What is Windows Hardware Quality Labs or WHQL?

When you are buying a Windows 10 PC or software for your computer, you want it to run without any problem. That’s is where certification from Microsoft comes into the picture. Microsoft calls it Windows 10 WHQL or Windows Hardware Quality Labs. In this post, we will get to know about it.

WHQL Windows Hardware Quality Labs

What is Windows 10 WHQL

We will cover the following areas:

  1. About WHQL
  2. WHQL Drivers
  3. WHCL Certification necessity

WHQL process guarantees that hardware or software approved by Microsoft works well on Windows 10. I am sure you have seen logos and a 3D marker which says “Certified for Windows“. When a developer or hardware manufacturer passes the WHQL, they can use this on their products and advertise.

Many a time during new hardware release or new Windows release, Microsoft along with OEMs announce new hardware. All these hardware are certified for Windows

WHQL Drivers

Apart from Hardware, and Software, Microsoft runs a Test Signature Program which is for drivers. Unless Microsoft signs the drivers, they are not recommended to install it. However, If you do, you will be warned about it. Windows Update downloads only WHQL certified drivers. Microsoft works with significant OEMs like Asus, NVIDIA and more to make sure the drivers properly work with the current and upcoming version of Windows 10.

The program also allows independent hardware vendors to participate in this program. They can submit driver packages to be test-signed. The program is a kit which is for a specific version of Windows. When the test process completes, the result has to be sent back to Microsoft.

So is it necessary to have WHQL certification?

The answer is No. The certification does leave a big impact when it comes to sales, but many OEMs do make sure their software and hardware work on Windows 10. Say, for example, manufacturers host driver files on their website, and it’s fine to download and install it.

In case you do face any error, but you trust the file and OEM, you can always force disable signature enforcement.

The option is available under Advanced Boot Menu > Enable Test Signing Mode> Disable Device Driver Signing.

I hope this answers your questions about WHQL.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

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