Update device drivers in Windows 7

Various device managers keep updating and releasing the updated drivers for their device from time to time. These updated drivers often provide better device functioning under Windows and may also make available some more features which were not available in the older drivers. Sometimes, updated drivers also patch a previously existing flaw in the old driver. You should keep your drivers up-to-date for getting all these benefits. This article describes how you can keep your Windows 7 drivers up-to-date.

Before you can update the device drivers, you need to consider first some basic things like :

  • Do you have proper permissions to install or update drivers in Windows? You need to have the administrator credentials for updating drivers.
  • Check that the new driver specifically says that it is for your device model. Also check that the driver is designed for Windows 7.

After you have downloaded the driver package, you are ready to install the updated new driver. Most of the manufacturers make the driver packages available in installable setup programs. If your downloaded driver package is zipped, then exract its contents to a temporary folder. Check if the extracted contents is an executable setup file as shown in the picture below. Sometimes, the package is not zipped and you download the setup program directly from the manufactured site. In this case, all you have to do is run the setup program to install the drivers.

Sometimes manufacturers make the driver packages available in driver installing script. They do not have any setup executable program. When you extract the contents of the downloaded package you see many files, with one or more .inf files as shown below

For such driver packages, follow these steps to update drivers :

  1. Press the key combination Windows logo Key + R to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc in the Run dialog and press Enter to open the Device Manager. You may see the User Access Control box, just allow it to run the Device Manager.
  3. In the coming dialog, you can either choose to search online for an updated driver or browse for a downloaded driver. Since you have already downloaded the driver package, you can click on Browse my computer for driver software and browse for the folder where you extracted the driver files.
  4. After the driver is updates, Windows 7 might ask you to restart the computer.