How to update Intel hardware drivers
Intel Driver Update Utility is a free program for Microsoft Windows devices to search for, download, and install Intel driver updates.
It is usually a good idea to keep drivers up to date, especially if newer drivers improve the old or add new features that you may be interested in.
While there is certainly something to "never change a running system" as well, driver updates may improve a component's performance, stability or other parameters such as temperature.
If you want to update Intel hardware, you can head over to the Intel website to download the latest driver versions from there manually. This works, but requires work on your part. You need to identify the hardware and installed driver version first, and then find the right driver that is provided for it.
Note: The program is quite heavy when it comes to the installation of services, tasks and such on the system. We have added information and uninstallation instructions at the bottom of this article.
Intel Driver Update Utility
Intel's Driver Update Utility streamlines the process. It allows you to scan the PC for Intel hardware, and driver updates for those components, download them afterwards to install them in the end.
It supports the following components currently:
- Graphics drivers
- Audio drivers for Intel Desktop Board
- Wireless Networking drivers
- Wired Networking drivers
- Chipset INF
- Intel NUC drivers
- Intel Compute Stick drivers
- Intel Desktop Boards drivers
The program is really easy to use. It displays an intro screen on start. You may click on the settings button there to change download directories, the maximum number of concurrent downloads, the log level, and the language of the application.
A click on start scan runs the scan. It should not take longer than a couple of seconds to complete. The results screen that opens list the operating system that the Intel Driver Update Utility detected, as well as new driver versions for hardware of the device.
It may list multiple drivers for a device, but only one is selected. This is usually the latest driver, but you are free to download other drivers that the tool displays on the screen.
You may even switch to the "older drivers" tab to download select older versions of drivers for the hardware, or generic drivers.
The program displays the driver name, installed and latest version of the driver, as well as a description and compatibility information.
You may change the download directory manually there as well before you hit the download button to download the selected Intel drivers to the local system.
Downloads are saved to an IntelComponents directory. You may install downloaded drivers directly from the Intel Driver Update Utility, or by executing the driver files directly from the download directory instead.
A restart is usually required before the process completes.
Intel Driver Update Utility has a couple of other features of interest. First, you may open the history to check on any driver that you downloaded using it in the past, and check whether it was installed or not. Driver updates can be removed from the history, but they are kept on the local system.
The second option allows you to search for Intel drivers manually. This is a bit complicated, as you cannot just key in the components name, or part of it. You need to select the product line, operating system, and the actual product name from a list of suggestions.
Drivers are only provided for Intel desktop boards, Intel NUC boards, and the Intel Compute Stick.Â This means that it is usually better to head over to the Intel Download Center site directly to search for and download drivers this way.
Intel Driver Update Utility uninstallation
Intel's program installs several services, scheduled tasks, and a driver during installation. Some are clearly marked as Telemetry, others seem to monitor the system and supposedly help system performance.
You don't get a say in what gets installed, and what does not. While you can opt out of the customer improvement program, scheduled telemetry tasks are still run.
- Energy Server Service queencreek -- Intel(r) Energy Checker SDK. ESRV Service queencreek
- Intel(R) System Usage Report Service SystemUsageReportSvc_QUEENCREEK -- Intel(R) System Usage Report Service SystemUsageReportSvc_QUEENCREEK
- eUser Energy Server Service quencreek -- Intel(r) Energy Checker SDK. ESRV Service queencreek
- USER_ESRV_SVC_QUEENCREEK -- no description
- Intel\Intel Telemetry 2 -- Uploader for the Intel(R) Product Improvement Program.
The program creates folders on the system on top of that:
- Program Files\Intel\SUR\QUEENCREEK
- Program Files\Intel\Telemetry 2.0
- Program Files\Intel Driver Update Utility
- Program Files (x86)\Intel Driver Update Utility
Last but not least, it installs a new driver semav6msr64.
Not all items may be removed when you uninstall the program.Â I suggest you check Services, Scheduled Tasks, and the folders listed above manually to make sure everything was removed. If not, delete those manually.
To remove the driver, do the following:
- Tap on the Windows-key, type cmd.exe, hold down the Shift-key and the Ctrl-key, and hit the Enter-key. This launches an elevated command prompt.
- Confirm the UAC prompt.
- Type sc delete semav6msr64 and hit the Enter-key.
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