Device drivers help the Windows operating system communicate with hardware devices. Without a driver software, hardware might not work smoothly. For instance, a printer might not work properly without installing printer drivers.
Because device drivers are essential for the smooth functioning of your computer and connected devices, Windows 11 helps users install and update device drivers.
When you connect a hardware device, Windows 11 automatically downloads and installs the required driver software for the connected device hardware.
The team behind Windows 11 knows the importance of having updated apps and drivers. Because of this, Windows 11 offers options to update installed apps (apps installed from the Store), Windows 11 operating system, and device drivers.
When an update for the installed driver is available, Windows 11 offers it under optional updates.
You can manually update device drivers in Windows 11. Follow the directions below to update device drivers on a Windows 11 PC.
NOTE: If you wish to turn off the automatic driver updates, you can do so by following the directions in our three ways to disable automatic driver updates in Windows 11 guide.
Steps to install driver updates in Windows 11
Step 1: Open the Windows 11 Settings app using search or Windows logo + I hotkey.
Step 2: On the left pane of the Settings app, click Windows Update to open the Windows Update page.
Step 3: Now, on the right side, click Advanced options.
Step 4: Next, under the Additional options section, click on Optional updates.
Step 5: As you can see, the Optional Updates page shows available optional updates, including updates for drivers. To view available driver updates, click Driver updates.
Step 6: Finally, select the driver updates that you want to install and then click the Download & install button. The selected driver update(s) will be downloaded and installed in the background.
NOTE: After updating drivers, if you encounter any issues with the device, you can consider rolling back the driver to the last version. Refer to our how to restore previous version of a driver in Windows 10/11 guide for instructions.
Tip: When you install driver updates, Windows 11 keeps the previous version of the driver so that users can roll back to earlier versions if there are issues with the newest version. If the newer version of the driver is functioning well, you can consider deleting older drivers to free up space. Refer to our how to delete old device drivers from Windows 10/11 installation to free up space guide might also interest you.