Over the years I’ve written repeatedly about a terrrific tool from ace developers Kannan Ramanathan and Teddy Zhang. It’s called DriverStore Explorer, also known by its executable name: RAPR.exe. A few years back this open source project moved from Microsoft’s CodePlex to GitHub. This great little tool looks up and organizes all of the device drivers in the Windows OS DriverStore. This resides in %windir%\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository, and is far too often home to obsolete and duplicated device drivers. Simply put, DriverStore Explorer remains the best tool for identifying unneeded drivers, and getting rid of those you don’t want. But because there are multiple versions floating around the web, be sure to grab new DriverStore Explorer from GitHub using its Latest Version link. As I write this blog post, that version is number 0.9.10, as shown in the About information on this screenshot:
These days, you need only click the “Select Old Drivers” button in RAPR.EXE and it does the rest. You can see it has ID’d older Nvidia display drivers — a common source of DriverStore congestion — for removal.
[Click image to see full-sized view]
Why Not Grab DriverStore Explorer from GitHub?
I started using RAPR.exe back in 2011 (here’s a link to my original blog post about it, based on version 0.5). In the meantime, I’ve mentioned the program no less than 15 times here at Windows Enterprise Desktop, other TechTarget online properties, and in writings for outlets that include ComputerWorld, CIO.com, Win10.Guru, and InformIT.com. Simply put, it’s a great program. I just used it to remove the 3 extraneous copies of Nvidia’s GeForce drivers for my GTX 1070 card in prepping this story and reclaimed over 1 GB of disk space as a consequence. On less freqently tweaked systems, I’ve seen this tool recover 5-15 GB of disk space instead. Great stuff.
Even if you’ve got an older version of the program, it’s a good idea to download and start using the latest version instead. It’s portable and does not require installation, either. Highly recommended!