Within this guide we'll demonstrate how to update drivers in Windows 10. A driver is really a bit of software that enables your PC's components to operate together and be recognised by Windows. When they become corrupted or out of date, problems can arise, from crashes and stability issues to sluggish performance and peripherals no longer working.
That's why it's so important to pay attention to them. When things start failing with components in your computer - your computer stops connecting to Wi-Fi, for instance - updating your drivers ought to be among the first stuff you try.
And worry not - it doesn't have to be complicated. Let us show you through the steps to keeping the drivers up to speed in Windows 10.
1. Create a restore point
Before you get started, you should make sure to create a restore point. This ensures you can roll in case updating a driver causes trouble for your computer. It takes only one minute but can help you save a lot of hassle down the road.
To create one, click Start and type 'Create a restore point' and click the top result. Make sure that 'Protection' is enabled for that drive you wish to create a restore point for, choose the drive, then click 'Create'. Give it a name, click 'Create', then wait for it to complete.
2. Windows Update
The very first method to update your drivers is by using Microsoft's built-in tool, Windows Update. Click Settings > Update amp; Security > Windows Update, then click 'Check for updates'. If any updates are found, Windows will download and install them.
This really is good when you need to do a general check of your drivers, as well as getting updates for that operating system itself. However, if you know the specific driver that needs updating, there might be a quicker way to upgrade it - this leads us to.
3. Device Manager
The Device Manager is really a way to quickly view all of the components that comprise your pc, and update their drivers if required.
For example, in case your Wi-Fi seems to be playing up, you'll find your Wi-Fi adapter in Device Manager and update its driver after that.
Within this example, open the Start menu and type 'Device Manager', then click on the first result. Scroll right down to 'Network adapters' and click on the arrow to open the full list. Right-click the wireless adapter, click 'Update driver', then click 'Search automatically for updated driver software'.
4. Getting drivers from the manufacturer's website
Sometimes it is sensible to visit straight to the manufacturer's website to download the latest drivers, especially so if you have several aspects of the same company that need updating.
Visit the company's support section and download the appropriate driver. Now load up Device Manager from the previous step and right-click the component that needs updating, then click 'Update driver'.
This time around, click 'Browse my computer for driver software' and visit the folder containing the driver (making sure to tick 'Include subfolders').
5. Nvidia graphics drivers
Some drivers concentrate on improving stability and performance, graphics drivers see more regular updates, with drivers often being tailored for specific games. Depending on your graphics card, there will be new ways to update its drivers.
We'll begin with Nvidia graphics cards. First, open Nvidia's GeForce Experience program, then click Drivers within the top-left corner. If there is a new driver, you will notice an option to download it.
Nvidia provides you with an option to carry out a fresh installation - this will erase your previous settings, but can help if you're having issues installing the new driver.
6. AMD graphics drivers
For those who have an AMD video card, the process is quite different. Right-click on your hard drive, then click AMD Radeon Settings.
When the program loads, turn to the button in the bottom left. If new graphics drivers can be found, it will say 'New Update'. If it says 'Updates' having a tick next to it, you're up to speed.
Click the button and you'll see which graphics driver you have now installed. Click 'Check for Updates' to determine what is available; if your new driver is ready, click the name from it, then either 'Express Upgrade' for any quick installation, or 'Custom Upgrade' if you want to configure it.
7. Installing graphics drivers manually
As in step 3, you are able to download and install graphics drivers manually from the manufacturer's website. However, cellular phone process is slightly different when it comes to graphics drivers compared to those for other components.
You'll need to go towards the specific website of the graphics card maker - for instance, if you have an Nvidia card made by Gigabyte, try going to the Gigabyte website first, instead of to Nvidia's site. Visit the download or support section, download your driver, then double-click the installer file to get started.
8. Reinstall a troublesome driver
Sometimes, drivers just don't wish to install properly. Even when it seems everything should line up and go based on plan, you are able to run into a vital error. Thankfully, there is a solution, and it's easy to implement.
Bunch Device Manager, discover the component that's giving you grief, then right-click onto it. In the listing of options, click 'Uninstall device', then reboot your PC. Whenever your computer loads up again, Windows will endeavour to reinstall the motive force, that could solve the problem.
In the event that still won't work, download and run the Windows Update Troubleshooter from Microsoft's website. Once it's finished, try updating the motive force again.
9. Try a third-party program
There's a number of third-party programs around that advertise to locate and update old drivers fitted PC. There are plenty of free options out there, with other people charging for larger databases of drivers and additional features.
Be sure you do your research before plumping for any program, as some are bloated with a lot of unnecessary extras, for example.
Ensuring you regularly check Windows Update and Device Manager should preclude needing one more program, but they can be worth it if you would like the additional convenience.
10. How you can check if drivers installed properly
Now that you've installed the necessary drivers, there's the last step to take: check everything worked as intended. It's vital that you ensure the driver installed correctly so you know any issues happen to be fixed.
Open the unit Manager and, as before, navigate to the component whose driver just been upgraded. Right-click on it, then click Properties.
Within the new window, click on the Driver tab, then look into the 'Driver Date' and 'Driver Version' fields. If the date and version line up with the details for the driver you installed, you realize everything went smoothly.