What Is a Driver in Computer Software?

Irene Olsen

A driver is a crucial component of computer software that allows hardware to communicate with the operating system. In simple terms, it acts as a translator that enables the computer’s software to understand and interact with the various hardware components attached to it. Without drivers, your computer would not be able to use any of its peripherals like printers, scanners, or even external hard drives.

Types of Drivers:

There are different types of drivers available for different hardware components. Some common types include:

1. Audio Drivers:

Audio drivers are responsible for enabling sound output on a computer. These drivers come in handy when you want to listen to music, watch videos or play games.

2. Video Drivers:

Video drivers are responsible for managing graphics and video output on the computer screen. These drivers control the resolution, color depth and refresh rate of your display.

3. Printer Drivers:

Printer drivers allow computers to communicate with printers and other printing devices. They are necessary for sending printing commands from your computer to the printer.

4. Network Drivers:

Network drivers enable computers to connect to a network or the internet by providing communication between hardware devices such as network interface cards (NIC) and routers.

The Importance of Drivers:

Drivers play a vital role in ensuring that all hardware devices work seamlessly with your operating system. Without them, your computer would not be able to recognize any new hardware components added to it, rendering them useless.

Moreover, having updated drivers installed on your system can help improve performance and fix bugs or glitches in old versions of driver software.

How Do You Install Drivers?

Most modern-day operating systems come pre-installed with basic drivers required for most commonly used peripherals such as keyboards, mice and monitors. However, if you need specific driver software for a hardware component that does not come pre-installed with your operating system, you can download it from the manufacturer’s website.

Once downloaded, you can typically install the driver software by simply double-clicking on the downloaded file and following the installation steps provided.


In conclusion, drivers are a crucial part of computer software that enable hardware components to communicate with your operating system. Without them, using any peripherals or hardware components would be impossible. By keeping your drivers updated, you can ensure that your computer runs smoothly and efficiently.