How to Stop Windows 10 From Automatically Updating Drivers
It never fails. After a Windows 10 update, we always get emails from readers who tell us that this device or that device stopped working. And most of you already know the dangers of installing Driver updaters.
So you know you shouldn’t use any kind of automatic driver updater, but do you know that Windows 10 is, in a way, an automatic driver updater?
Let’s stop Windows Updates from being an Automatic Driver Updater
Most of you know that Windows will automatically download updates for Windows 10 whenever they are available, But did you know that Windows Update will also download and update device drivers and install them automatically?
We have been advocates against using any kind of automatic driver update software for a long time, but we’ have always been more tolerant of Windows automatic driver updates. It seemed logical to assume Microsoft would use caution and always provide you with the latest most up-to-date and correct drivers for your devices, but that’s not always the case.
So, we’re no longer comfortable giving Microsoft carte blanche to install software drivers automatically. Even if it worked as well as it is supposed to, there are a couple of things wrong with that methodology:
1. If your hardware devices are working well, you don’t need to update drivers.
2. Windows can and does sometimes download the wrong (or outdated) drivers for your hardware and can cause you a lot of problems. A good example of this is the problems that sometimes occur when Windows automatically downloads and installs updated graphics drivers. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve received emails from people who had problems with their computer’s display properties after a Windows update due to Windows having installed incorrect or incompatible display adapter driver during a Windows update. It happens with other hardware too – especially sound devices and webcams.
The best course of action is that you follow our advice. The only time you ever need to update your drivers is if a hardware device is not working correctly. Your printer, your display, your sound, you webcam – are all examples of devices that use drivers.
If you do need to update a driver, the device manufacturer’s web site is the best (and only safe) place to go for new drivers. Not only are you assured you’ll get the correct driver(s), but you’ll also get the newest driver(s) including the ones with unique interfaces to interact with your device.
So, what do do if you want to prevent Windows from automatically updating drivers? You might think Windows Update would be the place to go to stop automatic driver updates, but it is not.
Here’s how to disable automatic driver updates in Windows 10.
This is a short way to disable automatic driver updates. This method saves you several steps:
NOTE: If this does not work for you, see the long way to do this, further down on the page.
1. Type Device Installation in the taskbar search and press Enter when you see “Change device installation settings” appear at the top. You can also click it or click “Open” when it appears.
2. When the “Device Installation Settings” dialog opens, under “Do you want to automatically download manufacturers’ apps and custom icons for your available for you devices? select “No (your device might not work as expected) & click “Save Changes”. See the screenshot below.
And that’s it.
Here’s the long way to do it:
Press the Windows key + I (or right-click the Windows 10 Start button & click “Settings”) to open the Settings app.
In Settings click Devices.
In Devices, under “Related settings” click “Devices and printers”
Right-click on your computer icon and choose “Device installation settings” from the menu which appears.
When you click on “Device installation settings” the following dialog will open:
Select “No (your device might not work as expected)”, then click “Save Changes”.
IMPORTANT: If you change your settings this way, you are responsible for updating device drivers. But remember, you only need to update drivers if a device is not working correctly.
WARNING: Always get drivers from the manufacturer’s Website. NEVER SEARCH FOR DRIVERS, always go to the device manufacturer’s website. Searching for drivers is a quick and easy way to get into trouble.
IF YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND: And if you decide to let Windows automatically update drivers in the future, repeat the steps above, this time select “Yes (Recommended)” in the Device Installation Settings dialog and click “Save changes”.
The short way worked just fine, only took 30 sec or less
Took less than 30 seconds – done and done! Thank you!
You would think we would be able to trust Microsoft. More times than not, we can’t!! I always trust your opinions and suggestions. Thanks so much!
Where do I go to find out who the manufacturer of any of my device drivers is? I have an Asus desktop.
Type MSINFO32 in Taskbar search and press Enter when you see System Information appear in the search results. Click on the + next to Components to expand it. You’ll find the manufacturer of the device (Display, Audio, etc.)