This post shows students and new users steps to export (backup) or import (restore) device drivers when using Windows 11. If you need to migrate or replace an old PC and you have legacy devices installed, you may want to export the drivers for those devices so you can reuse on the new PC.
Some critical devices you have installed on your machine may no longer be supported by their manufacturers. Once you have a working device with drivers installed, you can export the device drivers and use the device on your new PC and reinstall the driver for it.
It might also be a good practice to backup your device drivers just in case you need them when you’re corrupted or simply need to reinstall. Windows allows you to export and import device drivers with simple commands, then the steps below show you how to do that.
The new Windows 11 comes with many new features and a new user desktop, including centered Start menu and taskbar, rounded corners windows, themes and colors that will make any computer look and feel modern.
If you’re exited about Windows 11, keep reading our posts on it.
To get started with exporting and importing your device drivers on Windows 11, follow the steps below.
How to export device drivers on Windows 11
As mentioned above, Windows allows users to export their device drivers with simple commands. If you need to export drivers for devices installed on Windows, use the steps below.
First, open the Command Prompt as administrator. To do that, click on the Start menu, then search for Command Prompt. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator as shown in the image below.
When the command prompt opens, run the commands below to to export the drivers for all devices installed on Windows.
dism /online /export-driver /destination:"full_path_to_export_folder"
Replace full_path_to_export_folder with a folder you want to export to. Example: C:\Drivers\Export
If you’re exporting the drivers to use on different PC, simply save the export to an external drive or flash drive, then use it to import to the new computer.
You should see similar screen as below when you successfully export the drivers for devices.
Folder containing device drivers
You can also use the commands below to export device drivers.
pnputil /export-driver * "full_path_to_export_folder"
That will export all installed drivers for devices on your machine.
If you want to use PowerShell, then search for PowerShell and run as administrator. Once PowerShell opens, run the commands below to export all device drivers.
Export-WindowsDriver -Online -Destination "full_path_to_export_folder"
How to import device drivers on Windows 11
Once the drivers are exported, you use the commands below to import them. Again, open the Command Prompt as administrator, then run the commands below to import all drivers.
pnputil /add-driver "full_path_to_import_folder\*.inf" /subdirs /install /reboot
After the drivers are imported, you should see similar message as shown below.
If you don’t want to import all the drivers that were exported, you can simply use Windows Device Manager to import only the drivers you want.
Read the post below to learn how to install device drivers on Windows 11
How to install device drivers on Windows 11
That should do it!
This post showed you how to export and import device drivers on Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.