How to Update PC Drivers

by Eric Brown

Many PC add-ons such as graphics cards, sound cards, monitors, drives and more utilize drivers to operate appropriately with Windows. These drivers need to be updated periodically to keep them current with changes in Windows, such as updates and new service packs. Despite the fact that you may not know what a driver really is or does, you too can update your own drivers periodically by following a few simple steps. This process does require an active Internet connection.

Open your Start Menu by clicking the icon in the lower left of your screen. Do not have any programs open when you do this. It will eliminate clutter and make it easier to find what you need.

Right click on "My Computer" in your Start Menu. (Vista users should right click on "Computer" and select "Properties" from the pop-up menu.)

Find the Hardware tab and click "Device Manager." (Vista users should click "Device Manager" in the left hand menu from the Properties window. You do not need to click a tab first. Click "Continue" when prompted.)

Select the type of item you would like to find an updated driver for. For example, if you select "Display Adapters," it will expand and show all display adapters for your PC. If you are checking for updates on all of your devices, start at the top and work your way down.

Right click on the specific device you want to update drivers for on your PC. Select "Update Driver" from the pop-up menu. This opens the Hardware Update Wizard.

Select the button next to "Yes, this time only" to allow the wizard to connect to the Internet and search for an updated driver for your device. Click "Next".

Leave the selection set on "Install the software automatically" (If this is not selected, switch the selection to it). Click "Next." The wizard will now search for new drivers and install them automatically if it finds any. If your device is up to date, it will tell you it was unable to find a better driver for your device.

Click "Finish." Repeat Step 4 through Step 7 for each device in each expanded selection to update all drivers on your PC.

Tip

  • check If you know the manufacturer and the specs of a particular device, you can also check their website for new drivers and install them manually. Set a restore point before starting, in case something goes wrong with installation.

Warning

  • close If, at any point, you are concerned you will have a problem during this process, stop immediately and call a local computer technician.

About the Author

Eric Brown has been writing for over 5 years. He has written for such sites as CMSWire.com, Gadgetell.com, Revenews.com, and many others. Owner of EB Arts Creative Industries, Eric works full time from home. He has been with Demand Studios awhile now and writes primarily on computer related topics for eHow.com.