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Update Hardware Drivers On Windows the Easy Way (Updated)

Updating hardware drivers on your Windows computer is an important part of PC maintenance, but few of us do it regularly. One of the biggest reasons is because finding the right drivers for your PCs internal hardware is a hassle, to say the least.

Sometimes Windows Update will provide you with updated drivers, but not always. DriveTheLife is a free utility that’s easy to use, and will update all drivers in one fell swoop.

Editorial Update 3/2/2015: Thank you for all of you who sent us feedback about issues you were having with this software. We did some digging, contacted the company, and added additional information to this post. An official reply from the company is near the end of this post in blockquotes.

Do You Need to Update Drivers?

If you build your own PC, then yes, more than likely you will want to update your hardware drivers. And if you are building your own PC, you know how to get the drivers directly from the manufacturer and don’t need a utility like this.

If a hardware device isn’t recognized by Windows in Device Manager or isn’t working properly or at all, you’ll want to get a driver or update it. Unrecognized drivers usually happens when you install a clean version of Windows.

You might first want to try the Windows way of doing it. Open Device Manager, right-click the hardware device that isn’t recognized or needs an update and select Update Driver Software.

update driver

Then follow the wizard and Windows will try to find an updated driver.

sshot-3

In the end, though, if everything is working fine on your computer, you can probably go without updating anything. What’s that saying…“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Updating Hardware Drivers

Finding drivers can really be an annoying process in general, you need to go to the manufacture’s website, find your exact model, and make sure you’re downloading the correct file.

If you like to build your own PC, or update its hardware,  manufacturer’s like NVIDIA for example, provide a utility that allows you tweak settings and check for updates.

NVIDIA

While that’s all well and good for a video card, there are a lot of other hardware components that need updated. There are other utilities that will find and update drivers out there, but I find DriveTheLife works faster and is easier to use.

Sometimes Windows Update will provide you with updated drivers, but not always. DriveTheLife is a free utility that’s easy to use, and will update all drivers in one fell swoop.

Launch DriveTheLife and it automatically scans your computer for Bluetooth, graphics, gamepad, disc players, motherboard chipset drivers, and more…including BIOS updates.

Notice of drivers

If there is a driver to be updated, just click the update button and sit back while the update is installed.

It backs up your current drivers too — in case you need to do a roll back if the updated version doesn’t work. And it will help you with the uninstall process and it repairs missing or corrupted drivers.

drivethelife

I tested it out on several of my computers and it indeed did find out of date drivers, and I was able to update them with just a click. On older hardware, though, the initial scan can take several minutes, but that’s to be expected and your mileage will vary.

It works with Windows 8, 7, Vista, and even XP if you’re still using that for some reason. I was able to use it on Windows 10 tech preview too.

Updating drivers can be a tricky affair, and sometimes the updates will break the component’s functionality. If that happens, you need to roll back the driver. The good thing about DriveTheLife is, it automatically backs up the current version of your driver, before installing the update. And if something does go awry after the update, it help you roll back the driver through its interface.

To do that, go to Manage > Restore and check the device you want to restore the driver for.

restore drivers

Download DriveTheLife

Editor Update: I’m getting feed back from a couple of readers who are telling me that this registers as malware, specifically the security utility Malwarebytes.

I have ran this through VirusTotal, which scans it with over 50 different anti-malware utilities. And Malwarebytes is included in that list. No malware is found by any of the security apps — here are the scan results.

I also contacted the company and provided your feedback about the Malwarebytes issue, and this is the response we received:

Dear Brian,

Thank you and your readers’ feedback. We have noticed the problem and will fix it soon. However, it is not a serious problem as our developers said.  So just take it easy, there won’t be any malicious files in our software.
Kind regards,
Olivia Lewis

Unlike other sites, we would NEVER knowingly write an article about a software program or app that has malicious spyware, malware, viruses…whatever you want to call it. We do indeed scan ALL of the software we write about with VirusTotal, and test it thoroughly on multiple computers of our own.

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18 Responses to Update Hardware Drivers On Windows the Easy Way (Updated)

  1. Robert Tutsky February 27, 2015 at 10:38 am #

    Thank you Brian! Downloading and using DriveTheLife made my day!

  2. yahooramji February 27, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    Thanka for an one more useful post.

  3. Konrad Poth February 28, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    Sounded good – until Webroot detected malicious software!

    • Brian Burgess February 28, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

      We never will knowingly write about utilities that contain malware. We scanned this with VirusTotal and no malicious software are detectd:

      https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/f6568c60f4cc2346df56a8df0124d45bae2fb472ceb2aee6822c87bbb322e52d/analysis/

      • Konrad Poth March 1, 2015 at 9:31 am #

        Brian – I had never heard of VirusTotal before but after reading your response to me, I checked it out and installed the IE browser addon. Thanks much.

      • Paul Hogan March 1, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

        I downloaded this, and it worked very well just as you said. Sometime later I had a pop up from Malwarebytes that blocked a malicious website, procrpt.updrv.com, and underneath were the words DriveTheLife. It seems the website does not exist, but I removed the programme, I will download it again and see what happens, and check the pop up more carefully as to what it says.

  4. Paul Hogan March 1, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

    I re-downloaded DriveTheLife, a windows pop up said, This type of file could harm your computer, I still downloaded it. After opening it, up pops the Malwarebytes malicious website warning, on it says,

    Domain: procrpt.updrv.com
    IP 61.147.75.21
    Port 49957
    Type Outbound
    Process. c:\program files (x86) DTL Soft\ DriveTheLife\ Service.exe

    I checked the IP address and it is tied to China Telecom.

    I use China Telecom as I am in China, I do not understand what any of the above means.

    I have sent this just for information on what happened.

    Paul.

    • Steve Krause March 1, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

      Hey Paul — thanks for the update on that. This sounds “very” shady…. I’ve gone ahead and updated the article with an editors update regarding the findings and reports of “odd” behavior and reports from some apps that it contains Malware.

      Last thing we want is to recommend Malware for our readers! Thanks again.

  5. Marcelo De Souza March 13, 2015 at 8:53 am #

    I used this software and my laptop sound now has very bad sound quality. I used it because you recommend and I won’t follow your recommendations anymore. Shame on you.

    • Steve Krause March 13, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

      Hi Marcelo,

      Every computer is different. The good news is, if you updated the sound driver, you should be able to go back to an older version of the Sound Card driver on your device. Just goto the manufacturer’s website and look under the support page for drivers.

      -S

      • Marcelo De Souza March 13, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

        Steve I did every step recommended in your article. Also I search for solutions online. And I couldn’t find a solution. I am not a computer expert like the other people that replied to your article. I relay in on the advice supplied from website like yours. Now I have to pay to someone to re-install windows for me. I don’t have now the time and resources for that.

        • Brian Burgess March 13, 2015 at 10:12 pm #

          It shouldn’t come down to all that. Which version of Windows are you running? What kind of computer do you have?

          Did you try to roll back the driver?

          http://www.groovypost.com/howto/rollback-windows-hardware-drivers/

          Or you can uninstall the current driver, and reinstall an updated driver from the manufacturer… or in fact, you can uninstall it, and run Windows Update, which might find it for you.

          • Marcelo De Souza March 14, 2015 at 10:19 am #

            Brian and Steve I would like to apologise for my first comment. I used very negative words and I overreacted. Last night I decided to have on more go and I went to the Sony Vaio website and downloaded the Audio driver and installed it. And it worked. Many thanks!!!

  6. Pete March 13, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

    Good article. Thanks. I’ve been using a similar program called Driver Reviver which seems to do the same job. Never had a problem with it. I was wondering if maybe DriveTheLife was connecting to sites that host malware (in China) to get some of it’s drivers and maybe Malwarebytes is picking these sites up. It wouldn’t surprise me. I’ve used Android rooting software which connects to Chinese servers & Malwarebytes throws me a warning…….just a thought. Thanks again. Gonna bookmark this site.

    • Brian Burgess March 13, 2015 at 10:16 pm #

      @Pete

      Yes, the software is made by a Chinese company…it’s a pity that people automatically assume anything from China is something horrible and evil…companies in China and other asian countries manufactures all of the tech devices we use everyday

  7. Val March 20, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

    Regarding the drivethelife software, there is a new virus warning from webroot anti-virus software now. The program recognizes the following file as being a virus:
    program files(x86)dtlsoftdrivethelifedownloadminithunderplatform.exe.
    I also just realized there is a Drivethelife process running (from the program) and I never launched it after my last reboot (when virus was removed). There was really no reason for anything from the program that should have been running in the background. I don’t know if you care at this point since you are attempting to reassure people the program is not malware or infected, but to be safe, I am removing it from my system.

    This situation should not be taken as a reflection of the content on your website, or your newsletter advice. This can happen to anyone or any company in today’s world. Thank you for your efforts to offer advice that improves and maintains the technology we all use everyday. :’)

  8. Craig March 25, 2015 at 8:43 am #

    Have you ever tried the program called DriverPack Solution? It looks to do the same thing. I myself am trying to figure out if it is a legit program. I’ll run it through VirusTotal and see if it comes back with anything.

  9. Whilson B April 12, 2016 at 1:18 am #

    Driver Talent works great for me. It kept my driver updated in Windows 8. Now I use Windows 10 and it is doing the same job well. 5 stars.

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