Device Manager is losing one key feature on Windows 10

Windows Device Manager

Microsoft allows users to download, install or update drivers
on Windows 10 in multiple ways. You can update a device driver
manually, including using Device Manager, Windows Update, and
tools from device manufacturers.

Updating drivers via Windows Update can take some time until
manufacturers publish newer driver packages. In addition, the
update process could also fail or get stuck in the installation
screen.

Alternatively, Microsoft has always allowed users to update
device drivers and components using Device Manager.

Device Manager 1909
Device Manager in Windows 10 version 1909

Device Manager comes with two options—Search automatically for
updated driver software and Browse my computer for driver
software. The first option allows you to download and install
the package automatically using the Microsoft servers, while
the second option requires you to browse your hard drives and
select the driver software manually.

Starting with Windows 10 version 2004 (Build 19041.423),
Microsoft has quietly disabled the option to update drivers in
Device Manager over the internet.

Device Manager 2004
Device Manager in Windows 10 version 2004

The first option in Device Manager will only install the
updated driver if you already have pre-downloaded the package
and it is on your computer’s hard drive. Windows 10 Build
19041.423 also blocks the Device Manager from connecting to
Microsoft servers or the internet.

Windows 10 Device Manager
Device Manager no longer connects to the internet

When you select the first option, the Device Manager wizard
will detect and install the new driver on your computer if the
update package on your hard drive is accessible to the tool.

This means that whoever wants to easily and automatically
update drivers in Windows 10 from Microsoft servers must use
the Settings app, as the Device Manager no longer allows you to
update the drivers over the internet.

With Windows 10 feature update, Microsoft has also restored the
optional update listings in the Settings app. The new “view
optional updates” link on the Windows Update settings leads
directly to a page where you can manage the driver updates. On
this screen, each driver is listed with the manufacturer name,
classification and version number.

For the majority of the users, this change to the Device
Manager shouldn’t be a problem.

It is all part of Microsoft’s plan to streamline the update
experience on Windows 10 and it’s also not a secret that
Microsoft is slowly reducing the dependence on legacy tools.

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