How to Remove Old and Useless Drivers in Windows 8

For every device you have in your Windows PC, you will need a driver for that device to work properly. The problem with this is that as the time passes, your Windows machine will be bogged down with lots of unnecessary and old drivers which eventually may be a cause for odd behaviour in your computer. When I say odd behaviour, I’m talking about things like devices not working properly, driver clashes, slowing down your Windows machine, frequent freezing, crashes, etc. To be precise, it will be a pain in the neck to deal with driver-related problems.

Problems aside, most of us are cleanup junkies who often strive to maintain our computer in tip-top condition. Surely, you can easily uninstall any device driver using Windows’ built-in tools. But the problem is that, by default, Windows device manager only shows currently connected devices and there is no point and click option to see hidden or old drivers. So in this article, we will show how to force hidden drivers to appear and how to remove old drivers in Windows 8.

Note: This article is based on Windows 8, but it should work with any other previous versions like Windows Vista and Windows 7 as well.

Before uninstalling any old drivers, we need to force the old drivers to show up in the list.

1. To do that, press “Win + X” and select “Command Prompt (Admin)” from the list of options. If you are using Windows 7 or Vista, you can search and open command prompt as admin in your start menu.

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2. Type the following command and press the Enter button to execute the command:

SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1

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What the above command does is force all the non-present or old and invisible drivers to show up in the Device Manager list. Once you have done this, you can proceed with the uninstallation.

1. To uninstall the old drivers, press “Win + X” and select “Device Manager” from the list of options. If you are using Windows Vista or 7, you can search for device manager in the start menu.

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2. Go to “view” and select the option “show hidden devices” to reveal all the hidden and old drivers.

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The good thing about this feature is that all the old drivers are faded out, so you can easily identify the old or non-present drivers from current drivers.

3. Select the old driver you want to uninstall, right-click and select the uninstall option.

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That’s all there is to do. Using this tip, you can easily find and uninstall any old and hidden drivers. Always be careful not to remove any current device driver as this may cause problems with your connected hardware device. Also, always check twice before uninstalling any device driver.

Do comment below if you face any problems while uninstalling old drivers or to share your thoughts on this tip.