Windows Vista

Configure Windows to Use or Not Use Windows Update to Find Device Drivers

SUMMARY: Configure whether or not Windows Vista should connect to the Internet to search for device drivers via Windows Update when plugging in a new device.

Depending on your configuration, when you plug in a new device into your Windows Vista system (such as a USB printer, scanner, or sound card) and no matching device driver is found on the computer, Windows may automatically connect to Windows Update over the Internet. This is to see if a matching driver is available. When so, the driver is installed, and the new device should be ready to use.

If you plug in devices into your machine and Windows Vista is not connecting to the Internet automatically, this feature may be disabled. Conversely, for privacy reasons, you may not want Vista to perform this automatic connection. You can disable it outright or have Vista prompt you whether or not you want to access Windows Update when plugging in a device.

1. Click the Start button, selecting "Control Panel" from the menu.

2. If "Control Panel Home" is selected in the left pane of the Control Panel, click "System and Maintenance", then "System" in the right pane. Otherwise, "Classic View" will be selected in the left pane. Double-click "System" in the right pane.

3. Click "Advanced System Settings" in the left pane.

4. If the "User Account Control" dialog box appears, click "Continue".

User Account Control Dialog Box in Windows Vista

5. The "System Properties" dialog box appears. Click the "Hardware" tab.

6. Underneath "Windows Update Driver Settings", click the "Windows Update Driver Settings" button.

Accessing Windows Vista's Windows Update Driver Settings

7. The "Windows Update Driver Settings" dialog box appears. Choose from one of the following three options:

* Check for drivers automatically

* Ask me each time I connect a new device before checking for drivers

* Never check for drivers when I connect a device

Changing the Windows Vista default behavior regarding Windows Update when plugging in a new device

Note the "Read our privacy policy" link that, when clicked, opens up your web browser to view the Windows Vista privacy policy.

8. Click "OK" on the dialog boxes to close them.

Return to the Windows Vista page.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language.