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How to enable or disable device driver on Windows 10

If you have a driver causing problems or it's currently disabled, use these steps to enable or disable a device driver on Windows 10.

Windows 10 disable driver

On Windows 10, a device driver is an essential component that allows the operating system to communicate with a piece of hardware. However, sometimes, drivers can cause problems, and as part of the troubleshooting process, you may need to disable them temporarily. Or you may need to disable them permanently, if you’re connecting another similar device that may cause conflicts. For example, when you have a network adapter that also includes a Bluetooth adapter, and you want to install a new Bluetooth dongle.

On the other hand, if the device was previously disabled or the system disabled it automatically, you may also need to enable the driver to regain access to the device.

Whatever the reason it might be, Windows 10 includes at least one way to enable or disable device drivers using Device Manager.

In this guide, you’ll learn the easy steps to disable or enable a device driver on Windows 10.

How to disable device driver on Windows 10

To disable a problematic driver, use these steps:

  1. Open Start on Windows 10.

  2. Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.

  3. Expand the branch with the driver you want to disable.

  4. Right-click the device and select the Disable device option.

    Disable device driver
    Disable device driver
  5. Click the Yes button.

Once you complete the steps, the device will be disabled and won’t be available for the system. Alternatively, remember that you can also disable a driver by disconnecting the device from the computer. 

How to enable device driver on Windows 10

To enable a specific driver, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Device Manager and click the top result to open the app.

  3. Expand the branch with the driver you want to enable.

  4. Right-click the device and select the Enable device option.

    Enable device driver
    Enable device driver

After you complete the steps, the device will enable, and it’ll be once again available for the system.