Windows Update is configured to search for, download and install driver updates for devices installed on the machine Windows runs on.
That's comfortable at times as you may not have to install a single driver manually after installation of the operating system, but it can be problematic as well for instance if you want to install specific driver versions or if Windows mixes things up and tries to install the wrong drivers on the system.
All recent Microsoft operating systems ship with options to download and install driver software, and you may notice this immediately after installation when recent drivers for video cards or other devices are installed on the system.
two three ways to block the installation of device drivers in Windows.
Method 1: The Hardware dialog
Update: Microsoft changed the device installation settings dialog recently, at least on Windows 10. You can still block the operating system from installing device drivers, but don't get the options anymore shown below.
As you can see, you only get to select Yes or No basically. Update End
If you select to never install driver software from Windows Update, you are blocking this from happening. This means that you need to find and install driver software manually for devices not recognized properly by Windows.
Method 2: The Windows Registry
You may use the Windows Registry to modify the driver update preference instead.
Method 3: Group Policy Editor
With the Anniversary Update, out Summer 2016, comes a third option. Microsoft added a new policy to Windows 10 which you can configure to block driver updates coming from Windows Update.
This prevents driver updates when Windows Update is being used on the device.
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