How To Disable Automatic Driver Updates in Windows

Microsoft Always tries to improve Windows with time. It can be concluded by how they frequently push new updates for their software. Though it is a lovely thing, sometimes users may prefer it the other way. The auto-update feature of Windows has mixed opinions from the community. People don’t like that Windows decides on its own to download and install the available driver updates, and there are several reasons behind that. In this article, we’ll discuss methods to disable automatic driver updates in Windows 11/10.

Disable Automatic Driver Updates in Windows

Why Disable Automatic Driver Updates in Windows?

Often the system can attempt to install a driver update that just finished downloading instantly. In the not-so-rare case of that update being incompatible with some software/features, it may take some time for the user to figure out the root cause.

Also, disabling automatic driver updates will prevent the system from downloading those updates as soon as they roll out. Some driver updates are buggy depending on their compatibility, and installing it might hurt your PC’s overall battery or performance.

How To Disable Automatic Driver Updates in Windows

In this section, we’ll discuss some approaches that we can take to disable automatic driver updates in Windows. Note that you can always change the settings back to enable automatic driver updates again whenever you want to. We’ll go through a total of three different ways using which we can stop automatic driver updates in Windows.

  1. System Settings
  2. Group Policy
  3. Registry Editor

Let’s have a detailed look at the methods.

1] Disabling Automatic Driver Updates in Windows via System Settings

System Settings can easily disable automatic driver updates/installation in Windows. If you change your mind, it is also the easiest way to re-enable them. Follow the steps listed below to disable automatic driver updates in Windows using System Settings:

  • Launch System Settings under the start menu or by pressing the Windows key + I together.
  • You should see a list of options on the left-hand side of the screen. Find and click on System at the very top of that list.
  • Navigate to About and open it.
  • Look for the Advanced system settings option under the Device specifications section. Click on it.
  • From the popup window that will appear, click on the Hardware tab.
  • Click on Device Installation Settings.
  • Click on No (Your device might not work as expected).Turning Off Automatic Driver Updates Via Windows Settings
  • To proceed, click on Save changes followed by the OK button.

Doing so will disable the automatic download and installation of driver updates on your Windows. To re-enable it, you can always follow the same steps and click on the Yes (recommended) option under Device Installation Settings.

Note: You’ll have to manually download and install the drivers if you want to connect a new printer or a GPU to your computer.

2] Disabling Automatic Driver Updates in Windows Using Group Policy

Available only for Windows Pro, Enterprise, and Education, you get the option for disabling automatic driver updates in Windows using Group Policy. Group Policy is primarily a feature that manages user accounts’ working environment. Follow these steps to disable automatic driver updates in Windows using Group Policy:

  • Open Run prompt using Win + R
  • Type gpedit and press the Enter key to launch the Local Group Policy Editor.
  • Navigate to the following destination:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Manage updates offered from Windows Update
  • Find the policy— Do not include a driver with Windows Update
  • Double-click to open it.Turning Off Automatic Driver Updates In Windows Using Group Policy Editor
  • Check the Enabled option, and click on Apply, followed by a click on the OK button.

Doing so will cause the policy to enable, and driver updates won’t be included in Windows updates anymore. To include driver updates in the Windows update again, follow the same steps above and uncheck the Do not include a driver with Windows Update option.

Note: Since the Group Policy method won’t work with Windows Home, you can always rely on the other two to get the job done.

3] Disabling Automatic Driver Updates in Windows Using Registry Editor

Windows Registry Editor, as the name suggests, lets you make changes to your computer in the Windows Registry. Windows Registry is a crucial component where all settings of your Windows computer are saved in the form of values. We recommend taking a registry backup or creating a System Restore point in case something goes wrong.

To disable automatic driver updates in Windows using Regedit, follow the steps listed below:

  • Open the Run prompt, and type Regedit
  • Press the Enter key to open the Registry Editor
  • Navigate to the following directory from the left-hand side of the screen:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DriverSearching
  • Find and double-click on the SearchOrderConfig DWORD key.
  • Change its value from 1 to 0.Disabling Automatic Driver Updates In Windows Using The Registry Editor
  • Click OK.
  • Restart your computer.

Doing so will change the registry setting for automatic driver updates in Windows. If you wish to enable automatic driver updates again, follow the same steps as above, but don’t forget to change the DWORD key value back to 1 from 0.

Conclusion: 

Driver updates are essential for our computers to continue working correctly. However, updating them on their own isn’t entirely okay either. That’s precisely why this article explored three different ways of disabling automatic driver updates in Windows, i.e., using System Settings, Group Policy, and Windows Registry Editor.

You can use these methods to revert the changes made if needed, and they are easy to execute. That said, we’ll wrap this guide up in hopes that it was of help to you.

Is It Safe To Edit Windows Registry To Make Changes To My Computer?

It is safe to edit Windows Registry to make changes to your computer. However, you must ensure that you edit only the correct registry entry. The Windows Registry is responsible for storing all the information crucial for functioning apps and features on your Windows computer.

How To Use Group Policy Editor In Windows Home Versions?

You cannot directly use the Group Policy Editor in Windows home versions as it is a feature available exclusively for Windows Pro and Enterprise version users. You can, however, install an application called Policy Plus, which will also bring all the functionality of Windows Group Policy Editor to the home versions.

He has a keen interest in Technology, Online Tools, Windows, Troubleshooting, and anything when it comes to Windows OS.

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