Sometimes, there are situations when, due to a driver update on a computer, problems occur on a PC, this is especially true for older devices. In such a case, it is recommended to disable driver updates on your computer.
With regular updates, the hardware and software on your computer stays up to date as Microsoft tries to update the drivers to the new version. Usually, an update includes security fixes, bug fixes, and sometimes performance improvements.
The operating system can independently install drivers for your computer’s hardware without user intervention. In some situations, you need to disable automatic driver updates in Windows 10 or Windows 11.
For example, if the system tries to install an incompatible version, or if the driver installation fails, resulting in unwanted problems. In other cases, you may need to disable driver installation from Windows Update because there is a newer or older driver version that works better on your device.
With the above in mind, the user needs to know how to disable automatic driver updates on the computer. There are several different ways to disable driver search and installation in Windows Update.
This guide will show you how to disable Windows driver updates in several ways. These instructions are suitable for Windows 11 and Windows 10 operating systems.
How to disable Windows 11 driver updates
First, we will try to disable automatic driver updates in Windows 11 from the operating system settings. This is the easiest way to solve our problem.
To prevent Windows 11 from automatically installing device drivers, follow these steps:
- Press the “Win” + “I” keys.
- In the Settings app window, open the System tab.
- Then click “About”.
- In the Related Links section, click Advanced System Settings.
- In the System Properties window, open the Hardware tab.
- In the “Device installation settings” option, which is responsible for downloading applications from device manufacturers, click on the “Device installation settings” button.
- In the “Automatically download manufacturer apps and custom icons available for your devices?” set to “No (device may not work properly).”
- Click on the “Save” button.
- Click on the “OK” button in the system properties window, and then restart your computer.
After following these steps, Windows 11 will no longer automatically install drivers for new devices. If you are adding a new graphics card or printer to your computer, you will need to download and install the drivers manually.
How to disable driver updates in Windows 10
In a similar way, you can disable automatic driver updates in the Windows 10 operating system, you can read about this below.
Go through a few steps:
- Right click on the start menu.
- Click Options.
- In the settings window, open “System”.
- In the “About” tab.
- Click on the “Advanced system settings” link.
- In the System Properties window, go to the Hardware tab.
- Then click on the “Device Installation Options” button.
- In the window that opens, “Automatically download manufacturer apps and custom icons available for your devices?” activate the item “No (the device may not work properly)”.
- Click the “Save” button.
- In the System Properties window, click OK, and then restart your PC.
After that, the Windows 10 automatic driver update feature will be disabled.
How to disable automatic Windows driver updates in group policies
The method using the local group policy editor is available in older versions of the Windows operating system: Professional (Professional), Corporate (Enterprise) and for educational institutions (Education). Users of the home version of Windows (Home) can use other methods: from OS settings or by editing the registry.
You will need to open the Local Group Policy Editor on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 computer and then apply the necessary settings to disable driver updates from Windows Update.
Do the following:
- Press the “Win” + “R” keys on your keyboard.
- When the Run dialog box opens, type “gpedit.msc” and then click OK.
- In the Local Group Policy Editor window, navigate to the following location:
In Windows 11: Computer Configuration → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → Windows Update → Manage updates offered by Windows Update In Windows 10: Computer Configuration → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → Windows Update
- In the right sidebar, double-click the “Do not include drivers in Windows updates” policy setting.
- In the window that opens, activate the “Enable” switch, and then click “OK” to apply the changes.
- Once you have completed all the steps mentioned above, restart your computer for the policy to take effect.
Now, drivers for your PC hardware will not be installed automatically with new updates to the Windows operating system.
How to disable automatic driver installation through the registry
If you are running Windows 11/10 Home on your computer, you will not have access to the Local Group Policy Editor. However, you can disable this feature through the registry. Of course, this method is also available for all other versions of Windows.
Warning. Keep in mind that modifying the Windows registry can cause serious problems on your PC if done incorrectly. It is assumed that you know what you are doing and have created a full backup of your system in advance or saved a copy of the system registry before making changes to the registry.
Do the following:
- In Windows search, type “regedit” and then click to open the application.
- In the “Registry Editor” window, go to the following path:
- Right-click on the “SearchOrderConfig” option.
- In the context menu that opens, select “Edit …”.
- In the “Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value” window, change the value of the parameter from “1” to “0”.
- Click on the “OK” button.
- Restart your PC.
After you follow these steps with “SearchOrderConfig” set to “0”, you will block driver updates every time Windows 11 or Windows 10 checks for new updates for your computer.
You can always undo the proposed changes by following the same steps, changing the value of the “SearchOrderConfig” parameter from “0” to “1”.
How to disable automatic video card driver updates
In some cases, Windows forces drivers to be updated to close vulnerabilities, fix problems, or for other purposes. Some users write that the methods suggested above do not disable updates for the graphics adapter.
To disable automatic graphics driver updates, try the following method:
- Right click on the start menu.
- In the open menu, click on the “Device Manager” item.
- In the Device Manager window, click on Display Adapters.
- Select the video adapter, and then right-click on it.
- In the context menu, click “Properties”.
- In the graphics device properties window, open the Details tab.
- In the Property field, select Hardware ID.
- Copy all hardware code values, for example, into Notepad.
- Open the Local Group Policy Editor and then follow the path:
Computer Configuration → Administrative Templates → System → Device Installation → Device Installation Restrictions → Deny installation of devices with the specified device IDs
- Double-click the “Prohibit installation of devices with the specified device IDs” policy setting.
- In the window that opens, set the value to “Enabled”, and then click on the “Show …” button.
- In the Content Output window, in the Value field, paste the hardware IDs – device codes copied from the Device Manager, and then click OK.
- Reboot the system.
This policy prevents new device installations and driver updates for installed devices. To install or update the driver, you will need to remove previously added device IDs in the Group Policy settings. You can then add hardware codes again to disable driver updates.
A similar method can prevent updating drivers for other devices on your PC.
Disable driver updates for individual devices
Microsoft has released an official “Show or hide updates” utility (wushowhide.diagcab) that can be used to disable driver updates for some devices. The application allows you to temporarily disable the automatic installation of drivers for some devices to prevent you from reinstalling problematic drivers on your computer.
Do the following:
- Download the Show or hide updates app on your PC from: https://download.microsoft.com/download/f/2/2/f22d5fdb-59cd-4275-8c95-1be17bf70b21/wushowhide.diagcab .
- In the “Troubleshooting and Prevention” window, click on the “Next” button.
- The Troubleshooting window collects information about your computer for a while.
- In the “Show or hide updates” window, click on the “Hide updates” button to prevent Windows from installing hidden updates.
- The application only shows some updates that may be problematic. Select the updates that you do not need to update, click on the “Next” button.
- In the Diagnostics Complete window, click the Close button.
To re-enable automatic driver updates for a previously hidden device, follow these steps:
- Launch the “Show or hide updates” application.
- In the next window, click on “Show hidden updates” (Show hidden updates).
- Select the disabled driver update, and then click Next.
- After changing the system settings, close the wushowhide application window.
Windows 11 and Windows 10 operating systems use automatic driver updates to keep your computer up to date. In some cases, driver updates are not desirable for the user for various reasons. To disable driver updates, the user can use several methods that change the system settings and disable this feature.