Driver software is a crucial element of every PC, but sometimes Windows cannot download drivers at all. Outdated drivers can cause many issues, but in today’s article we’ll show you how to fix it once and for all.
Causes of the Windows cannot download drivers error
- Failed integrity checks: Windows usually tests drivers for authenticity during installation. Drivers failing these tests may be prevented from downloading.
- Third-party applications: Some third-party software sometimes conflicts with the drivers being downloaded resulting in the issue.
- Corrupt driver files: The driver‘s package in question could be corrupt/incomplete at the source.
- Antivirus software: Drivers are typically in .exe format so your antivirus might be mistaking them for malware.
- Challenges with Windows update: A required driver may fail to download if Windows update servers are experiencing difficulties.
What to do if I can’t install drivers on Windows 10?
- Disable the antivirus
- Disable driver signature checks
- Disable SmartScreen filter
- Check your disk capacity
- Restart the PC
- Use third-party tools
- Check Your Internet Connection
1. Disable the antivirus
Antivirus software protects your computer against countless security threats but it can occasionally block certain driver downloads after labeling them as malware by accident.
If Windows cannot download drivers, try to temporarily disable your current antivirus and restart the download. Similarly, turning off the firewall may help. Remember to re-enable all your protection systems as soon as possible to reduce your PC’s vulnerability.
If the issue still persists, you might want to consider switching to different antivirus software that offers great protection, and won’t interfere with your system in any way, so feel free to try it out.
2. Disable driver signature checks
As mentioned earlier, Windows is by default programmed to permit only signed (verified) drivers. In case your driver‘s are signed, Windows won’t be able to download the drivers. However, you can fix that by doing the following:
- Click on the Start button.
- In the Search box, type cmd.
- Right-click cmd. Click Run as administrator.
- Type the bcdedit.exe /set nointegritychecks on command then press Enter. This switches off the potentially problematic driver check.
- Try to download the stubborn driver anew.
To restore the driver verification, type bcdedit.exe /set nointegritychecks off in Command Prompt then press Enter.
3. Disable SmartScreen filter
The Windows’ SmartScreen filter scans driver’s download, files, applications, and websites and automatically blocks unrecognized content including drivers and applications. If Windows cannot download drivers, try disabling this feature by doing the following:
- Open the Windows Defender Security Center from your Start menu to access it.
- You are then to click App & browser control option located in the Windows Defender’s sidebar to get these turn off settings.
4. Check your disk capacity
- Click the Start button, type Disk cleanup to search for it.
- Select Disk cleanup from the displayed results.
- Select the drive partition (C:) you want to create space in and click OK.
- Wait briefly as the tool calculates available space and then check all the file types you want to remove.
- Select OK.
Restart the download process and see if the issue is resolved. If not yet, free up more space by deleting non-essential system files as follows:
- Go back to the Disk Cleanup window and choose Clean up system files.
- Select the relevant file types to remove including files like the Temporary Windows installation files.
- Select OK.
Check if the issue is still there.
5. Restart the PC
Restarting the PC is quite simplistic but on many occasions very effective. Just reboot and go back to the downloads center and check if the issue has been successfully isolated and stopped.
If you are trying to download several drivers, you may have to keep restarting with each driver until all have been downloaded.
6. Use third-party tools
Downloading driver manually can be a tedious task, especially if you don’t know where and which drivers to download. If Windows cannot download drivers for some reason, you can always try using third-party solutions such as TweakBit Driver Updater.
Disclaimer: some functions of this tool might not be free
This tool will automatically scan your system for outdated drivers and update them all automatically with just a couple of clicks.
7. Check Your Internet Connection
A sluggish or unstable Internet connection also spells trouble for major downloads such as drivers. Troubleshooting your current Internet link may thus help.
We recommend that you connect to a different Wi-Fi network if the issue continues.
There you go, these are our solutions to try if Windows cannot download drivers. If these solutions were helpful to you, feel free to let us know in the comments section.
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