Before we get into the main course in this article, let us take a look at some basic definitions and/or information we need to know.
What is a driver?
A device driver is a specific type if computer software developed to allow interaction between the operating system and hardware devices. Typically,this constitutes an interface for communicating with the device, through the specific computer bus or communication subsystem that the hardware is connected to, providing comands to and/or receiving data from the device, and on the other end requisite interfaces to the operating system and software applications. It is a specialized hardware-dependent computer program which is also operating system specific that enables another program, typically an operating system or application software package or computer program running under the operating system kernel yo interact transparently with a hardware device, and usually provides the requisite interrupt handling necessary for any necessary asynchronous time-dependent hardware interfacing needs.
Definition by PROF. U.J. UDOSEN, DEPARTMENT OF PRODUCTION ENGINEERING UNIVERSITY OF BENIN.
Why you should have your device drivers updated
Device drivers should be updated when you reinstall an operating system using either DVD, CD, or a USB drive
or when you’re facing any technical issue with any device built-in the computer. Driver updates is also recommended whenever a factory update is performed on PC. Key reasons why device manufacturers releases update to drives is to provide expanded compatibility, to fix problems, increase system performance, to patch security risks and include additional features.
Four ways you can update your Drivers in Windows 10
There are several ways you can update your drivers, for this article, we are going to start from the easiest ways which involves doing a couple of clicks and you’re there, to the relatively more complex ways where you are able to choose the specific driver that you need. Before going further, you need to understand that just like any other type of update, it is always advisable to keep a backup in case things goes south, you won’t lose important files. Although this doesn’t happen often, it’s possible to install a driver that will crash your computer so a backup before update is always recommended. Now let’s get to the juicy stuff.
USING THE WINDOWS UPDATE
With Windows 10, your computer is expected to be updating your drivers periodically in the same manner as it renders Windows updates. All we need to do here is; Go to start > setting > then go to update and security. Make sure you click on Windows update – you’ll see any available Windows update her, and sometimes driver updates too. Updates here usually gets downloaded and installed automatically, but to speed up the download process, click on the download button and the update will be downloaded and installed iimmediately.
USING DEVICE MANAGER
This is where you see the list of all the devices on your computer. To navigate to the device manager, right click start icon, then left click on device manager. Now you should be able to see all the devices on your computer grouped into different categories like keyboards, biometric devices, network adapters and so on. You can click on the little arrow on the left side of a category to see the devices in that category. Now here’s what we are looking for, click on a device to see it’s properties, click on the driver tab over the top, then click on “Update Driver” to see if there is a newer version of the driver online. While in device properties, you can also go back to a previous version of the driver by clicking “Roll Back Driver”, this is normally used when you’re having a problem after a driver had been updated, just click on it then answer the question on the next page then press “Yes” and you’re done.
USING THE MANUFACTURER’S UPDATE SOFTWARE
This is an even better way to update your driver. Some computer manufacturers adds an update utility software that lets you know when a new update is available and it automatically installs it for you. For example,HP computers comes what the “HP Support Assistant” which is the round blue question mark on the task bar. Open the app, the app will identify your computer model, then click on updates, if any update is available, it’ll help you download any updates and install it automatically. A utility like this is more reliable than the device manager because the update is coming from device manufacturers and have been tested for your specific device. If you have any extra hardware, say a Panasonic printer, then look for a Panasonic update utility to update the driver for that printer
USING THE MANUFACTURER’S WEBSITE
However not all manufacturers have an update utility application, they should have a website where you can download the drivers yourself. When you are at the manufacturer’s website, navigate to the support section and look for drivers, you will need to identify the mode of your computer by selecting the type (desktop, laptop, etc) and then type in the model or serial number of your computer. You should see a list of drivers available for your computer. If click on a driver, you should it’s version and release date and then download to your computer.
PLEASE NOTE: It’s never advisable to update drivers with commercial software that calls itself “a driver updater”. They cost money and are doing pretty much what Microsoft does itself – and that’s on a best-case scenario, and at worst, some of these programs might just be a virus or malware or something so stay clear of driver update programs not from your manufacturer.