Windows has preinstalled drivers for many devices, such as printers, displays, and keyboards. A driver is basically software that interprets commands from the CPU to the device.
Every single device that’s connected to your computer needs a driver to become functional. In many cases, it’s plug and play, where Windows automatically installs the driver for you and the device is ready to use.
Alternatively, you can also download the device driver yourself. Or you might need to do a manual driver installation if Windows is unable to find one. The device’s manufacturer will most likely provide the driver on a disc with the device, or you may be able to download it from the manufacturer’s website.
You can also find the driver elsewhere on the internet using the device’s product name, manufacturer and model number.
Drivers are regularly updated, and once you have installed a driver, Windows will automatically update it for you. You can also update the drivers yourself, but it’s important that you have confidence in the drivers that you update yourself. However, you can rely on Windows to warn you of suspicious drivers that may harm your computer.
Installing Drivers Manually
If Windows isn’t able to find the driver for your device, you can use the disc provided with the device to install the driver yourself. To install the driver from the manufacturer’s disc, first check to see if it is compatible with your version of Windows.
If there is no disc with the device, visit the manufacturer’s website and go to their support section to find a download link for the driver. You can do the same if your driver is out of date and you want to download an updated version. Then follow the steps below to manually install the driver for your device.
- Before you begin the installation process, make sure you are signed in as the administrator.
- Then, use the search feature to look for “Device Manager” and click on it.
- Look for the list of hardware categories and find the category that your device falls in. Click the category and then find the device name under that category.
- Then click on the “Driver” tab and click on “Update Driver”.
- Follow the instructions given and provide the admin password for confirmation.
Problems You May Encounter
When Windows doesn’t automatically recognize the driver for your hardware, you will have to manually troubleshoot problems with the driver as well.
Sometimes Windows will warn you if a driver is unsafe or has been changed since you last logged in. In such situations, it’s recommended you don’t install or update your driver. Drivers that are safe have verified publishers and come with a certification authority.
So, if Windows cannot find the verified publisher for the driver or the driver hasn’t been digitally signed, then this means that the driver isn’t safe to be installed on your computer.