How to Stop Automatic Driver Updates in Windows

Automatic Updates on Windows eliminates the need to update your drivers manually. Also, when you connect a new hardware device, Windows may automatically install the necessary drivers.

While this approach keeps your devices up to date, you may want to stop automatic driver updates for various reasons. Fortunately, Windows provides several options for disabling automatic driver updates. In this article, we’ll walk you through each of them.

1. How to stop automatic driver updates via Control Panel

Control Panel makes it easy to turn off automatic driver updates in Windows. Here are the steps you need to follow.

  1. Hurry Win + S to open the search menu.
  2. Type control Panel and press Walk in.
  3. Move towards System > Advanced System Settings.
  4. In the System Properties window, go to Material tab and click the Device Installation Parameters button.
  5. Select Nope and click Save changes.

And that’s about it. Windows will no longer automatically install any drivers.

2. How to Stop Automatic Driver Updates with Group Policy Editor

Another option to disable automatic driver downloads in Windows is to use the Group Policy Editor. Note that you can only access the Group Policy Editor if you are using the Professional, Education, or Enterprise edition of Windows. If you’re using Windows Home, be sure to check out How to Access the Local Group Policy Editor on Windows Home before proceeding.

  1. Open the The start menuto research gpedit.msc, and select the first result that appears. This will open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  2. Use the left pane to access Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Manage updates offered from Windows Update.
  3. Double click on the Do not include drivers with Windows Updates policy on your right.
  4. Select the Enabled option.
  5. Hit Apply followed by OKAY.

Once you have completed the above steps, Windows will exclude all driver updates when checking for system updates. To re-enable driver updates in the future, follow the same steps above and set the Do not include drivers with Windows Updates policy of Not configured.

3. How to Stop Automatic Driver Updates via Registry Editor

The Registry Editor in Windows contains essential files for Windows and its services. If you are an advanced user familiar with Registry Editor, you can also disable automatic driver updates using the following method.

Since editing the registry is risky, you should only use this method if the previous ones don’t work. If you use this method, be sure to back up all registry files or create a restore point just in case.

Once you’ve done that, here’s what you should do to prevent automatic driver updates:

  1. Hurry Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type regedit in the text box and press Walk in. This will open Registry Editor.
  3. Select Yes when the User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears.
  4. Use the left pane to access HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > DriverSearching.
  5. Within the PilotSearch folder, double-click the SearchOrderConfig DWORD.
  6. Change its value to 0 and knock OKAY.

Restart your PC for the changes to take effect. Thereafter, Windows will no longer install driver updates on its own.

If you want to re-enable driver updates at any time, follow the same steps above and change the value data to SearchOrderConfig at 1 before restarting your PC.

Disabling Automatic Driver Updates in Windows

Some circumstances require disabling automatic driver updates. Maybe an older version of the driver works better on your system, or you’d rather not use the OEM drivers. In any case, disabling automatic driver updates on Windows is quite simple.

Now that you have disabled automatic driver updates, remember to manually check for critical driver updates from time to time.

About Sally E. Bartley

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