How to Install Hardware Drivers in Windows 11 Operating System


Device drivers allow the Windows 11 operating system to communicate with hardware components like video cards, printers, monitors etc. Keeping device drivers up-to-date is important for proper functioning of hardware as well as security of the operating system.

Windows 11 automatically installs drivers for most hardware through Windows Update. However, sometimes you may need to manually install hardware drivers downloaded from manufacturer websites. This article provides a step-by-step guide for installing drivers manually on Windows 11 through Settings app, Device Manager and during OS installation.


Before installing device drivers manually, ensure that:

  • You have administrative privileges on the Windows 11 computer.
  • The driver software is compatible with your Windows 11 version and hardware model. Check manufacturer website for compatibility information.
  • Any existing driver software for the device is uninstalled.
  • The device hardware is connected and detected by Windows.
  • Windows 11 security features like Driver Signature Enforcement are disabled if installing unsigned drivers.

Install Drivers from Settings App

The Settings app provides an easy way to install both Windows certified and uncertified device drivers. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings > Windows Update > Advanced options
  2. Under Optional updates, click on Driver updates
  3. Check the box for the required device driver
  4. Click Download & install
  5. Restart computer if prompted

This will automatically download and install the selected driver.

Install Drivers from Device Manager

To manually install drivers using Device Manager:

  1. Open Device Manager using search box or control panel
  2. Expand nodes and locate device needing driver install
  3. Right click on device > Update driver
  4. Select Browse my computer for drivers
  5. Browse to folder location with device driver setup files
  6. Follow on-screen instructions to install driver

After successful installation, reboot computer for changes to take effect.

Install Drivers During OS Installation

For some devices like storage controllers, the drivers need to be provided during Windows installation to detect hardware.

To inject drivers:

  1. When prompted for drivers during installation, select Load driver
  2. Insert manufacturer driver media or browse to folder location
  3. Select appropriate .inf file and confirm installation
  4. After loading drivers, proceed with OS installation

Driver injection allows Windows Setup to detect specific hardware and install latest drivers.

Tips for Driver Installation

Follow these tips for smooth driver installation and update process:

  • Create System Restore point – Before installing device drivers manually, create a restore point to rollback changes in case of issues later.
  • Update BIOS – Having latest BIOS firmware optimizes hardware detection and compatibility with newer drivers.
  • Disable security software – Antivirus software can sometimes block driver installers. Temporarily disabling them during driver installation might help.
  • Check file integrity – Verify the device driver files have not been corrupted before attempting installation.
  • Install one driver at a time – If installing multiple drivers, do them one after the other so that any installation issues can be easily tracked.
  • Reboot after install – Ensure to reboot the computer after device driver installation to load updated files into memory.


Installing the latest drivers is vital for new hardware, solving device issues and improving performance. While Windows Update works for most driver software, learning manual driver installation methods can help in scenarios where custom or unsigned drivers need to be deployed. Following the step-by-step instructions and best practices outlined in this article will assist with smooth driver installation experience on Windows 11.