What are Computer Drivers

To say that computers are all around us is, perhaps, one of the most clichéd statements that could ever be made. Nevertheless, the fact does remain that computers have become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. Without them, we would hardly be able to do most of the things that we take for granted today. Drivers are an important component on any computer. This article seeks to answer the question; “What are computer drivers?”

What are Computer Drivers?

A computer driver is a type of software that acts as the interface between a PC’s hardware and its Operation System.

Hardware and software in computers

We have all heard that computers are made up of hardware and software right? Well, drivers are what allow for the transfer of data between hardware components and the O.S. They are sometimes referred to as “Device Drivers,” or “Hardware Drivers.” 

Default Drivers

A large chunk of the drivers that are on a computer, such as those that control the keyboard or mouse, come with the Operation System.

These are referred to as Default Drivers.  However, for some components, such as printers, you actually need to install drivers manually. This can be done using either the CD that came with the device, or by downloading drivers from the internet.

Why Drivers are Important

Drivers on computers are a prime example of some of those things that are very important, but that we, more often than not, neglect to think about. A good analogy would be breathing. Every individual does it at a subconscious level. However almost all of us never think about it.

It is only when we become ill, or, Heaven forbid, when we stop breathing that we realize how important it is.

The same applies to drivers and computers. They are an important component, yet most computer users are not even aware that they exist. The fact is, however, that without drivers, computers would not be able to carry out all the tasks that they carry out on our behalves.

We have previously written about print drivers and how they are one of the things that you should check out should you ever encounter problems with your printer. In fact, every hardware component that is on your PC needs drivers in order to communicate with the OS.

Examples of Hardware

As mentioned above, all the hardware components that are on a computer can only function with the help of drivers. They are what enable messages to be sent and to come from such items as printers and keyboards. In order to clarify things further, we provide, below, a list of some of the hardware components that can be found on a computer;

  • Audio input and output components
  • Batteries
  • Bluetooth Devices
  • Disk Drives
  • Display Adapters
  • DVD/CD-ROM drives
  • Human Interface Devices
  • IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers
  • Imaging Devices
  • System Devices
  • Keyboards
  • Mice and other pointing devices
  • Monitors
  • Network adapters
  • Print queues
  • Processors
  • Software devices
  • Sound, video and game controllers
  • Storage controllers
  • Universal Serial Bus controllers

Some of you will have noticed that we got that list from our computer’s Device Manager. You can read the article in the provided link to find out how you can open Device Manager in Windows. Also read this article for more on how to update the drivers that are on your computer.

Examples of Computer Drivers

The question “What are computer Drivers” would not be completely answered without identifying a few of the drivers that can be found on a PC. So, what are some of the examples of Device Drivers that you can find on a computer?

  1. Print Drivers
  2. Video Card Drivers
  3. Mouse Drivers
  4. Motherboard Drivers
  5. Sound Card Drivers
  6. Many More


We hope the question “What is a Computer Driver” has been fully answered in this short article. To recap, a computer driver is a type of software that acts as an interface between the Operation System and the various hardware components that make up a computer.

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