Download the WDK, WinDbg, and associated tools

This is where you get your Windows Driver Kit (WDK) and Debugging Tools for Windows (WinDbg) downloads. The debugging tools are included in the WDK, but you can also download the standalone versions separately.

Get started with Windows 10, Visual Studio, and the WDK

New project in Visual Studio

Used together, Visual Studio 2015 and WDK 10 provide an integrated development environment for creating efficient, high-quality drivers for devices running Windows 10. This release of Visual Studio includes the Visual Studio Tools for Windows 10 and the Microsoft Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) for Windows 10.

Install the tools and start building, testing, debugging, and deploying Windows drivers.

1. Install Visual Studio 2015 and the Windows SDK

All three editions of Visual Studio 2015 support driver development. Get more info about Visual Studio 2015 and review the System Requirements to see which edition is best for you.

  1. Run Windows Update before installing Visual Studio 2015 with the SDK.
  2. During install, select the Typical for Windows 10 Developers installation option.
  3. Click Next to continue, and follow the prompts to complete the installation.
2. Install WDK 10
Run-time requirements for WDK 10

You can use WDK 10 to develop drivers for these operating systems. You can also use the WDK on any of these operating systems:

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2008 R2

Note: In an enterprise environment, you can use the Enterprise Windows Driver Kit (EWDK). It's a command-line build environment that has everything you need to build drivers and basic Win32 test applications; however, it doesn't include all the features available in Visual Studio, such as the integrated development environment (IDE), so you'll need to use a code editor of your choice.

3. Download the universal Windows driver samples

To get universal Windows driver samples, do one of the following:

Learn more about what’s new for driver samples.

Release notes

Get debugging tools

The Windows Debugging Tools can be used to debug kernel and user mode code, analyze crash dumps and to examine the CPU registers as code executes.

Windows 10 (WinDbg)

If you just need the Debugging Tools for Windows 10, and not WDK 10 or Visual Studio 2015, you can install the debugging tools as a standalone component from Windows SDK. In the installation wizard, select Debugging Tools for Windows, and deselect all other components.

Windows symbols

Symbol files make it easier to debug your code. The easiest way to get Windows symbols is to use the Microsoft Symbol Server. If you prefer to download the entire set of symbols for a particular version of Windows, download a symbol package.

Other WDK downloads

WDK 8.1 Update (for Windows 8.1, 8, and 7 drivers)

Download WDK 8.1 Update, which has tools to build, test, debug, and deploy drivers for Windows 8.1 Update, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, and Windows 7. When you have the WDK, we recommend that you install the WDK 8.1 Update Test Pack. It has the tests for device fundamentals, graphics, imaging, mobile broadband (CDMA, GSM, WLAN), sensors, and other utilities.

Important: Before installing WDK 8.1 Update, you need to install Visual Studio 2013.

WDK 8

We provide Windows Driver Kit (WDK) 8 to give you time to migrate to WDK 8.1 Update and Visual Studio 2013. Microsoft does not support WDK 8 and will make no further updates to this kit. We recommend that you use the latest versions of the WDK and Visual Studio to build drivers for Windows.

Important: You must install Visual Studio Professional 2012 or Visual Studio Ultimate before you install WDK 8.

WDK 7.1.0 (for Windows XP drivers)

Developing a driver for Windows XP or Windows Server 2003? WDK 7.1.0 has the tools, code samples, docs, compilers, headers, and libraries that you can use to create drivers for these operating systems.

Standalone debugging tools for debugging Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

If you’re debugging Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, or older versions of Windows (or using one of these operating systems to run Debugging Tools for Windows), you need to use the Windows 7 release of the debugging tools. It’s included in the SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 4.0. To install the Debugging Tools for Windows as a standalone component, in the SDK installation wizard, select Debugging Tools for Windows, and clear all other components.

Important: Newer versions of the Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable can cause issues when you install the SDK for Windows 7. For more information, see support for the Windows SDK.

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