Device drivers play a vital role in Windows operating system’s performance and stability. It’s important to have correct and latest device drivers for the smooth functioning of your Windows 10 computer.
Since most PC users never bother to manually update device drivers, Microsoft has configured Windows 10 to automatically download device drivers via Windows Update and install them.
With default settings, Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs device drivers as well as device driver updates. While this feature makes maintaining Windows 10 a lot easier, many of you might want to stop Windows 10 from automatically installing device drivers. For instance, when you know that the latest version of a driver breaks Windows OS, you need to stop Windows 10 from automatically installing it on your PC.
We now need to use either Group Policy or Registry to disable automatic driver updates in Windows 10.
Method 1 of 2
Disable automatic driver updates via Group Policy
Group Policy is not part of Windows 10 Home edition. If you are running Windows 10 Home, please refer to the directions in Method 2 of this article (scroll down to see) which uses Registry to disable automatic driver updates.
Step 1: Open the Local Group Policy Editor by typing its name in the Start/taskbar search field and then hitting the Enter key. You can also open the same by typing Gpedit.msc in Run command box.
Step 2: In the Group Policy window, navigate to Computer configuration > Administrative templates > Windows components > Windows Update.
Step 3: Now, on the right side, look for Do not include drivers with Windows Update policy. Double-click on the policy to open its properties.
Step 4: Select the Enabled option. Click the Apply button. Lastly, click the OK button.
Method 2 of 2
Disable auto driver updates via Registry in Windows 10
Step 1: Open the Registry Editor by typing Regedit.exe in the Start/taskbar search field and then pressing Enter key.
Step 2: Navigate to the following key:
Step 3: On the left side, right-click on Windows key, click New and then click Key. Name the new key as WindowsUpdate.
Step 4: Select Windows Update key on the left side. On the right side, right-click on an empty spot, click New, click DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it as ExcludeWUDriversInQualityUpdate.
Step 5: Finally, double-click on ExcludeWUDriversInQualityUpdate value and then change its value data from 0 to 1 to turn off automatic driver updates in Windows 10. To re-enable automatic driver updates, set the value back to 0 or delete ExcludeWUDriversInQualityUpdate value.
How to delete old device drivers from Windows 10 guide might also interest you.