What Is a Driver Detective?

by Stephanie Evans

A driver detective (also known as a device driver updater) scans your computer for device drivers in need of updating or correcting.


According to Webopedia, a driver is a program that controls any device connected to a computer such as a printer or keyboard. The driver facilitates communication between computer programs and the device---for instance, translating the commands from a word processing program to a printer.


The device driver updater scans the computer for all drivers and compares them to an online database. It detects which drivers are missing, corrupted (data is damaged to the point that it will not work) or need updating. Most programs then display their findings on screen for the computer user.


In addition to automatically detecting the computer's operating system and drivers, many driver detectives offer upgrades and replacements for device drivers. An upgrade simply replaces an older version of a driver with the newest version.

When to Use

If you are experiencing problems with a particular device or are trying to install a device without the correct software, running a device driver updater program will identify the broken or missing driver and offer solutions such as websites with the appropriate downloadable content.

Downloading Device Drivers

While you can use the device driver updater's recommendations for downloads, you can also visit the official website of the device's manufacturer to locate the correct driver.

About the Author

Stephanie Evans graduated from the University of Florida-Gainesville with an English degree in creative writing in 2005. Based in the North Bay, Calif., she works as a freelance journalist, focusing primarily on the literary and travel scene. She has been contributing regularly to “San Francisco Books and Travel Magazine” since 2009.