Most people have a Windows computer at home. And this thing comes with hardware. And hardware requires drivers in order to function properly. But how many people keep their drivers up to date? How many people actually install the correct drivers instead of the generic Microsoft ones?
Sure, your system will work with the Microsoft drivers, but when you’re into gaming, you want to have the correct drivers to ensure that your system is running with the best possible configuration.
I’m normally not someone to promote tools or things, but Driver Easy is someone that caught my attention and is something I use regularly now to find that one missing driver in my system that causes a component to not work at the best possible performance. Having a high-end gaming system, this means often updating drivers to make sure everyone performs at peak-performance.
With the guide here, I want to demonstrate how you can keep your system in great working condition, using the free version and the step by step guide on updating every driver.
Step By Step Guide
When you open the application, you will see the screen below. Press the big “Scan Now” button to start the driver scanning process of the application. Depending on your computer’s speed and the hardware installed this can take a few seconds or a few minutes.
Once the scanning has been completed, you will see the result below. There’s a list with devices that can be updated with new drivers and a list of devices that’s already up to date. We’re interested in the list that needs to be updated.
Click on the Update button to start downloading. If the application asks for a restore point, just tell it that you already did this. Don’t use the Update All feature, that’s only in the paid version.
This is the screen when downloading the drivers. This might take some time for some of the packages as the download speed is pretty capped.
When the download is completed, you want to pick the “Manual Installation” mode. Automated installations are again only supported in the Pro version, but adjusting your drivers is easy enough if you stick to this guide.
As soon as you press the Continue button, a Windows Explorer will pop up. Click inside the address bar at the top, and copy the entire path using CTRL + C. Once you’ve copied the path, you can close the explorer window.
The next step is opening the Device Manager in Windows. This can be done really quick by pressing the windows + X button on your keyboard and selecting the “Device Manager from the popup window.
The goal is now to find the correct device. In most cases the name is going to match what you downloaded, but on a fresh system the names might be extremely generic. So if you cannot find the device immediately, there’s a nice trick. Press the grey information button next to the device for which you downloaded the drivers in the Driver Easy app, this opens a small overlay:
The overlay shows the new driver info, but when you click on “Device Information”, you will receive the key info for finding your hardware in the Device Manager:
These Hardware IDs are what uniquely identifies a piece of hardware in your system. There’s not a single device with the same ID in your system, so now that we know what we are looking for, we can start our search in the Device Manager. Open the properties of the hardware you think matches what you want to update:
Go to the Details tab, and select the Hardware IDs from the dropdown menu.
Compare the list to what the Driver Easy application shows you. If they match, then you found the piece for which you have just downloaded the drivers.
Now that we compared the data, we know this is our device. So go to the driver tab, and press the “Update Driver…” button to continue the process.
You want to browse for the files you downloaded, so don’t select the automated update. This will in most cases just tell you that your device is up to date, which it isn’t. So just press “Browse my computer for driver software”.
In the next screen you want to replace the path being displayed by the one we copied from the Windows Explorer folder. Because that’s where we stored the drivers. So select all the text inside the input field, delete it and paste inside the path we copied at the beginning.
Now finalize the process by pressing the Next button.
Repeat this for all the drivers needing an update, and before you know it, your system is running with the latest version.
Just make sure to reboot the system once you’re done with installing ALL drivers. No need to reboot in between installations.