How to Disable Searching Windows Update for Device Drivers in Windows 7 and 10

Windows 7 and 10 are different on installing drivers. Bluetooth adapters need to establish their drivers based on laptop and computer models.

Acer will have different drivers compared to DELL, HP, and Samsung.

Microsoft Generic Drivers

Windows can install Microsoft generic drivers for Windows.

Also Read – CCleaner – The Best Driver Update Utility for Windows 10

The latest stable version of Windows 10 supports drivers for many devices like graphic hardware, sound devices, keyboards, mice, monitors, and many others.

Windows 7 Automatic Driver Update

Windows 7 is still in its infant stage in installing the correct drivers for the hardware. Even if it installs any driver software, Windows Updates try to update them instantly. 

Also Read – How to Download AMD HDMI and Audio Drivers for Windows 10

As we know, Windows Updates are very slow to install in Windows 7.

We see a swirling icon that Windows 7 is searching for the latest updates for drivers.

It is a time-consuming process. Install the drivers from the manufacturer site, and the windows update is still spinning.

More Related – 6 Solutions to Realtek Audio Driver Problems in Windows 10 and 7

Windows 10 Driver Updates

On the opposite Windows 10, search for updates is quick and is accessible. 

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We need to install driver software in Windows 7 and Windows 10 manually for some legacy devices and unsupported generic drivers.

This version only works for some devices.

More Read – How to Fix Realtek Audio Driver Problem on Windows 10

Keeping given the above problems, we need to disable automatic driver update for some devices. In this guide, we are going to see the steps on how to achieve this task. 

How to Disable Automatic Driver Update using System Setting?

Windows 7

Time needed: 5 minutes.

The recommended option by Windows is that it searches for hardware drivers automatically when they are first connected. But it can go into a loop while finding them in Windows 7. In such cases, you can choose one of the 4 options.

  1. Search for “system” in the Windows 7 search box.

    system control panel item windows 7

  2. Click on “Advanced system settings” on the left pane.

    advanced system settings windows 7

  3. System Properties windows open.

    Click on the Hardware tab.

  4. Click on Device Installation Settings

  5. Disable automatic driver update options

    A pop-up window with the following message opens – “Do you want Windows to download driver software and realistic icons for your devices?”

  6. Select the “No, let me choose what to do.”

  7. Select the “Never install driver software from Windows Update.”

It will prevent searching windows updates for drivers. 

Windows 10 

  1. Click on Start > Settings > System > About.
  1. On the right-hand side, click on Advanced System Settings.
  2. The System Properties window will open.
  3. Click on the Hardware > Device Installation Settings.
  4. The following window opens with the message – Do you want to automatically download manufacturer’s apps and custom icons available for your device?
  1. Click on No.
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It will stop the automatic download of drivers using Windows Update.

But as we see, Windows 10 is quick and best at updating the latest drivers. Therefore, the recommended option can be left alone if your hardware configuration is good enough.

How to Use Group Policy to Disable Automatic Driver Updates?

Windows 7

  1. Type gpedt.msc in the Run dialog box by pressing the Win + R keys.
  2. Local Group Policy Editor will open. It would be best if you were an administrator.
  3. Follow the path – Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Driver Installation
  4. View by Standard option on the right pane.
  5. Double-click the option – Turn off Windows Update device driver search prompt.
  6. Select the “Disabled” option.

Windows 10

The steps are the same as above. 

How to Disable Searching Windows Update for Device Drivers using registry

Windows 7

Type Regedit in the Search programs and files.

Registry Editor will open. 

Navigate to the following path – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE –> SOFTWARE –> Microsoft –> Windows –> CurrentVersion –> DriverSearching

Set the SearchOrderConfig value to 3. 

SearchOrderConfig 0 = Yes, do this automatically

1 = No, let me choose what to do, Always install the best.

2 = No, let me choose what to do, Install driver software from windows update

3 = No, let me choose what to do, Never install driver software from Windows

If this didn’t work, follow this path – HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Device Metadata

PreventDeviceMetadataFromNetwork = 1

Source: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/10bf1813-4c28-4bc7-87d2-5cb200183e22/could-not-turn-off-the-driver-software-download-settings-using-registry-value-driversearching?forum=win10itprogeneral

Windows 10

The steps are the same. You can set the SearchOrderConfig to 1.

This option will ask what to do before it tries the driver update from the Microsoft site.

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Since, Windows 10 is good at detecting the correct drivers for most of your devices. It should not have much problem.

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