In order to be recognized and to work, every hardware device needs a program that manages it and communicates with the operating system. This program is called a driver and without this, a device that we connect to our PC will not be able to be correctly recognized and managed.
In recent years, PC users have had less and less to do with installing drivers: Plug and Play peripherals have become very popular, Windows has been equipped with effective generic drivers, and the possibility of automatically downloading drivers has been included. needed from the Internet. But until Windows XP, installing drivers manually was the norm, each package included a CD with the installation programs for the correct functioning of the device.
The use of including drivers in sales packages has lasted until fairly recent times, even though Windows has been downloading updated drivers independently when connecting a new device for years.
However, not always everything goes smoothly, sometimes Windows does not properly recognize the new device and therefore cannot find the drivers suitable for its operation. In this case, it will give the fateful message ” Unknown device “, in this article we will explain how to solve the annoying problem and how to find the drivers for an unknown device on Windows 10 (but also valid for previous versions).
How to Find Drivers for Unknown Devices
In general, it is good to make sure that there is no unknown device to Windows, otherwise, the system, if it is a fundamental component such as the motherboard or the video card, will be forced to use generic drivers, offering lower and possible performance malfunctions.
There are two methods to solve the problem
- The first is with the use of a system tool
- The other is using specially created programs to identify and install unknown device drivers.
Search for the device driver manually
If you don’t want to install any third-party apps, you can resort to manual installation. The procedure is really simple, on Windows 10 you just need:
- Click on Start, then write “ device manager ” (without quotation marks) and press the Enter button on the keyboard ;
- the ” Device Manager ” screen will open, it has remained practically unchanged in the succession of versions of Windows;
- then expand the item other devices and identify the ” Unknown device ” which will be characterized by an icon with a yellow exclamation point;
- at this point you can right-click on the unknown device and press on the item ” Properties “;
- then between the tabs at the top click on the ” Details ” tab ;
- in the drop-down menu choose “ID Hardware”;
- here will be a value that uniquely identifies your hardware.
At this point to find the correct driver for the device just write on Google (or your favourite search engine) ” driver + hardware ID “. Once you have found the correct driver, just install it to solve the problem.
Use a program to find and download drivers automatically
Unknown Device Identifier
You can avoid proceeding manually by using a convenient free program. The tool is called Unknown Device Identifier, also called UDI, you can download it directly from the official website of the project.
The application is compatible with all versions of Windows, from 95 up to Windows 10. Once downloaded and installed (the installation presents no pitfalls, just click on the ” Next ” button and check ” Accept ” in the license agreement) just start it to start the process of detecting devices not recognized by Windows.
Unrecognized devices will be highlighted in red, to find the suitable driver you will have to click on the “ + ” next to the name, then on the item “ Detail ” then on “ PnpID “. On this, you will need to click on it with the right button and press on the item ” Find Driver ” (as per screen).
At this point, our browser will open with a page open on the search engine, with the best query to find the suitable driver. Once found, you can download and install it to fix the problem.