Any hardware devices attached to your Windows system require you to install hardware drivers to work properly. The hardware drivers have low-level access to your Windows system so that they can work as they should. Since the drivers get access to the kernel, Windows requires those drivers to be officially signed. Any driver that doesn’t have the official driver signature from Microsoft will not be allowed to install on Windows.
However, there will be times when you need to install unofficial drivers, unsigned drivers or even old drivers with no digital signature. In those cases, you need to hop around a bit to install unsigned drivers in Windows. The following is how to install unsigned drivers in Windows 10.
Note: checking driver signatures is a security feature, and disabling it is not recommended. Only install unsigned drivers from trusted sources.
There are three different ways to install unsigned drivers in Windows 10. I will show you all three of them. Follow the one that is most comfortable to you.
1. Install Unsigned Drivers from Advanced Boot Menu
The easiest way to install unsigned drivers is to use the Windows 10 Advanced Boot menu. To do that, press “Win + X,” navigate to “Shutdown” and then “Shift + Left Click” on the “Restart” option.
The above action will restart your system and will take you to the Advanced Boot menu. Here, select the “Troubleshooting” option.
In the Troubleshoot section select the option “Advanced Options.”
Now, select “Start-up Settings.”
The Startup Settings option will allow you to boot your Windows system in different modes. Just click on the “Restart” button to continue.
Since we need to install unsigned drivers, press F7 on your keyboard to select the seventh option “Disable driver signature enforcement.”
As soon as you press the key, your system will boot into Windows. Now you can install any unsigned driver you wish. After installing, restart your system, and the Driver Signature Enforcement will be automatically enabled from the next reboot.
If you ever want to install another unsigned driver, you have to go through the above process again.
2. Install Unsigned Drivers by Enabling Test Mode
Another way to install unsigned drivers is to enable the test mode in Windows 10. The good thing about this method is that it will stay enabled until you manually turn it off – a pretty useful way if you are testing different drivers.
To start, press “Win + X” to open the Power User menu, and then select the option “Command Prompt (Admin).”
The above action will open the Command Prompt with admin rights. Here, copy and execute the below command:
You will see that the command has been successfully executed. Just restart your system, and you will be booted into Test Mode. When you are in Test Mode, you can install the unsigned drivers. Moreover, you will also see a watermark, something like the one in the screenshot below, to let you know that your Windows system is in Test Mode.
Once you are done installing the driver, it is important that you turn off test mode. To do that, use the below command as an admin and reboot your system:
3. Install Unsigned Drivers by Disabling Integrity Checks
You can also disable the integrity checks to install unsigned drivers. To disable integrity checks, open the Command Prompt as admin from the Power User menu and execute the below command:
After executing the command, just restart your system, and you can install the unsigned driver on your Windows 10 machine.
Just like with Testing Mode, it is important to enable the integrity checks. To re-enable integrity check, execute the below command as an admin in the command prompt:
Now restart the system and you are good to go.
Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above methods to install unsigned drivers in Windows 10