11 Free Driver Updater Tools

Easily update your hardware's drivers with these free tools

AN illustration indicating driver update tools on a computer screen.

 Miguel Co ©Lifewire

Driver updater tools do just what you're probably thinking — they help you update some or all of the device drivers installed in Windows for your computer's hardware.

These free driver updater programs make it easy to keep your drivers updated. Use one, and you won't need to deal with Device Manager so much, nor will you need to go find the right driver from your hardware maker yourself.

You absolutely do not have to use free driver updater software to update drivers, and be sure to never, ever pay for one! These programs are for your convenience only. See How Do I Update Drivers in Windows? for steps on manually updating hardware drivers, a process you're more than capable of doing, trust me.

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Driver Booster

Driver Booster v6 in Windows 8

What We Like

  • Downloads drivers from within the program

  • Creates a restore point before updating drivers

  • Scans for outdated drivers on a schedule

  • No limit on driver downloads and updates

What We Don't Like

  • An internet connection is needed to scan for driver updates

  • Always shows an "activate now" button to get the pro version

  • Tries to install another program during setup

Driver Booster is the best free driver updater program. It's compatible with all versions of Windows and makes updating drivers simple.

Driver Booster can be scheduled to automatically find outdated drivers. When new updates are found, you can easily start downloading them from inside the Driver Booster program so you don't need to go out to an internet browser to grab them.

Before you install a driver, you can see how the new driver version compares with the currently installed driver, which is helpful.

I like that Driver Booster creates a restore point before installing a driver in the event something goes wrong with the installation.

There's an option in the settings to install drivers in the background, which hides installation wizards and other popup messages. This is handy so you don't have to click through so many windows when installing new drivers.

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

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DriverPack Solution

DriverPack Solution in Windows 8

What We Like

  • Lets you install outdated drivers even when offline

  • Downloads are performed quickly

  • Drivers can be installed without any prompts or user input

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't support scheduled scans

  • The program is often sluggish

  • Drivers can't be hidden so as to avoid seeing them in scans

DriverPack Solution has a user interface that's easier to use than most of the others on this list. There are only a few buttons and definitely no confusing screens or options.

This program supports bulk downloads and automated installs so that you don't have to click through any installation wizards.

When you first open DriverPack Solution, you can choose to download and install all of the drivers automatically or to manually choose for yourself which ones you want to update.

There's also some basic system information included in DriverPack Solution, as well as a software downloader that can install some recommended programs to your computer.

DriverPack Solution supports Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.

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Snappy Driver Installer

Snappy Driver Installer v1.18.5 in Windows 8

What We Like

  • Has no advertisements

  • Completely portable (no install necessary)

  • Downloads drivers from within the software

  • Supports offline driver installations

What We Don't Like

  • Scan schedules are not supported

  • The program isn't as easy to use as similar software

Snappy Driver Installer is another freeware driver updater tool that's a bit like DriverPack Solution, listed above.

You can download multiple drivers at once for many different types of devices. After they're downloaded, the program gives you immediate access to install the updates... with or without an internet connection.

Snappy Driver Installer is super easy to use and doesn't even need to be installed. This means you can use something like an external hard drive to transport and install the downloaded drivers to any other computer.

Snapper Driver Installer also has zero advertisements, doesn't limit download speeds, and can install as many drivers as you need, without any limitations.

This program works with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

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Driver Talent

Driver Talent v7 in Windows 10

What We Like

  • Installs really 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 or uninstallation

What We Don't Like

  • Setup might try to install an unrelated program

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

  • The schedule for scanning for outdated drivers can't be customized

Driver Talent (previously called DriveTheLife) is a very easy to use driver updater program that lets you download device drivers through a program so you don't have to search the internet for official download links.

This application not only can update outdated and missing drivers but also fix corrupted ones and back up all your installed drivers for you.

The size of a driver as well as its release date and version number are displayed for you before you download it so you can be sure you're getting what you're after.

An alternative version is available that includes network drivers and works offline, which is perfect if you need to install drivers but don't have the proper network driver installed.

There's also a feature within Driver Talent that lets you pre-download all the drivers necessary for the computer so that you can easily reinstall them should you reinstall the OS later.

While using Driver Talent, I noticed the program itself installed on my computer in less than five seconds, and most of the driver updates downloaded really quickly, which was nice.

Driver Talent can be installed in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.

Please be aware that some antivirus engines identify Driver Talent as malicious. You can see the results here. However, the overwhelming results show that it's clean, so proceed with caution.

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What We Like

  • Lets you install beta driver updates

  • Has the option to show only WHQL certified driver updates

  • Shows lots of detail on the drivers

What We Don't Like

  • Drivers have to be downloaded manually

  • Doesn't support bulk downloads or updates

DriversCloud (previously called Ma-Config) is a free web service that finds detailed information about your hardware and software, including outdated drivers.

This works by downloading a program that allows a web browser to gather information from your computer.

From the website, you can find categories such as BSOD Analysis, My Drivers, Autorun, Network Configuration, and other areas you can browse through.

When you need to update a driver, you can see the full information on what the new driver details are versus the currently installed driver. You can see the version number, manufacturer, INF file name and date, and hardware ID.

Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, and Windows 2000 users can install DriversCloud.

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DriverIdentifier v5.2 in Windows 8

What We Like

  • Works offline without a connection to the internet

  • You can use it as a portable program

  • It's really 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

  • You have to make a [free] user account before you can download drivers

DriverIdentifier is an extremely simple, yet very useful free driver updater program.

You can scan for drivers if you don't have an internet connection, which is super nice if your network card driver isn't working. When the scan is complete, DriverIdentifier will have you save the list of drivers to an HTML file.

Just open the file on a computer that does have an internet connection so the DriverIdentifier website can cross-reference the results with their databases. Drivers that need updating will have an Update link next to them.

There's also a portable version of DriverIdentifier available.

DriverIdentifier finds Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP drivers.

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Free Driver Scout

Free Driver Scout in Windows 8

What We Like

  • Can be configured to update drivers automatically

  • Multiple drivers can be downloaded in bulk

  • Supports scheduled outdated driver scans

What We Don't Like

  • Other driver updaters find more outdated drivers

  • Setup might try to install other programs

  • An update hasn't been released for the software in a long time

Free Driver Scout is an amazing driver updater because it provides true automatic updating.

This means the program will automatically scan for any required updates, automatically download the updates, and then automatically install them, without requiring any input from you, which can't be said for any other program in this list.

Device drivers can be excluded from a scan with Free Driver Scout so they don’t show up as needing an update in the future.

Another great feature in Free Driver Scout is the ability to back up and restore drivers. The program lets you back up some or all of your drivers and then easily restore them again if you need to.

Also included in Free Driver Scout is an extremely helpful tool called the OS Migration Tool. You would run this tool if you’re going to install a different Windows operating system to your computer. It will find the device drivers for the new OS and save them to a custom location, like a flash drive. Then, when you have the other Windows operating system installed, you can use the same tool to restore those OS-specific drivers so you don’t have to worry about finding the device drivers again.

I tested Driver Scout v1.0 in Windows 10 but it also works with Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP. 

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Driver Easy

Driver Easy v5.5.0 in Windows 8

What We Like

  • Scheduling is supported to check for driver updates automatically

  • Can be used at home and at work

  • Driver scans are quick

  • Downloads driver updates directly from within the software

What We Don't Like

  • Drivers download slowly

  • Updates have to be installed manually

  • Doesn't support bulk downloads

  • Some features are available only after payment

Driver Easy is another program used to find updates for drivers in Windows. You can schedule a scan to check for outdated drivers and prompt you to download an update. A scan can be scheduled daily, weekly, monthly, when your PC is idle, or even every time you log on to Windows.

I like that Driver Easy can download drivers from inside the program without the need to open an external web browser.

There are additional features included in Driver Easy as well, like viewing hardware information and scanning for driver updates when you don't have an internet connection.

Driver Easy can be used in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.

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Device Doctor

Device Doctor v5.0.162 in Windows 8

What We Like

  • Drivers get downloaded from inside the application

  • Outdated drivers are checked when the computer goes idle

  • The program is simple to understand

  • Can be used as a portable program

What We Don't Like

  • Limits driver downloads to one per day

  • A driver's version number and date isn't shown to verify that the update is newer than the current one

  • Won't automatically update the driver after the download

  • Doesn't make restore points before updating drivers

  • Shows ads

Device Doctor is a really simple and easy to use driver update program. It can be downloaded as a regular program or as a portable one that doesn't need to be installed.

You can schedule scans to check for outdated drivers and then when an update is found, you'll be taken to a website to manually download it.

Because you have to download updates outside of Device Doctor, you may sometimes need to unzip driver files before using them. You can do that with a file unzip tool like the one included in Windows or a third-party tool like 7-Zip.

Device Doctor is limited to downloading just one driver per day. It's designed to find drivers for Windows XP up through Windows 10.

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DriverHub v1.0 in Windows 10

What We Like

  • Really clean, easy-to-understand interface

  • Downloads drivers automatically after you click the install button

  • Bulk downloading is supported

  • Supports an easy and an advanced mode depending on how you want to use the program

What We Don't Like

  • You might be asked to install another program during setup

The DriverHub driver updater is really easy to use because it download and installs the 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 some options for changing the download folder and disabling program update checks.

You can keep things simple and install whatever DriverHub recommends, or you can go into Advanced Mode to pick which drivers to get, to see version numbers, and to install alternate drivers (i.e., a newer driver but not the current version).

The Useful programs section of DriverHub isn't driver related but does include some helpful links to Windows utilities, like Disk Management, Task Manager, power supply settings, display settings, and more.

The DriverHub website says it will work in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

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DriverMax v11.12 in Windows 10

What We Like

  • No prompts when updating drivers (they install automatically)

  • Can optionally install only signed drivers

  • Drivers are downloaded from inside the program

  • Also lets you back up all your device drivers

What We Don't Like

  • Identified as a potentially unwanted program (PuP) by some antivirus tools

  • Doesn't always find the right driver

  • Limits driver downloads to two per day and 10 per month

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

DriverMax is a free Windows program that can update outdated drivers. Unfortunately, it's limited in a few areas.

In addition to updating old drivers, DriverMax can back up some or all of the currently installed drivers, restore backed up drivers, roll back drivers, and identify unknown hardware.

I found that 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.

DriverMax finds drivers for Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.

Although DriverMax limits the number of downloads you can perform per day and per month, you can still check for outdated drivers; you're just limited when it comes to downloading the drivers. We talk more in the review about why this isn't as bad of a limit as it might sound.