Aug. 28, 2018 / Updated by Bessie Shaw to Windows Driver Solutions
You may find in C:\Windows\System32 there is a folder named DriverStore, which occupies a large space of the PC memory. In fact, you can backup the drivers in the folder and delete parts of the old drivers to free up the disk space.
Don't hurry. You cannot directly delete the drivers in the folder or directly remove the DriverStore folder, which will result in various computer crashes, like blue screen of death error, black screen issue, hardware not recognized problem, etc.
There are many files in the folder. Some may be the new driver files while some may be the old ones, though they share the file names. If you remove them carelessly, the computer will run into severe problems. You can use some command lines to make Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7 or Vista to backup and uninstall the drivers in case you make mistakes.
This is how to make it:
Firstly, you need to export/backup the drivers so that you can navigate to the drivers once you need to install them. There are two ways to backup drivers:
1. You need to create a folder on a non-system drive that has enough space to store the driver files. It is used to receive the driver backups from the C: drive. For example, you create a folder name MyDrivers under the E: drive.
2. Type cmd into the search box on the Taskbar or the Start menu. Then right-click the icon and select Run as administrator.
3. In the Command Prompt, type into command: pnputil /export-driver * E:/MyDrivers
(Note: Pay attention to the space in the command line and type into the exact path that points to the folder you've created in step 1.)
4. Hit the Enter key to run the command. Windows 10 will export and backup all the drivers.
Now you've complete the drivers backup. If you have to reinstall the system in the future, you can go to the backup folder you've created to find the basic drivers for those devices that cannot be recognized by Windows.
You can also use professional driver backup utilities, like Driver Talent, to backup drivers on either 64-bit or 32-bit Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7 and Vista. The utility is available via the button below:
It can backup Windows drivers for all laptops or desktops, such as Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, Microsoft, IBM, MSI, Samsung, Toshiba, Alienware, Sony, Compaq, Gateway, LG, etc.
Here is how:
1. Launch Driver Talent after you install it. Click the Tools to open the Backup menu. You'll see a list of backup-able drivers on the right-pane.
2. Check all the drivers and click the Start button to begin backing up the drivers. All the backed-up drivers are stored in a default folder. You are allowed to modify the backup directory in Driver Talent Settings.
If you want to restore the drivers when the computer runs into driver issues, you can also use Driver Talent to make it. See: Top 2 Ways to Restore Driver on Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista
After the drivers backup, you can remove the old drivers in DriverStore of C: drive to release the disk space or the memory usage.
If you're a computer master with rich experience and good knowledge and skill on PnPUtil command syntax, you can still use the pnputil command to delete the drivers and enlarge the C: drive space.
1. Open Command Prompt as administrator.
2. Type into the command: pnputil /? and press the Enter.
3. You'll see a screen of information about the instructions of pnputil command.
Then you can follow the delete command line to remove the old drivers on your Windows computer.
If you have basic computer skills with very little knowledge of the inner workings of Windows, you can use tools like DriverStore Explorer to automatically find and delete the old drivers and free up the disk space.
That's it. Hope this post can help you backup and delete the old drivers on your Windows, and you can free up the disk and speed up the slow PC.
If you have any questions or suggestions, just comment below and tell us. If you have any other Windows-related issues you can check for solutions in Windows Driver Solutions section.
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