Ask CyberGuru: Should I update my computer’s hardware drivers?

Ask CyberGuru

In the latest Ask CyberGuru we are asked, “I have recently purchased a new computer. When I bought it, I received a notification telling me to update my graphics card driver. I know that it is important to install important Windows and software updates when they become available, but do I need to also update the computer’s hardware drivers?

Firstly, for those who aren’t aware, “drivers” is a word used regularly in computer terminology. Drivers provide the ability for your computer’s hardware, such as your graphics, network or other component to talk to Windows.

Depending on the manufacturer and model of your computer, there are specifically designed programs to notify you when hardware driver updates are available. Previously, to obtain updated drivers from what was provided with your computer originally, you would use Windows Update or access the relevant manufacturer or the individual component manufacturer’s website.

To answer your question if you need to update your computer’s hardware drivers, it really depends on your need to have the hardware driver up-to-date. We suggest that only if you have a need for the updated graphics card drivers, for instance, if you are experiencing an issue, such as a flickering display, or if your computer is used for entertainment or games, it may be necessary to update the graphics card driver. However, increasingly, updated drivers are also made available as “beta” to help you test it out before it becomes final update. We don’t suggest these, because as the classic (but often true) saying goes, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”. Sometimes new drivers can introduce further problems.

We hope this answers your question!