturer’s website.
Device Manager Windows 10

Installing and updating drivers with third-party programs

If you need further help and an all-in-one service for your drivers, you can look for recommended software that will scan to identify driver and hardware related issues and install the latest drivers for you. There are various free and paid solutions with different services and features.

Notice: Make sure that you do your research before giving such a program a try, as many of the offered services are already included with Microsoft Update and the Device Manager. But if you want to always have the latest drivers, without having to look for them yourself, a third-party program could be the solution for you.


You can find me sailing the Bering Strait with my beautiful ship Nonsense where I update Windows Maximizer with geeky, boring posts about troubleshooting nerdy technical issues. Au revoir, amigos!