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 time passes, your Windows machine will be bogged down with lots of unnecessary and old drivers, which eventually may result in problems on your PC.
Surely, you can easily uninstall any device driver using Windows’s built-in tools. The problem is that Windows device manager only shows currently connected devices, and there is no option to see hidden or old drivers. Here we show you how to force hidden drivers to appear and how to remove old drivers in Windows 10.
Note: this article is based on Windows 10, but it should work with any other previous versions, like Windows 7 and Windows 8, as well.
For Graphics and Sound Drivers, Use DDU
Graphics cards are complex things, and if you’ve either bought a new graphics card or have updated your old one, then you may find that it doesn’t work properly due to driver conflicts. (It may not work altogether or may be prone to crashes and restarts.)
If that happens, you should use the free Guru 3D tool DDU (or Display Driver Uninstaller) to completely uninstall your old graphics card drivers before installing the new ones.
Once you’ve extracted the tool, you’ll need to open Windows 10 in Safe Mode, then open DDU and select your device type (GPU or Audio) from the drop-down menu. Once you’ve made your selection, click “Clean and restart” for your drivers to be completely uninstalled.
Once you’re back in regular Windows 10, you can install new GPU or audio drivers without any conflicts or interference from the old ones.
Force Old Drivers to Appear
Before uninstalling 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.
2. Type the following command and press the Enter button to execute the command:
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.
Uninstall Old Drivers in Windows
1. To uninstall the old drivers, press Win + X and select “Device Manager” from the list of options.
2. Go to “view” and select the option “show hidden devices” to reveal all the hidden and old drivers.
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.
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.
If you still have problems that need solving with your Windows 10 graphics, see our guide on fixing a faulty graphics card or check out our list of the latest Windows 10 update problems to see if you’ve been affected.