Hardware drivers are one of the important parts of a Windows computer. The driver plays a very important intermediary role, because the operating system needs the driver to receive the device from the hardware. If the driver is incorrect, the operating system will not be able to recognize the device from the hardware.
Sometimes, however, you may not be able to install a driver on your computer, even if it was previously working. This problem is mostly caused by bad operating system files, but sometimes, an antivirus program can also be the culprit. In this article, we’ll find out what’s preventing Windows from installing drivers and how to fix the situation.
Why can’t my Windows computer install any driver packages?
As mentioned above, drivers ensure that your computer can communicate and interact with the installed hardware. For example, to connect and use a keyboard, a keyboard driver is required to “fill in” the gap between the computer and the keyboard before it can be used.
Without keyboard drivers, your keyboard is just a device that doesn’t respond to what you do. But sometimes Windows fails to download any new or updated drivers.
This happens mainly when Windows files are corrupted. However, there are other reasons behind it such as:
– If the driver is not compatible with the current version of Windows on your computer, the driver cannot be installed.
– Third-party antivirus software may be interfering with the device and preventing the device from installing drivers.
Fortunately, you can easily get out of this situation and continue downloading and installing drivers for your computer. Here are some solutions when you fall into the situation above.
1. Restart the computer
The first thing you should do is restart your computer and check if the problem is resolved. Usually, the problem might be due to a temporary error in the Windows system. Restarting Windows can sometimes have a nice effect.
2. Use other methods to download and install the driver
There are many ways to download drivers on Windows. Sometimes a particular method may not work properly on your system. In this case, you should try any method you know to download the driver.
We’ll use the easiest driver download method available on Windows, using Device Manager. But before you start, consider updating your drivers and check if it helps. Methods as below:
Step 1: Right-click on the “Start” button and select “Device Manager”.
Step 2: The Device Manager window appears, find the device to update the driver, right-click and select Update Driver.
Step 3: Click “Search automatically for drivers” and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
If your driver is incorrect, try the following solutions for Windows automatic hardware recognition.
Step 1: Continue to open the Device Manager, right-click the hardware driver you installed before, and select Uninstall Device.
Step 2: Complete the steps to uninstall the selected driver. Once done, click the Action option in the menu, then click the Scan for hardware changes line.
3. Use the tools in Troubleshooting
Windows has a built-in Troubleshooting Toolkit that contains many small tools that can quickly fix most system problems. Since this problem is related to your hardware, you have to go to the Hardware and Devices tool in the troubleshooter.
To launch the Hardware and Devices tool in the troubleshooter, simply enter the command “msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic” in the Run dialog box and press ENTER.
Next, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the error checking and troubleshooting process.
Note: Remember to click on the “Advanced” row and check the “Apply repairs automatically” option.
4. Temporarily disable antivirus software
Sometimes an overactive antivirus software can be the reason why Windows is unable to install drivers. In this case, the solution is to temporarily disable it.
If you’re using third-party antivirus software, you can disable it by right-clicking the icon in the system tray and selecting “Disable” from the menu that appears.
5. Disable Driver Signature Enforcement
Typically, the driver “drivers” on your computer are usually installed from Windows Update, original devices, downloaded software, etc. must be digitally signed by Microsoft. It’s the manufacturer’s mark of safety along with any information about it. If Microsoft does not certify the drivers, your computer equipment will not work on your system. This is called “driver signature enforcement”.
However, in some cases, you need to install unofficial drivers, unsigned drivers, or old drivers without digital signature, etc., you will have to disable Driver Signature Enforcement. Methods as below.
Step 1: Open “Settings” and go to “System” > “Recovery” and click “Restart Now”. Windows then visits the advanced startup page. Click Restart Now to restart Windows and go directly to the Advanced Boot Menu startup page. At this point, click Troubleshoot.
Step 2: Click “Advanced Options” and select Startup Settings.
Now all you have to do is click “Restart”.
Generally, if your computer cannot install the drivers, you will not be able to use the device properly. Fortunately, this problem is very common, and you can easily fix it using the solutions above.