Can Windows 10 drivers work on Windows 7?

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
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can windows 10 drivers work on windows 7
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If you’ve ever asked yourself the question ‘Can Windows 10 drivers work on Windows 7, then you came to the right place.

In some specific cases, you might want to try using Windows 10 drivers on your Windows 7 platform.

In today’s article, we will try and explore this possibility, and we’ll also discuss the details about why this option could or could not work.


Can I install Windows 10 drivers on Windows 7?

microsoft logo - can windows 10 drivers work on windows 7
The short answer to this question would be: Possibly. It might seem like a subjective answer, but it is well-founded.

Because of the large number of differences between the way different devices are built and work, there is no definitive answer to this question.


Are Windows 10 drivers backward compatible?

laptop on desk with coffee - Can Windows 10 drivers work on Windows 7 ?

What we do know is that the Windows Device Model (WDM) drivers are created by the developers to be forward-compatible and not backward-compatible.

This is just another fancy way of saying that Windows drivers are meant to work on newer versions of Windows rather than older.


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This means that the WDM allows you to use drivers from Windows 7 on Windows 10 by default.

If that wasn’t the case, the drivers could not make use of the new features introduced in the new version of the operating system.


Can you make Windows 10 drivers work on Windows 7?

laptop on desk with notepad - Can windows 10 drivers work on windows 7 ?
Note:  Please be careful with what drivers your install on your operating system. In order to avoid any issues, it is recommended that before installing any drivers you create a restore point for your system.

This will allow you peace of mind that you can always return to the previously installed driver setup without losing any data in the process.

Even though generally the drivers are not meant to be used on another OS, there are some drivers from Windows 10 that work on Windows 7.

In some cases, the driver itself is compatible with the newer version of Windows, but the installer package is not.

In order to overcome this hurdle, you can simply right-click the setup file, and set it to run in compatibility mode. After doing this, you can simply follow the on-screen instructions and use the recommended settings.


How to install Windows 10 drivers on Windows 7?

To install a driver, you just need to run the setup file and follow the steps on the screen. If that doesn’t work, you can install the drivers manually by doing the following:

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Locate the device which driver you want to update. Right-click it and choose Update driver.
    update driver windows 10 drivers on windows 7
  3. Select Browse my computer for driver software.
    browse for driver software windows 10 drivers on windows 7
  4. Now click the Browse button.
  5. Select the folder where the driver is located. This folder is usually created by the driver setup or by extracting the driver from the archive.
  6. Click OK, then Next and follow the instructions on the screen.

In today’s article we tried to answer if Windows 10 drivers can work on Windows 7, and some other related questions as well.

We hope this guide helped you understand the reasons for all the answers given in this article. Please feel free to let us know if you have any other questions relating to this issue by using the comment section below.

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