How to Roll Back a Driver in Windows

Reverse driver updates quickly

What to Know

  • Open Device Manager. Locate the device you want to roll back the driver for. Right-click the device name and choose Properties.
  • On the Driver tab, select the Roll Back Driver button. Select Yes to confirm the roll back.
  • After the roll back is complete, close the device properties screen. Select Yes to restart your computer.

This article explains how to roll back a driver in Windows. This information applies to Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP.

How to Roll Back a Driver in Windows

The Roll Back Driver feature is used to uninstall the current driver for a hardware device and then automatically install the previously installed driver. The most common reason to use the driver roll back feature is to "reverse" a driver update that didn't go well.

Think of rolling back a driver as a quick and easy way to uninstall the latest driver, and then reinstall the previous one. The process is the same no matter what driver you need to roll back.

  1. Open Device Manager. Doing so via Control Panel (which that link explains in detail if you need it) is probably easiest.

    If you're using Windows 11, 10, or 8, the Power User Menu, via the WIN+X shortcut, gives you even faster access. See What Version of Windows Do I Have? if you're not sure what you're running.

    Screenshot of Device Manager in Windows 10
  2. In Device Manager, locate the device you want to roll back the driver for.

    Navigate through the hardware categories by clicking the > or [+] icon, depending on your version of Windows. You can find the specific devices Windows recognizes under the major hardware categories you see in Device Manager.

    AMD Radeon R7 Graphics driver in Device Manager
  3. After finding the hardware, tap-and-hold or right-click on the device's name or icon and choose Properties. The device's Properties window will open.

    Properties menu item in Device Manager
  4. From the Driver tab, select Roll Back Driver.

    If that button is disabled, Windows doesn't have a previous driver to roll back to, so you won't be able to complete this process. See the notes at the bottom of his page for more help.

    Roll Back Driver button in driver Properties panel
  5. Select the Yes button to the "Are you sure you would like to roll back to the previously installed driver software?" question. You might also be asked to select a reason for rolling back the driver.

    In Windows XP, that message reads "Are you sure you would like to roll back to the previous driver?" but of course means exactly the same thing.

    Yes button in Driver Package rollback window
  6. The previously installed driver will now be restored. You should see the Roll Back Driver button as disabled after the rollback is complete. Close the device properties screen.

  7. Select Yes on the System Settings Change dialog box that says "Your hardware settings have changed. You must restart your computer for these changes to take effect. Do you want to restart your computer now?"

    If this message is hidden, closing the Control Panel window might help. You won't be able to close Device Manager.

    Depending on the device driver you're rolling back, it's possible you won't need to restart your computer. If you don't see the message, consider the rollback complete.

  8. Your computer will now automatically restart.

When Windows starts again, it will load with the device driver for this hardware you had previously installed.

This usually takes less than 5 minutes, but it could take as long as 10 minutes or more depending on the driver and what hardware it's for.

More About the Driver Roll Back Feature

Unfortunately, the Driver Roll Back feature is not available for printer drivers, as handy as that would be. It works only for hardware managed within Device Manager.

Additionally, this only allows you to roll back a driver once. In other words, Windows only keeps a copy of the very last driver installed. It doesn't store an archive of all the previously installed drivers for the device.

If there's no driver to roll back to, but you know there's a previous version available you'd like to install, just "update" the driver with the older version. See How to Update Drivers in Windows if you need help doing that.

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