Hardware manufacturers frequently update device drivers for their hardware to improve compatibility, efficiency, performance, and security.
A device driver simplifies programming by acting as a translator between a hardware device and the applications or operating systems that use it. Programmers can write the higher-level application code independently of whatever specific hardware device it will ultimately control, because code and device can interface in a standard way, regardless of the software superstructure or of underlying hardware.
This guide will show you how to update your drivers using three different methods:
- Update drivers using Windows’ Device Manager
- Update drivers with Device Doctor
- Update drivers manually by downloading them from the manufacturer’s website
1. Update drivers using Windows’ Device Manager
Windows Device manager shows you each piece of hardware and gives you the option to update the drivers. To update drivers with Device Manager:
1. Press the Start button, type driver, and click Update device drivers.
2. Right click the device you’d like to update and click Update Driver Software...
3. Click Search automatically for updated driver software.
4. If a driver is available, you can download it and install it.
2. Update Drivers with Device Doctor
Device Doctor scans your computer’s hardware and finds the latest drivers for it. Thomas wrote a guide on how to use Device Doctor and where to download it here: Device Doctor Scans and Updates Your Computer’s Drivers.
3. Download Drivers from the Manufacturer’s Website
Windows Forums member Bugsy has put together a list of sites for driver downloads from common hardware and PC manufacturers. This list is useful if you are the “go-to” person for your friends PC repairs or if you are looking for drivers for your own hardware. So far his list includes:
- Hewlett Packard