How do I Choose the Best Driver Download?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

Finding the best driver download does not have to be a complicated process, and you can make it easier by considering a few simple things as you search for the drivers you need. For one, you should consider starting with the manufacturer of the device for which you are looking to install or update drivers. You should also look at the version of the drivers you already have, to be sure you ultimately find drivers that are the same or a later version, depending on your needs. It is also advisable to look for a driver download that is compatible with whatever operating system (OS) you have installed on your computer.

A driver is a piece of software that helps your computer OS recognize and properly function with a particular device you have installed or connected to your computer. Drivers can be needed for external pieces of hardware such as a mouse or printer or for internal components such as audio and video cards. While most hardware and devices typically come with drivers that can be installed during installation, sometimes these need to be updated or replaced through a driver download.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

When looking for a driver download, you should usually start by finding the website for the manufacturer of the device for which you need a driver. Many companies have websites that host driver download sections. You should be sure to look for drivers compatible with your OS. You may need to also ensure compatibility with the version of the OS you are running.

Another good place to start with looking for a driver download is to determine which version of driver you already have installed, if any. Look in the device manager for your computer, often found by right-clicking the “My Computer” icon and selecting properties, and look at the device in the manager. You should be able to view details on the driver you have installed and see the version number. The device manager may also let you search for updated drivers through the driver detail panel for a device, and thereby avoid having to manually search for drivers.

If the website of the device manufacturer does not provide a driver download compatible with your needs, then you can also look to other websites that host libraries of drivers. You should be careful, however, to ensure you only use legitimate websites, as some sites will use driver downloading to install malware into your computer. Running a virus scan on any file you download before running the file or installing the drivers you find is typically a good idea. You should also look for some documentation on the driver download you are about to use, such as other user reviews, version number, and OS support.

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