Free driver updater: Top-8 list
PC drivers represent essential software components that are used by devices to interact with computer operating systems. Drivers are the files which the operating system and hardware devices use to send or receive data. And since most users want free stuff and few clicks away, we thought about looking into free driver updater tools.
Is it safe to use a driver updater? Since driver update software has access to vital computer programs, the safety of using a driver updater can be measured by taking into consideration the developers’ reputation. If the developer of the driver updater software is not trustworthy, then, you might find yourself with a jinx of malware attacks.
Thus, to be safe, you need to check whether or not the driver finder gives information about where they get their drivers. In most cases, reputable driver update software gives full details or guarantee that the drivers are obtained from Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) sources.
Why is it important to update drivers?
In a world full of cybercriminals, keeping the computer drivers updated is essential as it may reduce chances of cyber-attacks. Keeping your drivers up to date will also help boost your PC performance as well as take advantage of new features upon release.
A PC full of outdated drivers will likely be destabilized and slow, therefore, making it difficult to run the latest programs as well as have an amazing gaming experience.
When should you update drivers? Drivers are like a user-manual, by keeping them up to date all the time, hardware software will function smoothly and at their best capability. Logically, it would make more sense for one to update their drivers whenever a chance arises.
Good thing is that driver update software can scan and indicate drivers that need an update. Thus, you do not need to go through a painful period of searching for an update in each of your PC devices.
Top free driver updater tools
Note: Free driver updater software can detect issues within your device drivers but do not detect malware or remove any of it. Thus, for malware safety, check out our best free antimalware software.
Driver Booster free version searches and updates drivers for Windows Operating System. For a free version, we find this driver updating software impressive as it picks up vital updates. Unlike the paid version which automatically updates all drivers, the free version can only indicate and you will have to make multiple clicks updating the drivers one-by-one.
- Scans for outdated drivers
- Performs a silent installation of drivers
- Manages a significant number of device drivers which include Samsung, Dell, Intel, Radeon as well as other giant companies
- Extensive driver library to update a range of computer hardware devices
- Scans fast
- Silent installation of drivers
- Compatible to all Windows versions
- Indicates critical updates
- Virtually compares the proposed driver to the one installed
- Restore-point which makes it possible to roll back if the installation goes wrong
- Indicates device drivers and game components
- Does not automatically update all drivers at once as it requires the user to manually click on each and every indicated device
Hacks. Always check the size, date of release, as well as the version number of the driver that needs to be updated to know the best time to perform an update.
Verdict. There is not much difference between the free and paid version of Driver Booster. If you have got time, then, it should not be a problem to manually update every single driver indicated. After all, you only need to click and it will install the selected ones on your command.
Formerly known as DriveTheLife, Driver Talent scans the computer for outdated, broken as well as missing drivers and automatically installs them. Apart from updating drivers, the program also fixes broken drivers. The user does not need to search the internet for drivers as Driver Talent does it by perusing online for official download web-addresses.
- The pre-download feature lets the user create a system drivers backup
- The user can create a driver pack to use on another computer
- Compatible with Windows XP and higher.
- It is fast to install Driver Talent program
- Fixes broken drivers
- It is possible to create a driver pack for another computer
- Fast download of drivers
- Great User Interface
- Does not download detected missing, broken or outdated drivers automatically
Hacks. You need to perform a hardware profile import to be able to create a driver pack for another computer(s).
Verdict. The features of this free driver updater are limited and not competitive enough to present a fluent experience. However, it can keep you going until you are able to purchase it’s much worthy Pro version.
#3 Driver Easy
Driver Easy is a powerful software that can be used at personal as well as commercial level. The program is compatible with Windows Operating Systems. It scans for issues within the computer drivers components and fixes related problems.
- Pre-set daily to monthly scan schedule
- Displays hardware information
- Silently downloads drivers without the use of an external browser
- Hide a device to not show in future scans
- Displays full system info
- The user can schedule PC scans based on their preferences
- Can scan for drivers while offline
- Detects essential drivers
- Gives substantial information concerning sources as well as version details of the driver
- Modern interface
- Responsive support service via email
- Downloading of driver updates is slow
- Fails to detect some of the drivers
- Cannot download files in bulk
- Driver Easy does not ensure whether drivers downloaded are obtained from OEM sources
- Require the user to manually install the downloaded drivers
Hacks. Use the company’s website FAQs as well as knowledge base forums to troubleshoot or gain knowledge in the use of the program.
Verdict. Driver Easy should not be a miss if you are looking for a performing free driver updater software. Although it missed a significant number of drivers during testing, you will be able to get drivers for the essential devices detected.
So, if you are in need of a free tool that can conduct dirty work for you by scanning for broken, outdated, and missing drivers, then, we think Driver Easy should not be a bad option.
Read also: 10 free anti-malware tools
Snappy Driver Installer is an impressive freeware tool for updating multiple drivers at a go. The software detects devices that are in critical conditions in terms of outdated, broken or missing drivers. It then downloads the essential files needed for updates and gives the user access to set up the updates.
- Can install drivers online as well as offline
- Does not need installation as it can be used in an external hard drive
- Displays system information
- Filter feature to help the user find the best matching drivers to install
- Downloads in driver packs
- Compatible with Windows XP and above
- Can install drivers while offline
- No need to install the software – use an external hard drive even for multiple PCs
- Quick driver installation
- Expert mode lets the user filter shown results based on preferences
- Indicates duplicated drivers
- Can install drivers in bulk
- Unlimited downloads and updates
- No advertisements displayed
- Restore point feature to roll back to previously installed drivers
- Designed for experts such that it can be complicated to an average PC user
- Cannot be pre-set to run scheduled scans
Hacks. First, check whether your PC operates on 64 or 34 bit Windows version to download the correct EXE Snappy Driver Installer file.
Verdict. Snappy Driver Installer gave us an average impression. It has a lot of expert features, however, an average PC user will find it hard to manoeuvre the app. Lack of scheduled scans also makes it hard to turn a blind eye to the shortfalls of the software. All in all, the offline use and bulk download of drivers makes it a worthy mention.
DriverMax free driver updater version is outstanding compared to other apps as it performs automated installations. It also can be pre-set to execute scheduled scans. The features we found in this driver updating software were impressive for a free version.
With that said, the major turnoff is in the limited number of drivers that the user is allowed to download per day or month. The limitation is so extreme such that only 2 drivers can be downloaded per day.
- Compatible to recent Windows versions
- Automatically scans and detect device drivers that need update or issues fixed
- Performs scheduled scans
- Lists all drivers with issues and without issues
- Can back up your system drivers prior to installing updates
- Install drivers automatically
- Provides option to create system drivers backup before updating device drivers
- Drivers are downloaded via the application
- Detects and display hardware devices unknown
- Extremely limits the number of drivers to download per day—maximum downloads of 2 drivers
- As if that was not enough—restrict the user to only 10 driver downloads per month
- Cannot perform a bulk download of drivers
- Scans and detects outdated drivers only when connected to a network
Hacks. If you download 2 drivers per day for the next 5 days, you will not be able to execute any downloads for that particular month as you would have reached the maximum number of allocated monthly downloads.
Verdict. A system runs on many drivers as it has a lot of devices to communicate for smooth operation. Although DriverMax has cool impressive features, the limitation is too extreme to keep your PC in good shape.
However, with most of free driver updater software yet unable to keep users away from digging driver links, DriverMax does it all with a single click. The limitations inflicted can be pushed to the side if you perform a full system update before installing DriverMax. This will allow you to spread incoming updates over a long period.
Read also: Values of Avast free antivirus
With a library of over 25 million device drivers to download, DriverIdentifier presents a friendly interface designed for all levels of computer users. The software displays a precise message comparing present drivers installed in your computer vs. the proposed updates.
- Compatible with both 32 and 64 bit Windows versions
- Scans for drivers to update, then displays links where to get driver files and install them manually
- The download page displays the driver’s ID and date of release
- Provides download links from OEM sources
- Intuitive user interface
- Displays vital information concerning updates
- Works offline
- DriverIdentifier is portable
- Does not initiate installation of unrelated programs amid setup for advertisements purposes
- No settings required
- DriverIdentifier is small in size
- Requires user registration before downloading the setup file
- Requires user to manually downloads updates from the proposed links
- Cannot perform scheduled scans
- The user is at risk of downloading the wrong updates which may destabilize the PC
Hacks. To avoid installing the wrong update, make sure to check the presently installed device drivers details and compare them to the proposed update.
Verdict. We find this software extremely easy to use. Although it requires the user to go through the hustle of manually downloading driver updates, it satisfies that the majority of the links presented are OEM sources. This makes DriverIdentifier a little bit safer than most of the free driver updating software.
FDS is a freeware driver update tool that scouts for outdated drivers in your computers. It has got an extensive database of over a million devices to scout. It comes with features that one would not expect to find in a free version. User interface was self-explanatory and friendly for use even by computer noobs.
- Performs bulk downloads of drivers
- Can perform a pre-set scheduled scan on a daily, weekly or monthly basis
- Indicates the file size of the drivers to download
- A migration tool for OS (enables to obtain device drivers meant for a different Windows version)
- Possible to roll back installation using the backup and restore feature
- Easy installation of the program
- Can perform both manual as well as pre-set scans
- Downloads updates in bulk
- Can install updates without user-computer interaction
- Fails to detects a lot of outdated drivers
- Initiates installation of unrelated programs amid an installation
- Does not officially state whether or not Windows 10 is supported
Hacks. Pay attention during installation to turn down any installation of unrelated programs.
Verdict. The ability to download drivers for different OS – but only if it was not for its shortcoming when it comes to detecting outdated drivers. Another issue we find as a turnoff is the program’s attempt to try and install unrelated issues in a sneaky manner.
Driver Doctor presents an easy to use interface which can be credited to the fact that there is not much packed into the software. The program focuses on scanning for outdated, broken and missing drivers. Its database continues to grow and upon using the software, you will be required to keep on updating the software.
- Supports Windows XP and later versions
- Scans the computer from an external hard drive
- No installation is required to scan for out of date drivers
- Friendly interface
- Obtain drivers from its database
- Performs quick scans for outdated drivers
- Can be scheduled to scan for drivers
- There is a portable version that can be used on other computers
- There are no complicated setting required
- Works only when the computer is connected to a working internet
- Does not display the information of the driver in need of an update
- Requires the user to manually install an update after downloading
- No creation of a restore feature for a future rollback after installing the updates
- Takes time to begin downloading drivers
- Limited to only 1 driver per day download
- Display advertisements
Hacks. Since Driver Doctor lets you download one driver per day, it is best to use it as a backup driver updating tool just in case the computer cannot automatically update drivers due to some problem by storing it in a flash drive.
Verdict. Driver Doctor gave us mixed feelings but the major turn off were ads and just 1 driver per day download restriction. Otherwise, it is a great software for updating drivers which have got an extra portable version that does not require an installation.