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Windows 10 Drivers Guide – Update / Uninstall / Roll Back Driver to Previous Version

The upgrade process to Windows 10 has been smooth till now, and there wasn’t much of a problem except trouble with some drivers specifically drivers related to the Bluetooth and the WiFi related drivers. Installing drivers can be a tricky task even if you are using the latest version of the Windows OS such as Windows 10. The drivers are something that allows Windows OS to communicate with the hardware. The drivers basically work as a middleman. Most of the modern hardware come with drivers pre-installed in them. So, all you have to do is, plug in the hardware to your PC and the driver will install automatically.

However, things may not be the same always. For example, after upgrading to the Windows 10, I was not able to use my WiFi and the Bluetooth. I did download the latest available version of the software from the website, but the installation failed every time. Most of the manufacturers stop supporting hardware after few years of the launch. As a result, your old PC will get no love nor proper driver updates to keep up with the latest OS updates.

 As the things can go wrong anytime, you would start getting freaked at your computer for failing to install a simple driver. No, No! Don’t break your computer. There are much better and less expensive ways to resolve the driver related issues in Windows.

Problematic drivers can cause your PC to crash frequently. They may also cause the BSOD (Blue screen of Death) error. In such situation, you have couple options in Windows, through which you can resolve the issues with your driver. You can roll back to a previous version of the driver if the latest version of drivers has some issues. You can update your hardware drivers directly from the Device manager. And if nothing seems working, you can uninstall the driver and reinstall it.

So, in this post, I will show you how to update and uninstall drivers in Windows 10. Also, how to roll back to a previous version of the Driver.

Roll Back Driver to a Previous Version

Your hardware manufacturers may keep releasing a new update for the hardware driver occasionally. Most of the time, the updates fix some issues with the earlier version of the driver and bring more stability and improve performance. However, sometimes things may go wrong, and the latest version of the hardware may bring more problems than solutions. In such, situation, your PC would crash or the hardware may stop functioning. To resolve this issue, temporarily, you can roll back to the previous version of the driver and wait until the developers fix the issue with the latest version.

To roll back to the previous version of the driver, do the following.

Open Device Manager. To open Device Manager, type Device manager in the search/Cortana. From the search results, click and open the Device Manager option.

Device Manager Properties Driver

Under Device Manager, you may need to find the category of the hardware that was giving the error. If you have a problem with the Bluetooth hardware, then click the small arrow icon to expand the section. Right-click on the hardware and select Properties. Click the Driver tab under Properties window.

Windows 10 Device Driver Properties

If you want to Roll Back to the earlier version of the driver for this hardware, click on Roll Back Driver button. A Dialogue box will appear asking you to confirm the decision. Click Yes / OK to proceed. After this, you may need to reboot your system to apply the changes.

If your PC doesn’t have the older version of the hardware, then the Roll Back Driver button will be grayed out. In such, cases, you can download the old version of the hardware form the internet or from the manufacturer’s website.

Update Drivers in Windows 10

When you make a fresh install of the Windows, the OS will load up the default driver available for hardware. However, the hardware may not properly work with the OS because of an outdated version of the driver. In such situation, you can try to update the driver in the PC. To update a driver, do the following.

Click on the Search / Cortana, type Device Manager and open it.

Now find the hardware for which you want to update the driver. Click on the small arrow button to expand the section.

Right-click on the hardware and select Properties.

Device Manager Properties Driver

Click the Driver tab and then click the Update Driver button.

Windows 10 Device Driver Properties

A dialogue box will appear asking you to select how do you want to search for driver software. Select Search automatically for the driver software. Your computer will first check your computer for the available driver and then the internet.

Update Driver Windows manually

 If you have downloaded latest version of the driver, then select Browse, my computer for driver software and select the driver that you downloaded to update the driver manually.

If you PC want you to restart the PC, then reboot the System to apply the Changes.

Uninstall Drivers in Windows 10

At times, even updating and roll back to the previous version of the driver will not resolve the issue with your hardware. What you can do here is uninstall the driver first and then do a fresh install of the driver. To uninstall the drivers, do the following.

If you had installed sound card drivers, or Intel display drivers or the Graphic drivers manually, then you can uninstall them from the Control panel. For example, most of the Graphic cards come with their own software suite including compatible drivers. So, to uninstall a graphic card driver, you simply need to uninstall  the software package as it will also remove the driver from your PC.

To do this, open Control Panel, click Programs (Uninstall a program), open Programs and Features and go through the installed software programs. Click on the program you want to uninstall and you are done.

Uninstall Drivers from Device Manager

Open Device Manager and find the hardware for which you want to uninstall the driver.

Right-click on it and select Properties.

Device Manager Properties Driver

Click the Driver tab and click on the Uninstall button at the bottom.

Windows 10 Device Driver Properties

Confirm your decision by clicking OK and the driver will be uninstalled.

To reinstall the driver, plug in the hardware and let the PC install drivers automatically. If not, visit your hardware manufacturer’s website and get the latest version of the drivers available.

Troubleshooting Tips: 

If you have downloaded a driver manually from the manufacturer’s website, but it is giving the Publisher has been blocked error when you try to run it, then see this post > fix this publisher has been blocked from running software on this machine error.

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