A Complete Guide to Updating Drivers Correctly on Windows 10

A Complete Guide to Updating Drivers Correctly on Windows 10

Updating drivers on your Windows 10 computer regularly is crucial for security and system stability. It ensures that the hardware functions properly with the latest tested software version. While most updates occur automatically, there are several methods to update drivers manually. In this guide, we will explore the best practices for updating drivers on Windows 10 computers. Additionally, we will address the common lack of understanding among people who work with drivers and provide a comprehensive overview of drivers on Windows 10.

What are Windows Drivers

A driver is a software component that enables communication between the Windows OS and a device. An example of this is a flash or external hard drive. Data is transmitted in both directions, and here’s how a typical app’s command and feedback flow occurs with the device. The arrows show the communication flow when the user gives a command, similar to pressing a key on a keyboard.

Sometimes software also refers to certain key components as software drivers. The developer divides the app into two components – one that interacts with the user and another that works behind the scenes. The former is the Graphical User Interface (GUI) for viewing, navigating, interacting, and selecting options, which the OS interprets as commands. The other component interacts with Windows, facilitates command execution, and operates in kernel mode to handle protected data.

In essence, drivers serve as a bridge between the app querying the data stored on the device, whether internal or external.

See also  How to Locate and Edit Hosts File on Windows

Let’s start with a hardware example. When you want to print a Word document, you open the file, hit print, and the printer produces a physical copy.

Here’s what happens in the background.

In this case, the app is Microsoft Word. It sends a command to the OS to print the document. The OS then uses drivers associated with the printer to send the print command. The printer carries out its task, and you receive the printed result.

Now, let’s consider another example. When you click a button to watch a YouTube video, it starts playing.

As simple as this may seem, we often overlook the complex series of events that occur as a result of such an action.

The browser is the app that communicates your desire to view the video to the OS. The OS involves a sound card or onboard audio hub (to play the sound) and a video chip or GPU (to show the video) on your computer. And a network card for using the internet to stream the video stored on a remote server. The OS will send requests to three drivers and ask them to relay the audio, video, and network duties.

All of this happens so fast that you don’t even notice it. You press a button and the video starts playing. And that’s how you miss the symphony created by different drivers to play that video in a second or two.

How to Install Drivers on Windows

Most drivers are automatically installed when you connect a hardware device, like a flash drive or printer, but this requires internet connectivity on your computer. The installation process may take some time as it searches online. You will see a pop-up with progress details. Software drivers are installed by the software package installer, so you don’t need to worry. If you prefer to download and install drivers manually, you can visit the manufacturer’s site or Microsoft Download Center. There, you can find the correct or latest version of the driver and use the following method to install it.

See also  5 Quick Ways to Uninstall Programs on Windows 11

A Complete Guide to Updating Drivers Correctly on Windows 10

Once you have the hardware device details, go to the manufacturer’s website or check Windows Updates for the latest drivers. Avoid installing drivers from unreliable third-party sites as they are not certified and may cause system instability or carry malware that steals your data.

Gamers need to frequently install the latest drivers, as Windows updates and other methods often install older versions. Graphic card manufacturers like AMD and Nvidia provide proprietary apps such as AMD ReLive and NVIDIA GeForce Experience for driver updates. These apps also include additional features like gameplay recording and screenshot sharing.

The simplest way to update your OS is to install new features, bug fixes, security patches, and drivers. Press Windows key+I, go to Settings, and select Update & Security. Check for updates and apply them when downloaded and ready.

A Complete Guide to Updating Drivers Correctly on Windows 10

The Device Manager is where you can view all the hardware devices installed on your computer. Search for and open it from the Start menu or use the Windows+X keyboard shortcut.

A Complete Guide to Updating Drivers Correctly on Windows 10

To update mouse drivers, expand Mice and other pointing devices, select your trackpad provider or HID option for an external USB-connected mouse, right-click, and choose Update driver.

A Complete Guide to Updating Drivers Correctly on Windows 10

Visiting the device manufacturer’s website allows you to download and install the drivers yourself. Follow the same steps as mentioned earlier, but choose ‘Browser my computer for driver software’ and select the driver file in Device Manager.

A Complete Guide to Updating Drivers Correctly on Windows 10

How to Check Driver Version and Update Date

Go back to Device Manager, right-click the device you want to check, and select Properties. Then click on the Drivers tab.

See also  How to Roll Back Drivers in Windows 7

A Complete Guide to Updating Drivers Correctly on Windows 10

When checking the installed device driver, you’ll find the version and installation date.

Uninstall or Rollback Driver

Troubleshooting steps involve uninstalling the driver or rolling it back to a previous version.

A Complete Guide to Updating Drivers Correctly on Windows 10

Both options are available in the Driver tab of the Properties menu. You can uninstall and reinstall the device here as well.

Drive Safe

Drivers are crucial for computer operations. Outdated or missing drivers can render devices useless. Although updates may be dreaded, installing the latest versions ensures smooth hardware functioning with the OS. That’s why it’s important to update drivers on Windows 10 computers, as it commonly resolves errors.

Next, are you facing issues with or new to Windows 10? Learn how to create restore points, which act as backups in case of computer issues or malfunctions.

Leave a Comment