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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:

  1. Update drivers using Windows’ Device Manager
  2. Update drivers with Device Doctor
  3. 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:

  • Acer
  • Apple
  • Asus
  • Dell
  • FuJitsu
  • Gateway
  • GigaByte
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Sony
  • Samsung
  • Toshiba
  • Zoostorm

See the list here: Manufacturer’s driver download sites. Know of any other manufacturer’s websites? Let us know in the comments or in the forum article.

About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix them.

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5 thoughts on “Update Your Drivers for Stable PC Performance and Security [How To]”

  1. Rich says:

    I used Device Doctor (the latest version) on Saturday and the driver downloads are listed on the right hand side of the page. This program is definitely still free.

  2. Taylor Ling says:

    Some of the drivers will be automatically available in Windows Update (Vista and 7, not sure about XP) if they are released in Windows Update. They are in the optional tab in Windows Update.

  3. Branimir Sever says:

    Great guide, updating drivers are very importing part to keep your system fit and healthy.
    Few things also its good to do: 1) make system restore before any updating drivers 2) for updating gfx and soundcart drivers imo is good to uninstall them before updates and to run Driver sweeper then installing new version of them 3) after installing all fresh drivers run Ccleaner to clean junks files and leftovers in registry. 4) restart Pc and check your log in Event Viewer- Windows logs- System to see if there is any new errors/warnings caused by new drivers 5) You can as last step check stability of your OS by running Pcmark.

  4. Branimir Sever says:

    As Rich said Device doctro is free but for new ppl it can make littlebit confusing, after check it will open your browser and give you link with drivers, links is on right side, ignore adds and download files which will be in .rar archive.

  5. Branimir Sever says:

    Only device which in generally need to be carefull in updating if you use Win 7 is Realtek audio drivers, from start of Win 7 Microsoft and Realtek arent in good relationship, alot of instabilities especially in online games( Battlefield, Call of duty) and in using software as VOIP(Ventrilo) comes from that.

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