Several people have messaged me recently asking about “driver update notices” that are popping up on their computers.
These messages are usually presented in pop-up windows or messages in the notifications area at the bottom-right corner of the screen.
Regardless of how these messages show up, the vast majority of them are scams.
The notices typically say that your computer’s hardware drivers are out of date, which could lead to serious problems unless they are updated. The scammers then ask you to pay a fee in order to download and install the updated drivers.
While it’s true that a hardware driver will occasionally need to be updated to keep your system running smoothly, those rare necessary updates are completely free.
Truth be told, there’s a great chance that your machine will keep working just fine throughout its useful life without you ever having to install a single driver update.
What’s more, since driver updates can occasionally go bad and cause problems with the system I don’t really recommend making them unless you have a real and specific need for it.
If your computer does start having driver-related issues with a particular piece of hardware (the video adapter or network adapter for instance), you can simply check the support section of the manufacturer’s website to make sure you have the latest driver for that piece of hardware installed.
On a related note, while there are a few legitimate programs you can install that will monitor your machine’s hardware drivers and alert you when an update is available for one or more of them, the vast majority of those programs are nothing more than scams.
The truth is you don’t need these programs because if you’re fairly tech-savvy you can easily make occasional checks for available driver updates yourself if you really desire to keep your drivers updated with the latest versions. You don’t need to use a third-party tool!
If your machine is running Windows 10 you’ll probably never even need to be concerned about driver updates because Microsoft has configured Windows 10 to automatically install them as needed.
Yes, on rare occasions these automatic driver updates cause issues, but overall that’s still a lot safer (in my humble opinion) than attempting to find a legitimate third-party driver update tool that you can trust.
Bottom line: You should never have to pay to update your computer’s hardware drivers or install a program to do it for you. If a new version of a driver exists, you can simply download it from the manufacturer’s website and install it for free.
Bonus Tip: Click here to learn why neither Microsoft nor Apple will call to tell you your computer has a virus.
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