Pros / Smart Driver Updater is easy to use, and it detected the most drivers of any product in our review.
Cons / The software doesn’t have any helpful tutorials.
Verdict / Smart Driver Updater’s automatic scan and update features give you the information and control you need to keep your computer’s drivers running optimally.
In these highly technical times, most of us depend on our computers to perform a wide variety of tasks for us every day. By using driver update software like Smart Driver Updater, you can keep drivers updated and running in top shape so they can keep up with you at the click of a button. The software makes it easy to schedule scans, delete old drivers and view source information, which is why it easily secures our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
- Scan Performance Score
- Drivers Found
- Ease of Use
Smart Driver Updater was the best performing product in our tests, which isn't saying a lot. We installed 277 outdated drivers on our test computer, and it found just 126 of them. By comparison, the second-best product, Driver Reviver, found just 109 drivers. Some products, like Driver Checker, only found 59 drivers. While none of the programs we tested found all the outdated drivers, Smart Driver Updater still provides the best option, giving you a good idea of the status and health of your computer’s drivers.
After the scan, the app lists the drivers that need updates, as well as the current versions and source details, so you stay in the loop about which drivers are installed on your computer and where new updates are sourced from.
It is compatible with all recent versions of Windows from XP forward; however, it is not yet available for Mac OS X or Linux users. The scanning portion of the software is free to download from the developer’s website, but as is the case with any other program of this type, you have to pay to access the rest of the features.
Resolve & Optimize
As we expect from our best driver updater, Smart Driver Updater has all of the features and functionality needed to scan and update your system’s drivers. It has a beautiful, modern and intuitive layout, with every option clearly labeled, which makes it extremely easy to use. From the homepage you can initiate a scan or navigate to the Backup page to delete or perform a backup of your system’s drivers. You can also go to the History page to see your scan and update history or view the Settings page to customize the program’s settings to your needs.
After running a scan, you can review any drivers the software suggests you update and opt to download and install updates for some or all of them. During this process, you can view the status of any given update, whether it’s queued, preparing, downloaded or installed, which can give you an idea of how long the updates may take. You can also stop the scan at any time.
The program only uses original equipment manufacturer (OEM) update sources from its database of over 600,000 drivers, so you don’t have to worry about installing faulty or mismatched driver updates. The software simply does exactly what it advertises, and it didn’t download any bloatware or malware on our test computer.
The backup process is one of the most detailed we found in our testing, which is good. Rather than just clicking a large button to initiate a general backup, Smart Driver Updater lets you review all drivers on your system and choose specific ones to perform backups on. From this same page, you can delete drivers for peripherals you know you’ll never use again, say for an old camera or printer. A backup is handy to have in case of a faulty driver download or if there is a major issue with your computer that makes it crash or you lose some important data.
The settings page is fairly extensive and lets you tweak a variety of settings for things like simultaneous driver downloads, proxy settings and scan scheduling. You can tell it how often to scan or when to perform a future scan, down to a specific minute.
Help & Support
This driver software is impressive and capable, and the only real downside is that there are no educational tutorials about the product. This isn’t the most common kind of software, and despite Smart Driver Updater’s intuitive layout, some users may still need help. However, there is a small FAQs section on the company’s website. You can also contact customer service representatives for technical support via email. The program is backed by a 30-day purchase guarantee from the manufacturer.
Whether you’re new to computer maintenance or are a seasoned pro looking to automate your upkeep process, Smart Driver Updater can help you detect out-of-date drivers and update them quickly. It detected the most drivers on our test PC out of all the programs we tested, and its OEM-only driver updates reduce worry of downloading mismatched updates or malware. The easy-to-use software lets you customize a few features, set up automatic scans and perform backups to restore your drivers, making it a great choice for computer users of any level.