If you find your PC hardware is not working or your computer crashes on a regular basis then it could be that you are using out of date or incompatible drivers.
Sometimes the problem can be that new drivers which are automatically downloaded from the vendor are not “friendly” with either your current version of Windows or your machine does not have the necessary processing power to properly “pair up” with your device.
An example of this could be an older computer or laptop that runs on Windows XP or Vista. There are still millions of people who use older versions of Windows – some prefer it like this but when it comes to updating to accommodate new programs or hardware changes it can cause conflicts, some of which can cause system crashes or blue screen of death messages.
When you think about how many devices could be connected such as a printer, scanner, web cam, graphics card, mouse, sound card, Wi-Fi card and all the USB devices/hubs it can be a headache to make sure that all these devices are using the correct driver no matter what OS and computer they are connected to.
How to update Windows drivers?
Most use the automatic Windows update tool to check drivers. If you have used this yourself there is a fair chance that you have encountered issues with it. It has flaws and can cause more problems than it solves because it is not the most advanced and has problems installing drivers for older hardware or for devices that not from mainstream brands like Canon, ASUS, HP, Sony and Dell.
You can simply access device manager yourself and locate your device you are having issues with (device manager can be found from control panel). Once updated you should re-start your PC – hopefully your device will be “talking” with your OS with no issues but if the device in question is still not working you might need to download specialist driver software.
Another potential issue could be a malware infection or you could try a PC optimization test. Diagnostic testing can pinpoint the root cause of computer related problems.
Free method to update Windows drivers
The best way to update for free is to visit each manufacturers website and search for the downloads section. Dell for example, have an excellent in-house tool that scans your system. Simply enter the model of your PC and you will be presented with multiple options on how to update all drivers including BIOS updates.
Smaller companies do not have the resources to build such tool so it’s a case of getting in touch with their customer support web pages if you are unable to find the exact driver for your device. For a quick way to keep all your devices working as they should consider installing software.
The best driver software for 2017
We have three tools that could help with driver update problems. Each is free to download and try – making them the best solution to see if a simple “one click” update can solve driver issues. When looking to buy a software program it is important to look out for “self-updating database” functionality.
The database is where the magic happens and with millions of drivers stored, this is the best chance you have of successfully installing the correct driver for you device.
Editors Pick: Driver Navigator
An easy three step tool to update your computer with working drivers is on offer from Driver Navigator. It has over 8 million drivers which updates daily (internet connection required) and can also repair drivers that have been damaged or corrupted. It currently supports drivers for audio & sound, video and graphics, printers and all in ones, scanners, Bluetooth, network, wireless, webcams, keyboards, USB and more.
With good technical support and compatibility for older OS such as Vista and XP (and Windows 7, 8, 10) Driver Navigator is a solid product that is solely focused on driver support and gets our pick for top driver update software for 2017.
With precision scanning technology that can also help with updating drivers on unplugged devices our 2nd recommendation is Driver Finder from DeskToolSoft. This best-selling software is simple to install and operate and has a clever way of detecting the ID of your computer in order to install the correct drivers.
DriverFinder gathers all the official manufacturers’ drivers and stores them in their own large database and uses three ways to see if your system needs a driver upgrade. Updates are fast, free and easy for registered users and a great feature is the roll back where if you install a new driver and it’s not performing; you can restore and search for another.
The two products above can be installed on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10 based computers. We have included a detailed product review including screenshots and performance results.