In this guide, you will learn how to update drivers in Windows 10. A driver is a software that allows the components of your PC to work together and be recognized by Windows. If they are damaged or out-of-date, problems can occur, from crashes and stability issues to slow performance and out-of-date peripherals.
And do not worry – it does not have to be complicated. Let us guide you through the steps to make sure your Windows 10 drivers are up-to-date.
Before you begin, make sure that you create a recovery point. This will allow you to roll back if updating a driver causes problems for your computer. It only takes a minute, but it can save you a lot of trouble.
To create one, click Start, type “Create a restore point” and click on the top result. Make sure that “Protection” is enabled for the drive for which you want to create a restore point. Select the drive and click “Create”. Give it a name, click “Create” and wait for the process to complete.
The first way to update your drivers is to use Microsoft’s built-in tool, Windows Update. Click Settings> Update and Security> Windows Update, and then click Check for Updates. When updates are found, Windows downloads and installs them.
This is useful if you need to do a general review of your drivers, as well as updates to the operating system itself. However, if you know the specific driver that needs updating, there may be a faster way to update it. This leads us to …
With Device Manager, you can quickly see all the components of your computer and, if necessary, update their drivers.
For example, if your Wi-Fi seems to be playing, you can find your Wi-Fi adapter in Device Manager and update its driver from there.
In this example, open the Start menu and enter “Device Manager”. Then click on the first result. Scroll down to Network Adapters and click the arrow to open the full list. Right-click the WLAN adapter, click Update Driver, and then automatically search for updated driver software.
Sometimes it makes sense to directly access the manufacturer’s website to download the latest drivers. This is especially true if you have multiple components of the same company, all of which need updating.
Go to the support section of the company and download the appropriate driver. Now load the Device Manager from the previous step, right-click the component that you want to update, then click Update Driver.
This time, click “Search for driver software on the computer” and navigate to the folder where the driver is located (check “Include subfolders”).
While most drivers focus on improving stability and performance, video drivers are updated regularly, with drivers often tailored for specific games. Depending on your video card, there are several ways to update the drivers.
We start with Nvidia graphics cards. First, open the Nvidia GeForce Experience utility, and then click Drivers in the upper-left corner. If there is a new driver, a download option will be displayed.
With Nvidia, you have the opportunity to carry out a new installation. This will clear your previous settings, but it may be helpful if you have trouble installing the new driver.
If you have an AMD graphics card, the process is slightly different. Right-click on your desktop, and then click AMD Radeon Settings.
When the program is loaded, look at the button at the bottom left. If new video drivers are available, “New Update” will be displayed. If “Updates” is displayed with a check next to it, you will be up to date.
Click the button and you will see which video driver you currently have installed. Click “Check for Updates” to see what’s available. If a new driver is ready, click the name of the driver, then either “Express Upgrade” for a quick install or “Custom Upgrade” if you want to configure it.
As in step 3, you can manually download and install video drivers from the manufacturer’s website. However, with the video drivers, the installation process is slightly different from that for other components.
You must go to the specific website of the graphics card manufacturer. For example, if you’re using an Nvidia card manufactured by Gigabyte, first visit the Gigabyte website, not the Nvidia website. Navigate to the Download or Support section, download your driver, and then double-click the installation file to get started.
Sometimes drivers just do not want to be installed properly. Even if everything goes according to plan, you may encounter a critical error. Luckily, there is a solution that is easy to implement.
Load the Device Manager, find the component you are sad about, and right-click on it. In the list of options, click “Uninstall Device” and restart your PC. When your computer is reloaded, Windows will try to reinstall the driver, which could solve the problem.
If this still does not work, download and run the Windows Update Troubleshooter from the Microsoft Web site. Then try to update the driver again.
There are a number of third party programs that promise to find and update old drivers on your Windows PC. There are many free options, while others charge for larger databases with drivers and additional features.
Make sure you do your research before choosing a program, as some are overcrowded with many unnecessary extras, for example.
Make sure you regularly check Windows Update and Device Manager to prevent you from needing an additional program. But you can be worth it if you want extra comfort.
After you have installed the necessary drivers, the final step is to check that everything worked as intended. It is important that the driver is installed correctly to let you know that problems have been resolved.
Open Device Manager and continue navigating to the component whose driver has just been updated. Right-click it, and then click Properties.
Click on the “Driver” tab in the new window and activate the “Driver Date” and “Driver Version” fields. If the date and version are the same as the details of the driver you installed, you know everything worked fine.