Step-by-Step Guide: How to Install Network Adapter Driver Windows 10

Table of Contents

Introduction: How to Install Network Adapter Driver Windows 10

Network adapter drivers are essential components of any computer system that enables smooth communication between the computer and the internet. Having an updated network adapter driver ensures optimal network performance and minimizes the risk of connectivity-related issues. This article will guide you through the process of installing a network adapter driver on Windows 10.

II. Verify the Computer’s Network Adapter

Before installing a new network adapter driver, it is crucial to verify the computer’s existing network adapter and its driver version. This information can be accessed through the Device Manager.

Checking Network Adapter Details in Device Manager

1. Press Windows key + X and click on Device Manager from the menu that appears.
2. In Device Manager, expand the Network adapters category.
3. Locate the network adapter you want to update and take note of its name and model.

Finding the Current Version of the Driver

1. Right-click on the network adapter listed under Network adapters.
2. Select Properties from the context menu.
3. Navigate to the Driver tab.
4. Note the driver version and the driver provider.

With this information, you can now proceed to download the latest network adapter driver.

III. Download the Network Adapter Driver

There are two methods to download the latest network adapter driver: using Windows Update for automatic installation or manually downloading the driver from the manufacturer’s website.

Using Windows Update for Automatic Driver Installation

1. Press Windows key + I to open Settings.
2. Click on Update & Security.
3. Select Windows Update from the left menu.
4. Click on Check for updates and wait for any available updates to download and install automatically.

If a new network adapter driver is available, Windows Update will install it for you. However, if you prefer to manually download and install the driver, follow the next method.

Manually Downloading the Latest Driver Version from the Manufacturer’s Website

1. Visit the network adapter manufacturer’s website.
2. Search for the specific model of your network adapter.
3. Download the latest driver version for Windows 10.

Ensure that the downloaded driver is compatible with your system’s architecture (32-bit or 64-bit).

IV. Install the Network Adapter Driver

Once the new driver has been downloaded, it’s time to install it. There are two methods to install the network adapter driver: using the driver installation wizard or installing the driver manually.

Using the Driver Installation Wizard

1. Locate the downloaded driver file and double-click on it.
2. Follow the prompts in the driver installation wizard to finalize the installation.

This method is suitable if the downloaded driver is an executable file (.exe).

Installing the Driver Manually

1. Open Device Manager.
2. Right-click on the network adapter and select Update driver from the context menu.
3. Choose Browse my computer for driver software.
4. Navigate to the location where the downloaded driver file is stored.
5. Follow the prompts to complete the installation.

This method is appropriate if the downloaded driver is a compressed file (.zip or .rar) that contains an .inf file.

V. Verify the Installation

After installing the new driver, it’s essential to verify that the installation was successful.

Checking the Installed Network Adapter Driver Version

1. Open Device Manager and locate the updated network adapter.
2. Right-click on it and select Properties.
3. Go to the Driver tab and confirm that the driver version matches the one you just installed.

Testing Network Connectivity and Speed

1. Ensure your computer is connected to a network.
2. Check for internet connectivity by visiting a website or using an online speed test tool.

VI. Conclusion

Keeping the network adapter driver up-to-date is crucial for maintaining optimal network performance and avoiding connectivity-related problems. An updated driver can significantly boost work performance by ensuring faster and more stable internet access.


How do I know if my network adapter driver is up-to-date?

Check the current driver version in the Device Manager and compare it to the latest version available on the manufacturer’s website. If a newer version is available, it’s recommended to update the driver.

How often should I update my network adapter driver?

It is advisable to check for driver updates periodically, ideally every 2-3 months or whenever you experience network connectivity issues.

Can I roll back to a previous driver version?

Yes, you can use the Roll Back Driver option in the driver Properties window within the Device Manager to revert to a previous driver version if the new one causes issues.

Can an outdated network adapter driver slow down my internet connection?

Yes, outdated drivers can cause performance issues and slow down the internet connection on your computer.

How do I uninstall a network adapter driver?

Right-click the network adapter in Device Manager and select Uninstall device. Follow the prompts to complete the process.

What if my network adapter is not listed in the Device Manager?

If your network adapter is not displayed in the Device Manager, try restarting your computer. If it still doesn’t appear, there may be a hardware issue, and you should consult your computer manufacturer for assistance.

Can I use the same network adapter driver on multiple computers?

As long as the other computers share the same network adapter model and Windows version, you can use the same driver file. However, always check for the latest version of the driver from the manufacturer’s website.