Windows 8.1 – Install unsigned drivers…

Every version of Windows, since Vista, have severely crippled installation of unsigned drivers that haven’t been WHQL verified. I’ve discussed this at length in an earlier post. Unsigned drivers couldn’t be installed, until the administrator account forced it. Windows 8 took it one notch further and made it impossible to install drivers in a usual run. It doesn’t mean you need revert back to an earlier Windows version. Your developer electronic projects can still be cradled on a Windows 8 system.

The process has simply been made relatively difficult to access. On a normal day, that means you shouldn’t do it unless you’re absolutely sure that installing your drivers are essential. Steer clear unless your life depends on it. Most unsigned drivers are infested with malware and installing them may permanently damage your system – nothing you don’t deserve if you go through with it. You have been warned.

Installing unsigned drivers in Windows 8.1

1. Open Windows 8 style Control Panel

Invoke Charms

Invoke the Charms bar and click on Settings.

Invoke Charms

Open Control Panel

You’ll do this by clicking on “Change PC Settings”.

Open Control Panel

2. Boot into the EFI

Visit Update and Recovery

Click on the last option on the left column. This will open up a set of options to update or recover your system.

Visit Update and Recovery

Choose Recovery

Click Recovery to be presented with further options to enter the EFI mode.

Choose Recovery

Restart for Advanced startup

Click on “Restart now” under Advanced startup which will take you immediately into the EFI menu.

Restart for Advanced startup

3. Explore for disabling driver enforcement


In the list of options presented select “Troubleshoot”.


Advanced options

Choose Advanced options among the troubleshoot options.

Advanced options

Startup Settings

You’ll want to visit the Startup Settings option from the set of Advanced options.

Startup settings

Final Restart

After reviewing all of the things you could change in the Startup Settings click on Restart.

Final restart

4. Disable driver signing enforcement

The system will restart with the ability to let you choose which mode you’d wish to boot your system in. You’ll be offered a few familiar options like Safe Mode and Debug mode. Here you have to choose option 7 by clicking the function key F7.

Disable driver signing

The system will boot normally and won’t look visually different than it did before. However, drivers installation won’t be blocked entirely. This time, the system will be as hospitable as Windows 7 for new unsigned drivers.

This mode will last for only as long as the system is up and we’d recommend you restart as soon as possible in order to make your process worthwhile.

If you like, you could find out other articles about Windows 8.1 and the changes that it has been through. Feedback is appreciated.

Author: Denver Dias
An enthusiast of computers, developer electronics and hobby ideas (read "children's toys") that has finally made his escape from the clutches of academics to enlighten all those interested in real stuff.
  • Robert M

    Thanks a ton. My Epson Perfection 1200U scanner lives on now.

    • Denver Dias

      Thanks for sharing. We’re glad we could help…

  • Voidrise

    Doesn’t work with Sony Net MD drivers

    • Denver Dias

      It appears your drivers would need to be run in compatibility mode…

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  • Mark Pcgeek Coyle

    I did all that and still says unsigned drivers are blocked

  • Mark Pcgeek Coyle

    portio64.sys driver is blocked from being instaled

  • Arthur J

    um you still wont be able to install the drivers until you self sign them.
    also even though there are self signed. and also they will not run on the next reboot unless you go through the same advanced setting and booting with unsigned drivers again . which puts the system in to “TEST MODE”
    only real way to really run them is pay for a certificate which will cost you $$$$$$$$$ not cheap
    I had found a app a while back that works with windows 7 none of 8 because of the advanced menu numbering changing
    pretty much its a lil program that runs before the OS and will take you to the menu and auto pick and use unsigned drivers for you
    but your system will always be in test mode and noted so in each corner of the desktop

  • thegioitoi

    You download the software Easy Driver Pack at (Chinese version), after downloading, run the .exe file. For other Windows versions, you accessed at and search by keyword Easy Driver Pack

  • Andrea D Stevens

    How long should the final reset take? I’m going on two hours and nothing has happened…any suggestions? Is this normal? Is it an error? Should I do something? Thank you!

  • Garth Cousins

    Worked perfectly for me, step for step, Uninstalled and re-installed and no errors, Thanks

  • Sheldon Purkiss

    This method works great for me, but the moment I reboot, the two unsigned drivers I installed cease to work. Rebooting back into this mode and they work again; so my unsigned drivers only work when I boot into advanced mode and disable driver signing enforcement; I was under the impression you could go into this mode, install the drivers, reboot and be away to the races, but unfortunately not. Am I missing somethign?

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