How to Update Ethernet Controller Drivers? – 3 Methods

Last Updated on December 13, 2020

Generally, in Windows, the drivers for Ethernet controllers are automatically installed using the built-in driver library and Windows Update.

However, there may be times when you need to manually update the driver such as recent operating system updates to resolve the compatibility issues. Therefore, you may ask as to how to update Ethernet controller drivers?

Essentially, this can be done in Windows Device Manager by automatically searching for and installing the updated drivers if available. It can also be done by downloading and installing the updated drivers from the manufacturer’s website. You can also update the Ethernet controller drivers through optional driver updates available in Windows Update settings.

How to Update Ethernet Controller Drivers?

Properly updated drivers would help different hardware components like the Ethernet controller to work smoothly. When the driver for an Ethernet controller becomes outdated, problems may arise that may prevent you from accessing the internet or other network resources.

Given this, we describe here three easy methods for updating Ethernet controller drivers in Windows. This would ensure the smooth operation of the device especially after you update the operating system.

Method 1: Through Device Manager

Step 1

Depending on your Windows version, you first need to open Device Manager. For Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 you can right-click Start, and then click Device Manager. For Windows 7 you can click on Start and then choose Control Panel.

Then click System and Security and select Device Manager.

Step 2

How to Update Ethernet Controller Drivers
You can see here that the network controller driver here is the Realtek PCIe GbE Family Controller

Double-click the section named Network adapters and this will show the Ethernet controller.

Step 3

Right-click on the Ethernet card and click on Update Driver.

Step 4

Choose the option to automatically search for the updated driver. Windows will search the internet for the updated driver that’s available for your device. In case you already have the latest driver installed you will be notified.

Step 5

If there is a new driver available, it will be installed automatically. You might be prompted to restart your computer to finish the installation.

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Method 2: Through the Latest Drivers on the Manufacturer’s Website

You can also visit the Ethernet controller manufacturer’s website to download and install the latest drivers. For this follow the steps below:

Step 1

Open the Device Manager in the same way as described in the earlier method.

Step 2

Double-click on the section named Network adapters and figure out the Ethernet controller that’s installed on your system.

Step 3

Make a note of your Ethernet card model and search for it using a search engine in a web browser.

Step 4

In the results that appear, navigate to the manufacturer’s webpage having the updated downloadable drivers.

Step 5

Choose the one according to your operating system and computer architecture. Generally, it will be an executable (.exe) file that you can download.

Step 6

After downloading, double-click on it and follow the on-screen instructions to update the driver for your Ethernet controller.

Step 7

If the downloaded file in the .zip format, right-click on it and select Extract All. In the zip wizard that appears, choose the location for the files to be extracted. You can also select Browse to select an alternative location for extraction.

Step 8

Alternatively, you can also use file compression software to extract the files.

Step 9

Look for a file named setup.exe. Double-click on it and follow the installation instructions.

Method 3: Through Windows Update in Windows 10

Another method, and pehaps the easiest, on how to update ethernet controller drives is through the Windows Update Service.

For Windows 10, here are the step:

Step 1

windows update

Open Settings app in Windows 10 and click on Update & Security. Click on Windows Update and then click on the View optional updates button.

Alternatively, you can type “Check for Updates” in the search box in the taskbar.

Step 2

Expand the Driver updates tab. If there is a driver update available for the Ethernet controller, select it and click the Download and install button.

Step 3

The new driver will then automatically download and install on your computer.


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