How to Change Driver Search Folder in Windows 10

In the mid 90’s when plug-n-play devices were first launched, they were welcomed with both arms. Before the plug-n-play devices, Windows users had to install the device drivers in their PC and only then the attached devices were detected. With the introduction of plug-n-play, Windows could auto-detect that a new device has been connected and installs the appropriate drivers if needed. Life for Windows users has now become so much easier compared to the people who were grappling with the driver hell in earl 90’s.

When you attach a device to a Windows 10 PC, it looks for the drivers in C:\Windows\inf if they are available. If it cannot find any drivers in that location, it asks you for a folder that contains the drivers and you can point it to a driver CD that has the driver software.

If you are installing drivers for a number of hardware and do not want to point to the driver CDs all the time, you can copy all the device drivers to a folder your hard drive and make Windows check this folder for all the new drivers. Here is how:

  1. Copy all the drivers to a folder, for example, in D:\Drivers\. These drives could come from downloads, driver CDs or other sources.
  2. Press hotkey Win+R to open the Run dialog, type regedit and press Enter.Change Driver Path in Windows
  3. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion.
  4. Find the registry key named DevicePath and double-click on it to change its value.
  5. Append a semi-colon in the end and then add the folder path from step 1. Then save the value by clicking on the OK button.Change Driver Path in Windows

Now that you have added your own driver folder to the list of folder paths that are searched for device driver software, Windows 10 will automatically find the drivers from for your hardware without bothering you in future.