I am mantaining some PCs with small SSDs and the Windows\System32\DriverStore has grown a bit on some of them. I know there are some procedures for checking whether it can be cleaned up, but by the time we want to maybe simply link them to the secondary HDD.

What I'd like to know is: is the DriverStore used for storing the live copies of the drivers in use, and so when Windows boots it loads the drivers from that store? Or is it simply a store of drivers to install and is queried only when installing new hardware, and Windows loads the drivers at boot time from other directory?

Thank you in advance.


No, the directory only stores the drivers, so that Windows can install the drivers if you attach new devices to the PC. But you can cleanup the directory with pnputil.exe to reduce the size. and remove older driver version that you don't need any longer.

  • Since there are currently two ansers saying A and B, can you please provide some reference proving your answer? Thank you for contribution. – Áxel Costas Pena Oct 14 '16 at 14:10
  • 1
    he is wrong. Look in the registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ and here you see that all drivers get loaded from System32\drivers\ – magicandre1981 Oct 14 '16 at 14:12
  • @ guy who deleted its answer, thank you anyway for participating! – Áxel Costas Pena Oct 14 '16 at 14:17

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