FIX: Fatal errors when installing HP printer drivers

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
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  • While the world is quickly heading towards cloud storage, not all the documents out there can be stored in the cloud. Some need to be printed.
  • HP printers are reliable, versatile and perfectly compatible with Windows computers. Thanks to these features, HP printers are perhaps the most popular printer brand among Windows 10 users.
  • But sometimes even HP printers break. If you can't install the latest HP printer drivers, follow the steps listed in this guide to fix the problem.
  • This article is part of our troubleshooting hub dedicated to printers. Bookmark it so as to have it at hand next time you need to fix printer errors.
fix fatal error hp printer driver

Solution 6: Manually install Printer Driver from Device Manager

The device manager allows you to disable/enable and install/uninstall drivers for any hardware connected to your computer.

So, if you are facing problems while trying to install HP Printer drivers, you can try to install it manually.

When the computer asks you to connect the USB cable during installation, do the following.

  1. In the Cortana/search bar, type Device Manager and open it.
  2. Click View and select Show Hidden devices on top.
  3. Find the Printer Queues option and expand it by click on the > / + icon.
    Device Manager update driver Printer
  4. Right-click on HP Universal Printing and select Update Driver
  5. In the new dialogue box, you have two options. Select Browser my computer for driver software.
    Browse the computer for driver software
  6. Select Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer. It will display the Add printer wizard window.
    Let me pick from the list of available drivers on my computer
  7. Next, select the printer driver from the list and click on Next. Wait for the driver installation to complete.
  8. After the installation, close the device manager.

Restart the PC and check if installing the printer driver manually resolved the fatal error and you are able to use the printer.

Solution 7: Install the Printer using Windows Printer Driver

Windows 10 comes with generic drivers for a lot of hardware including display and printers. If you are unable to install the official HP Printer drivers, try to install the printer using the default drivers.

Here is how to do it. Begin with connecting your printer to the computer. There are multiple ways to connect any printer including USB connection, Wireless over Wi-Fi and Wired connection to your network.

  • In the Cortana/Search bar, type Add a Printer, and open Add a Printer or Scanner option.
  • Click on Add a Printer or Scanner button again from the Settings and follow the on-screen instructions to install the printer driver.Windows Photo Viewer not printing

Now print as sample document to test if the printer driver is successfully installed or not.

Solution 8: Download 32-bit Installer for both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows edition

If you are using a 64-bit edition of Windows and facing the fatal error issue, try to use the 32-bit edition instead.

Some users have reported 32-bit HP printer driver to work flawlessly even on 64-bit edition Windows without the fatal error.

You can download the appropriate 32-bit version driver for your printer from the official HP website.

Solution 9: Contact HP Support

If none of these solutions worked and you are still getting fatal errors, the HP support can help you resolve the problem. The customer support agents will connect to your computer remotely to fix the error.

  1. To do this, go to
  2. If you know the product number (every printer has a unique product number) enter it. If not, select the Autodetect option.
  3. Scroll down to Still need help? Complete the form to save your contact options section.
  4. Click on HP contact options and select Get phone number.

You can proceed from here and let the customer support resolve the error by connecting to your PC remotely.

Solution 10: Restore System to an Earlier Point

If you are lucky and have created a System Restore Point, you can restore your PC to an earlier point where the PC and the printer were working perfectly fine.

This is a long shot, but Windows creates a regular system restore point that helps you to restore the PC to an earlier point in time to fix major issues with the computer.

Windows 10 computers usually create a system restore point automatically whenever the user installs a new program or when the PC receives an OS update.

Note: Restore Point uninstalls any programs installed on your computer after the Restore Point was created. But, it does not affect any of the files on your computer.

Here is how to perform System Restore:

  1. Type System Restore in Cortana/Search bar and select Create a System Restore Point.
    System Restore - System Properties
  2. Click on the System Restore button and click Next.
    System Restore Point Select
  3. In the System Restore window, check Show more restore points option. This will display all the Restore Points available on your local drive.
  4. Select the most recent one or the one before that and click OK.

Follow the on-screen instructions, and after a few minutes, the system will be restored to your select point. Try to use the printer again to see if it is working.


Printers are important office equipment and not being to use them can be annoying. If your HP Printer is throwing fatal errors while installing the latest drivers, you should be able to fix the problem following the solutions given in this article.

Do let us know the fix that worked for you or if you have a new fix that is not listed in this article in the comments below.

FAQ: Learn more about printer errors

  • What does fatal error mean on a printer?

Fatal errors on printers indicate the printer driver has not been recognized and the device cannot be used. Restarting the printer and installing the latest drivers should fix the problem.

  • How do I download HP printer drivers?

To download HP printer drivers, go to, enter your printer model, and you’ll find plenty of information on the latest drivers and the best printer setup software to use.

  • How do I find HP printer drivers?

To download the latest HP printer drivers, go to HP Software & Driver Downloads, enter your product number and check if there are any new drivers available for download.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2019 and has since been updated for freshness and accuracy.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in February 2019 and was revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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