Windows now automatically update all your device drivers via Windows update. As a result, there is no need to update your device drivers from time to time. However, in certain cases, you may not want to update some device drivers. Maybe a device is compatible with the older driver version, or the reason could be anything. So the question is, how to stop certain drivers from installing via Windows update?
How to Stop Certain Drivers from Installing via Windows Update?
There are multiple ways you can prevent Windows from updating device drivers automatically. You can disable all incoming driver updates for all your hardware or only disable them for specific hardware. For any of these operations, you can follow these methods:
- Group Policy to prevent certain drivers from being installed
- Device Installation Restrictions to block specific drivers
- Registry Editor to block specific drivers
- Enable/Disable Group Policy to prevent Driver installation for a particular device
- Registry Method to prevent Driver installation for a particular device
Now let us talk about these methods one by one briefly below:
1] Group Policy to Prevent Certain Drivers From Being Installed
You can use the Group Policy editor to disable automatic driver downloads on Windows. However, the only drawback of this method is that it will stop automatic driver updates for all the devices on your system. But you have the option to install the latest device drivers automatically.
To use the group policy editor, follow the below steps:
- Open Group Policy Editor
- Navigate to the following path:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Manage updates offered from Windows Update.
- Over here, double click on Do not include drivers with Windows update.
- Select Enabled and then click on Apply > OK.
2] Device Installation Restrictions to Block Specific Drivers
You can also use Windows system settings to block any upcoming device driver updates through Windows updates. For this, you can follow the below steps:
- First, press Windows + I to launch Settings.
- Go to System > About > Advanced system settings.
- Switch to the Hardware tab and click on Device installation settings.
- Over here, check the No (Your device might not work as expected).
- Finally, click on Save changes.
3] Registry Editor to Block Specific Drivers
Next, you can use Registry Editor. This will block all new device driver installations like the Group Policy editor.
Also, when you work with Registry, it would be a good idea to take a backup of your registry settings before making any changes. So if your PC gets into trouble, you can quickly bring it back to its normal state.
To use the Registry Editor, follow the below steps:
- Open Registry Editor.
- Go to the following path:
- Now in the DriverSearching folder, double-click on SearchOrderConfig
- Change the value to 0 and click on OK.
- Finally, reboot your PC to apply the changes.
Also, you can follow the same steps to enable automatic device driver installation by changing the SearchOrderConfig value to 1.
4] Enable/Disable Group Policy to Prevent Driver Installation for a Particular Device
Earlier, we discussed how to disable all the incoming device driver updates. However, that won’t be a good idea for many devices. Hence, you may want to use the group policy to prevent automatic driver updates for specific hardware.
You must find the hardware ID and disable it from the Group Policy editor for this. To find the hardware ID, follow these steps:
- Right-click on the Start menu.
- Go to Device Manager.
- Locate your device and right-click on it and select Properties.
- Go to the Details tab.
- Use the Property dropdown menu to switch to Hardware Ids.
- Under the Value, you will find a bunch of IDs. However, you only need the first two, so copy them by right-clicking on the ID and selecting Copy.
Once you have the Hardware IDs, follow these steps to disable the device using Group Policy:
- Launch Group Policy Editor.
- Go to the following path:
Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Device Installation > Device Installation Restrictions.
- Double-click on Prevent installation of devices that match any of these device instance IDs.
- Change the status to Enabled.
- Under Options, enable the Also apply to matching already installed devices policy.
- Then click the Show button and add the two hardware IDs you copied earlier.
- Once done, click on OK.
- Finally, close Group Policy Editor by clicking Apply > OK.
5] Registry Method to Prevent Driver Installation for a Particular Device
Finally, you can use the registry editor to prevent a specific driver from installing via Windows update. You will need the hardware IDs for this, so follow the previous steps to get them.
Once you have the hardware IDs, follow the below steps:
- Open Registry Editor and navigate to the following path:
Create two DWORD and enter the suggested value
1 = Enable
0 = Disable
Done that, go to the following part and create a string with the name “1”
- Change the hardware ID as per your hardware device. Also, to add multiple hardware IDs, change “1” to “2” or “3”.
- Finally, save the reg file and double-click on it to install.
Note: Editing registry files can be risky. Make sure to take a proper backup before proceeding or create a system restore.
So those were some of the ways to stop specific drivers from installing via Windows update. You can disable all future device driver updates if your devices don’t require frequent driver updation. However, disabling driver updates for a specific device would be good if you have a GPU, Printer, or any other device requiring frequent driver updates.