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Published on 05.26.09 by Brent Trahan

Configure Driver Search Locations

Learn how to set where Windows 7 searches for drivers.

This setting configures the location that Windows searches for drivers when a new piece of hardware is found.

By default, Windows searches the following places for drivers: local installation, floppy drives, CD-ROM drives, Windows Update.

Using this setting, you may remove the floppy and CD-ROM drives from the search algorithm.

If you enable this setting, you can remove the locations by selecting the associated check box beside the location name.

If you disable or do not configure this setting, Windows searches the installation location, floppy drives, and CD-ROM drives.

Note: To prevent searching Windows Update for drivers also see “Turn off Windows Update device driver searching” in Administrative Templates/System/Internet Communication Management/Internet Communication settings.

Set the Driver Search Locations

  1. Type gpedit.msc in the Start menu’s search box and then press Enter.

    Note: This guide shows you how to make changes to Windows 7 using Group Policy. Group Policy is not available in Home versions of Windows 7.

  2. Navigate to User Configuration, Administrative Templates, System, and then select Driver Installation in the left column of the Group Policy editor.


  3. Double-click Configure driver search locations in the Settings section of the Group Policy editor.
  4. Select Enable, check off the locations you do not want Windows 7 to search for drivers at, and then click OK to save the changes.


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