Read this article to get a better understanding of device drivers as this is a complete guide that will explain what a device driver is, its different types, their mechanisms, and how to update them.

Device drivers are a special type of software that helps a computer to control the hardware that is connected to it. Every device driver is very important for a computer to operate properly.

The drivers may be small in size, but they play a very important role in controlling the devices connected to your computer. Here are some device driver examples:

The meaning of computer drivers is that it is a component needed by a computer to be able to interact and communicate with certain types of devices. They describe how the computer (applications and operating system) can make requests for the device or communicate with the device to do something.

They also take care of device responses and messages that are sent to the computer. So without wasting any time let’s look into how system drivers work, their types, and how to update them.

Complete Guide On Device Drivers Showing Its Workings, Types, And Updating Process

In this article, we are going to discuss how a system driver works and what are its common tasks to perform. We will also discuss the different types of device drivers, when it is the best time to update them, and how to update them.

How Do Device Drivers Work In A Computer?

Device drivers usually have a lot of control power when the operating system is running. On the other hand, some drivers are directly connected with the OS kernel, which is a part of an operating system like Mac, Windows, or Linux. It stays in the memory and runs all the other codes, including device drivers.

The definition of the device driver is that it is a translator that creates a communication bridge between the OS and the device you are using. It is possible that the software and hardware were made by different companies in different countries and speak different languages. So, here the driver will act as a translator and allow them to communicate. We can also say that drivers take information from software programs and explain what the programs want the device to do.

Different Types Of Drivers

Almost all devices that are connected to your computer have their device drivers. Still, there are three major types of drivers that categorizes all the devices:

  • Kernel Driver:

A part of the operating system driver called the Kernel includes some hardware that the operating system loads when it starts up. This hardware includes the processor, motherboard, BIOS, and other hardware that is part of kernel software.

  • User Driver:

Apart from the devices that the kernel brings in for the system to work, users also connect some external devices while using their computers. These external devices require device drivers to work, hence these drivers are known as User drivers.

  • Virtual Driver:

The third type of device driver is the virtual driver, which runs the virtual devices. When we virtually use the same hardware, a “virtual driver” controls the flow of data from different device driver software to the same hardware.

A computer needs to have the correct device drivers for all of its parts for it to run smoothly. Many device drivers are available from the start, and we can later add any device driver we need for our system if we need to.

Methods To Update Device Drivers In Mac and Windows OS

You should always keep your drivers updated because it will help your computer to work smoothly and efficiently. Not updating the driver time-to-time will result in several errors and issues. Outdated drivers can also lead to the system not working. So it is very important to keep your driver up-to-date.

Update Device Drivers In Mac OS:

Updating drivers in Mac is a pretty straightforward method. Below are some steps that will help you update the OS X drivers:

1. Click on the Apple logo at the top-right corner and select the Software Update option

software updating mac

2. Click on the Show Details to open the individual update choices option

3. Check the boxes in front of the devices that you wish to update

Check the boxes

4. Click on the Install button at the bottom-right corner

5. When the process is complete, Restart your system.

Update And Reinstall Drivers In Windows OS

To update your Windows drivers follow the steps given below:

1. Search Control Panel in the taskbar’s search bar and then hit the Enter key

Control Panel

2. On the control panel page, click on the dropdown menu next to the “View by” option and select Large icons

select Large icons

3. Now, look for the Device Manager option and click on it

Device Manager option

4. On the device manager page, one by one double-click on the devices that you are using to expand them

5. Then, right-click on the drivers present under the device that you want to update and select Update driver from the option list

Update driver

6. A new pop-up window will appear, select Search automatically for drivers

Click on Search automatically for updated driver software - HP Beats Audio driver

7. Now follow the on-screen instructions to complete the updating process

8. Once the process is complete, Restart your computer.

Now it’s time to Reinstall your Windows Drivers, follow the instructions below to do so:

  • Right-click on the Start button and select Device Manager from the list

Device manager window 10

  • Click on the arrow to expand the device that you want to update
  • Now, right-click on the drivers that you are using and then select Uninstall device 

select Uninstall device

  • A new window will appear, click on Uninstall button to confirm your actions


  • When the process is finished, Restart your device and your system will automatically install the new set of drivers for you

If in any case, your system is unable to search or install the updated driver. You can always download updated drivers from the manufacturers’ and Windows official websites. You can also take the help of some  driver updater softwares for windows  to keep your computer’s drivers updated. These apps also help your computer to increase its overall performance.


What Is A Driver On A Computer?

A device driver is a software program that helps your computer command the hardware to work accordingly. It is a communication bridge between your computer and the devices you are using. All of your computer’s hardware needs a driver to work. These devices include graphics cards, keyboards, monitors, printers, etc.

When And Why Should We Update The Device Drivers?

It is very common among people to not keep their drivers up-to-date or update them with the system update. But this practice is an open invitation for various errors and problems including system errors that can hamper your computer’s overall performance. Hence, if you keep your computer OS and drivers updated it will help you get rid of such issues.

How Can We Update Our Device Drivers?

You can update your system drivers both manually and automatically. In Windows OS there is an integrated utility called Device Manager. This tool allows you to update the driver according to your choice and this is considered a manual process. Whereas, if you want to go for the automated process, you have to install driver updater software like the Bit Driver Updater.

Also Read:

  1. How to Update Video Card Driver on Windows 10 PC
  2. Download and Update NVIDIA GeForce Game Ready Driver for Windows

Summing Up

In this guide, we conquered all the topics related to the device drivers. We hope that after reading this post you have a better understanding of the topic too. If you have suggestions or any add-ons that you want to see in this article, you can mention them in the comment section below.



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