Multiple outdated drivers could hurt the overall performance of your entire computer. The problem won’t be fixed by restarting your computer or any other seemingly quick fixes. You can opt to delete a driver if it’s unused or corrupted, but otherwise, you’ll need to perform an update. In fact, the only time you should be concerned about regularly updating your driver software is if you have a graphics card for gaming or for use with graphics-related software.
When you’re dealing with software that manages your computer at a system level, everything needs to be secure, and the sources need to be reputable. For example, if you’re updating your HP printer’s driver, it should only come from HP. It is a big red flag if the program suggests another source for the update because it may not download the correct driver or it might download malicious software. All the programs we tested have modern interfaces, with large, clearly labeled buttons. Many of the updaters can also backup and restore your existing drivers, which is critical if the app downloads the incorrect update. In addition, you may not want to update every driver, so being able to exclude them is important.
Recently, we spent over 25 hours researching and evaluating 10 driver updater programs. We ran dozens of scans and updated hundreds of drivers to find the best applications. In our tests, we also evaluated their backup, restore and uninstall features; driver sources; scheduling capabilities; and technical support resources.
With the click of a button, the software scans your computer and lists which drivers need further attention. DriverFinder also only supplies you with updates from original equipment manufacturer sources, which means they always come from a trusted source and are designed for that specific driver. Drivers not from OEM sources may or may not work properly or cause other problems. The software lists the driver sources, so it’s easy to access this information if you want to verify it.
Select the driver tab, and here you should see all relevant details pertaining to the driver, including the driver’s latest version and date, which is what you’ll be looking for. Verify with the original equipment manufacturer source that everything matches and is up to date. There are several free driver update programs available online. Some of these free updaters have similar features and tools as the paid programs we tested, but most of them lack critical features or include additional unwanted programs, nag ads or malware. If you’re strapped for cash but need to update your drivers, consider using a free trial version of a for-pay program. Many free trials have very basic tools, but they may be enough. This might be a good place to start latest dell drivers for windows, and if you feel like you eventually need more access to the program, you can pay to unlock the full version.
The demands of games and software for 3D modeling and video editing constantly increase. As such, drivers for graphics cards are often updated to maintain performance as software demands more. Once the software identified and diagnosed the outdated drivers, we looked at the resolution options each program provided for updating them. We noted if the program showed each driver’s version information and the source of anything new it recommended. We have tested and reviewed driver update software for over eight years.
However, be aware that some programs hide additional features and functions behind a single tab, and you may need to dig around to access the full functionality. Your techy computer friends don’t use driver update software, and you’re never going to find these apps on an IT manager’s computer.
From the list provided, look for the category the device falls under, and once you’ve located the specific driver, right-click on its name. Then, from the small pop-up that appears, click on properties.
The best programs, however, provide more customization options. The first problem is that you could see a particular peripheral not working correctly. An older printer may not respond quickly or at all, or your video player software may freeze up.
We were only moderately impressed by the software’s performance during our hands-on tests. It found 72 of the 149 out-of-date drivers we downloaded onto our test computer, which isn’t even half. However, it’s worth noting that the best program we reviewed found only 91, so no application proved itself capable of identifying and updating every driver we threw at it. Driver Reviver did considerably better than Advanced Driver Updater, which found just 48.