How to remove old, unused drivers in Windows 10

How to remove old, unused drivers in Windows 10

It’s no exaggeration to say that the driver (driver) is part of Windows’ soul. Every device that you connect, install on a Windows system to work, must have a corresponding driver.

The problem is that over time, your Windows computer can get bogged down in a mess of a myriad of old drivers that have been installed long ago and are no longer needed. Not only do they consume storage space, they can sometimes lead to problems on your PC.

Sure, you can easily uninstall any device driver using Windows’ built-in tools. The problem is that Windows device manager only shows currently connected devices and has no option to see old or hidden drivers. In this article, we will learn how to force hidden drivers to “come out”, as well as how to delete old drivers, no longer in use in Windows 10.

For graphics and sound drivers, use DDU

The graphics card is a really complicated device. When you buy a new graphics card or upgrade your old one, complete error can be caused by driver conflicts. (It could be that the GPU doesn’t work completely, or is prone to crashes and restarts).

You should use the free DDU Guru 3D tool (Display Driver Uninstaller) to proactively completely uninstall your old graphics card drivers before upgrading to the new one to avoid the aforementioned problems. .

After downloading and unpacking the DDU, you will need to open Windows 10 in Safe Mode, then open this tool and select the type of device you want to uninstall the driver (GPU or Audio) from the drop-down menu. Next, click “ Clean and restart ” to completely uninstall related drivers.

Go back to Windows 10 in normal mode. Now, you can install new GPU or Audio drivers without fear of any conflicts or interference from old drivers on the system.

Force display of old drivers.

Before uninstalling old drivers, we need to force them to “show them as they are” in a specific list.

To do that, first press Win + X and choose “ Command Prompt (Admin)” from the list of options that appear.

Type the following command and press the Enter button to execute it:

SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES = 1 

The above command will force all old or currently not in use drivers to show up in the Device Manager list. From this list you can easily selectively perform and uninstall unwanted drivers.

Uninstall old drivers in Windows

To uninstall old drivers, first press Win + X and select “ Device Manager ” from the list that appears.

Navigate to the ” View ” tab and select the option ” show hidden devices ” to show all old, hidden drivers.

The beauty of this feature is that the names of all old drivers will be blurred out, so you can easily identify and distinguish them from the drivers that are still in use to avoid deleting them.

Select the old driver you want to uninstall, right click and click on the option ” Uninstall “.

That’s all you have to do. Using this tip, you can easily find and uninstall any old, hidden drivers. But be careful not to delete the drivers that are still being used, as this can cause problems with the hardware device associated with that driver. Always check several times before uninstalling any device driver.

Refer to some more articles below:

  • This is how to bring File Explorer Windows 10 interface like File Explorer Windows 7
  • How do I get the Windows 10 Anniversary Update?
  • Activate Dark Theme on Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Good luck!