October 2018 Article

You have probably seen the ads on TV or received advertising email for some sort of Driver Update Utility. They make claims of “Automating” the process of making sure your computer has the latest drivers.

But wait a minute:

Windows 10 Updates include any updates for the drivers needed for your computer.
Windows 10 handles this automatically for you.

So why are there businesses out there selling Driver Update Utilities? Because they can. And, once you pay for their product, they have a chance to sell you more services. These are typically services that you do not need and can cost you hundreds of dollars.

They have fancy (and sometimes fanciful) names. PC Matic, Driver Cloud, Driver Support, Driver Scout, Slimware, Device Doctor, DriverHUB… the list goes on and on.

So, what are drivers, what do they do, and where do they come from? Computers are made up of many different hardware parts. These parts need to be able to work together and communicate with Windows. Drivers are software that allows these hardware parts to work well together.

All of the major Windows computer manufacturers send their drivers to Microsoft for verification and signing. Because of this, Windows will keep all of your drivers up to date. There is simply no need for 3rd party software to do this for you.

When I come across driver update utilities on a client’s computer, I uninstall them. More than 30% of the computers I work on have one or more of these installed. They slow down the computer and provide no meaningful purpose or value. What is really irksome is that they often use scare tactics to sell un-needed and un-warranted services. Many of them are nothing more than a front for tech support scams.

If your computer is misbehaving contact a reputable, local technician and discuss the issue you are having.

I have built my business based on the core idea that your computer issues should be resolved in front of you, right there in your home or business.  Well above 90% of the time I find that there is no need to take it to the bench in my office.