Everyone who had to reinstall their OS in the past (and if you run Windows, you’ve done this plenty of times) knows that the biggest pain is to reinstall all the kits and drivers again. And as you know, there are lots of drivers you need to install on your computer or laptop. From Video Card, to motherboard to Chipset and all those in between.
How to Update Drivers Automatically
It may not be a particularly hard task to do, but it’s pretty time consuming. Going after each driver, downloading and installing, it takes ages. But fear not, there are ways to install drivers with much more ease, although, some might argue that the old fashioned way is still the best there is. Also, every manufacturer encourages you to download and install the latest driver for their product and in itself complicates your life even more.
Always searching for driver updates on numerous websites. But fear not, there are a few ways to update your drivers with much more ease and far lesser time consumed. Nonetheless, for those who are willing to try alternative methods of installing drivers, methods that take a lot less time and headaches, here are a few methods to automatically install or update your drivers.
Why Update Drivers?
This is the question many will ask. Why update drivers in the first place? Well, like with all computer programs, games or apps, each update brings it closer to perfection. Bug Fixes, smoother running and more options are available with each update. Take for example Video Card drivers (I only mentioned this because yesterday I update mine).
The update for my nVidia card had numerous bug fixes and it also offers better performance and increased stability in many games and in 3D mode (up to 20% better performance). So, you see how much it matters for you to have the latest drivers installed on your computer. They make it run smoother with less errors and they will give an increase in performance.
Install or Update Drivers Using Windows
You might have noticed that when you plug in a new device to your Windows PC, it automatically searches for a driver. This extends further than USB memory sticks. Any plug-and-play device you connect to your computer can automatically get its designated driver automatically. Windows allows you to do this using the Device Installation Settings.
You can find this feature in your Control Panel (Start -> Control Panel), under Devices and Printers. Once here, you will see a list of all your devices connected to your computer. Find your PC, right click on it and select Device Installation Settings. There, you can check the “Yes” box and the next time you plug in a plug-and-play device it will automatically search for the default driver and install it.
Use Driver Update Designated Programs
There are lots of programs that can search for drivers automatically, and they work pretty good. I use them on my laptop to find, download and install all my drivers. They work great, but they have a few bugs, such as seeing that a driver is old (the latest version is old and the manufacturer has not released newer drivers) and downloading time and time again the same driver. But these are bugs I can live with. After all, they do install all my drivers in a few minutes, rather than 1 hour it would take me to navigate to each website and search for my driver.
Driver Update Programs
Here are just a few examples of such programs. I won’t go into specifics because apart from the additional features, they all do the same thing and they all work pretty good. I use on my laptop Uniblue Driver Scanner and I am most pleased with its performance so far. But the others work just as fine.
4. Driver Checker
2. Driver Robot
1. Uniblue Driver Scanner
And there are many like these available on the web. They basically do the same things, although some offer other features like computer scan for problems, registry cleaners and other useful tools. But it is entirely up to you which one you consider the best suited for your needs.
Use Manufacturer’s Website
Some manufacturers of computer components, like nVidia and Intel offer support for driver updates directly on their websites. These tools scan your computer for installed devices and they detect the current driver installed. If there are updates available, it will prompt you to download and install them. I prefer this method above all other. I’m certain that my driver comes directly from the official site of the manufacturer and that is the latest driver released. Also, this method gives you the guarantee that the driver is compatible and that it is 100% safe.
Also, some brands offer you a specialized software, when you buy their their product, an auto-update program. These will search for new releases and they will notify you when one comes out. But keep in mind these are designed to work for the component they come with, and will not give you updates for other components installed in your computer.
Keep in mind that it is always recommended to have the very latest driver installed. However, I might stay away from beta drivers because they are still in the test phase and by installing them you might encounter system instability. But other than that, updating will keep your computer working at full capacity.