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:
Go to Control Panel (Windows Key + X + P) –> Hardware and Sound –> Devices and Printers
Right click the computer icon under Devices and select “Device installation settings”.
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”.
In the sub-selection, select “Never install driver software 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:
In the Group Policy Editor, go to Computer Configuration –> Administrative Templates –> System –> Device Installation –> Device Installation Restrictions
In the right hand pane, select “Prevent installation of devices not described by other policy settings” and set it to Enabled.
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.
Go to Run –> regedit
Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE –> SOFTWARE –> Microsoft –> Windows –> CurrentVersion –> DriverSearching
Change the value of “SearchOrderConfig” to 0.
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.