It is highly recommended that you keep all your device drivers up to date for system stability; however there are times when the newer driver or driver update you just downloaded and installed causes your pc or devices to become unstable. When this happens reverting to the last stable version of your device driver becomes your last resort.
The term to “rollback a driver” refers to the process of reverting to the last working version of a device driver. This is often the last version of a device driver just before you performed an update that consequently messed up the proper functioning of your pc device.
There are several ways you can rollback your device driver:
Windows driver rollback feature: Each time you update or replace a device driver with new one, windows saves a copy of the last version for you. The windows driver roll back feature will enable you revert to this saved version if the new version is giving you problems.
How To Rollback A Driver in Windows XP and Vista
Click Start button and choose Control Panel
Click System and Maintenance and then choose Device Manager
(You can also access Device Manager by right clicking on the My Computer icon on your desktop and choose Properties, then Hardware, then Device Manager)
In the Device Manager window, select the piece of hardware that has the driver you want to rollback and double click the name to open up the Properties box.
Click the Driver tab
If a previous version of the driver is installed on your system the Roll Back Driver button will be available. Click it to restore the older version of the driver.
If this button is unavailable or rolling back the driver didn’t solve your problem you should visit the manufacturer’s website to see if another version of the driver is available.
Manually Install An Old Driver
You can manually ‘roll back’ a driver by simply installing an older version of a driver. There are lots of websites online that contain databases of older versions of drivers and software, so if you are having trouble with a new driver try downloading a previous version and installing it. To do this, search for the appropriate driver, and click the download link. Save the driver file to your computer and then follow the installation instructions.
Driver Updater Programs
If you use a driver updater program it may have a built in feature that allows you to restore your drivers to a previous version.
If your driver updater software offers this feature it should just be a matter of choosing the particular hardware device in question and clicking a button to roll back to a previous version of a driver. If you are unsure of how to do this then check the manual or online help system for your particular program.
Keeping your drivers up to date is important in order to make sure your devices are using the very latest software. However, sometimes updating a driver can cause conflicts within your system. In this case you may need to rollback to a previous version of a driver. If you have restored a previous version of a driver and are still experiencing problems them you should contact the device manufacturer as the fault could be with the actual hardware itself and not the driver software.