If you want to remove troublesome drivers on Windows 10 completely, then read on as this post explains how to do it in the easiest ways.
Have you ever faced a situation when you have so many irrelevant or outdated device drivers and want to uninstall them? For example, you want to remove or completely uninstall your Windows driver. But you are unable to uninstall the driver on your Windows 10 PC, as the latest version of Windows comes with an automatic backup feature. This feature of Windows 10 restricts the users from removing the device drivers and restores them automatically when they become outdated or broken.
It is necessary to remove the drivers on your Windows 10 PC that are unwanted, not installed properly, or outdated. Due to the automatic backup feature of Windows 10, it shows there is no issue with your drivers, but still you are facing issues such as the blue screen of death (BSOD), system freeze, etc.
Although there are a few tricks to tackle up such situations and completely remove the unwanted drivers from your Windows 10 system. Here we’ll discuss all such solutions
Recommendation for a Better Alternative
But if you are sure that the drivers are useful and do not want to uninstall them, then we have a better alternative for you rather than uninstalling them. You can try updating them using a multi-functional driver repair utility. Yes, we are talking about the most preferred Quick Driver Updater. You can fix your driver issues by installing the Quick Driver Updater. Here is the download tab.
You can use the below-mentioned ways on Windows 10 to uninstall the driver you want. However, after removing the drivers on Windows 10, if you re-install them again and want to keep them updated, then you can use some best driver updater tools such as Quick Driver Updater.
Ways to Uninstall Device Drivers on Windows 10
Below are some ways that you can use to remove and uninstall device drivers on Windows 10. You can, however, install their different and more stable version again if you want.
Method 1. Roll Back to a Previous Driver
As the name suggests this technique allows you to switch back to the previous version of your driver that we assume was the much stable one. Let’s assume that you want to switch to a previous version of your printer driver. You can follow the below-mentioned steps to roll back to a previous version of the driver on Windows 10.
Step 1: Click on Start or we can say the windows icon that is at the bottom left corner of your screen.
Step 2: Then search for Device Manager and click on the top search result.
Step 3: Click on “Printers” or any other device to expand its categories.
Step 4: After that right-click on the printer device of which you want to switch to a previous version of the driver.
Step 5: Select “Properties”.
Step 6: Then select the “Driver” tab.
Step 7: Now click on the “Roll Back Driver” button.
Step 8: Now you are required to select a reason why you want to roll back to the previous version of the driver select any one of them and click the “Yes” button.
Step 9: At last restart your Windows 10 PC.
By following the above steps you can switch back to the previous version of any of your drivers and can uninstall the current problematic version or remove the drivers on Windows 10.
Method 2. Uninstall a Driver Via Windows Default Program Uninstaller
If you have installed or added a device to your PC through an installer, then the best and quickest method to uninstall a driver on Windows 10 is to use the system default uninstaller program. Through this method, you can uninstall the driver completely just like any other program or software on your PC. Here are the steps to completely remove a driver on Windows 10.
- Click on Start.
- Search for “uninstall a program” and select the first search result.
- After that go through the list of programs and drivers and double click the on program or driver that you want to remove completely on your Windows 10 PC.
- Click on “Yes” to start the uninstallation process.
- Once it gets completed reboot your system.
You can completely uninstall or remove the drivers on your Windows 10 PC by following the above steps.
Method 3. Completely Remove a Device Driver
This method is used to completely remove or uninstall drivers on Windows 10. It is quite a long, technical, and time-consuming method to delete drivers on Windows 10. Here we have briefly explained this method in four steps.
Step 1: Look for .sys files.
You first have to look for .sys files in Driver File Details. You can do it by using the Device Manager and then selecting the device properties. Then you have to look for the Inf name also.
How to look for .sys files
- By following the below mentioned steps you can get the .sys files of the drivers you want.
- Open device manager and look for the device of which you want to remove the drivers.
- Double click on that device to open its properties.
- Then click on the “Driver” tab.
- Click on “Driver Details”.
- From Driver File Details check .sys files and write them in c:\windows\system32\drivers.
- Now go back to the device properties again and click on the “Details” Tab.
- Look for inf name.
- Then write down the inf name that is showing in the “Value”
- At last, look for that corresponding folder in C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository
Step 2: Look for the driver backup files.
In this step, you are required to generate a .txt file to check all the information that we have gathered in the previous step. After that, you need to scroll down in the .txt file till the driver details you want to remove. Now look for the folder with the exact original name in C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository to get the driver backup files.
How to Look for the driver backup files.
- To look for the driver backup files you can follow the below-mentioned steps:
- Search cmd and press enter.
- Now right-click the icon and go for “run as administrator”.
- Type “pnputil /enum-drivers > c:\drivers.txt” and press enter.
- Now look for the .txt file that has been generated and check the information that we have gathered in Step 1.
- Now take the original name.
- Look for the folder with the exact original name in C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository
You’ll be having the driver backup files after following the above steps.
Step 3: Get complete control of those files.
Now you can delete those driver-related files if you have access to change them. But if you do not have any access, then you are required to take full control of those files. For that right-click on the file and then select properties. Then through properties, you can disable inheritance and can get full control of those files.
How to get complete control of those files.
Here are the detailed steps following which you can get a full control over the driver-related files.
- To get full control of those files, right-click on that respective file.
- Select properties.
- Click on the “Security” tab.
- Now click on the “Advanced” button.
- Select “Change” and type your windows account.
- Click Ok and after that select the “Change permissions” button.
- Select “Disable inheritance”.
- Go for “Remove all inherited permissions from this object.”
- Click on the “Add” button.
- Click on “Select a principal”.
- Now enter your current account and click “OK”.
- Select “Full Control”.
- Select “Only apply these permissions to objects and/or containers within this container.”
- At last, click “OK”.
Now you are having the full control of those particular driver related files.
At last, you are required to delete all the driver-related keys through Registry Editor, you can open it by typing “regedit” into the run command. Then in Registry Editor expand the following path
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Setup\PnpLockdownFiles. Now look for the related driver keys and delete them.
How to delete all the related driver keys from Registry Editor
To delete the driver keys follow these steps.
Step 1: Press Win+R.
Step 2: Type “regedit” and press enter to open Registry Editor.
Step 3: Now expand the following path
Step 4: Look for those driver-related keys.
Step 5: Right-click on those files and delete them.
As the above process is quite tedious and time-consuming you can simply install any good driver uninstaller tools such as IObit Uninstaller 7 Free, Driver Talent, etc. These tools can help you to completely uninstall a driver on Windows 10.
Method 4: Open the Device Manager
In case, if the device does not have an uninstaller or the uninstaller is not appearing in the list of programs and drivers, then you can completely remove the driver on Windows 10 through the device manager by following the steps mentioned below.
Step 1: Click the Start icon.
Step 2: Search for “Device Manager” and select the top search result.
Step 3: Double click on the device of which you want to remove the driver.
Step 4: Right-click on the driver you want to uninstall.
Step 5: Select “Uninstall”
Step 6: Windows will ask for your confirmation, select “Yes” to delete the driver on Windows 10.
Step 7: Once the uninstallation process gets completed, restart your PC to make the uninstallation of driver effective.
You can use the above-mentioned ways on Windows 10 to uninstall the driver you want. However, after removing the drivers on Windows 10, if you re-install them again and want to keep them updated, then you can use some best driver updater tools such as Quick Driver Updater.
Method 5. Use Programs and Features
You can use the Programs and Features present in the Control Panel to completely remove a driver from the Windows 10 computer. Here are the directions for the same.
Step 1: In the search box of your computer, type “Control Panel” and click on the top result.
Step 2: After the Control Panel comes up on the screen, select “Programs and Features” from the options that you see.
Step 3: Right-click on the driver that you wish to remove from your PC and choose “Uninstall.”
Step 4: Click on “Yes” to begin the driver uninstallation.
Step 5: After the driver uninstalls, restart the computer.
Method 6: Find & Remove Old Device Drivers Using Command Prompt & Device Manager
Sometimes, the old drivers do not show up when you try to remove them from your PC. Hence, first of all, you have to find them. Here is how you can find and delete the old device drivers on Windows 10.
Step 1: In the search box of your computer, type Command Prompt.
Step 2: Run it as administrator.
Step 3: In the Command Prompt, type the below command.
Step 4: Press Enter key on the keyboard.
Step 5: Now, close the Command Prompt window.
Step 6: After closing Command Prompt, open Device Manager. You can do it by typing Device Manager in the search box of your PC.
Step 7: In Device Manager, click the View tab.
Step 8: Then, select the Show hidden devices option.
Step 9: Now expand the device categories and you can easily find the old hidden drivers as they are already faded out.
Step 10: Right-click on the driver.
Step 11: Select “Uninstall device/driver.”
Step 12: Windows will ask for your confirmation. Select “Yes” to delete the driver on Windows 10.
Step 13: Once the uninstallation process gets completed, restart your PC to make the uninstallation of the driver effective.
Method 7: Use Display Driver Uninstaller Program To Remove Graphics & Audios Drivers
If you want to remove the graphics and audio drivers from your Windows 10 PC easily, then you can do it via DDU. DDU stands for Display Driver Uninstaller program. It is a free Guru 3D application to uninstall display and sound drivers easily. Here is how you can completely remove the driver on Windows 10 using the DDU tool.
Step 1: Boot your Windows 10 PC in Safe Mode.
Step 2: Now, run DDU.
Step 3: After that, choose whether you want to delete GPU or Audio driver from your PC.
Step 4: Once you have selected the device type, choose the Clean and restart option.
How to Update Driver with Quick Driver Updater
Quick Driver Updater is one of the best driver updaters which can help you to keep all your driver updated. It can prevent your PC from problems such as system freeze, BSOD, unusual behavior of devices, etc. Moreover, it boosts the PC performance by fixing all your broken and outdated drivers so that it runs even the most graphic-intensive games and videos without any errors.
You can update your device drivers by just a few clicks. Below mentioned are some steps to update your device drivers with Quick Driver Updater.
Step 1: Download Quick Driver Updater from the link shared in this article.
Step 2: Install the driver updater tool on your Windows 10 PC just like any other software.
Step 3: Launch the tool.
Step 4: After launching it automatically starts to detect outdated and broken drivers.
Step 5: Now you can simply click on the drivers you want to update.
If you want to update all the missing, broken, or outdated drivers with one click then the Quick Driver Updater also helps you with that.
Just click on the Overview option and select “Update All”. Then Quick Driver Updater will automatically download and install all your broken and missing drivers.
After going through the methods to get rid of the unwanted drivers, if you still have questions, then go through the next section to find the answers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How to remove old device drivers in Windows 10?
To remove the drivers of old or non-existent devices, follow these steps.
- Activate the Device Manager.
- After it appears, click on the “View” tab.
- Choose “Show hidden devices” from the drop-down list.
- Find the devices with faded icons.
- Right-click on the faded device and select “Uninstall” to remove its driver.
Q2. How do I permanently remove the Realtek driver from Windows 10?
Below are the steps to get rid of the Realtek driver.
- Launch Device Manager.
- Click on the “Sound, video, and game controllers” category.
- Right-click on the Realtek device and select the “Uninstall” option.
- Confirm your actions and wait for the process to complete.
Q3. How do I uninstall drivers that won’t uninstall?
You can refer to the methods shared in this article to completely remove the drivers. And if you want to perform the task automatically, then you can get any of the driver uninstaller software available in the market, such as Driver Sweeper, Revo Uninstaller Pro, etc.
Concluding the guide to Completely Remove/Uninstall Drivers on Windows 10
At last, we hope that the above write-up helped you to remove your drivers on Widows 10 PC that are not being installed properly. It is important to have healthy drivers on your PC for the proper functioning of your devices. So, keep a regular check on them update the outdated ones and uninstall the unwanted drivers on your Windows 10 PC.