How to Check Installed Driver Version in Windows 11/10

Drivers are the next most essential thing a computer needs after its Operating System. Without the drivers, all the individual components inside of your computer, or the peripherals outside of it would become useless.

A driver is a piece of code, or a file, that acts as a communication medium between the operating system and the hardware. Or as Microsoft puts it:

A driver is a software component that lets the operating system and a device communicate with each other.

Any piece of hardware, may it be the RAM or hard drive inside your PC, or an attached keyboard or printer, requires a driver to help it communicate with the OS. Without the driver, the hardware would not understand what the operating system is demanding from, and vice versa. Therefore, an up-to-date and error-free driver is essential for the smooth functioning of each hardware.

Drivers are consistently being updated with new improvements through patches, which consequently change a driver’s associated version. This article discusses how you can check the versions of all the different drivers that are installed on your computer and why it is important to keep tabs on them.

What is Driver Version and Why is it Important

The driver version is a combination of numbers that signifies the release of the driver itself. A version can have decimals in it to separate major version changes from the minor ones.

For example, if we were to release a new driver for the first time, we would proudly name it Itechtics 1.0.0. After making some minor improvements to the driver, we would then republish the driver and change its version number to Itechtics 1.0.1 (or Itechtics 1.0.3, depending upon the number of iterations made to the release).

If we were to make a major update to the driver, we may as well name it Itechtics 2.0.0. As you may notice, the version number(s) started from the smaller ones and then made incremental changes depending upon how big the update is.

Now that that’s understood, it is important to keep tabs on what version of the driver you are running on your computer. This will help differentiate between your driver and the latest one available. If your system has not updated the driver in some time, then there ought to be a significant version difference between the one being offered by the vendor and the one you have on your device.

Therefore, cross-checking the driver versions for all your hardware is important, since the latest drivers include security patches that fix vulnerabilities that can be exploited through attacks and other performance improvements for you to benefit from.

Let us now move on to show you how you can check the driver version for the different components on your PC.

Check Installed Driver Version using Device Manager Console

One way to check the version of the installed drivers on your computer is through the Device Manager – a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) to manage your system’s hardware. Note that using this method, you can only get the version of one component driver at a time. If you want to know the versions of all the installed drivers, continue to the next section of this post.

  1. Launch the Device Manager by typing in devmgmt.msc in Run.
  2. You will see the name of your computer at the very top, and then the different branches of hardware under it. Expand the associated branch of the hardware whose driver version you want to know by clicking on it.
    devmgmt branch
  3. Now right-click on the item and then click Properties from the context menu.
    devmgmt properties
  4. From the Properties window, switch to the Driver tab. There, you will find the version of the driver written, as highlighted in the image below.
    properties driver

You can now cross-check the manufacturer’s website for the latest available drivers. If a newer one is available, you can update it using the guide given further down this post.

From the Properties window in step 3 above, you can also find other useful information, such as the name of the manufacturer, the date the driver was installed on, etc.

Check Installed Driver Version using PowerShell

Another method to check the version of the installed drivers is through Windows PowerShell. You can get the versions of all the drivers installed on your PC for all the hardware with just one command.

To obtain the driver version, launch Windows PowerShell with administrative privileges and then paste the following command:

Get-WmiObject Win32_PnPSignedDriver| select DeviceName, Manufacturer, DriverVersion

This command will display all of the drivers installed on your computer, as in the picture below:

pwsh 1
PowerShell command to get all driver versions

This is a quick way to get information on the current drivers installed all at once!

Now that you have the information needed regarding the current drivers installed, how would you know when an update is required?

When Does a Driver Need to be Updated

It is not always necessary to update a driver. Your drivers are typically updated automatically by Windows Update. Nevertheless, there is no benchmark that will determine whether a driver needs to be updated or not.  

In most cases, a driver needs to be updated if the associated hardware becomes glitchy. For example, the network driver may need to be updated if you are experiencing weak signals while the other devices around you are not.

Another indicator for the driver update requirement is the date it was installed. Again, there is no time frame during which a driver should be updated, as all manufacturers release drivers for different components after different durations. However, we suggest that you update the driver manually (guide given below) if it is older than 1 year.

You can check the date of installation of the driver from the Properties window of the hardware, as discussed above in the section for “Checking installed driver version using Device Manager console.”

driver date
Driver installation date

How to Reinstall a Driver

It may be possible that you are already running the latest version of the driver, yet the hardware could be glitchy. In such scenarios, it may be possible that the driver did not install correctly, or has been corrupted. You can then try reinstalling the driver using the following steps:

  1. Open the Device Manager console by typing in devmgmt.msc in Run.
  2. Now expand the associated branch of the hardware whose driver you think is faulty.
  3. Right-click on the item and click Uninstall device from the context menu.
    uninstall 1
  4. In the confirmation dialog box, check the box next to “Attempt to remove the driver for this device” and then click Uninstall.
    uninstall 2
  5. Now click on the Scan for hardware changes button at the top.
    scan for hardware changes
  6. Now restart your computer. This step is optional and would only reassure the driver reinstallation.

Your associated driver will now be reinstalled. Check to see if the issue you were facing has been resolved (if any).

How to Update Driver Automatically

You can try to update your driver automatically in Windows. The process uses Windows Update to automatically search for any updates for the associated driver and then install them if found.

Here’s how to automatically update a driver in Windows:

  1. Open the Device Manager console by typing in devmgmt.msc in Run.
  2. Now expand the associated branch of the hardware whose driver you want to update.
  3. Right-click on the item and click Update driver from the context menu.
    update driver
  4. From the pop-up window, click Search automatically for drivers.
    search auto
  5. The wizard will now start searching for an update for the driver on the internet. Once found, it will automatically install the update. If not, you will be prompted with “The best drivers for your device are already installed.” Either way, close the wizard.

How to Update Driver Manually

You can also manually update the driver if a newer version is available than your already-installed one. However, this method requires that you download the correct driver for the hardware before performing the steps given below. We suggest that you visit the manufacturer’s website and download the driver. Once done, follow the steps below to install it:

  1. Open the Device Manager console by typing in devmgmt.msc in Run.
  2. Now expand the associated branch of the hardware whose driver you want to update.
  3. Right-click on the item and click Update driver from the context menu.
    update driver
  4. From the popup window, click Browse My Computer for drivers.
    browse my computer
  5. On the next screen, click the Browse button and navigate to the downloaded driver and select it. Click Next when done.
    browse
  6. The driver will then begin installing. When it finishes, close the wizard.

How to Roll Back Driver

If a driver has been updated, Windows still keeps the previous version of the driver just in case. This will be made available in case you decide to roll back to it at a later time.

You may require to go back to the previous version of the driver if you find that the newer one is having issues, or is just not compatible with your setup.

That said, Windows only keeps the last installed version of the driver and discards the rest. You can roll back to the latest version through the following steps:

  1. Launch the Device Manager by typing in devmgmt.msc in Run.
  2. You will see the name of your computer at the very top, and then the different branches of hardware under it. Expand the associated branch of the hardware whose driver version you want to know by clicking on it.
    devmgmt branch
  3. Now right-click on the item and then click Properties from the context menu.
    properties 4
  4. From the Properties window, switch to the Driver tab and click Roll Back Driver.
    roll back driver
  5. From the pop-up window, select the reason for rolling back and then click Yes.
    why roll back

The window will now close. Give your system a few seconds for the driver to successfully rollback. Note that you will not be prompted whether the driver has rolled back or not. You can confirm this by checking that the Roll Back Driver button has been greyed out in the Properties window. Proceed to close the Properties window and the Device Manager console.

greyed out
Driver has successfully rolled back

Final Thoughts

As you may have already understood, healthy drivers are very important for a device to run smoothly. Thus, keeping an eye out for a new driver version is equally significant.

Although Windows updates most drivers automatically, we recommend that you occasionally check for updated drivers manually as well, just to make sure.

Usually, the latest drivers are pre-checked by the vendor and are mostly error-free. If there are any anomalies discovered, they are usually fixed in a later update.

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Subhan Zafar
Subhan holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and has completed several systems and network certifications including Huwaei, Cisco and Microsoft certs. He mostly researches and writes about the Windows world.

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1 thought on “How to Check Installed Driver Version in Windows 11/10”

  1. Please note. The “Get-WmiObject” cmdlet has been directly replaced by the “Get-CimInstance” cmdlet in pwsh 7.2.0 (at the very least).

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