The automatic updates on Windows eliminate the need to manually update your drivers. In addition, when you plug in a new hardware device, Windows can automatically install the necessary drivers.
While this approach will keep your devices up to date, you can stop the automatic driver updates for several reasons. Fortunately, Windows offers several options to disable automatic driver updates. In this post, we’ll walk you through them all.
1. Stop automatic driver updates from the control panel?
Control Panel makes it easy to disable automatic driver updates on Windows. Here are the steps to follow.
- Press Win + S to open the search menu.
- Type Control panel and press Enter.
- Navigate to System > Advanced System Settings.
- In the System Properties window, switch to the Hardware tab and click the Device installation settings knob.
- Select no and click Saving Changes.
And that’s what matters. Windows will no longer install drivers automatically.
2. How to Stop Automatic Driver Updates with Group Policy Editor?
Another option to disable automatic driver download on Windows is to use the Group Policy Editor. Note that you can only access the Group Policy Editor if you are using the Professional, Education, or Enterprise edition of Windows. If you are using Windows Home, be sure to read how to access the Local Group Policy Editor on Windows Home before continuing.
- Open the Home menusearch gpedit.mscand select the first result that appears. This will open the Local Group Policy Editor.
- Use the left pane to navigate to: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Manage updates offered through Windows Update.
- Double click on the Do not send drivers with Windows Updates policy on your right.
- Select the Switched on choice.
- Touch Apply followed by Okay.
After you complete the steps above, Windows will exclude any driver updates from its search for system updates. To re-enable driver updates in the future, follow the same steps above and set the Do not send drivers with Windows Updates policy to Not set.
3. How To Stop Automatic Driver Updates Through Registry Editor?
The Registry Editor on Windows contains essential files for Windows and its services. If you are an advanced user familiar with the Registry Editor, you can also disable automatic driver updates using the following method.
Since editing the registry is risky, you should only use this method if the previous ones don’t work. If you use this method, make sure to backup all registry files or create a restore point just in case.
Once you’ve done that, here’s what you need to do to avoid automatic driver updates:
- Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
- Type regedit in the text box and press Enter. This will open the Registry Editor.
- Select Yes when the User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears.
- Use the left pane to navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Find Driver.
- Within the Find driver folder, double click the SearchOrderConfig DWORD.
- Change the value to and touch Okay.
Restart your PC for the changes to take effect. After that, Windows itself will no longer install driver updates.
If you want to re-enable the driver updates at any time, follow the same steps above and change the value data for: SearchOrderConfig until 1 before restarting your PC.
Disable automatic driver updates on Windows
Certain circumstances require disabling automatic driver updates. An older version of the driver may work better on your system, or you may prefer not to use the original manufacturer’s drivers. Anyway, disabling automatic driver updates on Windows is quite easy.
Now that you’ve disabled automatic driver updates, remember to manually check for critical driver updates every now and then.