Where are the drivers located in Windows 10 and can they be manually uninstalled

When installing or updating a device driver, you might wonder where Windows 10 stores all of these drivers. In this guide, we will find out where the drivers are located in the Windows 10 operating system and if they can be manually uninstalled.

Location of drivers in Windows 10

Windows 10 includes hundreds of common drivers for the most common devices such as sound cards, video cards, and printers. Sometimes, you may need to install a third party or OEM driver for a device in order to unlock all of its features.

Windows 10 stores all built-in and third-party device drivers in a protected system folder called DriverStore, located in the System32 folder. The folder contains all the drivers included with Windows 10, as well as third-party drivers that you may have already installed.

The path to the DriverStore folder in Windows 10:

C: \ Windows \ System32 \ DriverStore

In the above path, “C” is the letter of the drive where Windows 10 is installed.

The DriverStore folder is the main folder. However, you will not find drivers there. By opening the DriverStore folder, you can find folders such as en-US, FileRepository, ru-RU, and Temp. The FileRepository folder actually contains all the device drivers.

However, Microsoft may store third-party device drivers outside the System32 directory in future versions of Windows 10. For example, starting with Windows 10 version 20H1, Windows \ System32 \ DriverStore is the location of the drivers.

Open the DriverStore folder in Windows 10

While you can manually navigate to the DriverStore folder using File Explorer, there is a much easier way to quickly open the DriverStore folder. All you need to do is copy and paste the following path into the Run command box (use Windows + R to open Run) and press Enter.

C: \ Windows \ System32 \ DriverStore

If Windows 10 is installed on a different drive than the default “C” drive, replace the letter in the above path with the appropriate one.

Is it safe to remove drivers from the DriverStore folder?

Never manually remove device drivers from the DriverStore folder, as this may prevent you from reinstalling the drivers if necessary. If you want to uninstall old drivers to save space, use the built-in Disk Cleanup tool, which offers the option to remove old drivers.

It is also worth noting that if you nevertheless decided to manually remove the drivers from the DriverStore folder, then we recommend that you create a backup copy of the drivers before uninstalling, or simply copy the entire DriverStore folder to a safe place.

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