June 14, 2024

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8 Best Free Driver Updater Tools (June 2024)

10 min read

A free program that updates drivers is helpful if your PC’s hardware doesn’t work correctly. These tools help you update some or all of the device drivers installed in Windows.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Driver Booster

“…makes updating drivers simple because it does all the heavy lifting for you.

Best for Offline Driver Installs: Snappy Driver Installer

…gives you immediate access to install the updates—with or without an internet connection.

Best for Info Beyond Just Drivers: DriversCloud

…locates detailed information about your hardware and software, including outdated drivers.

I regularly put each of them through tests and can confirm they genuinely provide driver downloads without just scanning for possible updates as some “free” updaters do. Although there are more options out there, I’ve chosen not to include them because they either have too many limitations or come bundled with malware.

What We Like

  • Downloads drivers from within the program.

  • Creates a restore point before updating drivers.

  • Scans for outdated drivers on a schedule.

  • No daily download or update limit.

  • Includes offline updater.

What We Don’t Like

  • Frequent pop-ups advertising the company’s other software.

  • Always shows a button to get the pro version.

  • More drivers are available if you pay for Pro.

  • Tries to install unrelated programs during setup.

Driver Booster is the best option. It’s always the tool I use on my computers and what I recommend first to anyone wanting one of these programs. It can be annoying at times because of how it advertises other products, but it’s compatible with all versions of Windows and makes updating drivers simple because it does all the heavy lifting for you.

It runs automatically to find outdated drivers, and with support for over 6 million drivers (millions more if you pay) from over one thousand brands, there’s a good chance it’ll find what you need. I love that when new updates appear, they’re downloaded from inside the program, so I can avoid having to get them manually from each manufacturer’s website.

Before installing a driver, you can see how the new version compares with the currently installed driver, which is helpful. The program creates a restore point before installing a driver in the event something goes wrong with the installation.

There’s also an offline updater built-in. It works by exporting information from your non-working PC so you can get the network driver from a working computer. Read Driver Booster’s offline driver updater instructions for all the details.

Other functions are available, too: roll back drivers, uninstall drivers, ignore drivers, export a list of drivers to a text file, use Game Boost to release system resources, and view system information details.

Driver Booster works in Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

What We Like

  • Has no advertisements.

  • Completely portable (no install necessary).

  • Downloads drivers from within the software.

  • Supports offline driver installations.

Snappy Driver Installer lets you download several drivers at once for many types of devices. After they’re downloaded, the program gives you immediate access to install the updates—with or without an internet connection.

After using it for a while, I can say the app itself is fairly simple, but it’s still strangely hard to use because of the way it’s set up. Right-clicking a driver provides extra options like showing alternative drivers, copying the hardware ID, and locating the driver’s INF file. I suggest using the Snappy Driver Installer Origin forum if you’re struggling to learn how the program works.

A few things I like are that there are no advertisements, it doesn’t limit download speeds, it can run directly from a portable location like a flash drive, and it can install as many drivers as necessary without any limitations.

I’ve used it to install drivers in Windows 11, but it also works if you have an older version like Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP.

There are a few application files in the folder after opening the ZIP download. Use SDIO_x64 if you’re using 64-bit Windows; the other one is for 32-bit versions.

What We Like

  • Locates beta drivers.

  • Can show only WHQL-certified drivers.

  • Shows lots of other system details, too.

  • Can be used offline.

  • Drivers can be downloaded in bulk.

  • Builds a restore point for you.

  • Can receive email alerts for new drivers.

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t have a fully automated solution.

  • Website is covered in ads.

  • Lots of information that’s not easily digestible at a glance like most driver updaters.

  • Unintuitive website design.

DriversCloud (previously called Ma-Config) is a free web service that locates detailed information about your hardware and software, including outdated drivers. You can see it’s not my first pick, but I add it to the list because of its wealth of system information; it’s a good program if you want more than just driver details.

After installing and opening the program, go to Advanced detection > Online detection > Launch detection to identify all your computer’s components and their associated drivers. Once the scan completes, all the results open in your web browser.

Once you reach the driver page, there’s an option called See Recommended Downloads. This is what I recommend using because it provides a single executable that you can launch to install all the drivers you chose from the web page. However, there’s also a manual option where you download each driver update one at a time, but then installation is also manual.

This program runs on Windows 11 through Windows XP.

What We Like

  • Installs quickly.

  • You don’t have to download drivers manually—they download from inside the software.

  • The program is easy to use.

  • Drivers get backed up before each installation and uninstallation.

  • Lets you reinstall existing drivers.

What We Don’t Like

  • Bulk downloading is not supported (you have to download each driver one by one).

  • The scanning schedule can’t be customized.

  • You still have to install the drivers yourself.

  • Doesn’t locate network printer driver updates.

  • Several features are shown but aren’t free.

Driver Talent (previously called DriveTheLife) is a straightforward program that downloads device drivers so that you don’t have to search the internet for official download links.

This application not only updates outdated and missing drivers but also fixes corrupted ones and backs up all your installed drivers. A Peripheral Drivers area of the program calls out printer and USB drivers, telling you very clearly if they’re installed and working normally.

The size of a driver as well as its release date and version number are displayed before starting a download to verify you’re getting what you’re after. This isn’t a feature unique to Driver Talent, but I do really like to see it.

An alternative version includes network drivers and works offline, which is perfect if you need to install drivers but don’t have the proper network driver installed. This has been indispensable for me after a few new Windows installations couldn’t get online without the network driver. There’s also a basic hardware information utility that you can access from the program’s Tools menu.

It works with Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

What We Like

  • The program installs quickly.

  • A driver’s installed and available version number and date are shown.

  • Will make a restore point before installations.

  • Lets you pick a scan schedule to alert you about updates.

What We Don’t Like

  • Constantly advertises for the Pro version.

  • Must install each update individually.

  • Other features cost, like increased download speeds and driver backups.

After testing Quick Driver Updater, it was clear that it doesn’t offer many significantly unique features beyond what the other programs in this list include. In fact, there are several ways in which it’s more limiting than the other programs above.

However, it’s very easy to understand how to use it, it works quickly, drivers are downloaded and installed within the program, and it’s a great way to find an additional update or two if one of the other apps in this list didn’t catch them.

Some things you can do is search through the list of installed and outdated drivers to find something by keyword, add drivers to the ignore list, and automatically check for updates on a schedule (as frequently as every day).

I used this program in Windows 11. It was designed for Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

What We Like

  • Clean, easy-to-understand interface.

  • Can download drivers in bulk.

  • Installs drivers automatically without any intervention from you.

What We Don’t Like

  • You’re asked to install other programs during setup.

  • Recommends unrelated software.

  • Can’t check for updates automatically on a schedule.

  • Free users’ download speeds might be limited.

DriverHub downloads and installs drivers for you and has a whole section of the program dedicated to recovery should something go wrong.

The program itself has a clean interface with only a few menu buttons. In the settings are options for changing the download folder and disabling program update checks.

You can keep things simple and install whatever the program recommends, or you can expand anything in the list to see version numbers and install alternate drivers (i.e., a newer driver but not the current version).

The Useful utilities section isn’t driver-related but does include some helpful links to Windows utilities, like Disk Management and Task Manager. Some of the other areas of the program, like the backup and autorun functions, are off-limits unless you pay.

DriverHub is said to work with Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

What We Like

  • Works offline without a connection to the internet.

  • Can use it as a portable program.

  • It’s easy to understand and use.

  • Includes helpful information about the drivers

What We Don’t Like

  • Drivers have to be downloaded manually from your web browser.

  • Won’t check for outdated drivers on a schedule.

  • Portable version isn’t the latest edition.

  • Tries to install an unrelated program during setup.

DriverIdentifier comes in the form of a very simple driver checker. After it runs, the results open in your web browser where you then manually download the drivers that you need, and then manually install them once they’re on your computer.

Obviously, that isn’t ideal — it’s way more work than it needs to be. And without a scheduler built-in, I can’t say it’s as good as the competition. But, it’s a simple tool, it’s totally portable, and like some of the others in this list, it’s a good idea to have it on hand if you want to double-check that a particular driver really is outdated.

Something I like is that it scans for drivers even if you don’t have an internet connection, which is helpful if your network card driver isn’t working. When an offline scan completes, the list of drivers is saved to a file that you can open on a working computer to get the drivers you need.

The official system requirements list Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.

What We Like

  • No prompts when updating drivers (they install automatically).

  • Drivers are downloaded from inside the program.

  • Also lets you back up all your device drivers.

  • Can build an offline scan file.

  • Lets you edit the scan schedule.

What We Don’t Like

  • Limited to two driver downloads per day.

  • Only one driver can be downloaded at one time (no bulk download option).

  • Blocks some features; they’re reserved for pro users.

DriverMax is another free Windows program that updates outdated drivers. While it is limited in a few areas, it also excels in others.

In addition to updating old drivers, this program can back up some or all of the currently installed drivers, restore backed-up drivers, roll back drivers, identify unknown hardware, create a system restore point before driver installations, build an offline scan file for PCs without a network connection, and run automatic scans on a schedule.

After updates are found, you’ll get a notification at the bottom of the screen, where you can snooze it for a day if you’d rather look into the updates later. Once you do decide to install the updates, you’re limited to getting one at a time (two total per day), though it does install silently and automatically.

DriverMax discovered a significantly higher number of outdated drivers than every other program from this list did. I checked the version numbers against the currently installed drivers, and they all seemed to be valid updates, and installing them didn’t cause any problems.

Paying users get extra benefits like unlimited downloads, hourly driver checks, download priority, and automated driver downloads.

This program runs on Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

Although this program limits the number of downloads you can perform per day, you can still check for outdated drivers as often as you want. You’re just limited when it comes to downloading them. I talk more in the review about why this isn’t as bad of a limit as it might sound.

Device-Specific Updaters

Each of the tools mentioned above is designed to function across various computer systems, helping you find the correct drivers you need. However, if you know the manufacturer of the device in question, it’s worth checking their website for a tool specifically tailored to updating those drivers.

Intel Driver & Support Assistant, for instance, can be used to update most of your Intel hardware drivers. It’s just as easy to update NVIDIA drivers with a similar program.

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