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Prevent Windows from automatically installing drivers?

MichaelMouton
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Go to solution Solved by Mel0nMan,

You could also probably just disable Windows updates

Hi all

 

I have a very specific computer setup which requires me to install specific drivers. Unfortunately, Windows constantly installs drivers which I do not want.

 

There are written articles which can be found through a simple web search, but absolutely none of them work. I have tried everything from Group Policy edits, Registry edits and even uninstalling the drivers through both Device Manager and Control Panel.

 

I don't want to name and shame, but the drivers in question have accompanied extension tools. The Microsoft equivalent drivers have none of the BS which is found within the manufacturer provided ones.

 

The only half-working solution I have found is by updating the drivers through Device Manager, and selecting the 'better' equivalent. But this doesn't fully resolve the issue as the unwanted drivers are still downloaded and installed on my laptop, and the tools still running. Even after I updated the drivers and try to uninstall the tools from Control Panel, it is automatically reinstalled minutes later. Absolutely frustrating!

 

What I want to do is to prevent Windows from downloading drivers for core system components (graphics, trackpad, audio, etc....) right after a fresh Windows install. To be clear, I still want Windows to download drivers for new USB devices and such - it just needs to stop downloading drivers for core system components.

 

I have a Dell Latitude laptop, so drivers are readily available from Dell themselves.  It has all the latest hardware, so supports both Windows 10 and 11.  I don't mind using either one of those, so suggestions for both OSes are welcomed.

 

Thanks in advance!

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you can just override the insallation. click update drivers and manually select the one you want.

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You could also probably just disable Windows updates

I'm not a professional, just an enthusiast. I don't know everything.

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@SupaKomputa that is exactly what I did (by selecting "Update Driver"), but it doesn't work exactly as desired, as I explained in the OP.

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Just now, Mel0nMan said:

You could also probably just disable Windows updates

no, not elegant. updates should always be on. windows wont update custom drivers btw.

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try this : https://www.windowscentral.com/how-disable-automatic-driver-updates-windows-10

just block the update for that driver, no need to stop the whole windows update, since it comes with critical patches.

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@SupaKomputa that Windows Central article is one of many I tried.  It doesn't work at all.

 

Windows still installs each and every single driver for my laptop.

 

I have 21H2 installed; OS Build 19044.1706.

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That's odd, in my pc windows never auto update custom drivers, even though there are newer available.

do you have the laptop software running in the background? if yes, uninstall it.

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This is a brand new laptop, as such I have no data on this and have tried so many different methods on multiple fresh Windows 10 and 11 installs.  I don't install any programs or anything.

 

It's always the same.  I install Windows, apply whichever method with no wifi connected.  Then after I follow the articles' instructions I connect to my hone network for the first time, and it will just ignore what I did and continue to download and install ALL drivers anyway.

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4 minutes ago, MichaelMouton said:

will just ignore what I did and continue to download and install ALL drivers anyway.

After you install your drivers "offline" is all the hardware recognized in device manager? Any device not recognized will have a yellow exclamation icon next to it.

 and windows will try to find a driver for it automatically once an internet connection is established. To prevent this you need to disable the hardware in device manager.

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@C2dan88 nope.  I suspect the main reason for this is because I am using Microsoft's basic drivers, instead of the manufacturer's official drivers.

 

EDIT: Not all devices have the Microsoft equivalent drivers.  The ones that use the manufacturer drivers don't seem to update automatically.

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Yes you should be using the manufactures official driver.

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But I don't want to.  My OS, my license, so why can't I do what I want to do?

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23 minutes ago, MichaelMouton said:

But I don't want to.  My OS, my license, so why can't I do what I want to do?

Sir, this is a Wendy's.

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13 minutes ago, MichaelMouton said:

But I don't want to.  My OS, my license, so why can't I do what I want to do?

Because drivers are an essential part of the device's operation? Windows' drivers are, as you say, basic versions to attempt to give you some bare minimum of functionality like how my 1080 Ti only outputs a low-resolution image if I completely remove the Nvidia drivers and let it fall back on Windows' basic VGA drivers.

59 minutes ago, MichaelMouton said:

I have a very specific computer setup which requires me to install specific drivers. Unfortunately, Windows constantly installs drivers which I do not want.

It sounds like there's a different underlying question here. Which drivers are these? What software? What "extension tools" do they bring? Do the "normal" drivers give you actual issues that make you resort to specific ones?

 

If you can elaborate on what it is that gets installed alongside the drivers people may be able to help you remove that while still keeping the recommended driver instead.

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58 minutes ago, Mel0nMan said:

You could also probably just disable Windows updates

 

Hey, disabling Windows Update worked perfectly!!!

 

I'll probably use this as a better temporary fix.  I would still like to filter out drivers from Windows Update.

 

Yes, I know there is a setting to exclude drivers from Windows Update which can be enabled in the Group Policy editor, but somehow that doesn't actually work for me; Windows completely ignores the setting.

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Well, I didn't want to name the culprit, but here goes...

 

I absolutely abhor the Realtek Audio Drivers.  There are so many problems that come with these drivers that I could go on for about an hour.

 

Normally I'd use whatever drivers are automatically installed via Windows Update, but this has been the first computer which I'd ever owned where the manufacturer's drivers are just total rubbish!

 

In any case, @Mel0nMan has provided a solid temporary fix which I'll continue to use until Microsoft gives me the (fully functioning) option of filtering out driver installs from Windows Update.

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