How to Back Up and Restore Drivers in Windows 10 – easy steps with pics!

Backup and restore drivers in Windows 10. Manual and automated ways are discussed so you can keep a copy of your driver files and restore them when needed.

There are a couple of reasons why knowing how to backup and restore drivers in Windows 10 can come in really handy. For instance, you may want to re-install Windows or upgrade your hard drive to an SSD. It’s also just plain good practice to backup drivers once in a while.

Manually Back Up Drivers Using ‘DriverStore’

To manually backup driver files in Window 10 is to simply copy the DriverStore folder. This folder is located in C:\Windows\System32 (assuming the C: drive is your system drive).

Use File Explorer and navigate to C:\Windows\System32 folder, locate the DriverStore folder, and then right-click it to Copy it.

Copy DriverStore Windows 10

After that, navigate to a backup location (a USB stick or external drive is a good idea), and then right-click the storage location and select Paste.

Keep in mind that the DriverStore folder can be large (several GB), so it is a good idea to right-click it first and select Properties to see the size. That way you can make sure there is enough space available in the backup location.

Manually Back Up  Drivers Using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management Tool (DISM)

Another method to manually backup drivers in Windows 10 is to use the DISM tool. This will make a backup of all third-party drivers. Windows will install any directly supported devices automatically from the installation location, or from the Windows Update service. So getting a copy of only the installed third party drivers can make sense.

For this driver backup method, you will need to start the Windows PowerShell with administrator rights.

Right-click the Windows Start button, and in the Start menu, click Windows PowerShell (Admin).

Start PowerShell in Windows 10

This will open a new PowerShell window (similar to a command window). You will first be prompted by the User Account Control to confirm starting the PowerShell with admin rights. Click the Yes button to confirm.

Windows 10 UAC

In this PowerShell windows, type the command -> DISM / Online /Export-Driver /Destination:C:\DriverBackup

DISM command windows 10

C:\DriverBackup in this example is the destination location for the driver backup files. You can change this to the backup location for your drivers. Make sure it is an existing, valid path, or the command will not work.

Press Enter after typing the command, and then wait for the operation to complete. This can take a bit, depending on the number of drivers and the speed of your destination location.

DISM export driver success

Once the command completes it will show a message stating “The operation completed successfully.

After that, you can type Exit and press Enter to close the PowerShell.

How to Install Drivers from a Backup in Windows 10

To install drivers from a back up to a Windows 10 installation, you need to load all the driver packages back into the driver repository. Once there, they can be used to install devices that match those drivers.

As expected there is an option to add drivers using the DISM tool that was described earlier to create a back up. The limitation of that however, is that you can only add drivers to a Windows Image file using this method. Not to a live Windows installation.

So the tool to use to install drivers from a driver backup location into Windows 10 is called PnPutil. This is a command line tool to perform actions on driver packages, and it is included in all Windows versions, starting with Windows Vista.

Open a Command prompt with administrator rights (right click the command prompt icon and in the popup menu, select Run as administrator). Confirm the UAC message by clicking Yes.

Admin Command Prompt

Now type the following command -> PnPutil /add-driver “C:\DriverBackup\*.inf” /subdirs /install /reboot

PnPutil command Windows 10

Again, change the C:\DriverBackup path to where your driver backup is located. The /reboot is not required, but recommended since driver installation often requires a reboot to complete. You can also manually reboot the computer afterwards of course.

The /subdirs parameter will ensure that all subfolders are also included for available driver INF files, while the /install parameter ensures that any devices that are compatible with the added drivers get installed in the process.

After pressing Enter, the command will start adding the driver packages from the specified backup location back into the driver store.

PnPutil command execution

Although in most cases installing drivers from a backup into Windows 10 using this method will work, be aware that you have no control over the sequence of the driver installation. In many cases it is recommended to install the chipset drivers before any of the other drivers.

If that is a cause for things to fail, you might want to install some drivers manually first. Simply right-click the INF file and in the popup menu, select Install.

Manually Install INF file

You will again be prompted by the User Account Control to confirm. Simply click Yes to continue.

Sometimes, you may not get any message whether a driver installation is successful or not. Just reboot your computer and check the Device Manager to see if the newly installed driver is active for the device it is intended.

How to Automatically Backup and Restore Drivers

Are the above steps getting a bit too technical for you? No problem because you can simply use DriverFinder (free version!) to backup and restore drivers in less than 60 seconds!

  1. Click here to download and install DriverFinder on your Windows 10 computer.
  2. On the left side, click Backup Drivers.
  3. If you want to back up a single driver, scroll to find that driver and click the Backup button beside it. To back up ALL your windows 10 drivers, click Backup All.df-backup-drivers
    back-up-driver-process
    The driver backup process just takes a few seconds. Wait till DriverFinder confirms that the backup completed successfully.

That’s it! In the process above, backing up the 135 drivers in my Windows 10 system took just 56 seconds!

So now that you’ve backed up your drivers using DriverFinder… where are the backups?!? Glad you asked :)

On the left-side of DriverFinder, click Settings. Here you’ll find where the driver backups are located.

df-back-up-driver-location

You can keep your driver backups here or you can copy or move them to another storage device (e.g., CD, DVD, USB, etc.)

Now, if you ever need to restore a driver, simply click Restore Drivers on the left side of DriverFinder.

Select the driver you want to restore and then click Restore. Simple.

how-to-restore-drivers

go-proYou can backup and restore Windows 10 drivers using the free version of DriverFinder any time.

The Registered/Pro version enables you to run a driver scan so you can update all your drivers before you back them up.

How to Manually Install Monitor Drivers in Windows 10

Manually installing monitor drivers in Windows 10 can help you solve screen display limitations. Follow these easy steps to install a monitor driver for your PC.

Monitor drivers tell your Windows PC what display monitor you are using and what the capabilities of the monitor are. The monitor driver ensures that your display can be optimized for color usage and screen resolutions.

In Windows 10 a lot of hardware is recognized and supported directly, so in many cases monitor drivers are installed automatically.

But if your monitor is not recognized or detected properly, your screen resolution and other display settings will be limited. In that case it might be required to manually install monitor drivers in Windows 10.

Monitor Driver Installation Steps for Windows 10

Step 1– To start with the manual installation of the monitor driver, you need to open the Device Manager.

Right-click the Start button, and in the Start menu, select Device Manager.

Windows 10 Start Menu

Alternatively, simply type “device manager” in the search box, and then click the Device Manager in the search results.

Search Device Manager

Step 2 – In the Device Manager, open the Monitors group, and select the monitor for which you manually want to install the driver.

Monitor in Device Manager

Step 3 –Right-click the monitor item, and in the the popup menu, select Update driver.

Update Monitor Driver

Step 4 – In the Update Drivers window, select the option Browse my computer for drivers

Browse Monitor Driver Files

Step 5 – Next, click the Browse button and navigate to the location of the monitor driver files.

Navigate to Monitor Driver Files

Monitor driver files typically exist of at least 3 files, a file with file extension .INF, a file with file extension .CAT, and a file with file extension .ICM.

The INF file is used by Windows for the driver installation and contains driver installation information. The CAT file is a catalog file that contains, as Microsoft calls it, thumbprints for all files in the driver collection. The ICM file contains the color profile for the monitor that allows Windows to match colors with the display characteristics of the monitor to show realistic colors.

Step 6 – Click the OK button to confirm the location of the monitor driver files.

Select Monitor Driver Files

Step 7 – Click the Next button to confirm the monitor driver file location.

Windows 10 will now install the monitor drivers for your monitor and show a message that it has successfully updated your drivers.

Step 8 – Click the Close button to finish.

The Device Manager should now list the monitor(s) with the correct brand/model indication.

Windows 10 Monitor Recognized

Problems Related to Monitor Drivers in Windows 10

The most common problem you will face if Windows 10 does not recognize the monitor is that the screen resolution is limited to a low resolution (640×480, 800×600, or 1024×768). Especially with modern (4K) screens, resolutions can be a lot higher.

For non-LCD screens, the refresh rates can also be limited, which might result in a flickering screen.

Dual (multi) display setups can also have restrictions as result of the monitors not being recognized.

One thing to keep in mind though is that it is not only the monitor driver that affects display issues. The graphics card and the driver for the graphic card are just as important. Memory limitations on the graphics card and limit possible screen resolutions, and so can display port to HDMI dongles. So make sure you check and update the graphics card drivers as well.

Where Do I Find Monitor Drivers for Windows 10?

If you have your original monitor installation package, you could find a CD-ROM (or DVD) with it that contains the original drivers. Even though they may not be the latest drivers for your monitor, it is a good place to start if you still have them. But most manufacturers of display monitors will have a support section on their website where you can download monitor driver files for their models.

Unlike many other device drivers, monitor drivers are less limited to Windows versions, so even if there is no direct support for Windows 10, you can often use a monitor driver for an older version of Windows in Windows 10. In general, there is also no distinction between 32-bit and 64-bit versions for monitor drivers.

If you cannot manually find a monitor driver for you monitor, try downloading DriverFinder and let it find a monitor driver for you automatically.

How to Open Disk Management in Windows 10 – Manage Your Disk Drives

Disk Management in Windows 10 is used to manage your disk drives and volumes. Learn how to open Disk Management in Windows 10 in different ways and pick the one you like best. Clear instructions with illustrative images.

In Windows 10, there’s a built-in mechanism that can help you easily manage your disk drives. It’s called Disk Management. But first, how to open it?

The easiest way to open Disk Management in Windows 10 is by using the Quick Access menu.

Right-click the Windows Start button on the bottom-left corner of your screen. This will show the Quick Access menu. From here, click Disk Management.

Disk Management from Quick Access Manu

If you prefer using the keyboard, you can also use the Search box in the taskbar. Type disk management in the search box and when shown, select Create and format hard disk partitions in the search results.

Disk Management from Search

Another keyboard method to open Disk Management in Windows 10 is to press the keyboard combination Windows + R, which will open the Run window. Next, type diskmgmt.msc and then click OK.

Disk Management from Run

If you can remember the exact command this is a good alternate to the search option.

download-windows-10-drivers

The Disk Management Window

Another way to open Disk Management in Windows 10 is to use the Computer Management option. You can access Computer Management from the Quick Access Menu as well.

Once the Computer Management window is open, navigate to Storage -> Disk Management on the left-hand panel and select it. Please note that depending on the computer configuration, it can take a moment for disk management details to show.

Computer Management window

Once the Disk Management window shows, you will see all the disks and volumes (or partitions) in your computer.

Disk Management Window

The top table shows the volumes with the file system and available disk space.

In the bottom section, you will see the disk drives in the computer, and how the storage space on the disks is allocated to the different volumes (partitions).

Why Use Disk Management in Windows 10?

Normally you would only use disk management when you install a new version of Windows, or when you add or replace a disk drive to your computer.

But there are also scenarios where Disk Management in Windows 10 can be useful during normal computer usage.

  • Changing a drive letter for a volume can be helpful to prevent external drives not being recognized due to drive letter conflicts. If a USB stick or external USB drive is plugged but does not show up in Windows Explorer, check the drive letter assignment first!
  • Simply changing the name of a volume to a more useful indication of what is stored on the drive is another example.
  • And, maybe less frequent, you might need to change the size of a drive.

In all these cases, simply right-click the volume in the disk management window and select the option in the popup menu.

Disk Management Popup Menu
Note: Use the Properties option to change the name of a volume.

I hope this article has helped you guys when trying to find the Disk Management tool in Windows 10. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know below and I’ll do my best to answer them!

How to Disable Automatic Driver Updates in Windows

By default the latest Windows versions automatically install new updates, including driver updates. And although updating your PC software in general is a good idea to ensure maximum security an performance, there are cases where driver updates are not desirable. Some hardware only operates with a specific driver version. Other hardware devices need a specific driver version to ensure all functionality is available. You wouldn’t want a driver update to suddenly remove features.

If you find yourself in a situation where you want to decide which driver updates to install and which ones not, you can disable automatic driver updates in Windows.

To do this, open the Control Panel and go to System and Security.

Next, select the System option, and click Advanced system settings.

In the System Properties windows, you need to select the Hardware tab.

Now click the Device Installation Settings button.

System Properties

This will bring up the Device Installations Settings window. Here you will need to change the option from Yes, do this automatically to No, let me choose what to do. And then select the option Never install driver Software from Windows Update. Next, click the Save Changes button.

disable automatic driver updates

After this Windows will still install regular software updates through Windows Update. But the drivers on you system are no longer automatically updated.

Of course we recommend checking and updating your drivers with our DriverFinder software. That way you can decide which updates to install and which not!

 

How to disable driver signature enforcement in Windows 10

When device drivers are not available (yet) for Windows 10, you can often install drivers that are meant for Windows 8, or even Windows 7. In most cases that works without any problems, but in some cases you need to run the driver installer in compatibility mode. This can be achieved by right-clicking the installer. But when the driver does not install even when running the driver installer in compatibility mode, you might need to disable driver signature enforcement. Basically the driver signature ensures that the device driver is original and reliable, since it is guaranteed to originate from the manufacturer that put the signature on it.

But in some cases a signed driver is not available, or even the signed driver fails to install on Windows 10.

To disable the driver signature enforcement in Windows 10, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button in the taskbar.
  2. Click the Settings icon in the popup menu.
    Windows 10 Settings
  3. In the Settings window that comes up, click the option Update & Recovery option.Update & Recovery
    Note: You need to scroll down in the Settings window to see this option.
  4. Next, click the Recovery option.
  5. In the Recovery window that comes up, you need to click the Restart now button under the heading Advanced startup.
    Windows 10 Advanced Startup
  6. Once the PC has restarted, you will see a screen that says Choose an option. Here you click the Troubleshoot option.
    Windows 10 Troublsheet
  7. Under Troubleshoot you select Advanced options.
    Windows 10 Advanced Options
  8. Next, click the Startup Settings option, followed by the Restart button.
    Restart with Startup Settings
  9. After restarting a list with Startup Settings comes up. In the list you select option 7 to disable driver signature enforcement. You can either press the 7-key or use the function key F7 for this.
    Disable Driver Signature Enforcement
  10. Your PC will again need to restart, after which you can install the driver.

When installing the drivers, make sure to continue with the installation, even if Windows shows a warning regarding the unsigned drivers.

Searching for drivers for Windows 10? Download and use DriverFinder to find them!