[Tip] Customize Installation of Device Driver Software from Windows Update

The title clearly describes what we are going to talk about in this topic. When you attach a new hardware or a new device in your computer system, Windows automatically detects the new hardware and installs the required driver for it so that you can start using it.

To install the correct driver, Windows first checks on "Windows Update" for the required driver. If it finds a correct driver, it automatically installs the driver. If Windows doesn't find the required driver on Windows Update, it checks the driver in your local hard disk or asks you to select the correct driver files.

Many times you already have the correct driver files in your hard disk or setup disc and you don't want Windows to waste your time in searching for the drivers on Windows Update. Although the driver installation dialog box contains a link to skip searching on Windows Update but its not the permanent solution.

Then what to do in such condition? How to tell Windows to not search for drivers on Windows Update and install them from your local hard disk first?

Today in this tutorial, we are going to show you a very easy way to change device driver installation process in Windows. Using this tutorial, you'll be able to tell Windows to:

  • Search device drivers on Windows Update first and then in your local hard disk
  • Search device drivers on Windows Update only if its not found in your local hard disk
  • Don't search device drivers on Windows Update at all

So without wasting time, lets start the tutorial:

1. Right-click on My Computer icon on Desktop or right-click on Computer entry in right-side of Start Menu and select "Properties". It'll open System Properties window. Now click on "Advanced system settings" link given in left sidebar.

Alternatively, you can directly open it using "Win+Pause/Break" keyboard shortcut or by providing sysdm.cpl command in RUN or Start Menu search box.

2. Now go to "Hardware" tab and click on "Device Installation Settings" button.


3. It'll open a new window.

PS: You can skip 1st and 2nd steps and directly open this new window by providing rundll32 newdev.dll,DeviceInternetSettingUi command in RUN or Start Menu search box. Thanks to our reader "G" for this shortcut command...

In this new window, you'll notice that "Yes, do this automatically (recommended)" option would be selected by default in the window.

You need to select the second option "No, let me choose what to do" and then select the second option "Install driver software from Windows Update if it is not found on my computer".


If you want to completely disable searching for device drivers on Windows Update, select the 3rd option "Never install driver software from Windows Update".

4. Click on "Save Changes" button and you are done.

Now Windows will always search and install your device drivers from your local hard disk first and it'll only search on Windows Update if it doesn't find a correct driver on your hard disk.

PS: You can also disable "Replace generic device icons with enhanced icons" option if you don't want Windows to automatically download and install new high resolution icons for your new hardware device. It might save your bandwidth a little bit.

NOTE: If you are using Windows 10 operating system, check out the steps given in following tutorial:

[Windows 10 Tip] Disable Automatic Driver Updates Installation via Windows Update


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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • That is a life saver trick. Whenever i install fresh windows I always have my drivers with me but windows always try to search on internet. Now i know how to stop this. :D

  • I already knew it but I know many ppl dont know it. ;)

  • Just run: rundll32 newdev.dll,DeviceInternetSettingUi

  • I have installed windows 7 but it does not supports my video drivers
    it gives me 16bit display with 640X480 resolution any help

    i don't want to have a new pc

  • Windows 8 Consumer Preview only had 2 options :
    - Always install the best driver software from Windows Update
    - Never install driver software from Windows Update

    and check box option
    v Get metadata and companion application if applicable for device..

  • @joydeep

    Maybe try to install XP drivers

  • Very good info but in device installation settings of Windows 10 Home, the recommended second option does not exist. It's either always or never. I chose never because the drivers offered by WU are always stripped down versions and sometimes defective. Older hardware doesn't always need the latest drivers and many times works better with an older one.

  • I have found this method doesn't really work so well all the time. On one computer I have, even with this setting set as shown, windows updates still "TRIES" to install the drivers every time, they just fail. My notification panel is filled with failed printer driver notifications.

  • This setting appears to be missing from Win10 Enterprise.

  • They changed it again. There's no longer any option to choose each time it's needed, only completely automatic or never, ever. The more I work with Win-10, the more I regret changing from Win-7.

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