How to Install Unsigned Drivers in Windows 10

How To Install Unsigned Drivers In Windows 10 Featured

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. This means Microsoft tries to block any attempt to install unsigned drivers in Windows 10.

However, there will be times when you need to install unofficial drivers, unsigned drivers, or even old drivers with no digital signature. It’s possible but not quite as easy as installing signed drivers.

Note: Checking driver signatures is a security feature and disabling it is not recommended. Only install unsigned drivers from trusted sources. Always back up your computer fully before proceeding and ensure you’ve created a recovery drive. An untrusted driver could render your PC unusable without a complete format.

There are three different ways to install unsigned drivers in Windows 10. Each works, so pick the one you feel most comfortable using or whichever works best for 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,” then Shift + left-click on the “Restart” option.

win10-install-unsigned-drivers-restart-system

The above action will restart your system and will take you to the Advanced Boot menu. Here, select the “Troubleshooting” option.

win10-install-unsigned-drivers-select-troubleshoot

In the Troubleshoot section, select “Advanced Options.”

win10-install-unsigned-drivers-select-advanced-options

Select “Start-up Settings.”

win10-install-unsigned-drivers-select-startup-settings

The Startup Settings option will allow you to boot your Windows system in different modes. Just click on the “Restart” button to continue.

win10-install-unsigned-drivers-click-restart

Since we need to install unsigned drivers, press F7 on your keyboard to select the seventh option: “Disable driver signature enforcement.”

win10-install-unsigned-drivers-click-f7

As soon as you select it, your system will boot into Windows. You can then install unsigned drivers in Windows without issues. 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. This method is ideal if you just need to install an unsigned driver once or rarely.

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 begin, open your Start menu and type “command prompt.” Select “Run as administrator” under Command Prompt.

How To Install Unsigned Drivers In Windows 10 Command

The above action will open the Command Prompt with admin rights, which are required to enable Test Mode. At the prompt, copy and execute the below command:

win10-install-unsigned-drivers-testing-mode-on

You’ll see that the command has been successfully executed. Just restart your system, and you’ll 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.

win10-install-unsigned-drivers-test-mode-in-action

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:

win10-install-unsigned-drivers-testing-mode-off

3. Install Unsigned Drivers by Disabling Integrity Checks

You can also disable the integrity checks to install unsigned drivers in Windows. Disable integrity checks by opening the Command Prompt as admin (Start, search for Command Prompt, select “Run as administrator”), and execute the below command:

win10-install-unsigned-drivers-integrity-checks-off

After executing the command, just restart your system, and you can install the unsigned driver on your Windows 10 machine.

Just like with Test 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:

win10-install-unsigned-drivers-integrity-checks-on

Now, restart the system, and you are good to go.

Comment below to share your thoughts and experiences about using the above methods to install unsigned drivers in Windows 10.

If you’re dealing with a bunch of old, outdated drivers lingering in Windows 10, learn how to remove the clutter to save space and optimize performance. If you’re dealing with the opposite problem, learn how to roll back a driver.

Crystal Crowder Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

8 comments

  1. I receive an UPDATE DRIVER WARNING message when trying to install a Logitech QuickCam on my Vista PC. Even though the driver is from the Logitech site the message states that it may render my PC unusable! I’m not certain that this driver is for my model QuickCam since the original disk it came with was for Win 95 and I cannot find a Vista version from Logitech. Since it was never used it seems a shame to just toss it. Do you really think an inappropriate driver can render my PC useless?

  2. Thanks for the easy to follow steps for installing unsigned drivers in Windows 10. Until I found your site I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out how to do it. I used the first option you listed.

  3. I’ve followed the steps from 1srt scenario and indeed was able to install the drivers for my R.A.T. 9 mouse, but after restart the mouse stopped working again, and in device manager i see yellow ! sign on the driver in device manager

  4. I think that you have your nointegritychecks backwards

    bcdedit /set nointegritychecks off

    turns ON the integrity checks

    bcdedit /set nointegritychecks on

    turns OFF the integrity checks. Thanks Microsoft for making it so clear.

  5. For the bcdedit route: If you’re on 64 bit Windows 10, you’ll have to use this command: “C:WindowsSysnativebcdedit.exe nointegritychecks off” – it’s in a different location.

  6. Right now I’m trying to install a VPN client with unsigned drivers. The support team at the company told me I need to change group policy settings to allow this, only Windows 10 home doesn’t come with gpedit.msc. I was able to install gpedit via a batch file I found online, but if this doesn’t work I’ll be trying these solutions. Thanks for the info!

  7. Option one ended up working for me. I still got the error that appeared before, but the program installed and worked correctly. Restarted and made sure it still worked – it did. Thanks for the help!

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