[Windows] Keep all your drivers up-to-date and install missing drivers with DriverMax

Updating all of your drivers, or installing missing ones, is often time consuming and annoying. It is possible to do it yourself, but a little help goes a long way. That is where DriverMax comes in. This is a free utility that you can use to not only update the drivers on your computer but also to restore missing drivers as well. The best part is, this can all be done in a few easy steps.

WHAT IS IT AND WHAT DOES IT DO

Main Functionality

Like other driver updating utilities, DriverMax helps you to download and update the drivers that are already on your computer. However, this one goes a step beyond that by allowing you to restore/download drivers that may be missing from your computer as well. It can also create backups of your drivers in case you ever need to revert a driver back to a previous version.

Take note that there is an inherent risk with using any driver updating program — the risk that you may mess up your computer by installing the wrong drivers. Generally speaking, driver updating software should be the “last resort” when it comes to updating drivers. You should typically always consult the website of the manufacturer or Windows Update to find missing or updated drivers, before resorting to drive updating software.

Pros

  • Allows you to updates all of your drivers from within one program
  • Easily identifies and installs missing drivers for ‘unknown’ devices
  • Offers the ability to backup drivers (backups kept in compressed files to save space)
  • Eliminates the need for old (and possibly lost) driver installation CDs
  • Offers a very detailed report regarding the installed drivers on your PC

Cons

  • Free version only allows you to update two drivers a day
  • Must create a free account to use (email needed)
  • Comes bundled with “recommended” AVG Security Tool Bar — simply un-check the box for the toolbar during installation of DriverMax if you don’t want the toolbar

Discussion

Drivers are extremely important for your compute, as they tell all the hardware on your computer how to run. If some of your drivers are out-of-date, your computer may not be running at its full potential. Not only that, but some out-of-date drivers have been known to even leave security holes in your protection. In short, keeping your drivers up-to-date is important.

DriverMax is fairly painless to install. However, AVG Security Toolbar is offered during installation. By simply un-checking the box for the toolbar, you can avoid having it installed on your computer (if you wish). After that, the program will quickly install and ask if you would like to launch it.

Before you can start updating your drivers, you do have to complete one more step which is registration with the developer of DriverMax. This is a very quick process, but still something that some people may find annoying. During registration you will have to include your email and create a password for your account. It should also be noted that you can use the registration wizard to retrieve your password, should you ever lose it.

From there on, DriverMax is extremely easy to use. After scanning your computer, it will list all of the drivers on your computer. If drivers are up-to-date, they will be marked in green. If drivers need to be updated, they will be displayed in red and you will have the ability to update them. I was shocked to learn that a number of my drivers actually had available updates that I did not know about.

You should note that there are two versions of DriverMax, a ‘Free’ version, and a ‘Pro’ version. Unlike a lot of other programs, DriverMax does not offer you a trial period. In fact, you can use the free version of the software as long as you want. However, you can only update two drivers a day with the free version. I had ten that needed updating, so it will take about five days to update them all. However, I assume once you get them all up-to-date after your first use of DriverMax, a limit of two per day would not be that bad.

Take note that when downloading drivers, the free version of the software opens up web pages with information and download links for your drivers. You have to manually download and install the drivers from tehre. This will get the job done, but the Pro version does simplify this process by downloading the updates directly within DriverMax itself. This feature is not needed to enjoy DriverMax, but it is a nice gesture for people who want to support the program.

CONCLUSION AND DOWNLOAD LINK

DriverMax generally performs the same as a number of other driver maintenance programs on the market today because updating drivers is no longer an art — it has been made a science. However, I feel that DriverMax is a bit more user friendly than some of the other ones I have tried, and thus makes this one perfect for people of all skill levels. Having to create a user account is a bit of a turn off and the limit of two driver updates a day is a pain, but in the end these cons can be overlooked. If you are looking for a new driver maintenance tool, DriverMax may just be what you have been looking for.

Price: Free (can be upgraded to premium edition)

Version reviewed: 6.3

Supported OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7

Download size: 8.7MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/44

Is it portable? No

DriverMax download page

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6 comments

  1. permafrost

    - Trying about 10 driver checkers in time and the result listings mostly diferent all the time .
    Who i can trust ?
    - Found a free site where anybody can check his driver updates and downloads , PC full report , BSOD events , and more . Ma-config.com
    Please try it and comment .
    http://t7.hu/03ga-maconfig
    ** all my spelling mistakes are GNU public licence and can be distributing for free , because of my other language tongue speaking .

  2. chump2010

    Will echo what other commenters have said and what the article writer said in the second paragraph.

    I would suggest most people stay strongly away from such programs, and instead use windows update or go to the source and get the driver there.

    In fact lots of places, have their own detection system which can tell you which one you need.

    Avoid driver programs, except the ones that offer you a simple way to back them up. That is about all you need from driver programs in my opinion.

  3. Tom

    This is dangerous program. It wants to replace all Win drivers with AMD/ATI versions. Many times this will not be helpful. At best you lose performance. At worst you blue screen. Simple answer. Get you drivers from your hardware vendors. Tedious, but low risk.

  4. Rob (Down Under)

    I personally wouldn’t be risking auto updates.
    If anyone is interested in backing up your drivers, prior to re-installing windows, I can recommend Double Driver.
    I have used it for two laptops, where I ran it to back up the existing drivers, and then I reformatted the drives and did a fresh install of Windows. Then ran Double Driver to ‘restore’ the drivers.

  5. JR

    i’ve tried a few. dispair is what i’ve found. even the not genuine ones. furthermore, advertising still to a premium version when the oldest basic scanner driver was not found. huhu.. jokes aside. this is serious!