Programs to update drivers
I often get requests for programs to update drivers. Many friends write to me saying they have driver problems and ask me for advice on what software to use to fix them. Well, the truth is that I tend to advise against the use of programs that automatically search and install drivers: the risk of causing problems rather than solving them is very high, so better waste a few more minutes and act “manually”.
To act “manually”, I mean letting Windows automatically update the drivers using the integrated software or, in the event that this solution is not feasible, “hand-picking” the necessary from the Internet and installing it. I know, it is a rather boring operation but, as already mentioned, it is better to lose a few minutes of your time rather than compromising the functioning of the computer using software of dubious reliability.
I think I was clear enough. I would therefore say not to get lost in chat further and to see immediately how to update the computer drivers using all the possible paths of proven reliability: the update tools included in Windows (such as Windows Update and Device Manager) and those provided by hardware manufacturers, often available online. Happy reading and good luck for everything!
- Programs to update drivers: Windows 10
- Programs to update the built-in PC drivers
- Programs to update PC drivers for free
- Programs to update drivers: Mac
Programs to update drivers: Windows 10
Let’s start this guide by analyzing what are the most reliable Windows 10 driver update programs : although there are some third-party solutions that can cope with this, such software often carries other unwanted bundled programs and can easily lead to installation unintentional spyware and other various types of cyber threats. For this reason, in the paragraphs to come, I will talk to you exclusively about the software integrated “standard” in Windows 10 and later and those distributed by hardware manufacturers, mostly free (and safe to use).
Programs to update the built-in PC drivers
Without a shadow of a doubt, the easiest way to update drivers installed on Windows 10 is to use the built-in Device Manager and Windows Update utilities – but be aware that the driver update feature is not available on all versions of the Microsoft operating system and may not be able to apply updates to all peripherals on your computer.
Having clarified this, if it is your intention to try to exploit it, right-click on the Windows Start button (the flag symbol located at the bottom left), select the Device Manager item from the contextual menu that is proposed to you and, when you arrive at the new window, click on the > button located next to the category of hardware you want to check for updates (eg Video Cards ).
Now, right-click on the name of the component you want to update (eg NVIDIA GeForce XX ), select the Update driver item from the context menu and click on the Automatically search for drivers option , located in the window that appears. If there are updates available, Windows will automatically download and install them, asking you to restart your computer at the end of the procedure .
Alternatively, if you don’t want to check the availability of drivers for each device or if the above function is not available on your PC, you can try to get the latest drivers from Windows Update , the Windows update manager: to open it, do right click on the Windows Start button , click on the Settings item located in the menu that appears, then on the icon dedicated to Update and Security and, later, on the Windows update item (on the left).
At this point, click on the Check for updates button , wait for Windows to carry out the necessary checks and, if there are any updates (not necessarily only for the hardware), click on the Download and install item to apply them.
As I already mentioned at the beginning of this section, the system just indicated is undoubtedly the simplest one, but it may not prove to be decisive: not all versions of Windows 10 allow you to obtain updates via Device manager and Windows Update is not capable of handling the drivers of many devices.
For this reason, I recommend that you opt for a more “targeted” solution, which involves the use of some free software made available directly by the hardware manufacturers: you will find everything explained in the next section of this chapter.
Programs to update PC drivers for free
If the tools built into Windows are unable to update the drivers themselves, you can cope with this by using the online programs to update the drivers made available by the manufacturers of hardware peripherals and computers: they allow you to automatically check for the presence of updated drivers for your PC hardware and download and install them in seconds.
For example, on the DELL official website it is possible to check for updated drivers for the components of the computers of the brand in question: about the DELL SupportAssist software (generally pre-installed, but which can be downloaded via the same page); the automatic updater dedicated to Acer computers , on the other hand, is called Acer Care Center and is generally installed on pre-assembled PCs and notebooks produced by the house in question.
Generally speaking, to check the availability of automatic driver update tools, you must go to the site of the manufacturer of the component or computer of your interest , access the support section and locate any programs for automatic driver update. . To understand better, you will find concrete examples below.
Intel Driver & Support Assistant (Intel hardware)
If you have Intel hardware on your computer (processor / APU, video card, network cards, etc.), you will be happy to know that the Intel DSA tool (also known as Intel Driver & Support Assistant ) can locate the Most updated drivers for all Intel-branded peripherals if available and install them in one click.
To obtain the program in question, go to this Internet page , locate the Support box , click on the Download button located inside it and wait for the software to be downloaded to your computer.
Now, open the file you just obtained (eg Intel-Driver-and-Support-Assistant-Installer.exe ), accept the terms and conditions of use of the software by placing the check mark in the appropriate box and click on the buttons Install , Accept , Yes and Restart , to complete the program setup and restart the computer.
At the next start, open Intel Driver & Support Assistant using the icon that has been added to the Start menu and wait for the software to analyze the hardware components of the computer: at the end of the procedure, a window should open completely automatically browser containing the list of drivers that can be updated. To get them, click on the Download all button and, when the download is complete, press the Install and Yes buttons , in order to install them.
Beyond even this step, press the buttons Next , Yes and again Next (twice in succession), check the box dedicated to restart your computer and click Finish to restart Windows and finalize the installation of updates.
NVIDIA GeForce Experience (NVIDIA video cards)
If you have an NVIDIA- branded video card on your computer , you can download driver updates using the NVIDIA GeForce Experience , a utility usually supplied with the video card software package. To use the program, you must log in with an existing NVIDIA account , or register on the platform via Facebook , Google or Apple ID .
If the program is already installed, you can recall it from the NVIDIA Corporation folder , available in the Windows Start menu : after opening it, log in or register on the platform using the dedicated modules (if you have not already done so previously) and wait a few moments, for the software to detect any available updates.
If the check is successful, you should see a notification at the top of the program window: in this case, click on the Update driver button and wait for the update procedure to be completed.
If necessary, you can also carry out a manual search for any available updates: click on the Driver tab of the program (at the top), press on the item Search for updates residing in the same position and wait for the check to be completed.
If available updates are found, press the appropriate button to download and install them completely automatically; at the end of the procedure, choose whether or not to restart the computer by pressing the appropriate button.
If you do not have the NVIDIA GeForce Experience software, you can download it from the NVIDIA website , along with the most updated driver for the video card: after visiting the page I reported to you earlier, specify the type , series and family of the GPU you are using, the operating system you are running, the type of driver to download (eg Game-Ready ) and the language of your interest.
Now, click on the Search button, click on the Instant Download button two consecutive times and wait for the download of the driver file (eg XY- [windows-XX] whql.exe ) to be completed. When the download is complete, open the file obtained, click on the Yes and OK buttons and choose you want to install the graphics driver and the GeForce Experience software, by checking the dedicated box.
Finally, press the Accept and continue and Next buttons and wait a few minutes for the driver installation (and the semi-automatic update program) to be completed: during this procedure, you may experience flickering or darkening of the screen. Don’t worry, this is normal behavior.
At the end of the driver installation, all you have to do is click on the Close button and restart your computer if necessary; starting from this moment, you will be able to use the GeForce Experience software to get future updates, as I showed you a little while ago. Read more here .
AMD Adrenalin (AMD / ATI video cards)
If your computer is equipped with an AMD (or ATI ) video card , you can use the automatic recognition program provided by the hardware manufacturer, which allows you to automatically identify the most suitable drivers for the GPU installed on your computer and download them, in a handful of clicks.
To get it, visit this website , press the Download now button and wait for the program file to be downloaded to your computer; when the download is complete, open the .exe file you obtained and press the Yes and Install buttons to finalize the installation. At the end of the process, the software will automatically analyze the hardware components of the PC and detect the video card present.
After this step too, you should see a list of drivers compatible with the detected hardware: to proceed with the update, locate the most recent one from the proposed list and, after making sure that it is a driver with Microsoft certification and corresponding to a recommended version , select it and then press the Install button to download it and update the driver already present.
At the end of the procedure, intervene on the appropriate box to choose whether or not to restart the computer and press the Finish button to conclude. It was really easy, wasn’t it?
ASUS Live Update (notebooks and ASUS pre-assembled)
If you use a computer or notebook manufactured by ASUS , it is very likely that the ASUS Live Update program is already installed on your computer and can be started via the appropriate icon in the Windows 10 Start menu .
If not, you can get ASUS Live Update directly from the manufacturer’s website: connect to the ASUS download center , enter the notebook model in the appropriate field, click on the most relevant result and then on the Driver & Utilities item , which appears To the right.
Now, select the operating system you are using (eg Windows 10 64-bit ) using the appropriate drop-down menu, locate the box dedicated to ASUS Live Update and click on the Download button corresponding to it, in order to download the archive (eg ALU_3.6.8.zip ) containing the program.
When the download is complete, extract the .zip package obtained previously in a folder of your choice, double-click on the Setup.exe file residing inside it and click on the Yes , Next buttons 3 consecutive times and Close , to complete the installation of the program, which can be started using the appropriate icon visible in the Start menu .
At this point, you just have to press the Check for updates button to identify any updates related to the computer hardware; if the verification is successful, all you have to do is click on the Install button and follow the instructions that are proposed to you, to update the drivers to the latest version available. At the end of the procedure, you may be asked to restart your computer.
Programs to update drivers: Mac
And on Mac ? In this case, I have good news for you: in the vast majority of cases, available driver updates are released directly from Apple, within macOS system updates, and can be installed in just a single click.
To make this happen, go to System Preferences by clicking on the gear symbol located in the Dock bar , or on the Apple menu residing in the upper left corner of the screen, click on the Software Update icon and press the button Advanced… , located in the lower right.
Now, if not already there, put the check mark next to the entries Check for updates , Download new updates when available and Install system data files and security updates , and if you want updates to be installed (beyond that downloaded) automatically, also check the box next to Install macOS updates : the change will be applied instantly.
If you are unable to make any changes, as the aforementioned items are obscured, first click on the locked padlock icon located in the lower right corner of the settings window, enter the Mac password in the appropriate field and press Enter , to enable system changes.