Imagine drivers as cogs in a big complicated mechanism. If there are no cogs (or they don’t fit properly), the system cannot function as intended – it may freeze, fail to launch its components, work slow, and occasionally throw unexpected errors to your face. The most difficult category to deal with is video and audio drivers. It is practically impossible to launch any modern game without updated video drivers and as for audio drivers – who wants to play without sound? That is driver update software has always been so popular. These programs allow you to updates all drivers on your PC with a push of a button and don’t require your attention to do the job.
That is why we decided to write an article with the best driver update software for the Windows platform. Today we want to talk about programs available for download for free. They will surely save you a lot of time and nerves. Plus, they will also make sure that your PC runs smoothly. We tested all picks on this list and noted their main features, pros, and cons. Every app allows you to update drivers easily, which is great for everyone who has no time for browsing the Web and downloading the drivers manually from official websites of software portals.
This program is considered to be one of the best tools for automatic search and driver updates. The only thing you need to do for Driver Booster to start updating drivers on your PC is to hit one single button! After that, the app will scan your system and will show the latest driver version available for every installed component (along with recommendations: which drivers should be updated immediately, and which are ok for now). The process of scanning is fast and convenient.
Besides drivers, this program can also update important components of the system required for gaming. So, if you have any difficulties with launching video games (errors, freezes, lags, etc.), you should let Driver Booster scan the system. Keep in mind, that this program requires an active Internet connection to work.
- Simple and convenient interface, even beginner users should not have any problems with it.
- Huge driver database that is updated regularly.
- Updating has two stages: first, the program scans your PC, then asks what exactly you would like to update (you either go with the recommended settings or customize them).
- Before installing updates, the program automatically creates an archive with your old drivers (in case something goes wrong and you will have an option to rollback).
- Batch driver update is available on demand.
An absolutely free utility for automatic search, installation, and driver updates. It requires an Internet connection to do its job. Using DriverHub is nothing difficult – just run the app and click the button to search for drivers online. It will take a minute or two for the app to find a driver for every component in your laptop or desktop. After that, all you need to do is to check the boxes near the drivers you want to install and hit the Install button. And that’s all, folks. Fast and convenient.
- Enormous driver database for all kinds of hardware including audio card, graphics card, USB devices (printers, scanners, etc.), motherboards, and so on.
- This utility automatically downloads drivers from the official websites of manufacturers: Microsoft, Intel, Sony, AMD, and others.
- It is absolutely free and has no hidden restrictions such as downloading speed limits, the number of drivers to update, etc.
- Has the driver rollback option, which is useful when you don’t like the latest version of drivers.
- Shortcuts for quick system tweaking in the main menu: power options, disk manager, networks, and others.
- Works on all Windows versions starting from Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit versions are available).
Snappy Driver Installer
Snappy Driver Installer it is freeware tool for automatic driver installation. Unlike many other free or paid software, this program has an offline version, which is available in the form of an archive that contains a folder with the .exe file. All you need to do to update drivers on your computer is to run that file. How good is that?! Another cool feature that makes Snappy Driver Installer stand out of the crowd is its compact version, which is only a few megabytes in size. However, it needs to be connected to the Web.
- Features a huge collection of drivers for everything (we would even recommend you to copy it on your emergency USB flash drive for quick driver recovery).
- Two different versions. The full version is about 14GB and can be used without an Internet connection. The compact version is 4MB in size, but you cannot use it offline.
- Super-fast updates.
- Customizable interface.
- Shows integrated ads, but they are reduced to a minimum.
Official Intel/AMD/NVIDIA utilities
Intel Driver Update
An official piece of software by Intel. Developed to help you with updating drivers for every Intel product: processors, disks, network devices, and so on. It is compatible with all versions of Windows. After you run the app, it scans your computer to find out what Intel hardware is installed in it, then initiates the search for the required software. Intel’s tool does everything automatically, so you can leave it alone while it works. If you are using Intel products, then you should definitely use this tool. Otherwise, there is no point in downloading it.
AMD Driver Autodetect
This tool was developed to help all AMD product owners with finding proper drivers for their devices. Run the app and wait for it to detect your AMD graphics card, version of the OS, and other parameters. When the scan is complete, the app will provide the link for downloading the driver you need. Also, you can use AMD Driver Autodetect not just for finding new drivers but also for updating the already installed ones. Let’s be honest, it is much easier to click one button in a program, then surfing the Web looking for official websites filled with unnecessary information.
Meet the official utility for all NVIDIA graphics card owners. When you launch it for the first time, it will scan all the hardware in your PC, and will also analyze the installed drivers. If some drivers are missing or outdated, NVIDIA Update will suggest installing updates. In the settings, you can select how often you would like the app to check for updates, allow (or disallow) installing beta versions of drivers, activate (or deactivate) tray notifications, etc.
Starting from the release of the R275 driver, NVIDIA Update not only updates drivers automatically but game profiles as well (including the SLI profiles). On the NVIDIA’s official website, you can find a detailed guide on how to install and set up the program but honestly speaking it is very easy to do even without a guide.
Another extremely popular freeware program for updating drivers. It features many useful features that cannot be found in many other apps. For example, it can download and update drivers automatically, create backups of the already installed drivers, delete outdated or unused drivers. In addition to that, you can use Driver Genius as a driver recovery tool. The program has a simple interface, and it is very easy to navigate. Just run it and wait while it gathers the information about your PC, hardware, and evaluates the system. Driver Genius will suggest recommended updates based on the results of the initial scan.
- Colossal driver database that supports more than 300k devices.
- Easy backup creation system (you can save your current drivers in an archive or create an .exe installer, which allows installing your old drivers even without Driver Genius).
- Uninstall old or unnecessary drivers easily.
- Command Prompt support.
- Run on Windows 10 and older version as well (Windows 7 and Windows 8, 32-bit and 64-bit versions).
- The free version has limits for updating drivers and creating backups. That’s a minus.
This is a great example of a free yet multifunctional automated software for finding and updating drivers on your PC. Besides its main function, SlimDrivers is good for creating driver backups that can be easily installed in case something goes wrong with the new drivers. For users that need their drivers to be updated regularly, there is an integrated scheduler tool to play with – you can set it to check for updates daily, weekly, etc. Also, the app can wipe any driver from the system without leaving a trace.
- Quick driver search with automatic updates.
- An integrated scheduler.
- Full driver uninstall function.
- Easy driver backup creation and driver recovery.
- All functions are available in the free version.
- Runs equally good on Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.