How to update outdated drivers in Windows 10
Drivers are an essential part of every Windows’ ecosystem. Without these invisible software packages, you basically can’t run your computer normally. Every piece of hardware requires a proper driver to work correctly, because drivers are ‘the soul of every computer.’
If a particular component of your computer is missing, or has an outdated driver, various problems may occur. For example, if your graphics card is missing a driver, you’ll have display problems, if your sound card is missing a driver, you won’t hear any sound on your computer, and so on.
Keeping all your drivers up to date is essential for your computer to work properly. But in Windows 10, keeping your drivers updated is slightly harder than it used to be in previous versions of the OS.
You probably know that Microsoft imagined Windows 10 as a service, which means we won’t get a new version of Windows in the future, but just bigger updates for the current version. The problem with these updates is that some of them can make your drivers outdated or even incompatible.
In that manner, it is highly recommended to check all your drivers after installing a major update for Windows 10. Because, as we said, if a update makes your drivers outdated or incompatible, you may face some major problems.
There are a couple of ways to check for drivers update, and each method is quite simple. So, if you still haven’t, do your computer a favor, and update all your drivers to latest versions.
How to update drivers in Windows 10
1. Use Windows Update
Microsoft has some sort of a partnership with bigger hardware manufacturers like Intel, nVidia, AMD, etc. Therefore these companies regularly release driver updates for their components via Windows Update. So, if you’re rocking a newer nVidia or ATI graphics card, all you need to do to keep your drivers up to date is to regularly check for Windows updates.
You probably already know how to check for updates in Windows 10, but it won’t hurt if we remind you once again. To check for updates, go to the Settings app > Updates & security, and just check for updates. This way, you’ll keep all your drivers updated, and install all the other Windows 10 updates available as well.
2. Use the Device Manager
In case you don’t receive your driver updates via Windows Update, the most common way to check for driver updates is with the Device Manager. This Windows’ feature manages all the hardware in your computer, so updating drivers is possible for every single component of your machine.
It might take some time to check every single driver manually, but you can solve a lot of problems by doing that. To check for driver updates in Device Manager, do the following:
- Go to Search, type devicemng, and open the Device Manager
- You’ll now see the list of all your hardware listed in Device Manager
- To check for driver updates for any component, just right-click on it, and go to Update driver software.
- If a driver update is available, the wizard will automatically install it, if not, your driver is already up to date.
As we said, this is the most popular method of checking for driver updates in Windows 10. Of course, you can do more in Device manager than just checking for driver updates, but that’s a topic for another article.
3. Update the drivers from the manufacturer’s website
You can also download drivers manually from the manufacturer’s website, in case Device Manager fails to find any updates for your drivers.
Here are the official driver download links for the most common drivers used on Windows PCs:
- NVIDIA driver updates
- AMD driver updates
- Intel driver updates
- HP driver updates
- Dell driver updates
- Lenovo driver updates
4. Install dedicated driver downloading software
There are plenty of third-party tools that you can use to automatically install the latest drivers on your Windows 10 PC. TweakBit’s Driver Updater is one of the most efficient.
Driver Updater automatically identifies each device on your computer and matches it with the latest driver versions from an extensive online database. This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best automatized solution. Drivers can then be updated in batches or one at a time, without requiring the user to make any complex decisions in the process. Here is how it works:
- Download and install TweakBit Driver Updater
- Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
- Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.
Disclaimer: some functions of this tool are not free.
There are a few more ways to update your computer’s drivers, but those we listed above are the best.
You’ll also stumble upon a few more programs that offer you scanning for driver changes, and automatically installing updates. However, we don’t recommend using all these programs, because not all of them guarantee the most accurate results.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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