How to Update Driver Using Command Prompt in Windows 10 / 11

Command Prompt is one such tool that can help you with a lot of things on your Windows PC, such as, installing/uninstalling apps, registering/re-registering programs, running a system scan, fixing errors, and more. Moreover, it can also help you update your Windows OS using a command.


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In fact, you can also update your Windows 10 drivers using the Command Prompt. Using a Command Prompt can be more convenient especially when the usual methods have failed or if you are simply comfortable with this. Windows comes with an integrated PnPUtil.exe tool that allows the system owner (administrator) to download a driver package, install the driver, and even update or remove the driver from the list of drivers.

The tool also pulls up the list of driver packages that are already installed in the driver catalog. To get the list of driver catalog, you must run the PnPUtil.exe utility command in the Command Prompt. Let’s see how.

 

Solution: Updating Drivers Using Command Prompt

 

*Note – Command Prompt method will not get the driver package from the web. You will have to download the driver package on your own by visiting the OEM website or by simply transferring it to your computer using a pen drive or any other form of external storage media.

Once the driver package is copied to your computer, you can then use the PnPUtil.exe tool along with the driver to either install the driver or update it. However, you will have to mention the path to the INF file that contains the driver info that needs to be installed.

 

Step 1: Navigate to the Start button (Windows icon) on the bottom left of your desktop. Type Command Prompt in the search field.

 

Desktop Start Search Command Prompt

 

Step 2: Right-click on the result and select Run as administrator from the right-click menu to open Command Prompt with admin rights.

 

Start Search Command Prompt Right Click Run As Administrator


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Step 3: In the Command Prompt window run the below command to pull up the syntax and the examples, and hit Enter:

 

pnputil

 

Command Prompt Admin Mode Run Command Pnputil Enter

 

How To Add a Driver

 

Step 1: Go to the folder location in the File Explorer, where the desired driver folder is saved.

For instance, our file is downloaded and saved in the Downloads folder.

Step 2: Once in the folder location, copy the driver folder.

For instance, we have downloaded a Printer driver here, so we copied the driver folder.

 

*Note: To check if the setup file is a .inf file, open the driver folder and right-click on the driver set up file. Click to open Properties from the right-click menu and under General > Type of file > .inf file.

 

Folder Driver Driver Seet Up File Right Click Properties

 

Step 3: Now, go to your desired drive (we selected the D drive) and paste the copied folder. Name it something easy to remember.

For instance, we named the file as Printer Driver.

 

Go To The Desired Driver Paste The Driver File Name It

 

Step 4: Go back to Command Prompt (admin mode) as shown above, and run the command to add and install the driver package in the below format, and hit Enter:

 

 

pnputil.exe -a path_of_the_folder_in_which_driver_is_present\driver_name.inf

 

 

So, since we saved the driver folder in the D drive and the file to be installed is brimi13i (.inf file), the command will look like this:

 

Command Prompt Admin Run Command To Install Driver Package Enter

 

How to Delete the Installed Driver

 

Every installed driver as an OEM number. In case, you are not aware of the OEM number of the driver you want to delete, this is how you can check:

 

Step 1: Go to the Command Prompt window in admin mode, and run the below command.Hit Enter:

 

pnputil.exe -e

 

Command Prompt Admin Run Command To Pull Up Installed Drivers List Enter

 

Step 2: Check the OEM number for the desired drive and note it down.

For instance, we want to delete the Printer driver package. The OEM number for the Printer driver (Imaging devices) is oem20.inf.

 

Command Prompt Admin Check For Installed Driver Oem Number


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Step 3: Now, run the command to delete the driver package in the below format and press Enter:

 

pnputil.exe -d OEM number

 

So, since we noted the OEM number of the Printer driver, the command will look like this:

 

pnputil.exe -d oem20.inf

 

Command Prompt Admin Run Command To Delete Driver Package Enter

 

How To Add Multiple Driver Packages

 

Step 1: Open Command Prompt with admin rights as shown in the method in the beginning. Then run the command in the below format:

 

pnputil.exe -a drive \oem\*.inf

 

That’s all. That’s how you can add and delete driver packages using Command Prompt.

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