There are several important considerations to keep in mind when choosing the right driver for your Windows 10 device. Not only do you need to be sure that you’re downloading a compatible version, but it also needs to support the right hardware and operating system requirements as well. This article will teach you how to choose the right driver according to your individual needs and device specifications so that you can be sure that your device will function smoothly and efficiently, whether it’s a printer, keyboard, or video card. The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Driver for Windows 10
What are drivers
Essentially, a driver is software that tells your operating system and other programs how to interact with a piece of hardware. There are two kinds: system drivers and device drivers. System devices include your computer’s chipset, keyboard and mouse or trackpad. When you click on an icon in Windows Explorer, that program opens up in part because of device drivers from your mouse or graphics card.
Which drivers should you be concerned about on Windows 10
When you upgrade from previous versions of Windows, drivers are one of your biggest worries—especially if you use peripherals like printers, scanners, sound cards and webcams. The good news is that if your device works with an earlier version of Windows (XP or Vista), it’ll work just fine on Windows 10. Another piece of good news: Microsoft has upgraded many drivers itself to ensure that they’re compatible with its new operating system.
How you can view your drivers online (without using any special software)
Even if you’re never going to use any of your computers offline, it’s still a good idea to know what hardware is installed in each machine. That way, you can make sure that everything has up-to-date drivers and there aren’t any conflicts.
Why the most popular and highly rated drivers might not be right for you
You don’t have a 64-bit CPU (32-bit CPUs can only run 32-bit drivers). You’re using a 64-bit OS but still running your hardware in 32-bit mode. You have a driver conflict. Third party software is interfering with your hardware. Your OS has an outdated or broken driver you need updated.
Things to look out for when installing a new device
Make sure your device is recognized by Windows. It’s a good idea to check Device Manager before you go through with any driver installation: open Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Device Manager. If you see an exclamation mark next to a listing, check with your manufacturer’s website and download a more recent driver.