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3 Ways To Disable Automatic Driver Updates In Windows 10

Windows 10 forcefully installs Windows Updates by default. This includes all updates including Windows device drivers. This article is about disabling automatic driver updates from Windows Update. This setting can be disabled due to several reasons. Some drivers from Microsoft may not be fully compatible with the device driver you have installed. Or the driver which the manufacturer provides can have more features than the basic Microsoft drivers.

In this article, we will share three different ways to disable automatic driver updates in Windows 10. While the focus and screenshots are from Windows 10, the same configurations can be used for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

Disable Automatic Driver Updates

1- Using Windows Settings

For changing the device drivers automatic installation setting in Windows 10, you will need to dig deep into the Control Panel. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Control Panel (Windows Key + X + P) –> Hardware and Sound –> Devices and Printers
  2. Right click the computer icon under Devices and select “Device installation settings”.
    Device installation settings
  3. Windows will ask you the following question: “Do you want Windows to download driver software and realistic icons for your devices?. You should choose “No, let me choose what to do”.
  4. In the sub-selection, select “Never install driver software from Windows Update”
    Device installation settings for disabling driver updates from Windows Update

This should stop Windows from automatically downloading and installing device drivers from Windows Update.

2- Using Group Policy

Windows Group Policy can be a handy tool to change device drivers settings. This can be useful especially when you are doing it for multiple systems in the network. Follow the instruction below to disable device driver updates from Windows Updates using Group Policy:

  1. Go to Run –> gpedit.msc
  2. In the Group Policy Editor, go to Computer Configuration –> Administrative Templates –> System –> Device Installation –> Device Installation Restrictions
  3. In the right hand pane, select “Prevent installation of devices not described by other policy settings” and set it to Enabled.
    Group policy to disable device driver installation in Windows 10

If you want to dig deeper in controlling every aspect of device driver installation through group policy, read this wonderful technet article.

3- Using Windows Registry

You can also disable device driver installation from Windows Update using Windows Registry. It is always recommended to backup your Registry before making changes to the registry.

  1. Go to Run –> regedit
  2. Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE –> SOFTWARE –> Microsoft –> Windows –> CurrentVersion –> DriverSearching
  3. Change the value of “SearchOrderConfig” to 0.
    Disabling driver updates from Windows Registry

Finding and installing device drivers manually

While there are quite a few software to detect the unknown devices and automatically download and install their drivers from their respective manufacturers, you can always go to the device manufacturer to download the latest compatible device drivers of your choice.

If you don’t want to take headache of finding the right device driver, I would highly recommend 3 DP Chip software which will automatically download the latest compatible device drivers for your basic system devices like motherboard, graphics card, sound card and network drivers.

SlimDrivers is another wonderful program which will keep your device drivers updates and the drivers will come from their respective device manufacturers.

Also Read:

About the author: Usman Khurshid is a seasoned IT Pro with over 15 years of experience in the IT industry. He has experience in everything from IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. He is also certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching. Reach him at Twitter @usmank11

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Doug Fuoco February 7, 2021, 11:55 PM

    First and Second method did not work for me but the Third method did

    thank you very much!

  • ADSPNTR March 8, 2019, 6:15 PM

    is this work if using windows 10? windows upgrade assistant always check everything to upgrade.

  • David Smith March 4, 2019, 2:15 AM

    First method is not working for me. Second worked though. Thanks

  • Anonymous December 20, 2018, 10:29 AM

    Don’t waste your time on the first method. It does not work.

  • KT.Jim July 17, 2018, 8:18 AM

    Besides this, there are two other ways you can do to disable the Windows 10 auto-updates. You can set up a metered network connection for your Windows 10 and disable automatic device installation.

  • DebbieD April 11, 2018, 8:01 PM

    There’s no longer a “sub section”. And it never says “drivers”. They are now called “manufacturer apps” and “icons”.

    *PLEASE* update this old article.

    • Kevin March 13, 2020, 7:22 PM

      Yes, Debbie. It no longer exists. Thanks for writing this comment. I searched a lot and then thankfully I read your comment.
      Great work, really appreciated.

      Cheers,
      Kevin

  • Shawn August 11, 2017, 8:10 AM

    The actual registry value name is “SearchOrderConfig” not “ChangeOrderConfig”.

  • Scott June 3, 2017, 8:42 PM

    For me I can set option one but that alone will not stop auto updating. I don’t have goes it available as running Home version. So I must also set registry key. Also, every time there is a major Windows update I must change all this manually again. Very painful because my computer auto shuts down with the display driver the OS tries to force on it.

  • Susan March 23, 2017, 7:40 PM

    In method #1… there’s no longer the sub-choices option.
    Ugh.

  • Kristen July 29, 2016, 3:37 PM

    This site is very good. It saying about a few software which detect the other devices and drivers. It says about slim driver software. Which update device drivers. Thanking you.

  • aimee May 9, 2016, 12:32 PM

    I use another one driver doctor, it is also a professional drivers update tool find the latest drivers for computer hardware. And you can get it from here: https://www.driverdr.com

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