Disabling Automatic Driver Installation

by Barry Dysert
(last updated October 17, 2016)

Windows often tries to be helpful whenever it can. This is particularly true whenever you plug a new peripheral into your computer. Windows automatically attempts to find and install the appropriate driver for the device. If for some reason you don't like this behavior, you can disable automatic driver installation. This procedure only needs to be done once—before you connect a device to your computer.

Right-click the Start button and click System. On the left side of the windows that appears is a hyperlink that says "Advanced System Settings." (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. System information window.

Click that link and another window displays with multiple tabs. Click the hardware tab. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. System Properties window.

Click the button labeled Device Installation Settings and you'll see the choices you have for driver installation. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3. Turning off automatic driver installations.

Now click the "No" radio button and Save Changes. From now on (unless you change it back), Windows will no longer automatically try to install the drivers for new devices.

 This tip (13483) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

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