Switching to a new PC is often accompanied by the challenge of ensuring that all your essential devices and peripherals work seamlessly. This is especially true with Windows 11. Whether you’re replacing an old PC or upgrading to this latest operating system, you might find yourself in a situation where certain legacy devices that have served you well over the years are no longer supported by their manufacturers. This can be problematic, especially if these devices play a critical role in your day-to-day activities. Thankfully, Windows 11 provides a solution. If you’ve got a device that’s functioning well with its drivers on your current machine, you can export these drivers. This means that when you set up your new PC, you can easily import and reinstall these drivers, ensuring that your legacy device remains operational. Moreover, regularly backing up your device drivers is a prudent measure, safeguarding you against potential system corruptions or the occasional need for a fresh OS installation. In this guide, we will walk you through the straightforward steps to export and import device drivers on Windows 11, making your transition smoother and more efficient.
How to Export or Backup Device Drivers on Windows 11?
If you want to export or backup drivers from installed Windows 11, use the following:-
Step 1. Firstly, open the Command Prompt with administrator rights.
For that, press the Windows + R keys from the keyboard to open the Run dialog box. In the Run box, type cmd and then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter from the keyboard to run the command prompt as an administrator.
Step 2. Now, in the elevated command prompt, type the following to export the drivers for all devices installed on Windows 11 machine:-
dism /online /export-driver /destination:"full_path_to_export_folder"
Note: In the command, replace “full_path_to_export_folder” with a folder you want to export to. For example, if you’re going to ship drivers in the “C:\Drivers” folder, then your full command will be like:-
dism /online /export-driver /destination:"C:\Drivers"
So, Windows may take a while to export drivers; it depends on the driver’s size. After you are done, you will find all component drivers in your predefined folder.
Also, you can use the following command to export device drivers on a Windows 11 PC:-
pnputil /export-driver * "full_path_to_export_folder"
Here, if you prefer to use PowerShell, then open Windows PowerShell with elevated rights and use the following command to export all device drivers:-
Export-WindowsDriver -Online -Destination "full_path_to_export_folder"
How to Import Device Drivers on Windows 11?
To import or restore device drives on Windows 11, perform the following steps:-
Step 1. Firstly, open an elevated Command Prompt.
Step 2. Now, in the command prompt, type the following and then hit Enter from the keyboard to execute it:-
pnputil /add-driver "full_path_to_import_folder\*.inf" /subdirs /install /reboot
Note: Replace the “full_path_to_import_folder” with your folder path where you have kept the backup of drivers.
Switching to a new PC or upgrading to a newer OS like Windows 11 can be stressful when dealing with legacy devices. The potential incompatibility can disrupt your workflow and even hamper essential tasks. However, by understanding how to export and import device drivers on Windows 11, you can ensure that all your devices continue to function seamlessly. Not only does this process ease the transition, but it also acts as a backup measure, protecting you against unexpected system issues. By following the steps provided, you can enjoy the benefits of your new OS or PC without the hassle of device compatibility issues.