A PC has different types of hardware components connected to it. To communicate with these hardware components the PC requires a software program, popularly known as a Device Driver. Device drivers are developed both by operating system developers and hardware manufacturers.
Device Drivers integrated into your operating system are installed automatically when the hardware devices that use them are connected to the system. In case your Windows operating system is unable to install the required driver, you can install it from the CD provided by the manufacturer or download it either from the manufacturer’s website or from other sources available on the Internet.
To ensure that the device drivers on your computer stay at their best performance and are free from any bugs, you need to update them on a regular basis. This article will help you to have a look at the steps involved in updating device drivers.
The first step in updating your device driver is to download the latest driver updates either from the manufacturer’s site or from other reliable sources available on the internet. Once you have identified the driver you want to update, download it and save it on your hard disk.
There are some drivers that get automatically updated and installed when you download them. In case the driver does not update on its own, you need to follow the following steps to manually update them.
- The first step is to locate your hardware component in the Device Manager. To open the Device Manager, right-click the My Computer icon on your desktop, then select Properties. This will open the System Properties dialog box. Here, display the Hardware tab, and then select the Device Manager option.
- In the Device Manager window you will see a broad list of hardware devices connected to your PC. For example, you will see Display Adaptors, Keyboard, Sound Adaptor, mouse and other such devices listed here. You can navigate through the list of hardware devices by clicking on the (+) icon.
- Scroll through the list, identify the driver you want to update, right click on it and select the Properties option.
- In the device properties dialog box, click on the Driver tab and select Update Driver.
- Upon selecting the update driver option an update driver wizard will open. Select the option “Browse my computer for driver software”. Next, select the option “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer” from the bottom of the open window.
- Now, browse to the location where you initially saved the downloaded file on your hard disk and then click OK.
- Select the hardware name in the given text box and click on the Next button. The device driver update will now install on your PC.
After the installation is complete, you might be prompted to restart your computer. Even if you are not prompted to restart your computer, it is always advisable to do so because the driver update process requires some changes to be made in the Windows registry, which are implemented only after your PC restarts.
The process of updating drivers using the Device Manager is manual and more often than not, you may not have time to use it and update your drivers. To help you out are friendly driver scanner tools, such as Driver Finder. These tools automatically search your system for out-of-date drivers and then locate the updates for them online. This software is useful if you don’t want to update your drivers manually.