Windows Can Find Its Own Drivers, But Do You Want That?

Windows Can Find Its Own Drivers, But Do You Want That?

When it comes to Windows drivers, users need to make a decision about whether they want Windows to search for, download and install new drivers or not. On the surface, it seems like having windows do all the heavy lifting is a fine solution. That’s not always true, especially if you have older hardware running on a newer operating system, or you have a different mechanism of loading drivers.

You Can Disable Windows Driver Updates

You can have Windows download and install driver updates, but you may not want that to happen. If you want to handle driver downloading and installation yourself, or you use a driver management program like Driver Detective, you may want to disable the Windows Update driver download function.

Having Windows download and install updates might sound like a good idea, but often the results are less than spectacular. Windows sometimes misses driver updates, especially if the manufacturer hasn’t made the driver available to Microsoft. Windows has also been known to pull the wrong driver, which can cause a whole new set of problems (or not), depending upon how you use your hardware.

Most people (myself included) are a little wary of having Windows download and install software automatically. If you’ve been around computers long enough, you know that having computers make pre-programmed decisions doesn’t always produce positive results. The thought of having Windows perform this particular action on its own all the time is enough to make you a little queasy.

If that describes you, here’s a way to disable the Windows Update feature as it relates to drivers. Setting Windows Update to ignore driver updates will not affect any other action that Windows Update does. It will just put you in charge of monitoring and maintaining your Windows drivers.

Under System Properties, choose Device Installation Settings. Once the window opens, choose “Never install driver software from Windows Update” and choose “Save Changes.” Windows Update will ignore device driver updates in the future. This is the way you want your computer configured if you plan to use a device driver management software package like Driver Detective. With Driver Detective, the software will locate, manage and install all device driver updates when it finds them. It will also back up existing drivers, the registry and will back up any new drivers, so you can easily revert if you need to. With Driver Detective, you’re in better control of your device driver updates and your computer will behave more reliably and remain up-to-date at all times.

Photo Credit: dungodung, via Flickr