How to Stop Installing Device Driver Software

by Chris Hoke

After you connect a hardware device to your computer, certain versions of Windows (such as Vista Home, Vista Premium and Windows 7) may automatically install the drivers it detects instead of allowing you to choose which drivers to install. While this feature may save you some trouble in most occasions, some hardware devices require an installation with specific drivers in order to function properly. Stop your operating system from automatically installing device drivers by using the Windows Driver Settings options panel.

Click "Start," choose "Search" from the menu. Type "gpedit.msc" in the text field.

Double-click the "gpedit.msc" file name when it comes up, which will open the Local Group Policy Editor.

Click the "Computer Configuration" folder to expand it in the left pane, then click to expand "Administrative Templates" and "System."

Click once on the "Device Installation" folder to select it.

Right-click "Prevent installation of devices not described by other policy settings" in the right pane, then click "Edit."

Set the option to "Enabled," then click "Apply" and "OK." Close any open windows, and restart your computer.

Tip

  • check Revert the changes by setting the "Prevent installation of device ... " option back to "Disabled" to install the device drivers of your choosing.

About the Author

Chris Hoke is a freelance writer, blogger and musician living in the San Francisco bay area. He began writing professionally in 2005 and his articles regularly appear on EmailServiceGuide.com and Slapstart.com.