How to uninstall unused device drivers in Windows?

This article explains how to remove the unused or old device drivers that are available in your Windows operating system which degrades the performance of system.

How to uninstall the old device drivers

Windows Device drivers may slow down your system and the reason is there might be unused drivers in your Windows system and you might detach the device and you forgot to uninstall the drivers for the device from the system.

There are times when we come across that our newly installed device drivers won't work properly or unused drivers remains in the PC which makes our PC to freeze often. Due to this we may not able to complete our tasks on time and you will feel slowness in the system.

The reason behind this is we may not properly uninstall the drivers and other applications properly or we may not clean the disk frequently. Here are the steps to uninstall the device drivers that are of no use and make your system to work faster and faster.

Go to Start->select Control Panel->click System and Security option->click System option and finally click the Advanced System Settings in the left pane of Control Panel Home to open System Properties dialog box.

In System Properties dialog box click Advanced tab and click Environment Variables button under Startup and Recovery panel to open Environment Variables dialog box.

In Environment Variables dialog box Click New button to enter variable name as devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices and variable value as 1 to view the unused drivers and click Ok and again click Ok to quit Environment Variable dialog box.

set environment variables

Then click Hardware tab and select the Device Manager button to open Device Manager Dialog box. Now the device manager will list all the devices that are available in the system.

Device manager

To view the hidden devices (unused or old devices) in our system select View menu and click Show hidden devices.

Click the small icon prefixed to Other devices to view the hidden devices. The faded icons are the unused ones and you may uninstall it to increase the performance of your system.

Before removing the devices from your system take a backup of the drivers which you want to delete, sometimes you may again install the driver in future, also check the drivers whether it is used by other devices.

When a driver is used by two or more devices and for one of the device the driver may not work properly during this situation you cannot delete the driver as such. So make sure that uninstallation of any driver won't have any effect on the other.

Now right click the unused drivers and click Uninstall option to completely remove the unused device drivers from your PC.

Device driver uninstall

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