How to update computer hardware

how to update computer hardware

Updating Device Firmware using Windows Update

Mar 13, Open your computer case. Remove any screws necessary from your computer case's expansion slot (s) to allow the graphics card to be seated properly. Line up your graphics card with the PCI-E slot correctly, and firmly seat your graphics card into the slot. . For hardware that you've connected to your computer in the past, updated drivers might become available at a later date; but those drivers aren't installed automatically. To install these optional updates, go to Windows Update in Control Panel, check for updates, and then view and install driver updates that are available for your computer.

Learn more. You can have Windows automatically download recommended drivers and detailed information for your hardware and devices. This is a good way to make sure all your hardware and devices work properly.

A driver is software that allows your computer to communicate with hardware devices. Without drivers, the devices you connect to your computerfor example, a mouse or external hard drivewon't work properly.

Windows can automatically check if there are hrdware available for new devices that you connect to your computer. For hardware hhow you've connected to your computer in the past, updated drivers might become available at a later date; but those drivers aren't installed automatically. To install these optional updates, go to Windows Update in Control Panel, check for updates, and then view and install driver updates that are available for your computer.

Windows can download high-resolution icons for many hardware devices that you connect to your computer, along with detailed information about them, such as product name, manufacturer, computeg model numbereven detailed information about the sync capabilities of a device. Compuger details can make it easier for you to distinguish between similar devices that are connected to your computer, such as different mobile phones.

You can check Windows Update at any time to see if it found new drivers and icons for your hardware, especially if you recently installed a new device.

If you want to have Windows Update automatically check for the latest drivers and icons, here's how:. Right-click the name of your computer, and then click Device installation settings. Click Yesdo this automatically recommendedot then click Save changes. If hhardware prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

If Yes is already selected, click Cancel to close the dialog box. To get all important and recommended updates for your computer and your devices, make sure that Windows Update is turned on and configured properly. Even if you have Windows Update set to automatically download and install all important and recommended updates, you still might not be getting all of the updated drivers available for your devices. For instance, optional updates might include updated drivers that become available updste hardware or devices you've already installed.

Windows doesn't automatically download u;date install optional updates, but you will be notified when optional updates are available. To get all the available updates for your devices, periodically check Windows Update for all available updates, including optional updates. You can review the available updates and then select them from the list of updates that Windows finds for your computer. Here's how to do this:. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button. In the search box, type Updateand then, in the list of results, click Windows Update.

In the left pane, click Check for updatesand then wait while Windows looks for the latest updates for your computer. If there are any available updates, click the link in the box under Windows Update to see updatf how to update computer hardware about each update.

Each type tk update might include drivers. On the Select the updates you want to install page, look for updates for your hardware devices, select the check box for updxte driver that you want to install, and then click OK. There might not be any driver updates available. On the Windows Update page, click Install updates. It's best to let Windows install drivers automatically. Occasionally, Windows might not be able to find a driver how to stop puppy peeing indoors your device.

If this happens, you might want to check the manufacturer's vomputer for a driver how to update computer hardware update for the device, or try installing any how to burn xgd3 games without ihas that came with the device.

Device Stage is a new feature in this version of Windows that displays details about a device and tasks you can perform with that device.

When you connect a device that's compatible with Device Stage to your computer, Device Stage will automatically open. Occasionally, Device Stage might open but not display any or all tasks and information about the device. Here are some reasons why ckmputer might happen, and what to do if it does:. Note: If you connect a device to your computer that hardwate supports Device Stage but only AutoPlay openscheck with the manufacturer of the device. Find out if there are any software or firmware updates available that will make the device work with Device Stage, and confirm that the device actually supports Device Stage.

Device Stage might need your permission to download information about your device. How to update computer hardware to see if there's a message in Device Stage telling you that updated information is available, and then follow the instructions.

Your computer might not be connected to the Internet. Device Stage can't download information about your device if you're offline. Try connecting the device later when you're online. Device Stage tto be trying to download information about your device. Wait a few minutes what are the four types of physical weathering see if Device Stage is able to find the information, especially if this is the first time you've connected the device to your computer.

Device Stage will keep trying to download information about your device, even if the location where that information is stored is busy. If you don't want to wait, try connecting what to do when your dog eats its own poop device again later.

Automatically get recommended drivers and updates for your hardware Windows 7 More Support for Windows 7 ended on January 14, We recommend you move to a Windows 10 PC to continue to receive security updates from Microsoft. To have Windows automatically download recommended drivers and icons.

If you want to have Windows Update automatically check for the latest drivers and icons, here's how: Open Devices and Printers by computr the Start buttonand then, on the Start menu, clicking Devices and Printers.

To install drivers and other optional updates from Windows Update. Here's how to do this: Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button.

Notes: Windows Update compuer you if an update is important, recommended, or optional. Some updates require you to restart your computer. Windows Update will tell you if the updates were successfully installed.

Copmuter Windows can't find information about your device in Device Stage. Here are some reasons why that might happen, and what to do if it harrdware Note: If you connect a device to your commputer that reportedly supports Device Stage but only AutoPlay openscheck with the manufacturer of the device. Need more help? Join the discussion. Was this information helpful? Yes No. Any other feedback? The more you tell us, the more we harfware help.

How how to start street dancing we improve? Send No thanks. Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one updatw our Office support agents. Contact Support.

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Oct 02, On Windows 7, 8, and , hardware drivers appear in the Windows Update interface as an optional update. If you want the latest hardware drivers, be sure to go open Windows Update, check for updates, and install any available hardware driver updates. Update Your Graphics Drivers. Adding firmware update logic to a vendor-supplied driver. The existing function driver can implement the firmware update mechanism, as shown in the following diagram: Alternatively, if you want to update the function driver and the firmware update driver separately, create a second device node, on which you will install the firmware update driver.

You might need to update drivers in Windows when a new piece of hardware you've installed doesn't work automatically or maybe after upgrading to a new version of Windows. Updating drivers is also a great troubleshooting step when the device is having some kind of problem or is generating an error, like a Device Manager error code. A driver update isn't always a fix-it task, either. An updated driver might enable new features for the hardware, something we see on a regular basis with popular video cards and sound cards.

It usually takes around 15 minutes to update a driver in Windows, even less time if the driver is self-installable or you get it via Windows Update more on all of that below. Updating drivers yourself isn't difficult, but there are programs that will more or less do it for you. Optional Walkthrough : If you'd like to follow the process below, but with more details and screenshots for each step, use our Step by Step Guide to Updating Drivers in Windows instead.

Locate, download, and extract the latest drivers for the hardware. You should always check with the hardware manufacturer first when looking for an updated driver. When downloaded direct from the hardware maker, you'll know the driver is both valid and the most recent for the hardware.

If no drivers are available from the hardware maker, check Windows Update or even the disc that came with the computer or piece of hardware, if you received one. There are also several other driver download options if those ideas don't work.

Many drivers are integrated with software that automatically installs them, making the below instructions unnecessary. If there's no indication of that on the driver download page, a good bet that you'll need to manually install a driver is if it comes in the ZIP format. Drivers obtained via Windows Update are automatically installed. Open Device Manager. There are several ways to get to Device Manager in Windows but doing so from the Control Panel the method outlined in the link is pretty simple.

If you don't find the device you're after, just open some other categories until you do. Windows doesn't always categorize hardware the way you'd think about a device and what it does.

Once you've found the device you're updating drivers for, the next step depends on your version of Windows:. The Update Drivers or Update Driver Software wizard will begin, which we'll completely step through to finish the driver update for this piece of hardware.

To the How do you want to search for drivers? On the next window, select Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer Windows 10 or Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer , located near the bottom of the window.

Select Have Disk , located on the bottom-right, under the text box. On the Install From Disk window that appears, choose Browse on the bottom-right corner of the window.

On the Locate File window you see now, work your way to the folder that you created as part of the driver download and extraction in Step 1. There may be several nested folders within the folder you extracted. Ideally, there will be one labeled with your version of Windows like Windows 10 , or Windows 7 , etc. Select any INF file in the file list and then choose Open.

INF files are the only files that Device Manager accepts for driver setup information and so are the only types of files you'll be shown. Select the newly added hardware in the text box and then hit Next. If you get a warning after pressing Next , see Step 13 below. If you don't see an error or other message, move on to Step There are a number of common warnings and other messages that you might get at this point in the driver update process, several of which are paraphrased and listed here along with advice on what to do:.

While on the Installing driver software screen, which should only last a few to several seconds, Windows will use the instructions included in the INF file from Step 10 to install the updated drivers for your hardware. Depending on the drivers you happen to be installing, you may be required to enter additional information or make certain choices during this process, but this isn't very common.

Once the driver update process is complete, you should see a Windows has successfully updated your driver software window. Select Close.

You can now also close Device Manager. Restart your computer , even if you're not prompted to do so. Windows doesn't always force you to restart after updating a driver but it's a good idea.

Driver updates involve changes to the Windows Registry and other important parts of Windows, so restarting is a good way to make sure that this update hasn't negatively impacted some other part of Windows. If you do find that the driver update caused some kind of problem, just roll back the driver to the previous version and then try updating it again.

Tim Fisher. General Manager, VP, Lifewire. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. Facebook Twitter LinkedIn. Updated on January 01, Michael Barton Heine Jr. Lifewire Tech Review Board Member. Article reviewed on May 31, Tweet Share Email. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Email Address Sign up There was an error. Please try again. You're in! Thanks for signing up. There was an error. Tell us why! More from Lifewire.

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