Windows 10 may be the most widely used OS around the world, but it’s notorious for running into automatic updates and driver problems. An old driver could bring an application or hardware to a halt. After all, everything on your computer runs with the help of drivers.
In most cases, Windows downloads and installs the drivers on its own. This is part of the Windows Update utility, as it maintains a library of drivers for each hardware and component. However, many times drivers are not updated on their own, which means you’ll need to do it manually.
Now, there are a few ways to go about it when it comes to properly updating device drivers on Windows 10.
How to Update Drivers Through Windows Update Settings
Sometimes it takes longer for updates to come to Windows, but you can manually ask Windows Update to search for those drivers if it hasn’t been installed already. The advantage of using Windows Updates to update device drivers is that it has the most relevant drivers that are compatible with your system. Also, they have been verified by Microsoft, so there’s no security threat either.
Here’s how to update a device driver through Windows Updates:
- From the Start button, launch Settings
- Select Update & Security
- Click on Windows Update
- If there are no updates already listed, click on ‘Check for updates.’
- Click on View optional updates.
- Select the driver you want to update and select the Download and Install button.
The driver for the particular device will download and install automatically. Now, check if the device is working properly after driver download.
How to Update Drivers Using Device Manager
Another quick and easy way to update drivers is by using Device Manager. This option is good if you’re looking to update a specific driver for a particular device, for example, a printer or wireless adapter.
However, you’ll first need to download the driver from the manufacturer’s website first. So, first, visit the website and download the appropriate device driver software.
This is also helpful if you were not able to find an up-to-date driver with Windows Updates. Here’s how you can update this manually downloaded driver from Device Manager:
- In the search bar, type Device Manager.
- Find the device or component you want to update the driver for.
- Double click to expand the menu.
- Right-click on the device and select Update Driver.
- A new window will open with two options. Select ‘Browse my computer for drivers.’
- Browse for the driver you just downloaded and select it.
- Click Ok to select.
- Make sure to select the checkbox ‘Include subfolders.’
- Click on Next and just follow the steps to complete the installation.
This method can come in handy for updating drivers for old devices whose drivers may not be available with Windows directly. Earlier Device Manager was linked with Windows Updates and could download the drivers directly, but that service is no longer available anymore, so you’ll need to manually download the driver.
How to Check if the Driver Has Been Updated?
Once you’ve downloaded and installed a driver for a device, how do you check whether it has been successfully installed and applied to the device? Well, if the device or component wasn’t working earlier, it should start to work now.
You can also manually check the version of the driver in Device Manager. Here’s how to do that:
- Open Device Manager.
- Search for the device whose driver you just updated.
- Right-click on it and click on Properties.
- A new window will open. Click on the Driver tab.
Here you will find the driver data and version, which should be updated by now to reflect the latest version and the current date. You can also match this version with the latest version available on the manufacturer’s website. If it’s the same, your driver is up to date. But if it has some problems, you might see the issues right from your home screen itself, sometimes on the wallpaper itself.
If you keep Windows Updates turned on, most drivers will be installed automatically. However, that’s not always the case and you may need to update them manually. You can use the above hacks to look for and install drivers.
It’s important to keep drivers updated for all the devices to run efficiently. You can find most drivers on the manufacturer’s website directly. Avoid downloading drivers from shady websites, as those drivers might compromise the security of your computer.