Having the latest drivers installed on your computer is vital to ensure it performs well. Keeping drivers up to date fixes recognition problems and reduces security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cyber criminals.
But manual driver updates can be tedious and time consuming to do on your own. Here are some tips to help make the process a bit easier.
1. Check for Updates
Drivers are tiny programs that help hardware devices like computers and printers communicate with the operating system. They are packed with tiny settings that can have a big impact on computer performance. But just like any piece of software, they can become outdated and require an update to keep working properly. If you have an older version of a driver, your device may start to function slower or even stop working altogether.
The good news is that you can use Windows’ built-in tool to check for and install driver updates automatically. The tool is called Device Manager, and it can be found in the search bar of your Windows operating system. To find the latest version of a specific driver, simply double-click on it and select the option to view available updates. Once you have a list of options, it’s simple to download and install the newer version of that driver.
It’s important to regularly check for driver updates because they will address problems or glitches. These can include security patches that prevent hackers from accessing your files, fixes for issues that have been discovered in a particular operating system, or upgrades to the technology behind the driver. In addition, some driver software interacts with the operating system at a very low level, which means that a vulnerability in that code could let malware take over your computer.
Although you can manually update drivers in a number of ways, it’s often easiest to use a third-party program. A good example of a reliable and easy-to-use tool is driver support, which can detect out-of-date drivers and recommend the best solution for your needs. The tool can also update all of your drivers at once, so you don’t have to spend time searching for them individually. It’s also fully registered and comes with a 60-day money back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.
2. Download and Install the Latest Version
Keeping your computer up to date with the latest drivers helps keep it running at peak performance. If you’re experiencing slowness, crashes, or bad audio or video quality, upgrading your driver software may be all it takes to solve the problem. But you must be careful which drivers you download and install. Many sites that offer drivers are untrustworthy and can download malware or unwanted programs on your computer.
It’s also important to understand how drivers work to avoid downloading the wrong files. The file you need to download depends on the type of hardware, whether it’s internal, like your sound card, or external, such as a printer. You can find information about your specific hardware item by clicking the heading in Device Manager. It will expand to show a list of connected (or previously connected) items in an indented section below the header. Select the item and follow any on-screen prompts to install the latest driver.
If the driver isn’t available through Windows Update, you can manually download and install it from the manufacturer’s support website. Many drivers are packaged as installers, and you can usually double-click the installer to start the process. Older or less common items might have drivers that are downloaded in ZIP folder format. To extract the contents of these files, see this guide.
If you want to save time, use a tool that automatically scans your PC for outdated drivers and installs the correct versions. Some programs even offer one-click options for updating multiple drivers at once. A good example is Snappy Driver Installer, which provides a convenient interface for updating drivers for both internal and external devices. It also supports command-line interfaces for advanced users and can be run from a USB drive, making it useful for updating drivers on a portable computer.
3. Restart Your Computer
If your computer has been acting strangely, it may be a sign that the drivers for certain hardware devices need to be updated. These small pieces of software are essential for ensuring that the different parts of your computer work together smoothly and efficiently, so it’s important to keep them up to date. Otherwise, your machine might start to experience sluggishness and other issues that can be really annoying.
Drivers can be updated manually using the Device Manager program on your Windows PC. Just select the option to search automatically for driver updates or browse your hard drive when prompted. This process can take a while, especially if your computer has outdated drivers. However, if you’re willing to wait, it’s worth the effort for a smoother computer.
Once the process is complete, you should restart your computer if you’re not prompted to do so. Restarting helps ensure that the new drivers take effect and that any changes to the operating system have had time to settle. You can also try a System Restore to return your computer to a previous point in time before the drivers were updated, if you’re not happy with the results.
While manual driver updates can be insanely tedious and lead to hours of head scratching and one-sided yelling matches with your monitor, they’re still one of the most straightforward DIY fixes that any computer owner can perform. When you have the right tools and patience, updating your drivers manually is a simple process that can help you get your computer running smoothly again in no time at all. Just be sure to follow these tips to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible!
4. Check for Updates Again
The best way to check if your computer’s drivers are up-to-date is by using Windows Update. This will scan your computer for driver updates and install any that are found. This is a reliable option for keeping your computer’s drivers up-to-date, but it can take some time to get the results you want.
You can also use a third-party program to automatically download and update your drivers. These programs are more convenient than manually updating your drivers and they can often find and install drivers that aren’t available through Windows Update. These programs also come with a money-back guarantee, which is helpful if you aren’t satisfied with the results.
Drivers are essential pieces of software that let your computer communicate with its hardware components. Without them, your computer could run very slowly or not at all. Drivers for major computer parts, like your graphics card or Wi-Fi chip, are particularly important to keep updated. However, it’s also important to regularly update the drivers for smaller computer components, such as your printer or camera.
While it’s important to update your drivers, you should also be careful not to overdo it. Too many updates can cause your computer to run erratically and can even damage your hardware. If your computer is running slowly and you think that it’s due to out-of-date drivers, try removing the old driver and installing the latest version. If this doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to contact the manufacturer of your device for more help. You can usually find the name of the manufacturer on the hardware or in its specifications. You can then go to the manufacturer’s website to download and install the latest driver.