Export (0) Print
Expand All

Configure Windows to Search Windows Update for Device Drivers

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista

When a new device is detected, Windows checks the driver store to see if an appropriate driver package is staged there. If not, it checks several locations to find a driver package. In order, these locations are:

  1. The folders specified in the DevicePath registry setting. For more information, see Configure Windows to Search Additional Folders for Device Drivers.

  2. Windows Update on the Web, as described in this topic.

  3. A file path or media after provided by the user.

After Windows locates the driver package, it is copied to the driver store, and then installed from there.

By default, Windows searches the Windows Update driver repository on the Internet if the driver cannot be automatically discovered locally. Administrators in managed environments may wish to exercise more control over their managed systems, and turn off the automatic search of Windows Update.

This topic provides a procedure that you can use to enable or disable searching Windows Update for device drivers.

Membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure.

To configure Windows to search additional folders for device drivers

  1. Start Local Group Policy Object Editor. Click Start , and then in the Start Search box, type mmc gpedit.msc.

  2. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Yes .

  3. Open Local Computer Policy , Computer Configuration , Administrative Templates , System , Internet Communication Management , and then Internet Communication Settings .

  4. In the right-hand pane, double-click Turn off Windows Update device driver searching .

  5. Select one of the following:

    • Select Enabled to prevent Windows from searching Windows Update.

    • Select Disabled to always search Windows Update automatically when a driver is not found locally.

    • Select Not Configured to use the system default, which is to search Windows Update automatically.

  6. If you selected Disabled or Not Configured , then the policy found at Computer Configuration , Administrative Templates , System , Driver Installation , Turn off Windows Update device driver search prompt applies. That policy determines whether you are prompted for consent before searching Windows Update. If that policy is enabled, then Windows Update is searched silently without asking for consent first.

The following table shows the effect of different combinations of the two policy settings. The results show whether or not a prompt is displayed, and whether or not the search of Windows Update occurs.

 

Policy: Turn off Windows Update device driver searching Policy: Turn off Windows Update device driver search prompt Resulting Behavior

Enabled

Enabled

No prompt, and no search of Windows Update.

Enabled

Disabled

No prompt, and no search of Windows Update.

Enabled

Not Configured

No prompt, and no search of Windows Update.

Disabled

Enabled

No prompt. Automatic search of Windows Update.

Disabled

Disabled

User is prompted, and Windows Update is search if user approves.

Disabled

Not Configured

User is prompted, and Windows Update is search if user approves.

Not Configured

Enabled

No prompt. Automatic search of Windows Update.

Not Configured

Disabled

User is prompted, and Windows Update is search if user approves.

Not Configured

Not Configured

User is prompted, and Windows Update is search if user approves.

Was this page helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback

Community Additions

ADD
Show:
© 2014 Microsoft