What is a computer driver?

I have often been asked the question “what is a computer driver”?

Computer hardware companies sell physical hardware for your computer which needs to be talked to by your computer’s OS (Operating System). The computer OS could be Windows XP; Vista or Windows 7.

Together with your new hardware, the company will release a piece of software (computer programme) which you need to install on your computer. By “hardware” I mean anything from a graphics or sound card to a printer or modem or even a USB device.

This software is called a “driver” and enables your new hardware and your computer’s OS to communicate. The driver allows the OS and hardware to interact with each other. Think of a driver as a translator which allows people who speak two different languages to talk to each other.

Occasionally the hardware company will release an “updated driver”. This could be to allow the hardware to work with a new OS such as Windows 8 or fixes a problem in the driver. Updating the driver therefore allows your hardware to work at peak performance and efficiency.

For more information please look at this Hubpage article: