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Turn Off Driver Signing Enforcement in Windows 7

So here's the deal (my theory anyway); Microsoft is trying to make their system more stable and secure, but to do that, they have to have some standards of quality for drivers used on the system. That's good in theory, but the problem is that the only realistic way of doing that means that Microsoft makes companies pay them to certify and then sign their drivers.

While I can't argue with the theory, the practice is that some of your favorite software and still usable hardware won't work and that's not cool. Even worse, sometimes you won't know what's wrong. There's no indication of what's wrong, just that your hardware or software isn't loading right.

However, there's a trick to make Windows stop forcing drivers to be signed. Before giving up, try this trick. When booting, press the F8 function key a few times until you see this boot menu:

If you have ever loaded Safe Mode in any version of Windows before, this should look familiar. In fact, Safe Mode is one of the options, but in this case, the one you're looking for is a new option near the bottom called Disable Driver Signature Enforcement

Use the arrow keys to highlight it and then press the ENTER key. Windows will load like normal, but now it won't require Microsoft approved drivers.

Making it Easy

So that ends the portion of this post that sounds like every other site online that tells you the same thing. The one thing that they're all missing is this: it's very easy to start booting your computer and turn to check a phone or pick up something off the floor and miss the timing for hitting the F8 key.

If you do, the computer will boot and you'll have to restart it and try again (which is very annoying!). So here's a trick for delaying the boot long enough for you to click the button.

Step 1: Download EasyBCD

First, download EasyBCD from here.

EasyBCD is a program that helps you set up multiple boot options in Windows for when you have more than one version of Windows on your computer and want to be able to choose between them while loading (You're not actually adding a second boot, you just want to activate the menu for one).

Step 2: Open EasyBCD and Add an XP Dual Boot Option

Start up EasyBCD and this is what you'll see.

When you see the Add/Remove Entries screen, on the bottom right, you'll see this:

You may notice that the default options are for installing an XP dual boot option so you can just click to add it now if you want. However, I suggest changing the name from Windows XP to "Delay Option" or "Don't Click Me" or similar first. Click Add Entry and then you should see this:

Step 3: Use it!

You're done! EasyBCD is useful if you want to change the name, you actually DO add a second operating system, or if you experience boot problems (which EasyBCD can help fix), but you can remove it if you want.

So now whenever you boot, it will stop and show you this screen for at least 30 seconds:

All we've done is introduce a delay at the precise point you would need to press F8. As long as you press F8 before the countdown completes and the boot continues, you'll still see the boot menu at the top of this article that will let you pick to disable driver signing. Huzzah!

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16 Comments to “Turn Off Driver Signing Enforcement in Windows 7”

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There is an option to allow unsigned drivers to be installed. This is in the last tab page under advanced settings for your current Windows 7 64-bit boot option.

    Hi Chris, I am using WINDOWS 7 74 bit Home edition do you know if this option is on my version…can you tell me which setting are you talking about ?

try this.

run gpedit.msc

click user configuration
then administrative templates
then system
then driver installation
then ‘code signing for device drivers’

then rest is self explanitory.
Have fun.

    I think I’ve heard of this method before though I haven’t had to do anything recently. I guess I’m not running anything that Windows 7 has a problem with anymore.

    This is the ONLY true answer to this problem and is the only solution that worked for me (Windows XP Pro, x64 edition).

doesn’t seem to be a valid command in windows 7.what am i doing wrong

gpedit.msc doesn’t work on Win 7 Home Premium – an update got rid of that ability. Having to hit F8 when i boot is ridiculous considering the drivers i’m having problems with are provided by my laptop manufacturer on it’s recovery discs. Makes no sense.
I’ll try this EasyBCD and maybe the advance settings here will allow me to turn this driver nonsense off.

    In the time since I wrote the article, the need for disabling driver signing appears to no longer matter (at least for me). If you still need it though, I’m sorry that I don’t know another way right off.

      FoolOfATook says:

      Driver disabling still necessary for me. Windows (x64 obviously) will still refuse to load unsigned drivers, choosing to crash on kernel load with no explanation instead. And I am current on all updates minus two Security KBs which have glitched.

I managed to get my drivers installed using the Longbow Reviver tool. It has a way to turn off Windows driver signature verification. Works well, or did for me at least. Tom

    Fortunately, I haven’t had any driver issues for about as long as I can remember. Perhaps Microsoft has improved the way they’re handling this… either that or the market is just adjusting.

Thanks, Jeremy. Your solution worked for me!

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