Windows 7 Drivers

Windows 7 drivers are needed for the hardware in a computer to function. Drivers, or device drivers, enable the operating system to communicate with all devices.

Although many users have upgraded to Windows 10, there are also still a lot of computers that are running Windows 7. Reasons might be personal preference, software compatibility, or hardware restrictions.

Windows 7 included drivers

With the evolution of Windows versions, Microsoft has added support for more hardware with each version of Windows. As a result, Windows 7 supports a lot of hardware directly.

Even if devices are not immediately recognized in Windows 7, it is often possible to get Windows 7 drivers by running Windows Update.

But even after running Windows Update, there still may be unsupported devices in Windows 7. Some devices do not have Microsoft-certified drivers and as a result, are not included in the Microsoft update catalog. Microsoft refers to tested and signed drivers as WHQL drivers. This means Windows Hardware Quality Labs, a set of tests and certification for hardware drivers.

Important to keep in mind with Windows 7 drivers is that Microsoft has stopped adding Windows 7 drivers. So support for newer hardware might be limited if available.

Where to find Windows 7 Drivers

So what if you are left with devices that are not recognized or not working in Windows 7? Where do you find the required drivers?

The first place to look is the support site for the computer brand. Check PC your brand and model at the back or bottom of your PC. In general, there is a label with detailed information.

You can also type “msinfo32” at the Run option in the Start menu to get the system details.

Windows 7 System Information

The System Information tool will show the system manufacturer, system model, and architecture (32-bit or 64-bit).

Using this information it is possible to check for Windows 7 drivers on the manufacturer’s website.

If Windows 7 drivers are not available, you can also try Windows Vista drivers, as they are often compatible.

The benefit of this method is that manufacturers offer full installers for the Windows 7 drivers, including any required, or recommended extra software. Although the extra software is not always required, it can offer options to tweak, or enable, device features.

If the PC manufacturer does not offer Windows 7 drivers for your computer, the next step is to check the device manufacturer’s website (e.g. Intel, Realtek, Nvidia). If you know the details for the hardware component, you can check for Windows 7 drivers there.

Cannot find the Windows 7 driver

Still cannot find a driver for Windows 7 for your device? As mentioned before, check if Vista (or even Windows 8) drivers are available. It is possible these work on Windows 7 as well.

If no drivers are available, the next step is to search for Windows 7 drivers based on the hardware ID (or compatible hardware ID) of the devices.

Use the Device Manager to check the Properties of a device using the Details tab.

Windows 7 Drivers - hardware ID

With this information, you can try and find a driver online. In this case, you are looking for a Windows 7 driver that is not necessarily from the same computer manufacturer. For example, Dell might offer Windows 7 support for a device that is not supported by Lenovo.

Be careful to only download drivers from reputable sources.

Use DriverFinder to find Windows 7 drivers

If manual searching for a Windows 7 driver is not giving any results, you can try DriverFinder. DriverFinder is a program that does the searching for you. Using the computer, device, and Windows version information, the program locates drivers for your devices.

The benefit of using DriverFinder is that it uses a proprietary repository of drivers. Driver and device information from Microsoft and most PC and hardware manufacturers is included to find the right driver for your Windows 7 PC.

And unlike many other solutions, DriverFinder provides full installers when available (not stripped down driver with essential files only – INF, SYS, and CAT files).

To try it, download DriverFinder and install the program.

Lenovo Webcam Driver for Windows

Most Lenovo notebooks and laptops come with integrated webcams. As such, it’s important to install the correct Lenovo webcam driver for Windows.

Different Lenovo devices use different webcams. This means they require require different drivers too. Depending on the Windows version installed on your device, drivers may be included with Windows itself – or require a separate download and install.

Lenovo uses multiple hardware vendors for integrated webcams. So depending on your device model, you might need a Realtek, SunPlus, LiteOn, Chicony, Vimicro, or Ricoh camera driver. Lenovo itself will refer to the camera as an Integrated Camera driver, Easy Camera driver, or even just USB Camera driver.

Manual: Download Lenovo Webcam Drivers from Lenovo PC Support

To download drivers for your Lenovo ThinkPad, IdeaPad, Yoga, or other portable device from the Lenovo Support site, follow these steps.

  1. Open a web browser.
  2. In the URL, type “pcsupport.lenovo.com” and press Enter.
  3. Wait for the support site to load. The URL should redirect to your localized version of the Lenovo support website. If not, you can change the country and language in the top-right corner of the website.
    Lenovo PC Support site
  4. Next, enter the device model in the search box, or click the Detect Product or Browse Product to locate the support page for your Lenovo device model.
  5. On the device support page, select the Windows version.
    Lenovo Select Windows Version
  6. On the updated page, click the Drivers and Software link (1) on the left-hand side, then select Manual Update (2) and pick the driver category.
  7. Click the symbol (3) to show the files, and then click the download button (4).
    Download Lenovo Webcam Driver
  8. Once the download is complete, execute the downloaded file to install the Lenovo webcam driver.

Automated: Find and Download Lenovo Webcam Drivers Using DriverFinder

If you cannot find the webcam driver for your Lenovo device, you can use DriverFinder to find the driver for you. DriverFinder automatically scans your computer devices (working or not working) and finds the right driver for your device and Windows version.

Using a third-party application can be very useful, especially when Lenovo doesn’t support your device anymore nor the Windows version you have installed your device.

Simply download the DriverFinder program installer and execute the downloaded file to install the program. Activate the program after installation, and then run a scan (click the Start Scan button).

DriverFinder Start Scan

DriverFinder will show a list of devices found in (or connected to) your computer and a list of suitable drivers for download.

Click the Download button for the Lenovo Webcam and install the driver.

Troubleshooting: Lenovo Webcam Problems

If your webcam still not working after you’ve downloaded and installed the appropriate driver?

Here are some quick troubleshooting tips to get your Lenovo webcam to work.

  • Make sure nothing is blocking the device. Some devices have a protection/privacy slider. (It’s also possible that someone put a protection sticker on it for privacy reasons.) Remove it.
  • Use the Fn key on your keyboard to turn on the webcam device. This is not applicable to all devices. Just check your keyboard for a camera symbol (in most cases it is F8).
  • Both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 have Privacy Settings that can prevent access to the webcam. Settings -> Privacy -> Camera: Let Apps use my camera should be On.
  • After installing the driver, the device should automatically start using the driver. If not, it can help to run a Scan for hardware changes in the Device Manager (in the Action menu). This option is not available in all Windows versions.
  • In Device Manager, right-click the camera device and in the popup menu, select Uninstall. Reboot the device and the camera should get reinstalled. This resets the driver configuration, and can help fix the issue.

 

[Easy Fixes] Windows Update Failed

If you have been working with Windows for some time, you will probably have faced this scenario: Windows Update Failed. For some reason, the  updates failed partially, or did not get installed altogether.

And although Microsoft has been trying to improve things, failed updates happen will all versions of Windows, up to Windows 10.

Windows Update Failed – Common Error Codes

The reasons why Windows Update Failed are various. And as a result, there are many error codes associated with this problem. Some are generic, while others pertain to a specific update or specific problem.

Here are some examples of error codes that are linked to failed Windows updates:

0x800705b4 – related to Windows Defender
0x800F0906, 0x800F081F, 0x800F0907 – .NET framework related
0x800F0922 – Windows 10 upgrade related
0x80240034 – downloading of update(s) failed
0x80242006​ – update contains invalid metadata
0x80244018​ – Internet connection related
0x80070070​ – disk space related

Some other examples are: 0x8007000E, 0x80D02002​, 0x8007000D​, 0x80246008​, 0x80096004​.

This list is definitely not complete. Sometimes there is a useful error description, but often it is not quite clear what caused the Windows Update process to fail.

Windows Update Failed – Common Causes

The obvious question to ask is: what caused the Windows Update to fail?

As in many cases with complex software, there can be quite a few causes. It is important to realize that the update process is basically a sequence of downloading and installing software. So availability of the source, a reliable connection for the download, and storage space for the download are the first essentials. But after that, the execution of the update installation can still cause problems.

To sum it up, the common causes for Windows Update to fail are:

  • Insufficient disk space – space is needed for storing the downloaded updates, as well as for the execution of the update installation.
  • Dependencies – An update can depend on something like a specific version of the .NET framework being installed, or a specific service having been started.
  • Failed previous updates – If a previous update has failed, it might have left (partial) installation files behind, or installed only partially causing problems with the next update.
  • Install sequence – If you have a lot of updates pending, all are downloaded in one go and installed once downloaded. If a specific sequence is required for some updates, this might fail.
  • Hardware incompatibility – In general, Windows prevents installing updates on incompatible systems. But there is a reason why Windows 10 is not supported on older systems. Hardware conflicts and limitations can definitely cause problems with software being installed.
  • Driver incompatibility – Windows 10, by default, includes device driver updates in the install process. If a new driver version is incompatible with the hardware version present, the update may fail.
  • Corrupt update files – This can be the result of download issues, where the update files did not completely download correctly.

Given the possible causes above, this also means that there are some relatively simple steps that can help solve Windows Update Failed situations.

Windows Update Failed – SIMPLE FIXES You Can Try Now

Try these steps – preferably in this sequence – to see if they are the cause of your Windows Update problem.

Check your disk space and free up space if needed. Although Windows Update reserves space for update files, it is still possible that a disk space limitation is the cause of the problem. Just check the available disk space on the system drive (check the Properties for the C: drive in most cases). And run a disk cleanup to free up some more space.

Restart your PC and try again – If the installation sequence is important for the updates being installed, simply reboot your computer and restart Windows Update to fix the issue.

Select which updates to install – If you are running other Microsoft software (like Office), it can help to limit Windows Update to the core only.

Using the Advanced options in Windows Update, you can tell Windows to not Receive updates for other Microsoft products when you update Windows.

Disable updates for other MS products

Unplug external devices – In most cases, this will pertain to USB devices. Examples are printers, scanners, webcams, end external drives. Make sure not to unplug the mouse and keyboard if they are connected through a USB port, because then you can’t reboot the PC anymore.

Unplugging external devices can also help in case the Windows Update failed as a result of driver updates, or hardware incompatibility. It is also possible to disable automatic driver updates in Windows. That will prevent new driver updates from being downloaded automatically. Simply update the drivers after the Windows Update problems are resolved.

We recommend downloading DriverFinder for this. DriverFinder is a separate driver update program that will find the right – and latest – drivers for all your hardware.

After unplugging the devices, restart your PC and try Windows Update again.

Windows Update Failed – DEEP DIVE Fixes

Reset the Windows Update Cache

As with many computer actions, the Windows Update process uses temporary storage. One such element is called the Windows Update Cache. It is also referred to as the SoftwareDistribution directory.

Clearing the Windows Update cache is really nothing more than deleting the SoftwareDistribution directory (or its content). But since this file location is used by the Windows Update service, you can’t delete it when this service is running.

To delete the SoftwareDistribution directory:

  1. In the Search box on the taskbar, type ‘command’.
  2. In the Search results, right-click the Command Prompt.
  3. In the popup menu, click Run as administrator.
    Windows 10 Administrator Command Prompt
  4. When the User Account Control window shows, click the Yes button.
  5. Once the Command Prompt window shows, type the following commands (press Enter after each command).
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop bits
    rd /s /q %windir%SoftwareDistribution
    net start wuauserv
    net start bits
    Windows 10 - Clear Update Cache
    Note: If you are not comfortable deleting the SoftwareDistribution directory, you can rename it rather than deleting it (ren %windir%SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.bak).
  6. Close the Command Prompt window, and then retry Windows Update.

If for some reason these steps fail or seem too complicated for you, there is another way.

To ensure the SoftwareDistribution directory can be deleted, you can start your PC in Safe Mode.

  1. Click the Start menu icon, and in the Start menu click Settings.
    Windows 10 Settings
  2. In the Settings window, click the Update & Security option (last entry, so depending on the size of the window, you might need to scroll down).
    Windows 10 Update & Security
  3. Next, select the Recovery option.
    Windows 10 Update Recovery
  4. And finally, click the Restart now button in the Recovery window.
    Windows 10 Recovery Restart
  5. Once your PC restarts, you will see the Choose an option screen. Select Troubleshoot.
  6. In the Troubleshoot screen (next step), select Advanced options.
  7. In the Advanced options screen, select Startup Settings.
  8. The last step here is to click the Restart button in the Startup Settings screen.
    Windows 10 Recovery Restart
  9. Again the PC will reboot, after which you will see a list of options. Press the 4 or F4 key on your keyboard to start the PC in Safe Mode.
    Windows 10 Startup Settings
  10. Once Windows starts, you can open a File Explorer window, navigate to the Windows folder (typically C:Windows) and delete the SoftwareDistribution folder.
    Tip: Press and hold Shift and then Delete to permanently delete the folder rather than moving it to the recycle bin.
    Winodws 10 SoftwareDistribution folder
  11. After this, reboot your PC again (it will start in normal boot mode), and retry the Windows Update.

Run the System File Checker

The System File Checker, or SFC, does exactly what the name says: it will check and repair system files. This tool has been part of Windows since Windows XP and is still present in Windows 10.

The exact function of the tools is described as “Scans the integrity of all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with Microsoft versions”. This is a useful tool to use for many Windows problems, not just if Windows Updates failed.

How to run the System File Checker.

  1. Open a Command Prompt window with Administrator access.
  2. For Windows 8 and later it is recommended to run the DSIM tool before running the SFC tool. DSIM (or full: Deployment Image Servicing and Management) can be executed using the command: DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealthWindows 10 run DSIM
    Note: Like the SFC command, the DSIM command can take a bit of time to complete.
  3. In the Command Prompt window type the command: SFC /SCANNOW and press the Enter key.
    Windows 10 run SFC / SCANNOW
  4. Now, wait for the command to complete. This can take some time.
    Windows 10 SFC complete
  5. Once the command completes, close the Command Prompt window and restart the computer.

Run the Windows Update again after this to check if the issue is resolved.

Download and Install Updates Manually

Although it is best to have the automatic update process install Windows updates, it is possible to download and install them manually.

Microsoft has a download page for Windows 10. This page can be used to download the Windows 10 upgrade tool and Windows 10 installation media. Useful if you need a copy of Windows 10 installation files to recover corrupted system files, or if you need to reinstall Windows 10.

Apart from that, major updates can also be downloaded from there.

For individual Windows Updates, you need to visit the Windows Update Catalog. There you can search for individual updates (KB numbers).

To know which updates to search for, simply go to the View update history (in the Windows Update settings).
View Windows 10 Update History

Look for the entries that show “Failed” instead of “Successfully” and take note of the KBxxxxxxx number.

Now visit the Windows Update Catalog in a browser. Type the KB number in the search field, and click Search.
Microsoft Update Catalog

Use the Download button to download the update manually. If more than one result shows, you typically want to download the top one (newest date).

After you click the Download button, a new window will show with a link to the .CAB file. Click the link to download the file.
Download Cab file from MS Update Catalog

Once the file completes downloading, you can open the file. In this example, which uses an Edge browser update, simply click the Open file link. This will open a Windows Explorer window with the default download folder selected.

The file should be an .MSI file (Microsoft Installer), which can be executed by double-clicking it. You can also select it and press Enter on the keyboard.

Follow the installation instructions presented to complete the installation of the Windows Update.

Disable Your Anti-Virus Software

This solution should really only be used if all others fail since you will put your PC at risk for a short while. But in some cases, the download of Windows Update files does not complete due to Windows Defender or another AV program.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you re-enable the your anti-virus software immediately after completing the Windows Update!

How to disable Windows Defender in Windows 10.

  1. In the Search box on the taskbar, type ‘windows defender’.
  2. In the Search results, click the Windows Defender Firewall icon.
    Windows 10 Open Defender
  3. This will bring up the Windows Defender Firewall windows. Click the link named Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off.
    Windows Defender Settings
  4. In the Customize Settings window, select the radio button labeled Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended) in the Private network settings section.
    Windows 10 Disable Windows Defender
  5. Click the OK button to confirm.
  6. Close the Windows Defender Firewall window.

With Windows Defender disabled, run Windows Update again to see if the problem is resolved.

Check Your PC’s Download Settings

Disable LAN-Proxy Settings

If you’re using a proxy, try disabling it to see if it will fix the update failure issue.

  1. In the Search box on the taskbar, type ‘internet options’.
  2. In the Search results, click the Internet Options icon.
    Windows 10 Internet Options
  3. This will open the Internet Properties dialog box. Select the Connection tab (1).
  4. Now click the LAN settings button (2).
    Internet Connection Properties
  5. This will bring up the Local Area Network (LAN) Settings window. Make sure you have the checkbox named Automatically detect settings selected.
  6. In the same window, also make sure you have the checkbox named Use a proxy server for your LAN (…) unchecked.
    LAN Disable Proxy
  7. Click the OK button to confirm.
  8. Click the OK button in the Internet Properties dialog box.

After this, try Windows Update again.

Background Intelligent Transfer Service

BITS is short for Background Intelligent Transfer Service. Windows update uses this service to download updates in the background, while you can still actively use your Internet connection.

So just make sure the BITS service is running properly on your system using these steps:

  1. In the Search box on the taskbar, type ‘services
  2. In the Search results, click the Services App icon.
    Start Windows 10 Services App
  3. This will bring up the Services window. Scroll down in the list until you see the Background Intelligent Transfer Service.
    Tip: You can widen the Name column by clicking and dragging the header separator (1).
  4. Right-click the Background Intelligent Transfer Service line, and in the popup menu, select Properties (2).
    BITS service
  5. This will bring up the BITS Properties window, with the General tab selected. Change the Startup type to Automatic (Delayed Start).
    Automatically start BITS in Windows 10
    Note: This change will ensure the BITS service is started automatically when the computer starts. The Delayed Start option will result in the service being started after all other services, which can reduce startup times.
  6. Click the OK button to confirm.
  7. Finally, close the Services window.

After this,  restart your system and try Windows Update.

Hardware Devices and Drivers

As mentioned earlier, hardware device and driver compatibility issues can Windows Updates to fail.

Drivers are a critical part of the Windows operating system as they ensure all devices function properly. But that also results in driver problems often being the cause for failed Windows Updates.

Unplugging external, non-essential devices is a first step in trying to fix Windows Update failed errors (if caused by devices or drivers).

Disabling automatic driver updates in Windows is another step to exclude drivers from being updated by Windows. This will help if the hardware device that is causing problems cannot be disconnected/removed.

After either of these two steps, run Windows Update again to see if the problem is fixed.

If none of the above works, try the Windows Update Driver Cleanup feature.

If driver updates are a reason for a Windows Update to fail, you can try to clean up existing or old driver installation files. It can be done with a single command.

  1. Simply open a command prompt with administrator-level access (see earlier instructions in this article).
  2. In the Command Prompt window type the command:
    rundll32.exe pnpclean.dll,RunDLL_PnpClean /DEVICES /DRIVERS /FILES /MAXCLEAN
    And then press the Enter key.
    Note:
    The command will complete without showing any output in the Command Prompt window. The result of this command is actually added to a log file C:WindowsINFsetupapi.dev.log. So if you are interested in the details, open that file and scroll down to the bottom of the file for the latest changes.
  3. Close the Command Prompt window.

After that, run the Windows Update process again to see if your problem is solved.

Specific Tips for Windows 10

NOTE: ALL of the above troubleshooting tips can also be tried if you’re using Windows 10. The following though are specific to this particular Windows version.

In Windows 10, Microsoft has incorporated a special Update Troubleshooter. It analyzes the system for common causes and problems related to failed Windows Updates. If it finds a problem, it will try to fix it automatically.

Run the Windows Update Troubleshooter

  1. Click the Start menu button, and in the Start menu, click Settings.
  2. In the Settings window, select Update & Security.
  3. Next, select Troubleshoot, and then click the link called Additional troubleshooters.
    Windows Update Failed - addional troubleshooters
  4. Now, click the Windows Update option under Get up and running, and then click the Run the troubleshooter button.
    Run Windows 10 Update Troubleshooter
  5. The Windows Update troubleshooter will start analyzing the system. Wait for it to complete. Any problems that were found (and fixed) are shown in the window.
    Windows 10 Troubleshooter Complete
  6. After completion, click the option to Close the troubleshooter.
  7. Restart your PC and run the Windows Update again.

If after restarting, Windows Update fails again, try running the Windows Update troubleshooter a second time.

Pause and Un-Pause Windows 10 Updates

Although this might seem like a strange suggestion, pausing the updates will clear the downloaded updates. So un-pausing the updates after this might fix your problems with Windows Update.

In Windows 10 follow these instructions:

  1. Click the Windows Start button, and then click Settings.
  2. In the Settings window, click Update & Recovery.
  3. Next, select Windows Update.
  4. In the Window Update window, select Advanced options.
    Windows Update Advanced options
  5. In the Advanced options screen, scroll down until you see the Pause updates option.
  6. Click the Select date control and simply select a date in the future. Since we are just pausing the updates briefly, the duration of the pause period does not matter.
    Windows 10 Pause Updates
  7. No need to save anything. Once you changed the date, close the Settings window and restart your PC.
  8. After the PC restarts, go to the Settings again, select Update & Recovery, and then Windows Update.
  9. It will show Updates paused. Click the Resume updates button to un-pause the Windows Update process.
    Windows 10 Resume Updates

Windows will immediately start checking for updates again and hopefully complete downloading and installing updates after this.

Windows Update Failed – Still Not Solved?!?

If Windows Update still keeps failing, try skipping an update.

Of course, this needs to be assessed on an individual scenario basis. Critical security updates should not be skipped, while optional, non-essential updates can be.

If nothing works, and critical updates fail, or too many updates fail, the only real solution might be to do a fresh install of Windows on your system.

How to Stop Windows 10 Waking Up from Sleep On Its Own

Is Windows 10 waking up from sleep randomly even though you’ve put it in Sleep Mode? I hear you. Like many other people, I often leave my PC on for longer periods of time. When I’m done working, I simply put it in ‘sleep mode’ so I can easily continue where I left off the next day.

Lately, I’ve noticed that my PC ‘comes to life’ on its own even though I put it to sleep. (I know… creepy!) This brought out the geek detective in me so if you’re experiencing this, read on to find out how to stop that from happening.

Windows 10 Waking Up from Sleep Mode — Possible Reasons

There are multiple possible causes why your PC can suddenly wake up from sleep. Although they might seem random, they are actually not.

One of the most common causes is Windows itself.

Windows 10 normally checks for updates or performs scheduled maintenance tasks. To make matters worse, if the task fails, it can keep on trying the task until it succeeds. So your PC will go to sleep and come out of it multiple times!

Another possible cause is you have software installed that is scheduled to perform a task. An example of this is your anti-virus software performing a scan at a specific time.

Another reason is that a hardware device is triggering the PC to wake up. The most common device is the network device, but USB devices can also trigger power mode changes.

So Which One is Causing these Random ‘Wake Ups’

The first thing to do is…  ask Windows itself! The way to do this is to use a command prompt and use the powercfg command.

Here are the steps in detail:

  1. On the Windows search bar, type “command prompt” (without quotes).
  2. In the results that show, right-click Command Prompt.
  3. In the popup menu that appears, click Run as administrator.
    Afministrator Command Prompt
  4. Click the Yes button in the User Account Control dialog box when it shows.
  5. In the Administrator: Command Prompt window, type:
    powercfg –lastwake

    Powercfg -lastwake

In this specific example, you can see that a hardware device woke up the computer. The Intel(R) Ethernet Connection caused the PC to wake up from sleep.

Please note that it’s not always the fault of a hardware device :)  Results of your particular powercfg –lastwake command run may show a specific software or application instead.

To give an example, I had left my email client – MS Outlook – running a few times. Not a problem in itself, but since I had scheduled it to fetch email from a specific email account at regular intervals, it woke up my PC… constantly!

Apart from the –lastwake parameter, you can use the –waketimers parameter too.

Powercfg -waketimers

The powercfg –waketimers command will show all active wake timers. (Below in this article you can find out how to disable the Allow Wake Timers option in Windows 10.)

Another option to find out the reason for the wake-from-sleep issue is to check the Windows Event Viewer.

Here are the steps:

  1. On the Windows search box, type “event viewer” (without quotes).
  2. In the search results, click the Event Viewer App.
  3. In the Event Viewer window, open Windows Logs, and then click System (1).
    Windows 10 Event Viewer
  4. Under System (right-side of the window), scroll through the event list and look for a Source that includes “Power”.
  5. For the selected event, you can see the explanation in the panel below the event list (2).

In the example screenshot above, the Wake Source is listed as Unknown. Not very helpful, but there will be list entries that do tell you the reason. You can click the Details tab for more information on the event.

How to Stop Windows 10 Waking Up from Sleep On Its Own

Once you know what causes your PC from waking up from sleep, you can take action to prevent it from happening again.

Windows Update

Let’s start with Windows Update since it’s a common cause of the wake-from-sleep behavior. Also, updates do not only wake up your PC from sleep, it can also result in reboots.

If you leave your browser, files, and documents open to continue where you left off, you do not want your PC to reboot in the middle of the night (even if you HAVE saved your open work).

Here are the steps to change Windows Update settings:

  1. Click the Start menu button, then click Settings.
    Windows 10 Settings
  2. In the Settings window, scroll down and select Update & Security.
    Windows 10 Update & Security
  3. Now click the Windows Update option.
    Windows Update - PC waking up from sleep
  4. Wait for the Windows Update check to complete and for the Windows Update results to show.

There are two things you can do here.

#1. Change your PC ‘active hours’ to suit your situation. This controls when updates and reboots will not take place. So what if we define active hours as all hours of the day? Although that looks like a great way to prevent Windows Update from running, you can only define a maximum period of 18 hours as active hours :(

After all, you can’t be working 24 hours, right?!? Still, an 18-hour limitation gives you a lot of control when updates should not be installed.
Windows 10 Active Hours

#2. Completely pause Windows Updates from happening.

Click the Advanced options in the Windows Update window.
Windows Update Advanced Options

Now you can select a date until which the updates should be paused.

Tip: Since you are already there, you should click the Delivery Optimization option too, and disable the option to Allow downloads from other PCs.

Do this for all PCs on your local network, so they won’t wake each other up distributing Windows Updates files to each other.
Windows Update Delivery Optimization

Scheduled Maintenance

Windows 10 has a few automatic maintenance functions at a scheduled interval. Security, diagnostics, updates, all things that help keep your PC in good shape.

Apart from the ability to schedule when this maintenance is allowed to run, it is also possible to tell it not to wake up the PC.

Here are the steps:

  1. In the Windows search box, type “maintenance” (without quotes).
  2. In the search results, click Security and Maintenance.
    Windows 10 Security and Maintenance
  3. In the Security and Maintenance window that appears, open the Maintenance group (1).
  4. Now click the option Change maintenance settings (2).
    Windows 10 Change Maintenance Settings
  5. Clear the checkbox for Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer at the scheduled time.
    Disable Automatic Maintenance Wake Up
  6. Click OK.

After this, scheduled maintenance tasks will no longer be able to wake up your Windows 10 computer from sleep mode. (You can always run the maintenance manually by selecting the Start maintenance option.)

Network Controller (Wake-on-LAN)

As we saw in the earlier screenshot for the powercfg example, network connectors (or adapters) can trigger the PC to wake up from sleep.

Although there are valid scenarios for this option, it might not be what you want if it results in your computer waking up from sleep.

The steps to disable the Wake-on-LAN function are:

  1. Right-click the Start menu button.
  2. In the popup menu, click Device Manager.
    Start Device Manager
  3. In Device Manager, open the group called Network adapters by clicking the arrow in front of it (1).
  4. Right-click the network adapter in the list, and in the popup menu select Properties (2).
    Windows 10 Network Adapter Properties
  5. In the Properties window for the network adapter, select the Power Management tab.
  6. Uncheck or clear the checkbox named Allow this device to wake the computer.
    Disable Wake-on-LAN
  7. Click OK.

One thing to keep in mind here is that the Wake-on-LAN feature is available for each network adapter. So if your PC has multiple Ethernet connections, or maybe even a wireless connection, these steps need to be repeated for each network adapter.

Wake Timers

In the start of this article, you read that Windows 10 has the possibility to use wake timers. Wake timers are scheduled events that can wake the PC from sleep (or hibernation).

The Windows Task Scheduler has a checkbox option to Wake the computer to run this task for scheduled tasks. That will result in a wake timer to be used.

To prevent wake timers from waking up Windows 10 from sleep, you can disable this option.

  1. In the Windows search box, type “power option” (without quotes).
  2. In the search result, click Power & sleep settings.
  3. Click Additional power settings.
    Windows 10 Additional Power Settings
  4. Select Change plan settings for the selected power plan.
    Windows 10 Change Power Plan Settings
  5. In the Edit Plan Settings window, click Change advanced power settings
  6. This will bring up the Power Options dialog box. Open the Sleep option.
  7. Click Allow wake timers and then change the Setting. You can either completely Disable the Allow wake timers, or allow Important Wake Timers Only.
    Disable Allow Wake timers
  8. Click the OK button to confirm the change.

Do realize that this setting affects all wake timers. If you have identified a specific task that causes your PC to wake up from sleep, it might be better to open the Task Manager and disable the option to Wake the computer to run this task.

USB Devices

This is probably the most uncommon reason why your Windows 10 PC is waking up on its own. But since it is possible for USB devices to wake your PC from sleep, it needs to be mentioned.

In normal circumstances, when a Windows PC goes to sleep, you want to be able to wake it up using the mouse or keyboard (or even a mousepad on laptops).

This is one of the reasons why it’s possible for hardware devices to wake up the PC. In most cases these input devices are USB-based. (Even a web camera with motion detection can be connected on a USB port and trigger wake-up events.)

Configuring the power options for USB devices is very similar to the configuration for network adapters.

  1. Right-click the Start menu button.
  2. In the popup menu, click Device Manager.
  3. In the Device Manager locate the USB device, right-click it and select Properties in the popup menu.
  4. Click the Power Management tab.
  5. Clear the checkbox named Allow this device to wake the computer.
    Disable USB Device Wake Up PC
  6. Click the OK button to confirm, and OK again to close the USB device Properties dialog box.

These steps need to be repeated for all USB devices. (Unless you know which particular USB device is triggering the wake-up event.)

If you are not sure which USB device is the culprit, you can try removing them one-by-one and see if the PC still wakes up. This is only possible for external USB devices, so be aware that some integrated devices (like webcams) often also use a USB connection.

Device Drivers

Considering the potential of hardware devices to contribute to the wake-up-from-sleep issue, this story would not be complete without mentioning the importance of up-to-date device drivers.

Device drivers enable Windows 10 to interact with PC hardware such as network adapters and USB devices. As such, the most updated device drivers will ensure Windows 10 can accurately control the devices and their power behavior. You can download DriverFinderr here and run a driver scan to check if you have the latest drivers for your Windows 10 PC.

How to Install a Synaptics Touchpad Driver

Most touchpads on laptops and notebooks are using a Synaptics device. For the touchpad to work, Windows will need a Synaptics touchpad driver to be installed. The driver ensures the touchpad is recognized as a pointing device, replacing the need for an external mouse.

But even if you prefer an external mouse, it is good to have the touchpad working so that you have a working pointing device in case you forget the mouse. And don’t forget about all the extra features modern touchpads offer (e.g. multi-finger gestures, area taps, etc.).

Install a Driver Using the Device Manager

Depending on the Windows version you’re using, support for many devices is included. As such, it’s possible to use the Windows Device Manager to install the Synaptics touchpad driver.

It is not guaranteed that the driver will be the latest version from the manufacturer, nor may it offer all features. However, in many cases, a working pointing device can be achieved this way.

For Windows 10:

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. In the popup menu that appears, click Device Manager.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
  3. In Device Manager, locate the entry called “Mice and other pointing devices”, and then click to expand that category.
  4. The Synaptics pointing device should be listed here as something called “Synaptics SMBus Touchpad”.
    Note: If the Synaptics SMBus Touchpad is not listed in this category, check if a category called Other devices exists, and then open that (1). The device will be listed here with a different name, most likely as Unknown device. Just click that and then follow the next steps.
  5. Right-click the device and then click Update driver (2).
    Synaptics Touchpad Driver
  6. Next, select the option to Search automatically for drivers.
    Search for drivers automatically
  7. Wait for Windows to search for the driver and install it.

Enabling the Synaptics Touchpad Driver

If no device is shown in the Device Manager at all, make sure you haven’t disabled the touchpad on your laptop.

Some laptop manufacturers have incorporated special function keys to disable and enable the touchpad (Asus laptops use FN + F9, Dell uses Fn + F3, Lenovo uses F6, etc.. Check your laptop manual for details).

Check this out in Windows 10, by using the Windows search bar and then typing “touchpad settings”. Click Touchpad settings under the best match results, and make sure that Touchpad (1) is set to On.

Windows 10 Touchpad SettingsIn addition, check whether the setting for ‘Leave touchpad on when a mouse is connected‘ is enabled or disabled (2). If it is disabled, and an external mouse is connected, the touchpad will also be disabled.

How to Manually Install a Synaptics Touchpad Driver from the Manufacturer

To install a Synaptics touchpad driver, you first need to download the driver installer from the laptop manufacturer. Using the specific touchpad driver from the manufacturer will guarantee that all functionality is available. Manufacturers often offer features beyond the standard Synaptics touchpad driver.

  1. Locate the support website for your laptop brand.
  2. Look up the laptop model.
  3. Download the touchpad driver.
  4. After downloading, run the driver installer and follow the on-screen instructions.

Here are some of the more common support sites for laptop manufacturers:

Lenovo
Hewlett Packard (HP)
Asus
Toshiba

How to Automatically Install a Synaptics Touchpad Driver

If you’re not sure about the exact brand and model of your laptop, or you find manually installing a touchpad driver tedious. You can use DriverFinder to automatically locate the driver for you.

The DriverFinder program scans your laptop for all hardware devices that are present. Using its own device driver database, it locates the appropriate driver for the devices.

Note: Drivers in the DriverFinder database are sourced DIRECTLY from hardware manufactures so rest assured that the right driver update is recommended.

  1. Download the DriverFinder program.
  2. Get a license and Activate the program.
  3. Run a Scan using the program.
  4. Download the driver(s) from the scan results.
    Download Synaptics Touchpad driver using DriverFinder
  5. Run the driver installer.

Another benefit of using DriverFinder is that you can update ALL the drivers for your laptop (including sound drivers, video drivers, etc.), and not just the Synaptics touchpad driver.