Automatic graphics driver updates can cause problems. Here’s how to stop Windows 10 from downloading, installing, and updating the graphics driver automatically.
Along with regular quality and security updates, Windows 10 also downloads and installs driver updates. The update includes new drivers and updates for existing drivers. This is especially true for graphics card drivers. Generally, automatic driver installation is pretty good because this eliminates the need to find, download and install the drivers by yourself manually.
However, Windows might download the wrong or incompatible graphics driver from time to time. In those situations, Windows 10 crashes, or the graphics card will not work correctly.
I’ve recently shown you how to pause automatic updates and stop Windows 10 from automatically installing drivers for all devices. Suppose you don’t want to go to the extreme. i.e., stop all updates and want to stop the automatic graphics driver update, then follow the below steps.
Note: Since we will use the Group Policy Editor, this method works only on Windows 10 Pro devices.
Warning: Before proceeding, ensure that you have already manually installed a compatible graphics driver and disconnected from the internet. You can download the graphics driver directly from the card manufacturer’s website if you are wondering.
Stop Automatic Graphics Driver Installation or Updating in Windows 10
To stop the automatic graphics driver update, we will use the device’s hardware IDs and the Group Policy Editor. All we have to do is tell Windows not to install drivers for a device that has a specific hardware ID(s). Since hardware IDs are unique to each device on your system, this works perfectly to stop Windows from automatically installing the graphics driver update. It doesn’t sound straightforward, but it is pretty easy to do. Let me show you how.
1. The first thing we need to do is know the hardware IDs of the graphics card. Thankfully, the device manager gives us all sorts of information, including the hardware IDs. So, open the start menu, search for “Device Manager,” and open it.
2. In the device manager, expand the “Display Adapters” section to find your graphics card. In my case, the graphics card is Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti. Right-click on it and choose “Properties.”
3. Go to the “Details” tab in the properties window. Now, select “Hardware Ids” from the dropdown menu under the Property section.
4. This action will show the hardware IDs of the graphics card. Generally, you will see four separate hardware IDs. Keep this window open and proceed to the next step. We’ll come back to these IDs in a bit.
5. We now need to find the target policy where we can use the hardware IDs. So, press Win + R, type
gpedit.msc, and click on the “Ok” button. This action opens the Group Policy Editor.
6. In the group policy editor, you will see multiple folders on the left panel. Go to the following folder. This is where we will find the relevant policy that blocks Windows 10 from installing the graphics driver.
Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Device Installation -> Device Installation Restrictions
7. On the right panel, find the “Prevent installation of devices that match these device IDs” policy and double-click on it.
8. In the policy properties window, select the “Enabled” radio option. This action will enable a few more options under the Options panel. Click on the “Show” button.
9. The above action will open the “Show Contents” window. We need to enter the hardware IDs we have previously seen in step 4.
To enter hardware IDs, right-click on the hardware ID in the device properties window, select copy, and then paste it into the “Show Contents” window. Once you paste all the four hardware IDs, this is what it should look like. Click the “Ok” button to continue.
Note: Double-click on each column in the Show Contents window to be able to paste the hardware ID.
10. In the main policy properties window, click on the “Apply” and “Ok” buttons to save the changes.
11. Though we’ve changed the group policy, the policy settings are not yet applied. To apply the changed policy, reboot Windows 10.
That is all. After restarting, you can safely connect to the internet. Windows 10 will no longer install or update the graphics driver automatically. In fact, all forms of driver installation or updating are disabled for that specific device.
When you want to update the driver for that specific device, you must manually disable the policy. To disable the policy, select the “Disabled” option in step 8, restart the system, and you are good to go. Windows 10 will auto-install driver updates as and when needed.
That is all. As you can see, it is pretty easy to stop Windows 10 from installing or updating drivers of a specific device.
I hope this simple Windows 10 how-to guide helped you.
If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.