A Complete Guide to Windows Device Drivers


Computer peripherals
image courtesy Dnikolos

Device drivers are software that controls how Windows communicates with hardware such as mice, video cards, motherboards, wireless cards and adapters, printers and more. Most Windows users have run into device driver related issues, with video cards and printers being some of the more common hardware components.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Windows device drivers on one page, with some of the most asked questions broken down - get the driver from the manufacturer or let Windows choose a driver, finding missing drivers, rolling back, backing up and restoring drivers and more. If you're running an earlier version of Windows, often you need to back up and restore drivers because they can be difficult to locate. Some vendors stop making drivers for older version of Windows available for download. Find out how to identify who makes a driver if you don't know, problems that can be caused by incompatible drivers and much more. Sometimes it's Windows that causes the problem with a version upgrade. Early versions of Windows 10 replaced NVIDIA graphics care drivers with a generic Microsoft drivers, causing quite a bit of disruption for many users.
The information on this page is useful, and it's one of those sites that one day down the road I'll be happy that I bookmarked so I don't have to try to find it again.

There's extensive coverage of all aspects of Windows drivers, this is a list of some of what's covered in the article:

  • What is a Device Driver, and why do you need one?
  • Which Drivers Should You Choose to Install – The One Provided by the Manufacturer or Microsoft?
  • Precautions to Take Before Making Any Changes to System Drivers
  • Managing Device Drivers in Windows
  • Finding Drivers That Are Missing From Your System
  • Installing and Updating Device Drivers
  • How to Manually Update Drivers Using Device Manager in Windows
  • Driver Backup and Restore
  • Uninstalling Drivers
  • Rollback Drivers
  • Replacing Corrupt/Deleted Drivers
  • Find Version and Other Details About Installed Device Drivers
  • Updating Drivers via Windows Updates and How to Block These (requires use of Group Policy Edit. Windows Home doesn't have it by default, here's how to enable it)
  • Possible Problems Caused by Improper Drivers
  • Where to Find The Right Drivers For a Device?
  • How to Find Out The Manufacturer of a Device if You Don’t Know?
  • Official utilities to Install/Update Drivers from NVIDIA, AMD, Intel, Dell, HP, & ASUS

This is a great site, you might want to save it if you need it or if you want to know more about device drivers.

The Most Detailed Guide to Windows Device Drivers On The Web

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Rhiannon, your finds are amazing.
This is definitely in the top 1%.
Thank you!

Thank you. I'm glad you find them useful and interesting. :)

Rhiannon - My appreciative pedestal is taller and more elevatingerlyish than @eikelein's... AND has garlands and roses.

Thank you, I don't think I've ever had a pedestal before, much less a decorative one. :)

Ms. rhiannon,
again one of your finds that make me elevate the pedestal I have you on anyway! ;-)
Thank you!

You're more than welcome, I'm glad you like it.

Good resource - thanks

I'm happy you like it. :)