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If you have a hardware device that isn't functioning properly, or you're installing a program or game that states it requires newer drivers than you currently have installed, you should check Windows Update for updated drivers. You might also want to set Windows Update to check automatically for recommended driver updates.

A third option is to manually update drivers for a device.

Hiển thị tất cả

To update drivers using Windows Update

You can check Windows Update anytime to see if it has found new drivers for your hardware. Then, you can install them if you choose. Here's how:

  1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Update. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  2. In the left pane, click Check for updates.

  3. To see if updated drivers are available, click View available updates. Windows Update will list any updated drivers that are available for devices installed in your computer.

  4. If updates are available, click the driver that you want to install, and then click Install. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

To set Windows to check for recommended updates

Even if you have Windows Update set to automatically install important updates for your computer, it still might not be set to install all the updated drivers it finds for your hardware, since not all these are classified as important. To get all the driver updates, you'll need to turn on recommended updates. Here's how to set Windows to do this:

  1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Update.
  2. In the left pane, click Change settings.

  3. Click Install updates automatically (recommended).

  4. Under Recommended updates, select the check box for Include recommended updates when downloading, installing, or notifying me about updates, and then click OK. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    Picture of options for choosing how Windows installs updates
    To make sure you get the latest drivers for your hardware, set Windows to automatically download recommended updates

To manually update drivers

It's best to let Windows install drivers for your hardware automatically. You should avoid manually updating a driver unless Windows is unable to find a driver for one of your devices but you were able to obtain one some other way, or if technical support personnel ask you to install drivers from a disc or from the device manufacturer's website. If you decide to manually update a driver, here's how:

You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps.

  1. Open Device Manager by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Device Manager. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  2. In Device Manager, locate the device you want to update, and then double-click the device name.

  3. Click the Driver tab, and then click Update Driver and follow the instructions.

Note

  • Printer information is not included in Device Manager. You can check if a printer is installed or manually update printer drivers by opening Printers in Control Panel. For more information, see Add or remove a printer.

  • To find out if your hardware (or hardware you plan to buy) is compatible with Windows Vista, go online to the Windows Vista Compatibility Center. This website contains a comprehensive list of hardware components and devices that work with Windows Vista.