Windows operating system enables device drivers on its own whenever any new or old device is connected to the PC. However, sometimes due to a lack of system resources, Windows may fail to do it. In such cases, you need to enable device drivers yourself. One must know how to enable or disable driver in Windows 10/11 and use them for troubleshooting basic issues. 

Many times the system driver may malfunction. You may need to disable the device driver first and then enable it again. You can use your knowledge of enabling and disabling drivers during such instances. This guide will help you with steps to enable and disable device drivers on your Windows 10/11 computer. 

How To Enable Or Disable Device Driver In Windows 10/11

Whether you want to enable or disable device driver in Windows 10/11, you can do it from the Device Manager. The steps are similar for Windows 10 and Windows 11; only the interface look varies. 

How to Enable Device Drivers in Windows 10/11

If any device drivers are disabled, you can see a black arrow next to that driver. It also throws Code 22 error, stating, ‘This device is disabled.’ You can easily enable the disabled device drivers from the Device Manager. Make sure the device is connected to the PC, when you decide to enable it. 

Step 1: Press Windows key + X to open the quick link menu and click on “Device Manager” to open it. 

Open Device Manager for how to enable or disable driver in Windows 10/11
Open Device Manager

You can also open Windows Device Manager by searching for it in the Start menu search box. 

Step 2: Now, expand the section in which the disabled device driver is present. If you are not sure about the section, you can expand all the sections one by one to find the disabled driver. 

Step 3: Right-click on the device driver and select Enable device.

Enable device driver for how to enable or disable driver
Enable device driver

Note: The black arrow indicates disabled drivers. So, you will not have any confusion when you want to enable or disable device driver in Windows 10/11.

Once the device driver is enabled, you can use the associated device without any issue and error. Remember to check for any latest updates for the driver.

How to Disable Device Drivers in Windows 10/11?

There are times when there is a need to disable device drivers to fix some driver-related issues. For example, when multiple Bluetooth drivers on your PC are conflicting, you can disable the unwanted one. Here are the easy steps to disable a driver via Device Manager.

Step 1: Open Windows Device Manager on your computer and expand the section of drivers you want to disable. 

Step 2: Right-click on the device driver and select “Disable device” from the context menu.

Disable device
Disable device

Step 3: When there is a pop-up saying “Disabling this device will cause it to stop functioning. Do you really want to disable it” click on “Yes” to confirm disabling that device driver. 

Confirm disabling device driver
Confirm disabling device driver

Once the device is disabled, you can no longer use that device on your computer unless you manually enable it from Device Manager again. You can disable sound device drivers as well, using the same steps. Note that the disabling option is also accessible in the Properties window.

Final Thoughts On How To Enable or Disable Device Driver

There is a need to disable a device driver when there are conflicts between multiple devices of the same type. Even while troubleshooting some blue screen errors, you may need to disable and enable the device. Once you know how to enable or disable device driver in Windows 10/11, you can do it easily whenever there is a need.

Also, when Windows 10 or Windows 11 operating system fails to enable the device driver automatically, you may need to enable it manually. Otherwise, the device associated with it won’t function properly. Windows has made enabling and disabling drivers easy for its users over the years. With the help of the useful guide, anyone can disable or enable device drivers on their Windows 11 or Windows 10 PC.

(Updated on 29th June 2023)