Most printers require that you install the latest printer driver so that the printer will work well. If you recently upgraded from an earlier version of Windows, your printer driver might work with the previous version but might not work well or at all with Windows 10. Also, if you've experienced power outages, computer viruses, or other problems, your printer driver might be damaged. Downloading and installing the latest printer driver can often resolve these problems. Here are several ways to do this.
Use Windows Update
Windows Update might find an updated version of your printer driver. To use it:
Select the Start button, then select Settings > Update & Security , and select Check for updates.
If Windows Update finds an updated driver, it will download and install it, and your printer will automatically use it.
Install software that came with your printer
If your printer came with a disc, it might contain software that can help you install drivers for your printer or check for driver updates.
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Download and install the driver from the printer manufacturer’s website
Check your printer manufacturer’s support site. To find that, search the internet for the name of your printer manufacturer plus the word “support,” such as “HP support.”
Driver updates are often available in the “Drivers” section of a printer manufacturer’s website. Some support sites let you search for your printer model number directly. Locate and download the latest driver for your printer model, then follow the installation instructions on the manufacturer’s website.
Most drivers are self-installing. After you download them, double-click (or double-tap) the file to begin installing it. Then follow these steps to remove and reinstall the printer.
- Windows Update might find an updated version of your printer driver. To use it: Select the Start button, then select Settings Update & Security, and select Check for updates. If Windows Update finds an updated driver, it will download and install it, and your printer will automatically use it.
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Select the Start button, then select Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners .
Under Printers & scanners, find the printer, select it, and then select Remove device.
After removing your printer, add it back by selecting Add a printer or scanner. Wait for your device to find nearby printers, choose the one you want, and then select Add device.
What to do if the driver doesn't install
If you double-click the installation file and nothing happens, follow these steps:
Select the Start button, then select Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners .
On the right, under Related Settings, select Print server properties.
On the Drivers tab, see if your printer listed. If it is, you’re all set.
If you don’t see your printer listed, select Add, and in the Welcome to the Add Printer Driver Wizard, select Next.
In the Processor Selection dialog box, select your device’s architecture, and then select Next.
In the Printer Driver Selection dialog box, on the left, select your printer manufacturer, on the right, select your printer driver, select Next, select Finish, and follow the instructions to add your driver.
Follow the instructions in the section above to remove and reinstall the printer.
Support for Windows 7 ended on January 14, 2020
We recommend you move to a Windows 10 PC to continue to receive security updates from Microsoft.
You can have Windows automatically download recommended drivers and detailed information for your hardware and devices. This is a good way to make sure all your hardware and devices work properly.
Drivers and information
Windows can find and download two kinds of updates for devices connected to your computer:
Drivers. A driver is software that allows your computer to communicate with hardware devices. Without drivers, the devices you connect to your computer—for example, a mouse or external hard drive—won't work properly. Windows can automatically check if there are drivers available for new devices that you connect to your computer.
For hardware that you've connected to your computer in the past, updated drivers might become available at a later date; but those drivers aren't installed automatically. To install these optional updates, go to Windows Update in Control Panel, check for updates, and then view and install driver updates that are available for your computer.
Information. Windows can download high-resolution icons for many hardware devices that you connect to your computer, along with detailed information about them, such as product name, manufacturer, and model number—even detailed information about the sync capabilities of a device. These details can make it easier for you to distinguish between similar devices that are connected to your computer, such as different mobile phones.
To have Windows automatically download recommended drivers and icons
You can check Windows Update at any time to see if it found new drivers and icons for your hardware, especially if you recently installed a new device. If you want to have Windows Update automatically check for the latest drivers and icons, here's how:
Open Devices and Printers by clicking the Start button , and then, on the Start menu, clicking Devices and Printers.
Right-click the name of your computer, and then click Device installation settings.
Click Yes, do this automatically (recommended), and then click Save changes. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
If Yes is already selected, click Cancel to close the dialog box.
To turn on and configure Windows Update
To get all important and recommended updates for your computer and your devices, make sure that Windows Update is turned on and configured properly.
To install drivers and other optional updates from Windows Update
Even if you have Windows Update set to automatically download and install all important and recommended updates, you still might not be getting all of the updated drivers available for your devices. For instance, optional updates might include updated drivers that become available for hardware or devices you've already installed. Windows doesn't automatically download and install optional updates, but you will be notified when optional updates are available.
To get all the available updates for your devices, periodically check Windows Update for all available updates, including optional updates. You can review the available updates and then select them from the list of updates that Windows finds for your computer. Here's how to do this:
Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button . In the search box, type Update, and then, in the list of results, click Windows Update.
In the left pane, click Check for updates, and then wait while Windows looks for the latest updates for your computer.
If there are any available updates, click the link in the box under Windows Update to see more information about each update. Each type of update might include drivers.
On the Select the updates you want to install page, look for updates for your hardware devices, select the check box for each driver that you want to install, and then click OK. There might not be any driver updates available.
On the Windows Update page, click Install updates. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
Windows Update tells you if an update is important, recommended, or optional.
Some updates require you to restart your computer.
Windows Update will tell you if the updates were successfully installed.
If Windows can't find a driver for your device
It's best to let Windows install drivers automatically. Occasionally, Windows might not be able to find a driver for your device. If this happens, you might want to check the manufacturer's website for a driver or update for the device, or try installing any software that came with the device.
If Windows can't find information about your device in Device Stage
Device Stage is a new feature in this version of Windows that displays details about a device and tasks you can perform with that device. When you connect a device that's compatible with Device Stage to your computer, Device Stage will automatically open. Occasionally, Device Stage might open but not display any or all tasks and information about the device. Here are some reasons why that might happen, and what to do if it does:
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Note: If you connect a device to your computer that reportedly supports Device Stage (but only AutoPlay opens), check with the manufacturer of the device. Find out if there are any software or firmware updates available that will make the device work with Device Stage, and confirm that the device actually supports Device Stage.
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Device Stage might need your permission to download information about your device. Check to see if there's a message in Device Stage telling you that updated information is available, and then follow the instructions.
Your computer might not be connected to the Internet. Device Stage can't download information about your device if you're offline. Try connecting the device later when you're online.
Device Stage might be trying to download information about your device. Wait a few minutes and see if Device Stage is able to find the information, especially if this is the first time you've connected the device to your computer. Device Stage will keep trying to download information about your device, even if the location where that information is stored is busy. If you don't want to wait, try connecting the device again later.