Drivers are one of the essential components to run a computer. They act as a bridge to connect the hardware components of the computer to the operating system. Evidently, for maximum performance of your PC and undisturbed work experience, you must keep your system drivers up to date with the latest versions.
Though modern Windows OS such as Windows 10 and Windows 11 automatically update drivers through OS updates, many of them might often remain outdated. This might be because you might have paused or stopped the automatic Windows update.
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There are several ways to check and update drivers on Windows 11. Let’s list them out.
When to check for Driver Updates on Windows 11?
Although you must check for driver updates regularly, there are certain situations when it becomes necessary to do so.
- When you purchase a new device: New devices might be loaded with old, outdated drivers. So whenever you buy a new PC, the first thing you must do is update the OS and drivers.
- When you update the OS: You should always check for driver updates when you update your system’s OS to the latest version. The new OS might not be compatible with the old drivers and may cause device failure.
- After adding new hardware: Whenever you add a new hardware component to the PC, you must check whether the drivers to run it is updated with the latest version.
Different ways to Update Drivers on Windows 11 Manually
Update Windows 11 to Update Drivers
From Windows 10, Microsoft has started to provide driver updates through Windows update. So, to update drivers to the latest version, you must update Windows 11. To update Windows 11, follow these steps:
- Open Windows 11 Settings.
- On the left pane, switch to the Windows Update tab and click on Check for updates on the right.
- After the latest updates are finished downloading, click on Install now.
- Restart your device.
Update Windows 11 Drivers through Device Manager
The most common method to check and update drivers on Windows OS is through Device Manager. Device Manager is the in-built component of the Control Panel that helps in updating, installing, and uninstalling the device drivers.
To update Windows 11 drivers through Device Manager, follow these steps:
Right-click on the Start button and select Device Manager from the context menu.
The Device Manager window will be opened, where you can see all the installed drivers.
On the Device Manager window, right-click on the component you want to update and select Update Driver from the list.
On the next window, select the Search automatically for drivers option if you don’t have the latest drivers installer on your PC.
If you want to update the drivers manually, go to the manufacturer’s website and download the latest version. Save the downloaded drivers on your system hard disk.
Select Browse my computer for drivers to update the driver manually.
Restart the system
Update Windows 11 Drivers through Windows Optional Updates
You might find some driver updates under Windows Optional Updates. To update drivers through Optional Updates, follow these steps:
- Navigate to Settings -> Windows Update.
- Click on Advanced Options.
- Scroll down and under Additional options, click on Optional updates.
- Expand the Driver updates option, choose the driver you want to install, and click Download and install.
- Restart the system after installation.
Update Drivers on Windows 11 using Driver Updater Programs
Using the methods mentioned in the above section, you can easily update the drivers of your system manually. However, manually checking and updating the drivers can be tedious, especially if you have a large number of them. Doing it once or twice is okay, but regularly doing it can be challenging and time-consuming for you.
So to overcome this problem, you can use dedicated programs known as Driver Updaters. If you search on the internet, you will find tons of programs claiming to be the best driver updaters; however, not all of them are good.
Here is the list of a few robust driver updater programs, both free and paid:
Snappy Driver Installer [Free]
Snappy Driver Installer is one of the most used driver updated and installer programs. It is an open-source program available to download for free. If you find it challenging to search drivers on the manufacturer’s site or could not update it to the latest version manually, the Snappy Driver Installer is the best option for you. It is free, portable, and has a vast library of drivers.
The tool automatically lets you know if any update is available for your drivers. Another great thing about Snappy is, it automatically creates a system restore before updating the driver so that if something goes wrong, you can switch back to the previous state.
Avast Driver Updater [Paid]
Avast is popularly known for its security programs. However, it also provides many PC optimization tools; one of those is Avast Driver Updater.
Avast Driver Updater scans your PC for outdated drivers and replaces them with the latest version available in its database. It servers around whooping 5 million drivers. That means there is a good chance it has all the essential drivers for your PC. Moreover, it creates a backup of the existing drivers in case things go south. It comes with a trial period of 15 days on the first installation.
The application is pretty light to the system and does not consume much resources. Previously, it used to come bundled with Avast Ultimate, but now it is a standalone application. With its straightforward UI and simple options, it’s a great driver updater application.
Driver Booster [Paid]
Driver Booster from IObit is one of the best driver booster programs available for Windows. It is not only a driver updater but also a system optimizer. It also updates the essential gaming components to their latest version for a smooth gaming experience on Windows 11. Driver Booster has a collection of 3.5 million drivers and game components. That means you don’t have to look on several websites for the driver. It is a one-stop solution for all your driver needs.
The latest version comes with Offline Driver Updater, which can update the drivers on the device which doesn’t have the internet. You just have to export the device info, and the program would download the required drivers on the device where the internet is available.
To update WiFi drivers on Windows 11, you can run the network troubleshooter that would guide you through updating the drivers. You can also update through Device Manager. Apart from that, you can use third-party driver updaters to update all your system drivers.
Yes, Windows 11 updates the system driver automatically through OS updates. However, sometimes you might not get the latest driver version through Windows updates.
Peter is an Electrical Engineer whose primary interest is tinkering with his computer. He is passionate about Windows 10 Platform and enjoys writing tips and tutorials about it.