Export your drivers using PNPUTIL

Want to export your drivers so that you have them later?

  • Open a command prompt or PowerShell as an administrator
  • Next create a folder to hold your drivers
  • Type pnputil /export-driver * c:\smalldriver   (This is my folder on a small laptop)
  • Hit Enter
  • Wait for the packages to be created
    • This exports the .inf, .sys and other drivers you can use in the event you reload windows
  • Copy the drivers to a DVD or external drive for recovery





Want to keep a driver that you have installed on your computer? 

You can import it using the pnputil command.  Let’s say we have a driver that we have downloaded.

Below is my driver (showing file extensions and hidden files in folder options).

Driver folder

I can now do one of two things.

  1.  I can open a command prompt or PowerShell as an administrator, change to the folder using cd commands and type pnputil /add-driver thedriver.infadddriver
  2. I can also use the GUI to right click on the inf and click installInstall Gui

Remember,  try not to use a setup.exe for drivers.   The reasoning is the drivers often come with monitoring utilities and bloat that can interfere with Windows performance.

Don’t use driver update utilities (third party).  Laptops and desktop users (brand name).  Your drivers are most likely out of date on the manufacturer site.  Use the device manager, HWInfo64, Speecy or some other utility to find out what your drivers are.  Visit the hardware manufacturer website.

Installing a driver properly without a setup.exe file. Navigate to the device manager and select your device.


Double click on the device and select the driver tab.  Click on Update Driver.


Click on Browse.


Click on Let Me Pick.


Click Have Disk and then Browse to the folder.


Select open and follow the prompts.  If necessary, use the Rollback if a driver performs worse.






About TCAT Shelbyville IT Department

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology - is one of 46 institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents System, the seventh largest system of higher education in the nation. This system comprises six universities, fourteen community colleges, and twenty-six Applied Technology Colleges.
This entry was posted in Computer hardware, computer troubleshooting, Computers, Information Technology, Microsoft, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Windows 10, Technology, troubleshooting, Windows, Windows 10, Windows 10 Quick Tips, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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