How To Install and Update Drivers in Windows 10
Drivers allow your devices to communicate and therefore work with your PC. Windows 10 comes with a range of drivers for printers, monitors, keyboards, graphics cards, and other hardware that are already installed.
If you connect a device without a preinstalled driver, there’s no need to worry. This article will walk you through installing and updating the drivers you need for your hardware to communicate properly.
Does Windows 10 Install Drivers Automatically?
Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs drivers for your devices when you first connect them. Even though Microsoft has a vast amount of drivers in their catalog, they are not always the latest version, and many drivers for specific devices are not found.
Windows 10 also includes default drivers that work on a universal basis to ensure the hardware works successfully, at the least. If necessary, you can also install the drivers yourself.
But, if the drivers the system is identifying are right or there’s another issue, you may have to search them out and install them manually. Your best bet is going to be to visit the manufacturers’ website of the hardware you’re working with.
Do I Need To Update My Drivers for Windows 10?
Generally speaking, you should update drivers in Windows 10 whenever possible. Sure, you can leave drivers alone, but updated versions keep up with the latest security issues and adapt to Windows 10 changes to ensure a smoother experience.
Furthermore, driver updates fix compatibility problems, errors, broken code, and add features to the hardware.
How To Update Drivers on Windows 10: Automatic Installation
To change the settings for automatic driver installation on Windows 10, you need to find the driver settings page first.
- In the Cortana search bar, type “Change device installation ” and click on “Change device installation settings.”
- Choose whether to let Windows automatically download the driver software or do it yourself. Automatic updating is the easiest method, whereby Windows will habitually check for driver updates and install them.
- Clicking the second option to install drivers manually brings up several other options. If you don’t want Windows to install the driver software, select the second option: “Never install driver software from Windows Update.”
How To Manually Update Drivers in Windows 10
If you want to update your drivers manually, there are a few ways. We’ll cover the ways you can update your drivers below so you can choose which way works best for you.
Manual Driver Install through Device Manager
Right-click the start menu and select “Device Manager.”
Find the device that requires a driver update and right-click it, then select “Update Driver.” If you need details on the current driver, select “Properties” instead. From there, you can also update the driver.
Manual Driver Install through Manufacturer’s/Device’s Website
You can also update drivers through the device’s company website. For example, if you have an NVIDIA graphics card installed, you can update the driver for the card via NVIDIA’s official website.
Once you’ve updated your drivers, your device should be ready to use with Windows 10. If all else fails, you can factory reset Windows 10 and start fresh. Just be sure to save your existing personal files like images, music, and more before taking that action.
Check for Optional Updates
You can easily check for Driver updates in Windows’ Settings. Here’s how:
Using the Win+I keyboard shortcut to access the device Settings. When the window opens, click on ‘Update & Security.’
From here, select ‘Optional Updates.’
Select the drop-down arrow next to ‘Driver Updates’ and select the ones you’d like to install.
You can also view which drivers are already installed by selecting the ‘View Update History’ option on the Windows Update page as shown above.
How to Uninstall Drivers
Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish or what errors you’re having, you can uninstall then re-install drivers on Windows 10. If you’re having new issues with an existing piece of hardware it could be an update issue. Alternatively, there may be some drivers that you just don’t need anymore and would like to get rid of them.
How to Rollback Driver Updates
Uninstalling drivers can be a little tricky and you’ll need to be certain that your system doesn’t require the driver to function properly. That being said, we’ll first cover how you can roll back an update on an existing driver. This works perfectly if you’re having an issue after a new update. And, there’s no worry you’re going to delete a display adapter you desperately need.
To start, let’s open the Device Manager by using the Win+X keyboard shortcut and clicking on ‘Device Manager’ (or type it into the search bar and hit enter). You can also access this menu directly using the Win+R keyboard command and typing ‘devmgmt.msc,’ then enter.
Double-click on the hardware that is giving you trouble. We’ll use ‘display adapters’ but the process will be the same regardless.
Right-click on the hardware that’s giving you trouble and click on ‘Properties.’
Now, select the option to rollback the driver. If the option is greyed out, a previous update is unavailable and therefore you may need to try one of the other methods we’ve outlined in this article.
How to Uninstall Drivers
You can uninstall drivers that you no longer need and the process is rather simple once you have a basic understanding of it. First, if you uninstall a driver that you do need, you may cause serious issues that are difficult to fix so be sure that you’re uninstalling a driver you don’t need (just to reiterate that point).
Now, you have a couple of options to uninstall drivers. The first being accessible via the same instructions as above. Instead of clicking on ‘Rollback driver’ click on ‘Uninstall Driver.’ When the process is complete, simply restart your system and you should be good to go.
Another option is removing the driver via the installer. This option isn’t available for all drivers and hardware so if you don’t see it, you’ll have to resort to the method above.
Head over to your search bar and type ‘Uninstall a program’ then click ‘Enter’ on your keyboard. A menu will appear where you can locate the driver you’re trying to remove. Double-click the program and follow the prompts to uninstall. Once done, restart your computer.