What to do if your Windows 10 printer driver is unavailable
How do I make my printer driver available?
Finding a proper set of drivers to accompany your hardware can certainly be a painful experience. That shouldn’t be the case for Windows 10, but it certainly is for some users who tried installing printer drivers after migrating to Windows 10.
They were met with an error informing them that the driver for the said printer is unavailable.
If you’re stuck with this problem, we encourage you to check the two solutions we enlisted below.
How to solve printer drivers issues on Windows 10
Solution 1 – Reinstall the driver
Let’s start with the obvious step. This error is quite common when it comes to older printers, and Windows 10 tends to enforce random generic driver. This, of course, might work for some users, but others will be met with the error at hand.
Generic drivers are hardly adequate for newer printers which fully support Windows 10, not to speak about 5 or 10-years-old machines.
But, this doesn’t mean that the driver provided by Windows Update won’t work. If you uninstall it, the system should look for another one and that one might be a right fit.
So, we encourage you to navigate to Device Manager and uninstall the printer driver. After that, a simple restart (network connection is a must) and Windows Update should install a proper driver.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Right-click Start and open Device Manager from the Power User menu.
- Navigate to Print queues and expand this section.
- Right-click on the affected printer and choose Uninstall device from the contextual menu.
- Restart your PC and open Device Manager again.
- Click on the “Scan for hardware changes” icon and the driver should install automatically.
Solution 2 – Install drivers manually
If the aforementioned solution can’t fix your error and you’re still missing a functional driver, we encourage you to install it by hand.
Now, searching for the appropriate printer driver can be like searching for the needle in a haystack, especially if you’re using a legacy printer. However, most of them, when running in the compatibility mode, should work just fine on Windows 10.
In order to find and obtain a proper driver, you’ll need to know the exact model code and OEM. After that, a simple lookup on Google should get you to the official website.
We suggest avoiding suspicious third-party websites, but if you have no alternative, some of them might provide you with the necessary drivers.
Here’s how to install printer drivers manually in Windows 10:
- Download proper drivers and store them on your local storage.
- Disable the internet connection temporarily.
- Open Device Manager, expand Printer queues and uninstall the device. Do not restart your PC.
- Now, right-click on the driver setup you’ve downloaded from the official manufacturer’s website. Open Properties.
- Select the Compatibility tab.
- From the “Run this program in Compatibility mode” drop-down menu, choose previous versions of Windows.
- Confirm changes and run the driver installer.
- After the installation is complete, restart your PC.
Solution 3 – Install drivers automatically
Downloading and installing drivers manually may be a big problem, especially when the wrong driver version is installed. This may lead to serious malfunctions. We strongly suggest you update your driver automatically by using Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool.
This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus and after several tests, our team concluded that this is the best-automatized solution. Here’s how to use this software:
- Download and install TweakBit Driver Updater
- Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
- Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.
Disclaimer: some features of this tool are not free.
That’s it. If you’re still unable to install a proper printer driver, we encourage you to contact the support and ask for the resolution. Furthermore, make sure to share your experience with us in the comments section below.
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