Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs all the required device drivers as soon as you connect to the Internet. This eliminates the need to manually download and install the drivers to get started. However, if you are using older hardware devices like old printers or graphic cards, the default drivers downloaded by Windows 10 may cause some issues. Moreover, some of us may simply want to stop Windows 10 from downloading drivers for specific hardware like graphic cards. To deal with that, just follow the below steps, and you should be able to stop Windows 10 from installing drivers for a specific hardware device.
Find and Copy Device Hardware IDs
Since we want to block driver updates for a specific hardware device, we need its unique hardware IDs. To get them, search for “Device Manager” in the Start Menu and open it.
Once the Device Manager has been opened, find the hardware device for which you want to block the driver updates. In my case, I’m selecting the graphic card in my old laptop which was abandoned by the manufacturer and no longer provides proper drivers for Windows 10. Right-click on the device and select the option “Properties.”
In the hardware properties window, navigate to the “Details” tab and then select “Hardware IDs” from the drop-down menu under “Property.”
The above action will show you the unique hardware IDs of the target device. Select all the listed IDs, right-click and then select the option “Copy.”
We are going to need these IDs in a few steps, so paste them into a text file for safekeeping.
Block Driver Updates for Specific Device Using Group Policy Editor
Press “Win + R,” type
gpedit.msc and press the Enter button to open the Windows 10 Group Policy Editor.
After opening the Group Policy Editor, navigate to “Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Device Installation -> Device Installation Restrictions.”
Once you are here, find the “Prevent installation of devices that match any of these devices IDs” policy, and double-click on it to change its properties.
In the policy properties window, select the “Enabled” radio button, and then click on the “Show” button appearing under the Options category.
This action will open the “Show Contents” window. Here, enter all the hardware IDs you copied earlier one by one. Once filled in , click on the “OK” button to save the changes. In the future, if you have other hardware devices for which you want to avoid the driver updates, then add those hardware IDs in the same manner.
In the main window click on the “OK” button to save the changes.
Just restart your system and you are good to go. One thing to keep in mind is that Windows will still download the drivers for that hardware device, but it will not install them.
To revert back, change the policy setting to “Not Configured” or “Disabled.”
Block Driver Updates for Specific Device Using Registry Editor
If you are using the Windows 10 Home version, then you need to edit the Registry. To do that, press “Win + R,” type
regedit and press the Enter button.
Here, navigate to the following location.
On the left panel, right-click on the “Restriction” key and select the option “New -> Key.” Name then new key “DenyDeviceIDs.”
On the right-panel right-click and select the option “New -> String Value.”
Rename the String Value as “1.”
Double-click on the newly-created value, enter one of the hardware IDs that we copied earlier and click on the “OK” button.
Since we have multiple hardware IDs for a single hardware device, we need to create three more String Values and name them in ascending order, e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on. For each value enter the additional hardware ID and save it. Once you are done with everything, this is what it looks like. As you can see, I’ve created multiple string values and added the hardware IDs.
Restart your system and you are good to go. To revert back, simply delete the String Values.
Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above method to block driver updates to specific hardware devices in Windows 10.