Every device on your computer has a driver to make it run properly. Each one is vitally important to keep your computer running like it should. However, things go wrong and can get damaged, meaning you need a device driver update to fix the problem.
Signs Your Drivers are Out of Date
The first sign your drivers are not working properly will be that your hardware device works slowly or does not work at all. You may also receive error messages like:
- Device Not Recognized
- Device Not Installed Properly
- Device Not Detected
These are all signs that something is either out of date or has been corrupted. You will need to update your drivers to get the device working again.
How to Update Your Drivers Manually
- Discover Your Current Driver Version – Click Start, then right click My Computer and select Properties. Then select the Device Manager tab. click the (+) sign (Windows Vista) or the arrow (Windows 7). When you do, make note of the most current one.
- Find New Drivers – Next, you will need to go to the manufacturer web site. You can tell if a driver is newer by checking the date created. The most recent date is the latest version.
- Download New Drivers – Once you find what you are looking for, follow the onscreen instructions to download the latest driver.
- Install New Drivers – Navigate to where you downloaded the driver. Then double-click the icon. Installation instructions should appear on your computer. Most of the time the directions will be names readme.txt or readme.doc.
- Remove Old Drivers – Once you have established the new driver works, remove the old ones from your computer. To do this, go back to the Device Manager. Find the old driver and right click it. Select Remove to uninstall.
Update Drivers Automatically
Most people prefer to skip all the above and have software update for them. Since driver update software is completely automated, it can scan your computer for drivers in need of an update in a matter of minutes. It takes all the guess work out of looking for and finding new drivers for your computers devices.
- Start Scan – Click the “Scan” button and automatic driver update software will scan your computer for outdated device drivers.
- Start Downloading New Drivers – Click the “Download” or the “Download All” button to begin downloading the latest drivers. Most people will choose Download All as an easy way to update all the drivers at once. However, if you are having lots of problems, you may wish to download and install the drivers one at a time to isolate problems.
- Install the New Drivers – Click “Install” to start installing the downloaded driver.
Restart Your Computer
Whether you installed manually or automatically, the last step after a device driver update is to restart your computer. A system restart will force every window and program closed. It will also allow any needed Windows updates to finish installing.
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