DriverStore Explorer: manage the Windows Driver Store - gHacks Tech News

DriverStore Explorer: manage the Windows Driver Store

DriverStore Explorer is a free open source program for Microsoft Windows devices to view the content of the Windows Driver Store and to manipulate it.

Microsoft introduced the DriverStore in Windows Vista and used it in all newer versions of Windows since. It is a collection of first and third-party driver packages that Windows trusts and stores on the local hard drive.

The entire driver package, including the inf file, is copied to the Driver Store and the inf file must be set up to reference all required driver files.

Microsoft calls the process of adding driver packages to the Driver Store staging, and it must happen before the driver can be used to install devices. Staging includes verification of a driver's integrity and driver validation.

Tip: One of the significant issues of Windows' Driver Store is that driver packages usually don't get removed from the Store. This means that you may end up with Gigabytes of wasted storage space because of old driver packages. If you have a Nvidia video card or Intel onboard display adapter, you may notice that old drivers may occupy several Gigabytes of storage space on the device. With DriverStore Explorer, you may remove these elegantly.

DriverStore Explorer

driverstore explorer

DriverStore Explorer is a graphical user interface that enumerates all driver packages of the Windows Driver Store. It is launched in read-only mode if you run it without elevated privileges, and in full edit mode when you run it with administrative rights.

The program groups drivers for easier access and lists each with the name of its inf file, company, version, release date, and size.

DriverStore Explorer offers several impressive options:

  • Enumerate all drivers in the Driver Store and export the data.
  • Add new driver packages to the Driver Store.
  • Delete existing packages from the Driver Store.
  • Delete "old drivers" from the Driver Store.

Microsoft recommends not fooling around with driver packages in the Windows Driver Store as it may cause all kinds of issues on machines running Windows. DriverStore Explorer blocks the removal of loaded driver packages by default, but you can check the "force deletion" option to override this behavior.

Note: I recommend that you create a system backup before you delete packages from the Windows Driver Store. While the "old driver" removal option worked fine whenever I used it in the past, it is better to have a backup plan in place when things don't work out as intended.

You can use the program to remove old driver packages from the Store. Just click on "select old drivers" in the interface to get started. DriverStore Explorer selects all old driver packages available currently.

windows driver store remove old drivers

Check the driver packages to make sure that DriverStore Explorer selected only old drivers. You can do that by comparing driver versions and names, and the date of release may be useful as well for that.

Once you have verified that the selection is correct you may hit the delete package button to remove these driver packages from the Windows Driver Store.

DriverStore Explorer opens a prompt to get user verification before the actual deletion happens.

The deletion itself is quick and a log is shown in the end that details success and failure. The program suggests to use "force deletion" for packages that it could not delete without the added parameter.

Closing Words

DriverStore Explorer is a fantastic program for Windows. Home users may utilize it to remove old driver packages from their Windows PCs to free up disk space, and administrators to add driver packages to the Store, delete driver packages, or enumerate drivers that are in the store.

Summary
software image
Author Rating
1star1star1star1star1star
4.5 based on 9 votes
Software Name
DriverStore Explorer
Operating System
Windows
Software Category
Administration
Landing Page

We need your help

Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.

If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:

Comments

  1. Bob said on January 31, 2018 at 9:23 am
    Reply

    This should be in every Nvidia users toolbox, those old drivers fill up a small SSD in notime.

  2. pd said on January 31, 2018 at 12:33 pm
    Reply

    Am I the only person concerned the binary is called raper (“Rapr.exe”) ?

    1. John said on January 31, 2018 at 3:47 pm
      Reply

      Yes, you probably are – & for good reason too. There’s a vast difference between raper & rapr & it’s only your outrageously wild imagination believing of a connection & more importantly & quite ridiculously, actually concerned by it.

    2. tisdisgusting said on January 31, 2018 at 6:24 pm
      Reply

      @pd

      Like John said.

      I’ll add this, these overly sensitivities are one of the greatest social diseases of this century, whereby once contracted everything will become offensive including the truth.

      Would be much nicer if instead people would worry about real problems and real ofensive problems in the real world.

      But yes of course, that wont happen either.

      1. John said on February 1, 2018 at 7:25 am
        Reply

        @tisdisgusting

        Nailed it.

      2. John Fenderson said on February 1, 2018 at 8:35 pm
        Reply

        “these overly sensitivities are one of the greatest social diseases of this century”

        I am increasingly leaning toward the opinion that hyperbole is the greatest social disease of this century. That or fear, but the two are deeply intertwined.

  3. Pete12 said on January 31, 2018 at 1:11 pm
    Reply

    Very usefull ,handy tool !
    Just cleaned a lot of old-driver-crap , gives you a bit more air again………….!

  4. Coriy said on January 31, 2018 at 3:00 pm
    Reply

    I’ve used it for a while. It works fine, most of the time. Occasionally, it’ll remove something critical. I had it remove all drivers for a laptop’s trackpad. However, that was because HP misconfigured something. I was able to install from the internet, and it worked just fine.

  5. Ray said on January 31, 2018 at 7:42 pm
    Reply

    Awesome stuff!

    Great for those on laptops with a small HDD. Going to give this a shot when I have a chance.

  6. ULBoom said on February 1, 2018 at 5:14 am
    Reply

    RAPR has to run as an administrator to change anything, at least my prtable version does. The same thing can be done with DOS commands or Power Shell but you have to know, usually easy if the date is considered, which drivers to delete. RAPR is much easier. Driver Store can be a royal pain at times, good to know what it is and what’s in it. You’ll be surprised how much junk is in there.
    Old drivers are in …DriverStore\FileRepository.

    DOS method, open 2 administrator windows.

    First one lists all the installed drivers
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/it-pro/windows-server-2008-R2-and-2008/cc733034(v%3dws.10)

    Second does the deleting
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/previous-versions/windows/it-pro/windows-server-2008-R2-and-2008/cc771484(v=ws.10)

    This can be done in one window by alternating the commands but it gets very confusing fast.

  7. Léon said on February 1, 2018 at 1:54 pm
    Reply

    When I select the old drivers, I see -in one case- the highest version number is checked.

    Can this be right?

  8. A different Martin said on February 2, 2018 at 3:02 am
    Reply

    Okay — on my Windows 7 system, I have:

    * nothing under C:\Windows\SysWOW64\DriverStore\FileRepository, and

    * around 1GB of stuff under C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository.

    DriverStore Explorer isn’t loading anything. I “installed” it as a portable program under C:\Program Files (portable)\DriverStore Explorer and set the executable to run as Administrator.

    Did I miss something? Do I have to have .NET Framework 4.0 exactly? .NET Framework 4.7.1 won’t do the trick?

  9. Franck said on February 2, 2018 at 1:33 pm
    Reply

    Excellent, thanks a lot !

  10. ByHisCall said on February 24, 2018 at 2:25 pm
    Reply

    Can this be used to manipulate the Driver Store on an offline Windows 10 volume, or a Windows 10 volume attached as a secondary drive?

    I ask because I’ve come across an issue at least three times now where a Windows 10 machine loses keyboard and mouse input, and not a thing seems to fix it, unless the user has working Restore Points set. I won’t turn this into a rant about how badly Windows 10 sucks, but really – this should never happen in ANY OS!

Leave a Reply