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New Windows 10 update could finally fix a huge problem with drivers

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A major Windows 10 update coming later in 2021 could finally fix a big problem with the operating system, as it will move third-party drivers to an isolated folder on your hard drive.

This may not sound terribly exciting, but it’s quite an important move. Drivers are incredibly important bits of software that allow Windows 10 to communicate with the hardware installed in your PC.

Keeping drivers updated is essential to having a PC that runs well, but installing the wrong driver – or if a driver is released with a serious bug – can have serious effects on your PC, including system crashes and reduced performance.

At the moment, all drivers are kept in the ‘DriverStore’, which resides in the System32 folder. This is a critical folder that shouldn’t be messed around with, so storing third-party drivers there can be asking for trouble.

Making the move

As Windows Latest reports (opens in new tab), with the upcoming Windows 10 21H2 ‘Sun Valley’ update, third-party drivers look set to be moved from System32 to an “OEMDRIVERS” folder instead, and this change is already visible in early preview versions of Windows 10 21H2.

By keeping the drivers away from the critical System32 folder, the security of people’s PCs should be greatly improved. There could also be some performance benefits as well for people who regularly upgrade their drivers, as it stops the System32 folder from getting bloated.

Hopefully, it should also result in a more stable system, as any faulty drivers will be isolated from important files. Could this mean we see a reduction in the dreaded Blue Screen of Death in Windows 10?

If you’ve ever had your PC crash on your, or something stops working correctly in Windows 10, a driver problem could have been the culprit, so any move on Microsoft’s part to limit this happening is certainly welcome.

You might also want to check out how to fix a stuck Windows update (opens in new tab).

Matt Hanson
Matt Hanson


Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Computing and Entertainment, looking after two of the best, and most exciting, channels on the site. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made. He's also a huge film and TV fan and Marvel geek, and his favorite recent film is Dune.