Windows 10 will store third-party drivers under a dedicated location

Microsoft is in the process of creating a new storage location for third-party drivers in Windows 10. The Redmond software giant wants to isolate such drivers on Desktop similarly to what they have on Windows 10X. However, in regular Windows 10 versions there will be a special folder for that, not a dedicated storage partition.

In the latest Insider build 21343 there is a hidden feature, found by Albacore, that changes the storage location for external drivers, but leaves the first-party drivers issued by Microsoft under the C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository folder location.

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For third-party drivers, Windows 10 will use the C:\Windows\OEMDRIVERS folder. The driver files there will be organized into two subfolders, Inf and System32 folders. While the feature can be enabled at any time, it will not migrate any already installed drivers, only newly installed or updated ones will go to the new isolated location.

The new folder will host drivers like VMWare software in case of a virtual machine, and also printer, scanner, and other external hardware drivers. Microsoft is about to leave only built-in drivers under its traditional location in the System32 folder.

The idea is actually great. The System32 folder is a core folder location for modern Windows version. It is the place where critical system components are stored. It is a good move to store all the third-party components out of this location.

It is not known yet when this change will be enabled by default. Microsoft is yet to announce it officially, but we assume that it may go live with Windows 10 version 21H2, a major feature update to the OS.


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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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