How to update drivers on Windows 11

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How to update drivers on Windows 11

If the hardware devices on your Windows 11 PC, such as USB controllers, video cards, printers, or other peripherals, need new or updated drivers, it’s usually easy to install them. We will show you how.

Usually you don’t need to update the drivers

Before we move on to updating drivers, let’s talk about when you don’t need to update your hardware drivers in Windows 11. As a general rule, you shouldn’t update your drivers unless you want to update your drivers. were updating a graphics card driver or knowing that a driver update will fix a problem you have encountered.

If your devices are already working, a driver update could potentially break something unexpectedly by making an untested change to your system. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” “

The safest way to update your drivers

When looking for driver updates, it is important to know that Windows automatically updates many drivers with Windows Update, which is built into Windows 11. So if there are any minor but necessary updates to the components. common things like touchpads or USB controllers, Windows will usually take care of them automatically the next time you update your PC.

Additionally, some driver updates arrive as “Optional Updates” in Windows Update. We (and Microsoft) don’t recommend installing these updates unless you’re trying to fix a specific known issue with a device. But, if you have any problem, it is worth checking to see if there are any optional updates available. To do this, open Settings by pressing Windows + i. In Settings, click “Windows Update” in the sidebar, then select “Advanced options”.

Click on Windows Update

In the advanced options, scroll down and click on “Optional Updates”.

Click on Optional Updates

Click the heading of the “Driver Updates” section to expand it. Then go through the list and check the box next to any driver you want to update. When you are done, click “Download and Install”.

Click Download and Install

Windows will install the drivers you selected and, if necessary, ask to restart your PC. After a restart, you are ready to use the updated drives. However, you won’t find all of the drivers in Windows Update. In this case, see the section below.

The best place to manually download updated drivers

There are times when you need to update a device such as a graphics card that Windows Update doesn’t cover. In this case, your best bet is to locate the official website of the device manufacturer. Once there, look for a “Support” section and search for “downloads”, “updates” or “drivers” for your device.

Be careful, there are many scam driver sites that install malware instead of drivers, so make sure you hit the actual manufacturer’s site. Driver update utilities that you can find online are worthless and can be full of scams or malware.

Once you have downloaded a trusted driver package from your device manufacturer, extract it and find a “Setup” or “Installer” program to run. Run it, and usually the update driver will install automatically, then ask for a restart. After restarting your PC, your new drivers are ready to go.

In the case of GPU drivers from NVIDIA, AMD, or Intel, the Driver Updater may install a utility such as GeForce Experience (for NVIDIA hardware) that will allow quick driver updates in the future. Using this program, you can update your GPU drivers from a trusted source as new games arrive.

Manually update drivers with device manager

Finally, you can also use Device Manager to change or update specific device drivers on your Windows 11 PC, but most people don’t need to. To get started, open Device Manager: click the start button and search for “device manager”, then click the Device Manager logo in the results.

Manually update drivers

In the Device Manager window, browse the list of devices installed on your PC and locate the device for which you want to update the driver. Right click on it and select “Update Driver”.

Select Update Driver

In the “Update Drivers” window that appears, you have two choices. We’ll cover them both below, but first, here’s a look at what each option does.

  • Automatically search for drivers: This choice causes Windows to search Windows for compatible drivers and install them automatically.
  • Search for drivers on my computer: this option allows you to manually specify the location of the new drivers you want to install. This can be useful if you have already downloaded drivers from the manufacturer’s website or want to install drivers from a CD, but the driver installer is missing or not working properly.

Automatically search for drivers

If you choose “Automatically scan for drivers,” Windows will scan your system driver files, looking for updated drivers for the device. If it finds them, it will install them and ask you to restart your PC.

Otherwise, you will see “The best drivers for your device are already installed”. At this point, you can search further by clicking “Check Windows Update for updated drivers,” which will open the Settings> Windows Update menu. Otherwise, click “Close”.

Check for updated drivers on Windows Update

If you choose “Browse my computer for drivers”, you can search for a location where you know the new driver files are located by clicking the “Browse” button and following the on-screen steps. Or you can click “Let me choose from a list of drivers available on my computer”.

Update drivers

If Windows recognized the drivers you searched for, or if you selected “Let me choose from a list of drivers available on my computer,” Windows will present you with a list of compatible drivers from which you can choose for the device. Select an item from the list and click “Next”.

Click Next

If you see “The best drivers for your device are already installed,” no update is necessary. You can close Device Manager and you’re done. Otherwise, the driver will install if it is newer than the old one. After that, Windows will ask you to restart your PC. Click on “Yes”.

Update drivers on Windows 11

When you reconnect, your new drivers will be active.

Conclusion

In this guide, you have learned how to update the drivers on Windows 11. If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments. In addition, also consult this guide if you want to learn how to install optional updates on Windows 11.



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