For example, you might need to update drivers in Windows 7 for a piece of hardware if you're troubleshooting a problem with the device, if a driver isn't automatically installed during a Windows 7 installation, or if a driver update enables new features you'd like to utilize.
Note: I created this step by step guide to to accompany my original How To Update Drivers in Windows 7 how-to guide. Updating drivers can be a little complicated so this visual tutorial should help clarify any confusion you might have had looking over the how-to.
Updating drivers in Windows 7 should take less than 15 minutes for most kinds of hardware.
In this tutorial, I'll be updating the driver for the network card on computer running Windows 7 Ultimate. This tutorial will also serve perfectly well as a walkthrough for installing any kind of driver like a video card, sound card, etc.
The first thing you need to do is to download the latest driver for the device from the hardware maker's website. It's important to download a driver directly from its source so you're sure you're getting the most valid, tested, and recent driver possible
See How To Find and Download Drivers From Manufacturer Websites if you need help.
As you can see in the screenshot above, I've visited Intel's site to download the driver for my Intel-based network card. The download came in the form of a single, compressed file.
Important: You must download either a 32-bit or 64-bit driver, corresponding to the type of Windows 7 you have installed. If you're not sure, see Am I Running a 32-bit or 64-bit Version of Windows? for help.
Important: Many drivers available today are packaged for automatic installation. This means that all you have to do is run the downloaded file and the drivers will be updated automatically. The instructions given on the manufacturer's website should tell you if the drivers you're downloading are configured this way. If so, there's no reason to continue with these steps - just run the program and follow any instructions.
Note: This walkthrough demonstrates the driver update process in Windows 7 Ultimate but all steps can be followed exactly in any edition of Windows 7 including Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Starter, etc.