A driver is a piece of software that helps facilitate communication between hardware and the OS. You would find various drivers listed in the Device Manager for the devices. Windows Update generally looks for driver updates and installs them on your PC. Also, you can manually update the driver.
However, sometimes the updated version might not perform as expected and may introduce instability. Or it may simply not be as good as the previous version. Whatever be the case, you can always roll back to the previous version with ease.
Roll Back Driver Update
When you encounter issues with a driver update, your prime approach should be to roll it back to the previous version. Windows provide a quick option to roll back the driver. Here’s how you can do that.
To roll back driver update, press WINDOWS + S to launch the ‘Search’ menu, enter ‘Device Manager’ in the text field, and click on the relevant search result to launch the app.
In the Device Manager, click on the arrow icon before an option to view the various devices under it. You can also double-click on it to expand and view the devices.
Now, right-click on the device for which you want to roll back the driver update, and select ‘Properties’ from the context menu.
Next, navigate to the ‘Driver’ tab in the properties window, and click on ‘Roll Back Driver’.
In the ‘Driver Package rollback’ window that appears, select the reason for rolling back the update from the list of options provided or choose ‘For another reason’ and enter the reason in the text field below. Finally, click on ‘Yes’ at the bottom to initiate the roll back process.
It may take a few moments for Windows to roll back the driver update, however, you wouldn’t be apprised of its status. Wait for some time, close the Device Manager, and then restart the PC.
Return to the Latest Driver Version
If you rolled back the update after encountering an error but later realize that it wasn’t the update per se but another issue, you may want to return to the latest version.
To return to the latest driver version, launch the Device Manager, locate the device, right-click on it, and then select ‘Update driver’ from the context menu.
In the Update Drivers window, you will be presented with two options, either to let Windows search for the best available driver or you can browse and install one manually. Choose the first option, i.e., ‘Search automatically for drivers’.
Windows will now start the installation process and it may take a few minutes to complete depending upon the size and other factors. Once the update is installed, the Update Drivers window will read ‘Windows has successfully updated your drivers’. Finally, click on the ‘Close’ at the bottom.
If you receive a prompt to restart the system, either choose the ‘Restart’ option in the prompt itself or use any of the other ways to restart the PC.
Disable Automatic Driver Updates
It’s recommended to not update a driver unless you encounter an issue since this may complicate things. However, some drivers enhance system performance and need to be updated when an update is available, such as the ‘Graphics’ driver. But for most device drivers, don’t meddle unless an absolute need arises.
While you don’t update it manually, there’s always the chance of Windows installing a driver update. If you don’t want Windows to install driver update, a quick modification in the system settings would do.
To disable automatic driver updates, press WINDOWS + S to launch the ‘Search’ menu, enter ‘Change device installation settings’ in the text field at the top, and then click on the relevant search result.
In the ‘Device installation settings’ window, select the ‘No’ option, and click on ‘Save Changes’ at the bottom.
Now onwards, Windows will not update the drivers on your PC.
Drivers are critical but they don’t require regular updates, as is the case with other software installed on the system. But if things go wrong after an update, you now know how to roll back the driver to the previous version.