Driver Booster Review

Updating PC drivers is a nightmare. Digging through vendor websites, checking the Windows version, and verifying the current computer drivers is certain to induce headaches. Heaven forbid you forget the make and model number of your motherboard! That calls for opening up your PC or downloading a shady app from an even shadier website. You know the one, where a Nigerian prince who moonlights in IT kindly asks for your credit card details. 

Luckily, we’re in an era of automation. There’s an app to keep drivers up-to-date. Read our Driver Booster review to learn how this app will save you from all the driver troubles of the past.

Key features:

  • Affordable price
  • Free trial available
  • Automated driver download and installation
  • One click installations

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Dashboard proceeds step-by-step through updates
  • Game mode boosts performance during gameplay
  • Optimizes even ancient versions of Windows
  • Color coding classifies updates by level of urgency
  • Free trial period
  • Great price
  • Annoying ads for the vendor’s other products
  • Steam “lifetime” license doesn’t include updates

Driver Booster Overview

Driver Booster is one of the most popular apps from IObit, a Chinese publisher of PC utility programs for cyber security and computer optimization. While Driver Booster is a speed booster of sorts, its most significant function is to keep your computer drivers up to date. It is a driver manager, first and foremost: a powerful piece of software that takes all the annoying stuff about computer maintenance away and replaces it with automated and one-click systems.

We’ll be going through each individual component of this software in our Driver Booster review, providing explanations and analyzing how Driver Booster fares against competing apps.

Driver Scanner

 

driver booster review driver scanner

Before you can start downloading and updating drivers, you’ll need to know what components of your computer even need drivers. And on top of that, whether any of those are outdated. While Windows 10 did manage to streamline this process, there can still be driver issues or devices requiring manual setup. When you run Driver Booster, it reviews the current situation and lists all of the devices and their current drivers, warning you if anything needs updating. The program uses a color-coded system for marking the level of urgency, with red marking the oldest drivers and missing drivers that you’ll have to update ASAP.

Driver updater

driver booster review driver updater

Once Driver Booster 7 finds everything that needs to be fixed, you can either update each individual device, or do a driver update across your whole system. Pick one, then sit back and relax while the app works its magic. Driver Booster Pro will download and install all your drivers with just one click, without requiring constant user input. The program downloads only certified WHQL drivers, official updates, and drivers that have passed IObit’s rigorous tests.

Rescue Center

Sometimes a new driver isn’t as stable as the previous version. This can cause system instability, leading to a Blue Screen of Death error or causing your computer to halt. Since most of us don’t keep previous driver installations backed up, we end up tinkering around with Windows safe mode and keeping our fingers crossed that erasing the driver will resolve the issue. IObit’s driver updater has a nifty little feature called Rescue Center. It backs up each previous installation and is able to roll your PC back to older drivers. That way you can avoid losing sound, for example, when you install experimental audio drivers. You can keep the old drivers around on an external drive in case you want to reformat the system someday.

Automated Drivers Update

Our computers have a lot of free time. Why not update drivers when your PC is idle? Driver Booster Pro is able to detect when you’re not actively using your PC.

driver booster review automated drivers update

It uses idle time to check for updates and install any new drivers it finds. The app leaves a notification in the system tray to let you know there was an update. It all works without a hitch and completely in the background. We sometimes forgot we even had this program installed.

Massive driver database

A driver updater is pretty much worthless without a giant database of drivers. It’s the “secret weapon” of these apps, the most important part.

This fact makes it crystal clear why every single Driver Booster review praises this program. It’s got more than 3.5 million drivers in its database. There is no obscure gaming peripheral or network card that Driver Booster cannot identify. And, as a cherry on top, the software can recognize when any of these drivers malfunction and repair them automatically.

Gaming Performance Optimization

Squeezing an extra few frames per second out of your PC can make a difference between matches won and lost in games like Valorant and CoD:Warzone. Driver Booster works like a speed boost for drivers most crucial for smooth gaming. The whole process is separated into several steps, each ensuring the best possible performance.

driver booster review gaming performance optimization

First of all, Driver Booster puts itself among background processes when you enter a fullscreen application. That way you won’t be seeing any distracting notifications from it.

The Pro (paid) version of Driver Booster can review system performance and determine what processes are not essential during gaming time. It temporarily disables them so the games get more CPU horsepower.

The final touch: driver priority. When you enable gaming mode, graphics drivers get a much higher priority during automated updates. After all, Nvidia and AMD push out new drivers every week, so keeping your GPU up-to-date is a high priority for keeping the gaming experience at the highest level.

User experience

It’s shocking how many developers don’t really care about making their apps easy to use. Not everyone’s a hacker and some people don’t enjoy digging through a hierarchy of menus to find the on/off switch for one of the program’s features. Every user review of Driver Booster we’ve seen so far has commended IObit for making a simple, fun-to-use program.

driver booster review user experience

There are no annoying menus or tiny buttons to click, just a large “Scan” button that runs the driver checker part of the program. On the following screen it’s very easy to understand which drivers are crucial and which aren’t, and the buttons for running updates are clearly marked. Driver Booster’s homepage has a few tabs on the left side, each leading to another component of the program. The first is the scan – the best driver updater in the business – followed by a system optimizer tool that includes game boost, and finally the Rescue Center for backing up and restoring drivers.

The final tab is a little annoying. It’s an advertisement wall for other IObit products. That would be fine in the free version, but it’s also present in the premium version of the app. Since this review is focused on Driver Booster Pro, the review score will unfortunately have to go down a notch. Ads in a program’s free version are fine, but they’re out of line in paid software.

As for customization, there aren’t too many options. You can select between light and dark color schemes and several levels of transparency. Also, Driver Booster can be set to run in full-screen mode, completely covering all other Windows elements.

A 100% PC-centric program

The Driver Booster download is available only as a Windows .exe file. While we weren’t expecting a Mac version, a Linux version would’ve been nice, as new users of that operating system have trouble finding and installing drivers.

That said, Driver Booster supports a respectable variety of Windows operating systems. You can run it on any version of Windows from XP to 10. In fact, it is one of the rare pieces of modern software that supports XP. The download is small, just 26 MB, so even if you’re not on your home Wi-Fi you’ll be able to download and install it in just a few moments.

Driver Booster for Steam

If you’re using Valve’s digital content platform, you’ll be glad to find a specially optimized version of Driver Booster 7 on Steam too. It does pretty much everything that the program you buy directly from IObit does, but the licensing is a little bit different.

driver booster review steam integration

Instead of an annual subscription, you can choose to upgrade the free version to Pro with a one-time purchase. It costs more than the subscription, but you get a lifetime license. The disadvantage is that you’ll be stuck with that version of Driver Booster, while subscribers get new versions as they come out. So, when purchasing Driver Booster, review the offers and choose the plan accordingly.

Other IObit apps we recommend

Getting your drivers up-to-date is just one part of computer maintenance. You’ll also need an antivirus program, maybe a system cleaner tool, maybe a tool to ensure that your apps are up-to-date. IObit is an all-around developer. On its website, you’ll find many free and paid apps for day-to-day use that will optimize Windows and keep it from slowing down in the long run.

Advanced SystemCare Ultimate

You might have just bought the best driver updater software, but to get the most out of your PC, you can use this additional tool. It optimizes the system by removing junk files and leftovers from old installations, protects the PC from malware, and provides safe browsing. There’s a free trial available too, so give it a spin.

IObit Uninstaller

If you’d rather prevent junk files from infesting your PC, this is the app for you. It basically replaces Windows’s Add/Remove tool with one that digs deep into the file structure. With IObit uninstaller, removing a program means it really is gone without a trace.

IObit Undelete

IObit isn’t only about the best driver tools, but also system and data recovery. It happens to us all – you accidentally hit Shift+Delete on that file, change your mind, and cry yourself to sleep knowing you’ll never get it back. Undelete is a lightweight program that tracks down lost and deleted files. It’s free, so give it a whirl.

Customer Support

Chances are you won’t ever need to contact IObit’s customer service thanks to its highly informative website. The Online Feedback page houses several tools for managing licenses, like transferring to another PC or a reinstaller in case you update a current rig. The FAQ page covers all products, including Driver Booster 7. To review the product means reviewing customer service too, however, so we have contacted support agents several times with different inquiries, each time receiving prompt and precise answers.

There are several routes for getting to IObit’s support team. You can give them a phone call (a toll-free number is available 24/7) or fill out a form for any complicated matter you need addressing. If you have an active subscription to any product, premium support is available every day of the week – with priority processing.

Pricing: Driver Booster Free v Pro

Before we even installed this program, we saw Driver Booster mentioned everywhere as the best driver updater. While the free version covers all the bases for a beginning user, paying for the Pro version is well worth it.

Driver Booster review Free v Pro comparison

First, it’s inexpensive. At just $22.95 a year, it is about half the price of competing products, yet it has all the same advanced features. The license covers three computers, so it ultimately ends up costing less than $8 per PC. If you run into a discount coupon, the price can be even lower. If you decide to go with a lifetime license, you will find Driver Booster’s pricing unmatched. Still, we suggest buying a subscription so you don’t miss out on new versions of the app.

Some features are available only in the Pro version. Rescue Center, the automatic and scheduled driver installer, driver repair – you get all of that and more with a subscription. Pro users also get fully unlocked download speeds and the app will boost drivers of graphics cards. Finally, premium customer service is available 24/7 for users of the Pro version, in any part of the world.

How Does Driver Booster Compare to Others?

  • Affordable price
  • Free trial available
  • Automated driver download and installation
  • One click installations
Price $Free/22.95
driver booster review driver easy logo
  • Automatic driver updates
  • Offline scan
  • Driver backup/restore
  • Driver checker
Price $29.95/year
  • Automatic driver updates
  • Driver checker
  • System optimizer
  • Gaming mode
Price $19.97/year

Conclusion

We can’t end our IObit driver booster review with anything less than a recommendation. This is top-of-the-line software for computer maintenance: an incredibly fast driver finder and updater that’s even a good companion to gamers who want to get some extra oomph out of their RGB-lit rigs. You can try it for free and then upgrade if you like it. We know we’re keeping this app on our office computers and laptops.

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Dashboard proceeds step-by-step through updates
  • Game mode boosts performance during gameplay
  • Optimizes even ancient versions of Windows
  • Color coding classifies updates by level of urgency
  • Free trial period
  • Great price
  • Annoying ads for the vendor’s other products
  • Steam “lifetime” license doesn’t include updates

FAQ

Is Driver Booster any good?

Yes. In fact it is the best driver tool you can purchase for less than $30. It does require some initial setup time, but later you’ll probably forget that it’s running in the background. If you don’t want to bother updating drivers manually and you want your PC running at optimum efficiency, this is the app for you.

Is Driver Booster really free?

Yes, you can download Driver Booster absolutely free and it doesn’t come with any time limits or other strange restrictions. The free version checks for driver updates, then downloads and installs them with the push of a button. It can even optimize your computer’s performance for gaming, so you’ll get better framerates at your favorite battle royales and other action games.

Is Driver Booster a virus?

No, this program only serves to update drivers on your PC and temporarily disable notifications from apps when you’re gaming. It can also create backups and restore your system to a previous stable point. Is Driver Booster safe to use? No question about it, and during testing it didn’t cause any conflicts with other apps, antivirus programs, or firewalls.

Who makes Driver Booster?

Driver Booster is developed by IObit, a company that specializes in computer maintenance utilities like malware scanners and system optimizers. It is one of IObit’s most popular products, used by millions of people all over the world. While it did start as a simple tool for updating peripheral drivers, it can now run automatic PC maintenance and even optimize your PC for better gaming performance. Be sure to read our Driver Booster review to learn more about the free and premium versions of this great program.