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How to update drivers on Windows 11

The easy way and the not-so-easy way to go about it.
By
February 21, 2022

Windows has simplified how driver updates work over the years. With Windows 11, driver updates are unlikely to be an issue, but if you want to update a driver, there are a few ways to do so.

Read more: How to install Windows 11

QUICK ANSWER 

To update drivers on Windows 11, you can use Windows Update, and install the available driver updates. You can also use Device Manager in Control Panel to check individual devices for driver updates, and update them if needed.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Do I need to update Windows 11 drivers?

Windows 11 usually either comes with or automatically installs all the necessary drivers. However, it may not always succeed in doing so. Generally, you can tell if a driver update is needed if a part of your PC is not working as expected.

Windows assigns generic drivers to devices that cannot correctly identify or source the drivers. These drivers may work fine, but they may affect your system’s overall performance and efficiency, potentially affecting things like battery life in a laptop.

So if you have such issues, or want to ensure everything on your PC is working fine, open Control Panel by searching for it in Windows Search. Click Hardware and Sound.

Windows 11 Device Manager
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Click Device Manager under Devices and Printers.

Windows 11 Device Manager
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In Device Manager, click Action and Scan for hardware changes.

Windows 11 Device Manager scan for hardware changes
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If there are any devices with driver issues, they will show up with a warning sign next to their respective icons.

Windows 11 Device Manager device with issue
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How to update drivers using Windows Update settings

This is the easier method to update drivers in Windows 11.

Open Windows Settings and select Windows Update from the left pane. Click on the Advanced options tab.

Windows 11 Update
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Under Additional updates, click Optional updates.

Windows 11 Update options
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Select the driver update(s) you want to install.

Windows 11 optional updates
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Click the Download & install button.

Also readHow to uninstall apps on Windows 11

How to update drivers using Device Manager

Open Control Panel by searching for it in Windows Search. Click on Hardware and Sound.

Windows 11 control panel
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Click Device Manager under Devices and Printers.

Windows 11 Device Manager
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Locate the device you want to update the drivers for, by clicking on categories to expand the list of devices. Click right on the device, and Update driver.

Windows 11 device manager update
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In the new dialogue box that pops up, click Search automatically for drivers.

Windows 11 device manager driver search options
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Windows will find the best suitable driver for the device. Follow the installation screen to finish installing the driver.

If none of these methods can solve the problem, you can download the driver installer from the device manufacturer’s website, and run the installer.


Read more: How to run Android apps on Windows 11

FAQs

Does Windows automatically update drivers?

Yes, it does. Windows Update has a section called Driver updates, where you can see the driver updates that have been recently performed.

Does Windows Update install drivers?

Windows Update does include driver updates to the devices installed in your system, which should suffice in most cases.

Next: How to ungroup icons on the task bar in Windows 11