How to update your drivers and when you need to

Many software companies offer driver updaters. But are updated computer drivers really necessary? From where? Update how?

Driver updates fix security, compatibility, mistakes, broken code, and sometimes add hardware features. As long as our systems are operating, we tend to forget about the need for the latest drivers, which is natural because the procedure is not always straightforward and we recognize the risk of making things worse.

How do I know if my drivers need updating?

If your system is running properly and you’re not prompted to upgrade, you should rarely update your drivers. So long as your drivers are secure, that’s great.

Device drivers let your hardware run smoothly. Manufacturers install these device drivers. If your machine has hardware issues, it’s probably a driver issue. The Operating System (OS) can normally check if (new) drivers are available for devices you connect, such as a USB mouse. Windows Update can check for updated drivers.

How do I update my drivers in Windows 10?

To quickly update device drivers using Windows Update, use these steps:

  • Open Settings.
  • Click on Update & Security
  • Click on Windows Update
  • Click the Check for updates button
  • Click the View optional updatesoption
  • Click the Driver updatestab
  • Select the driver you want to update
  • Click the Download and installbutton

Once you finish the procedures, the new driver will be downloaded and installed. Many driver installations require a reboot.

Do Windows 10 and 11 install drivers automatically?

Windows 10 and 11 let you manually or automatically download driver software. Windows checks for and installs driver updates automatically by default. Unless you’re using niche devices, your PC’s built-in Windows Update service updates most drivers automatically.

Manually installing drivers on macOS

Many mac OS drivers are installed when you update, but third-party devices typically need additional drivers.

  • Download the correct driver from the manufacturers site.
  • Double click on the driver and extract it.
  • Open the folder and run the .pkg install file.
  • In some cases, a warning message will pop up. For a properly signed and notarized installer, this message will be shown only when the Allow apps downloaded fromsetting inSystem PreferencesSecurity & PrivacyGeneralis set to App Store only. To solve this problem, please go to System Preferences, and Security & Privacy, then click Open anywayto identify the driver.
  • After the driver is identified, it will be installed automatically. During the process, an authentication window will pop up to ask for username and password, which is the administration account of your Mac
  • Then click Install Softwareto continue the process
  • Next click Continue Installationand Restartif prompted to finish the installation process
  • A driver on macOS is often implemented as either a kernel extension or a system extension, and either of those will require an extra step where you go to System PreferencesSecurity & PrivacyGeneral, unlock the pane by clicking the lock in the lower left corner and entering your password, and click the Allowbutton

On newer macOS versions, the user can’t open an unsigned or unnotarized installer. We advise avoiding workarounds.

Device drivers on Linux

When a device is connected to Linux, /dev/device is generated. Hardware devices are treated like conventional files, making software interaction with device drivers easier. Most hardware drivers, the kernel, graphics server, and print server are already on your computer.

Some manufacturers offer proprietary, closed-source drivers. Linux distribution determines how to install proprietary drivers. Installing drivers is easy on some systems. Additional Driverstool is available for Ubuntu-based systems. Launch Additional Drivers from the dashboard. It detects which proprietary drivers you can install and lets you. Linux Mint provides a similar utility.

Don’t get led astray

Many download websites that provide files posing as the drivers you require host malware. Users are duped into downloading this software onto their computers by these criminals. Other websites package the drivers you require into a single download that, in addition to the driver, installs adware or another potentially undesirable program on your computer.

Sadly, many of the marketed driver updater programs feel the need to inflate their scan results in order to convince customers to buy the program. It goes without saying that spending money on such software is a waste. They offer features that are already included in Windows, as is the case with many other potentially undesirable programs.

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