Keeping your PC drivers up-to-date not only helps improve the performance but also helps you avoid stability issues and run PC a little more smoothly. It’s because of these reasons, experts advise PC users update device drivers whenever a newer version is available.
When it comes to updating device drivers, Windows users a couple of options to choose from. One can either use software out there to automatically check for outdated drives and update them, manually download and install the latest version, or use the native Update Driver feature in Windows that sometimes helps you update device drivers that are available via Windows Update.
Even though, there are plenty of free tools out there to scan your PC for outdated drivers, the catch is that most of the free tools that claim to update outdated drivers don’t exactly update drivers. Most of them help you check for outdated drivers only and then ask to upgrade to the paid version of the software to download and install latest drivers.
The best way is to manually check your hardware manufacturer’s website for updates and download if updates are available. Even though manually downloading and updating all installed drivers is a tedious job, you can use this method to update one or two device drivers, especially if you don’t like to install a third-party software to update one or two drivers.
How determine the version number of a currently installed driver?
Before visiting manufacturer’s website, you must know the version number of currently installed driver to avoid downloading the same version again. Since not all installed drivers appear in Programs and Features, checking the version of an installed driver is not a straight-forward job for novice users.
Follow the given below instructions to determine the current version number of an installed device driver in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1:
Step 1: Open Control Panel, click Hardware and Sound, then click Device Manager open Device Manager window. Alternatively, open Run dialog box by simultaneously pressing Windows logo and R keys, type Devmgmt.msc in the box, and then press Enter key to open Device Manager.
Step 2: Once the Device Manager is launched, expand the appropriate category, right-click on the device who’s driver version you would like to know.
For instance, if you would like to check driver’s version of the graphics card, you need to expand Display adapters first, right-click on the name of the graphics card, and select Properties.
Step 3: Switch to the Driver tab to see the current version of the driver and released date. Here, you can also find options to uninstall the driver (useful if you want to uninstall the current version and then install the latest version) and disable the selected device.