Download the Windows Driver Kit (WDK)
Make sure to use Visual Studio 17.4.1 or newer. Specifically, driver debugging within Visual Studio does not work from Visual Studio 17.2.0 up until 17.4.1. For more info, see WDK Known Issues.
The WDK is used to develop, test, and deploy drivers for Windows.
Join the Windows Insider Program to get WDK Insider Preview builds. For installation instructions for the Windows Insider Preview builds, see Installing preview versions of the Windows Driver Kit (WDK).
Starting with the Windows 11, version 22H2 release of the WDK and EWDK, the kits support:
- Visual Studio 2022 exclusively
- Building and testing kernel-mode drivers for x64 and Arm64
- Building and testing drivers for Windows 10, Windows Server 2016 and later client and server versions
- Side by side (SxS) support with previous WDK/EWDK
Multiple WDKs and EWDKs can be installed concurrently on the same computer and even be part of same build system. You can run the Windows 11, version 22H2 WDK on Windows 7 and later.
To target Windows 8.1, Windows 8, and Windows 7, install an older WDK and an older version of Visual Studio either on the same machine or on a separate machine. For links to older kits, see Other WDK downloads.
Certain device-specific stacks (for example graphics) continue to have x86/ARM32 user-mode components to support x86/ARM32 apps.
Starting with this release, WDF redistributable co-installers are no longer supported. To learn how to work around this change, see WDK Known Issues.
Download and install the Windows 11, version 22H2 WDK
Step 1: Install Visual Studio 2022
The WDK requires Visual Studio. For more information about system requirements for Visual Studio, see Visual Studio 2022 System Requirements.
The following editions of Visual Studio 2022 support driver development for this release:
- Download Visual Studio Community 2022
- Download Visual Studio Professional 2022
- Download Visual Studio Enterprise 2022
When you install Visual Studio 2022, select the Desktop development with C++ workload. Don't worry about the SDK at this point; you'll install this in step 2 below.
WDK has Spectre mitigation enabled by default but requires Spectre mitigated libraries to be installed with Visual Studio for each architecture you are developing for. Additionally, developing drivers for Arm/Arm64/Arm64EC require the build tools for these architectures to also be installed with Visual Studio. To locate these items, you will need to know the latest version of MSVC installed on your system.
To find the latest version of MSVC installed on your system, in Visual Studio Installer go to workload page, on the right pane under installation details, expand Desktop development with C++ and locate the MSVC v143 - VS 2022 C++ x64/x86 build tools (Latest).
With this information (Latest), go to Individual components and search for Latest. This will return the tool sets for all architectures, including Spectre mitigated libs. Select the driver architecture you are developing for.
For example, searching for Latest returns the following:
MSVC v143 - VS 2022 C++ Arm build tools (Latest) MSVC v143 - VS 2022 C++ Arm Spectre-mitigated libs (Latest) MSVC v143 - VS 2022 C++ Arm64 build tools (Latest) MSVC v143 - VS 2022 C++ Arm64 Spectre-mitigated libs (Latest) MSVC v143 - VS 2022 C++ Arm64EC build tools (Latest - experimental) MSVC v143 - VS 2022 C++ Arm64EC Spectre-mitigated libs (Latest - experimental) MSVC v143 - VS 2022 C++ x64/x86 build tools (Latest) MSVC v143 - VS 2022 C++ x64/x86 Spectre-mitigated libs (Latest)
Step 2: Install Windows 11, version 22H2 SDK
After you've successfully installed Visual Studio, your next step is to download the Windows Software Development Kit (SDK).
The provided links for the SDK and the WDK have matching build numbers, which is always required for the kits to work together. If you decide to install your own SDK/WDK pair, perhaps for a different Windows version, ensure that the build numbers match.
Step 3: Install Windows 11, version 22H2 WDK
The WDK Visual Studio extension is included in the default WDK installation.
If you can't find driver project templates in Visual Studio, the WDK Visual Studio extension didn't install properly. To resolve this, run the WDK.vsix file from this location: C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Vsix\VS2022\10.0.22621.382\WDK.vsix.
Enterprise WDK (EWDK)
As an alternative to downloading Visual Studio, the SDK, and the WDK, you can download the EWDK, which is a standalone, self-contained command-line environment for building drivers. It includes Visual Studio Build Tools, the SDK, and the WDK.
You can also use the Visual Studio interface with the build tools provided in the EWDK.
The latest public version of the EWDK contains Visual Studio 2022 Build Tools 17.1.5 and MSVC toolset v14.31.
The EWDK also requires the .NET Framework version 4.7.2. For more information about other requirements for the .NET Framework, see .NET Framework system requirements.
Windows 11, version 22H2 (updated May 2023) EWDK with Visual Studio Build Tools
Once you have downloaded the ISO, use these steps to set up your build environment:
- Mount the EWDK ISO from a drive volume. Network share paths are not currently supported.
- In the environment created in step 2, type SetupVSEnv, and then press Enter.
- Launch devenv.exe from the same environment, using the full file path. For example:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\2022\%Community|Professional|Enterprise%\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe"
- When you're done with the build environment, you may want to eject the ISO.
Note that the Visual Studio major version should match with the version in the EWDK. For example, Visual Studio 2022 works with the EWDK that contain VS17.X build tools. For a list of Visual Studio 2022 version numbers, see Visual Studio 2022 Releases.
Driver samples for Windows
To download the driver samples, do one of the following:
- Go to the driver samples page on GitHub, click Clone or download, and then click Download ZIP.
- Download the GitHub Extension for Visual Studio, and then connect to the GitHub repositories.
- Browse the driver samples on the Microsoft Samples portal.
- Download the WDK Insider Preview
- Download previous versions of the WDK
- Download the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK)
- Download the Windows HLK
- Download the Windows Debugging Tools (WinDbg)
- Download Windows Symbol Packages