How to disable automatic driver install on Windows 11

Automatic driver installs are causing problems on Windows 11? Here's how to disable the feature in three different ways.

Windows 11 disable driver installs
Windows 11 disable driver installs

Although Windows 11 can download drivers for hardware without user interaction, sometimes, you may not want the system to install them automatically. For instance, if the system keeps trying to install an incompatible version or a driver with a bug resulting in unwanted issues. Or you may want to stop Windows 11 from installing drivers automatically because there is a newer or older version that works betters on your computer. 

Regardless of the reason, Windows 11 includes an option to disable the ability to download and install device drivers automatically.

This guide will teach you the steps to change the settings and stop Windows 10 from automatically installing drivers on your computer.

Disable automatic driver install on Windows 11

To stop Windows 11 from installing device drivers automatically, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click the About tab.

  4. Under the “Device specifications” section, click the “Advanced system settings” option.

    Advanced System Settings

  5. Click the Hardware tab.

  6. Click the “Device Installation Settings” button.

    Device Installation Settings

  7. Select the “No (your device might not work as expected)” option.

    Windows 11 disable automatic drivers

  8. Click the Save Changes button.

  9. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, Windows 11 will no longer install drivers automatically for new devices. If you add a new graphics card or printer, you will have to download and install the drivers manually.

Disable automatic driver install from Group Policy

Alternatively, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor to stop the operating system from installing driver updates. However, this option is available only on Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, and Education.

To disable driver installs automatically with Group Policy, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for gpedit and click the top result to open the Local Group Policy Editor.

  3. Browse the following path:

    Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Manage updates offered from Windows Update
  4. Double-click the “Do not include driver with Windows Update” option.

    Do not include drivers with Windows Update policy

  5. Check the Enabled option.

    Group Policy disable driver install

  6. Click the Apply button.

  7. Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, the policy will enable, and Windows Update will stop providing drivers during updates.

Disable automatic driver install from Registry

If you use Windows 11 Home, you won’t have access to the Local Group Policy Editor. However, you can disable the feature through the Registry.

Warning: It’s essential to note that modifying the Windows Registry can cause serious problems if not used properly. It’s assumed you know what you’re doing and have created a full backup of your system before proceeding.
  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for regedit and click the top result to open the Registry.

  3. Browse the following path:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DriverSearching
  4. Double-click the SearchOrderConfig DWORD key, and change its value from 1 to 0.

    Registry disable driver automatic install

  5. Click OK.

  6. Restart the computer.

Once you complete the steps, setting SearchOrderConfig to 0 will block drivers from updating every time Windows 11 checks for new updates.

You can always revert the changes using the same steps, but in step 4, change the DWORD key value from 0 to 1.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.