Microsoft removes driver updates via Windows 10 Device Manager

Humza

Posts: 710   +159
Staff member
Cutting corners: The Windows Device Manager remains a valuable troubleshooting interface, but one that has often left users disappointed whenever they relied on its driver update feature to fix related woes. Microsoft has silently removed that functionality as of Windows 10 version 2004 (May Update), leaving users with the option to browse and install pre-downloaded drivers locally, via third-party tools, or going to the Settings app to check online for latest drivers available under Windows Update.

Users running the latest version of Windows 10 May Update will no longer be able to use the Device Manager to check online for driver updates. The change, spotted by WindowsLatest, seemingly went live as part of Microsoft's recently released cumulative update preview for Windows 10 version 2004.

While many novice and experienced PC users still head to the Device Manager to try and fix any malfunctioning hardware/software issues, the program has rarely been of use when it comes to searching and installing drivers from the web. It makes sense, therefore, for Microsoft to disable this functionality that usually ended up disappointing anyway.

As can be seen in Windows 10 version 2004, users can still automatically search for and install local driver packages downloaded from a manufacturer's website or third-parties and can also manually direct the wizard to a specific location on their PC.

Going with the automatic search driver option no longer connects to the internet and the process is ended immediately (rather than half a minute or so later) once Device Manager fails to detect a new/better driver version for a device and asks users -- as it did before - to try their luck and search on Windows Update.

The change can be seen as a way to streamline the update experience on Windows. It's an approach that would likely become more convincing once Microsoft finally sorts out the messy Control Panel/Settings app situation.

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Nobina

Posts: 2,621   +2,244
That was one of the more USELESS features in windows 10. About 99 times out of 100 it never updated anything.
I've had issues where Windows would simultaneously install drivers for the GPU while I'm running the GPU driver installer my self so it would just create a mess.
 
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Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,558   +1,556
TechSpot Elite
In the Windows XP days, I had that feature save my (really, a user's) bacon and it may have been the only time it actually worked for me. HD failed in XP box which was the controller for a scientific machine which was years past warranty or service contract. Install new HD, XP, and then XP actually found the drivers online for the obscure PCI controller card and piece of lab equipment on it's own, and the damn thing worked.

Considering I was a mega-novice on XP at the time, this was tantamount to the Second Coming.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 969   +424
While more advanced users wont care or even use the feature, there are however tons of people who still and there are tons of websites/articles that tell people to actually do this. And that advice wont be disappearing anytime soon even if the feature is gone.
 
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jobeard

Posts: 13,956   +1,774
"While many novice and experienced PC users still head to the Device Manager to try and fix any malfunctioning hardware/software issues, the program has rarely been of use when it comes to searching and installing drivers from the web. It makes sense, therefore, for Microsoft to disable this functionality that usually ended up disappointing anyway"
I never worked for me and IF it made a change, it was always wrong! The attempt was valiant but severely mared with inaccuracy so IMO it's about to to fess up (y) (Y)
 
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Amariami

Posts: 16   +1
Microsoft must keep the driver update via device manager, sometime it works. maybe just added interface who want to downloaded or not
 

Freddie159

Posts: 62   +24
I sure hope they STOPPED updating the gpu drivers with their incessant updates!!! I use my gpu's for things and everytime MS loads THEIR drivers instead of the Nvidia or AMD/ATI drivers it screws everything up!!!
 
WORD:

DriverBoosterPro....

Been using it for years, neveranottaproblemo..no muss no fuss, alerts you when ANY/ALL drivers need/have updates available, downloads & installs them quickly, shows you the current version numbers for all installed drivers....

'nuff said :)
 

alchemist83

Posts: 49   +13
I've had issues where Windows would simultaneously install drivers for the GPU while I'm running the GPU driver installer my self so it would just create a mess.
Turn off your internet and update. Or let Windows update it first then update with your newer drivers.
 

abhi007

Posts: 8   +0
Windows 10 is basically a 'work is progress' Operating system. I will wait until they are done building it. till then I would stick to Windows 7. thanks
 

beachbowi

Posts: 14   +8
I wonder what else could they remove that has no purpose for the user.
Just today, at work, I tried to use this driver update feature to install a printer driver so I could print some materials I needed. Interestingly, I couldn't even download the driver from the Lexmark website. Wasted 30 minutes dealing with this crap before giving up. Came home to get some work done and read this article. Ugh.
 

Mugsy

Posts: 662   +114
SMMFH. It seems M$ is working overtime to turn their already miserable OS to $#!+.

I just built a new machine and installed the latest release of 64bit Win 10 Pro (April v2004). An absolute nightmare. Nothing works right. Legacy hardware crippled. Buggy software added to replace reliable features that were disabled for no apparent reason.

After a week of banging my head against the wall, I replaced it with v1903. Everything working once again. I will be watching closely to ensure v2004 or above never makes it back on my computer.

Holy crap!