How to Update Windows Drivers

by eHow Computers Editor

As updates to hardware and software occur, you sometimes need to update or install new drivers onto your computer. Think of a driver as a set of instructions in a certain language that the computer needs so that it is able to talk with the printer, DVD drive or other device that you may have just installed. Sometimes the drivers corrupt and they need to be reloaded.

Determine what version of operating system you are running on your machine. The majority of public and personal PCs run some version of Microsoft Windows. The version of driver you need may depend on this information.

Find and write down the hardware information for the device for which you are updating the driver. Finding external device names is usually as easy as reading the information on the cover of the machine. For internal hardware devices, you can read your manual.

Download the correct driver from the hardware maker's Web site to a folder on your desktop. You may look on Microsoft's Web site as well, as it has an enormous amount of drivers to download from their catalog.

Double click the icon for the driver and it should unzip itself into the folder. The zip folder is not usable because it has been condensed to expedite downloading. Once unzipped, the file will be able to install for use.

Go to the Control Panel section of your computer, select the System icon and click on Device Manager. Pick the device for which you want to have the driver updated. There will be a Properties section and then a Driver section. On the Driver section select Update Drive and a window pops up directing you through the process. Remember that the driver is on the hard drive and on the desktop when you are asked to locate it.

Reboot your computer to finish the process of updating your driver.