HOW TO: Reinstall drivers in Windows 7

Description: Reinstalling a driver is usually the first and most simple step to take when troubleshooting common computer problems.

  1. First, open Device Manager by going to the Start Menu and typing Device Manager in the Search programs and files box, then press Enter.
    Windows 7 Start Search Box
  2. Locate the appropriate category for the driver to be reinstalled (i.e. internet : network adapters. display: display adapters, etc.) and click the arrow to the left of the category to expand the list.
    Windows 7 Device Manager
  3. In the list, locate the appropriate driver and right-click on it, then click uninstall.
    Chosen Device, Uninstall
  4. A warning box will appear. If there is a box labeled Delete driver software, make sure that it is not checked. Then, click OK.
    Device Uninstall Confirmation
  5. Now, restart the computer. Once rebooted, a message will appear in the bottom right corner indicating the driver is being reinstalled. Once finished, another message will appear indicating the driver has been successfully installed.
    New Hardware Found, Installing Driver
  6. If the driver does not reinstall automatically, open Device Manager again (refer to Step 1 for how to do this). Right-click in the blank white area and click Scan for hardware changes. This will manually search for any missing drivers. Alternatively, you can click the icon below the word Help along the top row to achieve the same outcome.
    Device Manager, Scan for Changes