A software driver is a piece of code that allows an operating system to communicate with hardware devices. The operating system uses this code to communicate with a specific hardware component and perform functions for the user that are specific to the device that is being used.

Several different types of hardware are compatible with computers, but each requires a specific driver to function properly. This hardware could include external peripherals such as keyboards and mice, as well as internal components like a CPU and data ports.

The vast majority of drivers are directly downloaded from the manufacturer who designed and produced the hardware. These manufacturers usually offer software applications that search the internet for updates to their device drivers. The program will either notify the user that an update is available, or let them manually download and then install the latest version compatible with their device.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that, for most computers, the simplest and most efficient method of finding out if a driver for a device needs updating is to simply check the manufacturer’s website. They are generally well-versed in their hardware and will offer plenty of guidance and assistance in using their products. These companies usually include a small utility software along with their hardware. This can be used to check for updates and compatibility issues and automatically download and update compatible new versions.