Microsoft says Windows 10 Device Manager is not required for updates

Windows 10 on Surface

Device Manager is an important tool on Windows 10 and it allows
you to view installed hardware and their updates.

Windows 10’s Device Manager allows users to install an updated
driver by scanning Microsoft servers. Searching for an updated
driver may work if the device or driver is old and outdated,
and when a new update has been published on Microsoft’s legacy
driver library.

As we reported on Sunday,
Microsoft has removed the internet-based method of updating
device drivers from Device Manager. This change was made
quietly last month and Microsoft has now revealed the real
reason behind this move.

Starting with
Windows 10 KB4566782 (Build 19041.450), Microsoft says it
is restoring the optional updates option in the Settings app
for more users. When optional updates are detected for your
device by Windows Update, they will be displayed on a new page
called ‘Optional updates’ and you can access the page by
following these steps:

  • Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update >
    View optional updates.

Microsoft noted that this change means that you no longer need
to launch the classic Device Manager to get updated drivers
from Microsoft.

Optional updates option

If you want to search for the most recent driver online,
Microsoft is recommending users to use the Windows Update
instead.

Device Manager will also inform users that better drivers are
available on Windows Update or at the manufacturer’s website,
but it won’t let you download the drivers.

Optional updates

When you’re experiencing issues with a particular device,
installing optional drivers may help, according to Microsoft.

As always, Windows Update will continue to check for driver
updates and automatically keep your drivers updated.

“We look forward to your feedback on this enhancement to the
update experience, and to bringing you continued improvements
that improve your experience with Windows 10 overall,”
Microsoft noted.

It’s also worth noting that the drivers on Windows Update or
Microsoft’s driver library are often outdated. The downloads
page of the manufacturer’s site is where you should head for
updates if you want the latest drivers.

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