Drivers are necessary for your PC to do what it's supposed to do, but you may have outdated or unused drivers on your device. In this article, we'll discuss how to clean up Windows 10 by removing unnecessary drivers.
When a driver is updated, it often leaves an old version so you can undo the update if it doesn't work properly. Drivers can be updated by using tools from a specific vendor, such as Nvidia's GeForce Experience for your graphics card, or by using generic third-party driver management tools that scan your entire computer. Also read: Driver Booster 3 - Keep Your Drivers Up To Date !
However, old drivers that are in \System32\DriverStore are not always properly removed or cleaned, and in many cases an old version is even left so that you can easily undo the update in Windows.
If you search for . in the search bar next to the Start button, Device Manager search and click on the search result under Settings, you will see a list of all the hardware that is in or connected to your computer. Right click on a device, choose Characteristics and click on the tab Drivers to view information about the device driver. if Previous Driver gray means there is only one version of the driver available.
DriverStore Explorer allows you to scan the DriverStore on your computer for drivers and their different versions. The program was last updated in late 2012, but it works fine for Windows 10.
To do this, you need to run DriverStore Explorer as administrator by right-clicking on RAPR.exe and Run as administrator to choose. When the program has loaded, click the button Enumerate to generate a list of all drivers on your computer.
The program has the advantage that you cannot just remove drivers that are used by Windows. To do this you must first Force Deletion check. This is useful if you have a driver that is not functioning properly that is in use by Windows and want to remove it.
In all other cases, such as when cleaning your DriverStore, you must check a driver and click Delete Package click to remove it.
It's a good idea to sort the drivers by type first so that you have a better overview of what belongs to what. You can do this by clicking the header above the column Driver Class to click.
Free up space
Drivers take up space, so cleaning them obviously frees up space on your computer. Drivers for your graphics card can easily take up a few hundred MB, and other smaller drivers all contribute as well. Of course, how much space you can free up depends entirely on the unnecessary drivers that are in the folder.
If the DriverStore folder takes up more than 1 GB, it's a good idea to use DriverStore Explorer to see why.
You can check the size of the folder by going to it in File Explorer, right-clicking on it and Characteristics to choose.