How to Backup and Restore Drivers in Windows 10

The drivers or device drivers  allow the operating system to interact with any connected device. For example, the graphics card, keyboard, mouse, and everything else. Now, it can happen that a device has stopped working or does not respond as it should. In that case, the best option is to remove the driver and reinstall it. In this post I will show you some of the best methods to back up drivers in Windows 10.

It may sound simple, but not all users have a backup of their device drivers on their PC. In these cases, in the event of any inconvenience, they would have to download said drivers from the manufacturer’s website (OEM) or let Windows download it through updates. It’s a good idea to back up your drivers so you can use them at any time. This is very useful when we have old devices, of which the OEM usually no longer have the driver available.

  • READ: Get a list of drivers installed in Windows with the Command Prompt

Back up drivers

To do the following you need administrator privileges on your Windows account. You should know that unless you are very clear about this, do not try. We will start with the methods available in Windows and then we will suggest a third-party software that is very easy to use.

Backup drivers using Command Prompt and PowerShell

Here we will use the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) tool . With this we can export and import drivers in bulk. Follow the steps below to backup the drivers:

Create a folder with the name ” Backup-Drivers ” or another you prefer (without space) on your PC, anywhere on a drive other than where Windows is installed.

Open Command Prompt with administrator privileges and run the following command:

dism / online / export-driver / destination: "path to the Backup-Drivers folder"

Here and later in this post, replace “Backup-Drivers folder path” with the path of the folder you created. If you created it on disk E, then the path would be E: \ Backup-Drivers.

This will export all the drivers from your Windows 10 PC to the folder in question. It will show you the message: �The operation was completed successfully�. You should make sure to keep a backup of that folder on one of your cloud drives.

The controller maintenance command only supports .inf files. Windows Installer files or other types of driver packages (such as.exe files) are not supported.

While this tool allows you to export all the drivers, unfortunately it does not help you to install those drivers in Windows. The command has the / add-driver option , but this works only with the Windows 10 ISO image. If you are creating an ISO to install the system, you can use the following command to integrate the drivers that you have backed up.

Open Command Prompt with administrator privileges.

Navigate to the backup folder of your drivers.

Run the following command:

dism / ISOIMAGENAME / Add-Driver / Driver: "path to the Backup-Drivers folder" / Recurse

If you are used to using PowerShell instead of the Command Prompt, you can do the same with this one. In this case you must use the command  Export-WindowsDriver -Online -Destination “path of the Backup-Driver folder”, to perform the backup.

Restore backed up device drivers

If you are following this method, it is best to install the drivers manually, one by one. This way, if something goes wrong, you will be more aware of what caused the problem. Make sure you have the path to the folder you backed up to handy.

Open the Device Manager using the shortcut menu with the Win + X keyboard shortcut .

Now right-click on any of the devices for which you want to install the driver, and then click  Update Driver.

You will have two options, one automatic and one manual. Select  Browse my computer for driver software.

On the next screen, you must paste the path to the backup folder or search for it manually, and also select the Include subfolders option .

Click Next.

Device Manager will now search for the driver that is available for the hardware and install it. It is possible that Windows has updated it with a more recent version, but if you want you can return to the previous version that you have backed up.

Software to Backup and Restore Drivers

If you are looking for an easier way to backup drivers in Windows 10, then you can use a program that will do it for you. This software can create a backup and then restore the drivers on demand.

Free Driver Backup is one of those programs that can make this task easier for you. In addition to drivers, it can also back up cookies, the Windows registry, and other things. It is also easier to restore the drivers with Free Driver Backup, you just need to specify the backup folder, and it will recover and install one by one.

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