Stop automatic driver updates on Windows 10

Stop automatic driver updates on Windows 10

One of the Windows 10 related complaints I hear regularly on SuperSite for Windows and through social media is the mandatory delivery of universal drivers through Windows Update.

We already know that OS updates are obligatory for all Windows Home users and can be deferred for different periods of time for those on Windows 10 Professional & Enterprise.

Part of those supposed mandatory downloads and installs have been driver updates for the third party hardware on computer systems. 

While it is great that OEMs and third party hardware manufacturers are providing more of their drivers through Windows Update in Windows 10, there are many times these drivers may not be the best option for some users.  However, since updates were mandatory it caused a lot of disruption/issues when the universal drivers got installed and replaced better performing drivers the user had  manually installed on their system.

Well it turns out you can actually disable the downloading of these universal drivers in Windows 10 and avoid this issue all together plus it is very easy to do.

Tap/Click the Start Button and search for system. Tap/Click the Control Panel result - it should be the top one.

System Search Results

When System Properties opens up click/tap on Advanced system settings.

System Properties in Windows 10

Click/Tap on the Hardware tab (#1) and then click/tap Device Installation Settings (#2).

Hardware Tab System Properties on Windows 10

Click/Tap on No, let me choose what to do to expand your other options.

Device Installation Settings on Windows 10

Once you click on No, let me choose what to do (#1) there are three other options to set. Option #2 continues to download and install the best driver software from Windows Update. Option #3 prevents the automatic install of driver software from Windows Update and option #4 toggles the ability for Windows Update to download hardware related apps and other info from Windows Update.

Device Installation Settings on Windows 10

I have verified that this option is available on Windows 10 Home, Professional and Enterprise (thanks @Hicheras for the assist).

Since it is available in Enterprise versions of Windows 10 the ability to control this setting using Group Policy should be an option as well.

Of course, if you opt to turn off automatic driver updates for your hardware that means you must manually find those updated drivers yourself from the manufacturer. It also appears this is an all or none choice so no flexibility to select which hardware to automatically or manually update.

Maybe that level of control will come later.

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