Driver software is the set of instructions that tells your computer’s operating system how to interact with various hardware components, such as the graphics card or printer. If you have the wrong driver software installed, the device either won’t work at all or may not work properly. Your computer’s operating system has a built-in feature that allows you to automatically search for the latest drivers. You can take advantage of the search feature to easily download any missing driver software for a new component you have installed.
- Insert the driver installation disk that came with the hardware component into your computer’s CD or DVD drive. Follow the instructions on the screen to install the device’s driver software.
- Open the Start menu if you no longer have the driver software installation disk. Click “Control Panel.”
- Scroll through the list of options and double-click “Device Manager.” Click “Continue” if your operating system loads a second window asking for your permission to access the Device Manager.
- Look through the list of device types and find the one that corresponds to the new hardware component you installed, such as “Disk Drives” or “Network Adapters.” Click the plus sign located to the left of the device type entry to expand the menu.
- Find the name of the specific hardware component you installed underneath the device type heading. Right-click the name and select “Update Driver Software.”
- Click “Search Automatically For Driver Software.” Click “Next” and then click “OK” to download and install the latest driver software for the hardware component.
- If your operating system cannot automatically locate the latest driver software for the device, you may need to download it directly from the manufacturer. Navigate your browser to the manufacturer’s website and locate the “Drivers” section of its support page.
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