How to Find Drivers on My Computer

By James Wright

Device drivers are essentially small programs that enable the operating system of your computer to communicate with various hardware devices like mice, keyboards, speakers and disk drives, making them an integral part of a computer system. For many hardware devices to work on a Windows 7 system, they must have the appropriate version of driver installed; otherwise, the operating system will not recognize such devices. Sometimes you may need to update device drivers, find new ones or simply check if the currently installed ones are working properly. Start by finding out what drivers your Windows 7 system is running.

Step 1

Access the Control Panel by clicking the Windows 7 "Start" menu button and selecting "Control Panel" on the right side of the Start menu.

Step 2

Click "System and Security" in the Control Panel window. If you don't see this selection, you may need to select "Category" from the View By drop-down menu.

Step 3

Click "Device Manager" under System. The Device Manager window will appear. Make sure "Devices By Type" is the option selected in the View menu. Click the plus sign next to the device type for which you want driver info, such as disk drives or monitors. This reveals a list of current devices in the chosen category.

Step 4

Double-click the device whose driver details you need to find, and then select the "Drivers" tab in the dialog box that opens. This will show you all the information about the current driver you have for that device and whether it is working correctly. You may also search for driver updates through this dialog box.

Tips & Warnings

  • The driver information might also show you where to find the website to download updates for your drivers. However, if everything is working fine, you don't need to do this.
  • Many peripherals come with CDs that contain any necessary drivers you may need for your device, if your computer doesn't have the driver already. If you need a driver, see if you have a CD before trying to search for the driver online.
  • Don't attempt to remove, modify or change any existing drivers unless you are certain you need to. Any changes to existing drivers can render certain devices inoperable, which may be difficult to correct.