How To Remove Old And Useless Drivers In Windows PC

A driver is required for each device installed on your Windows PC for it to function properly. The trouble with this is that as time passes, your Windows machine may become clogged with superfluous and outdated drivers, potentially causing problems with your computer.

Using Windows’ built-in tools, you may uninstall any device driver with ease. The issue is that the Windows Device Manager only displays currently connected devices, with no ability to view hidden or outdated drivers. In this article, we’ll teach you how to get hidden drivers to show up and how to get rid of old drivers in Windows.

Ways To Remove Old And Useless Drivers In Windows PC

Force Old And Hidden Drivers In Windows To Appear

We must first force the old drivers to appear on the list before removing them.

Step 1: In Windows 11, hit Win + X and choose “Windows Terminal (Admin)” from the menu. From here, you can launch Command Prompt

launch Command Prompt

Step 2: To execute the following command, type it and press Enter:

SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1

uninstall old drivers

Note: You can copy and paste this command from here directly into your command prompt.

Step 3: The command above forces all of the old and hidden drivers to appear in the Device Manager list. After that, you can complete the uninstallation process.

Use The Device Manager To Uninstall Old Drivers

Step 1: Press Windows + R to open the RUN box.

Step 2: Type “devmgmt.msc” in the type box followed by the Enter key.

devmgmt

Step 3: The Device Manager box will open on your screen.

Step 4: To see all the hidden and old drivers, go to “View” and select “Show hidden devices.”

remove old drivers

Step 5: The benefit of this feature is that all old drivers are faded out, making it easy to distinguish between old or non-present drivers and current drivers.

Step 6: Select the old driver you wish to remove, right-click it, and choose Uninstall. 

remove old drivers

Step 7: Under each section, look for comparable faded old drivers that can be removed.

Cleaning Up The Hard Drive Using Disk Cleanup

You may also delete the leftover obsolete device drivers by performing a basic disk cleanup on your Windows PC. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Press Windows + S to open the search box and then type Disk Cleanup.

Step 2: Click on Disk Cleanup to open the app.

Disk Cleanup

Step 3: Disk Cleanup scans numerous internal system files, as well as redundant device driver packages, to determine how much space you can free up on your PC. Wait till the scan is finished.

disk cleanup in windows

Step 4:  Look for files to delete in the Disk Cleanup pop-up window. You’ll see a Device driver package option here, as well as the amount of space you can save. Once you’ve decided which driver packages to delete, click the “OK” button.

how to delete old drivers

Step 5:  Allow Disk Cleanup to clean device driver packages for a few minutes. This will assist you in getting rid of old, ineffective drivers.

Bonus Tip: Use Advanced System Optimizer

Advanced System Optimizer is a multi-module optimization application that addresses numerous aspects of your computer. All of these modules are designed to improve the efficiency and performance of your computer. Control Panel, Desktop, Taskbar, and Windows File Explorer are just a few of the frequent computer faults that Advanced System Optimizer can correct. Unlike the normal Microsoft application, this tool assists you in creating a System Restore point to the specified location. Here is how you can use this tool:

Step 1: Click the following link to download and install the Advanced System Optimizer:

Step 2: Once the app is installed, open it and register the software with the Activation Key you received in your purchase email.

Step 3: Click on the Disk Cleaners & Optimizers option in the left panel and then choose System Cleaner from the suboptions located on the right side of the app window.

Advanced System Optimizer

Step 4: A new app window will open where you have to click on the Start Scan Now button to initiate a scan for all the unwanted and old files.

Advanced System Optimizer

Step 5: Once the results are displayed, you can then choose to remove the unwanted files and close the System Cleaner App Window.

Step 6: Next, click on the Regular Maintenance tab from the left panel and then choose Driver Updater among the sub-options.

Advanced System Optimizer

Step 7: The Driver Updater app window will open. You can click on Start Scan Now to initiate a scan for outdated, missing, and corrupt drivers. This app will replace all the unwanted and old drivers with a new and compatible version.

Advanced System Optimizer

The Final Word On How to Remove Old and Useless Drivers in Windows

You can quickly discover and uninstall any old or hidden drivers using this method. Remove any current device drivers with caution, since doing so may cause difficulties with your linked hardware device. Also, always double-check any device driver before deleting it. It is recommended to use Advanced System Optimizer to do all the work with a few mouse clicks.

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