You need a WIA driver scanner error in Windows 10 [FULL FIX]

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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Affiliate Disclosure

  • Many users have been reporting a You need a WIA driver scanner error.
  • This nasty error can prevent you from using a third-party scanner, which can seriously hinder work.
  • To learn more about fixing a variety of devices, check out our dedicated Peripherals Fix section.
  • Need help with other issues as well? Our dedicated Fix section has you covered all the way.

The Windows Image Acquisition service enables scanners, and other imaging devices, to communicate with graphics software, such as Photoshop.

However, some users have stated on forums that the You need a WIA driver error message pops up when they try to utilize their HP or Canon scanners.

The full WIA driver error message states: You need a WIA driver to use this device. Please install it from the installation CD or manufacturer’s website and try again. So, it suggests that users update their WIA drivers to resolve the issue.


How do I fix common WIA driver errors?

1. Update the WIA Driver

err network changed update drivers

There are a few ways users can update device drivers. As the error message says, users can download the latest WIA drivers from their scanner manufacturer’s websites.

Alternatively, users can update device drivers with DriverFix, which will scan for and list devices with an antiquated driver.

DriverFix automatically update drivers

It will scan your PC, detect old drivers, and then proceed to download and install the proper replacements, bringing your PC  up to date as soon as possible.

Additionally, this handy tool will also look for missing drivers, and even replace broken ones as well.

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2. Reinstall the WIA Driver

  1. Right-click the Start button and selecting the Device Manager, which will open the window in the snapshot directly below.
  2. Click View > Show hidden devices if the Device Manager doesn’t display the Imaging devices category. Then double-click Image devices to expand that category.
  3. Right-click the scanner device and select Uninstall device.
  4. Thereafter, click Uninstall to confirm.
  5. Windows will automatically reinstall the WIA driver after users restart the platform.

As the You need a WIA driver is primarily a driver error, reinstalling the scanner WIA driver might resolve the issue.


3. Check that the Windows Image Acquisition service is enabled

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Run.
  2. Enter services.msc in Run’s Open box, and select the OK option.
  3. Then double-click Windows Image Acquisition to open the window shown directly below.
  4. Select Automatic on the Startup type drop-down menu.
  5. Click the Start button.
  6. If the service is already running, click the Stop button. Then press Start to restart WIA.
  7. Press the Apply button to confirm the settings, and click OK to close the window.

Those are the most probable resolutions for the You need a WIA driver error.

In addition, some companies provide their own troubleshooters for their scanners, such as the HP Print and Scan Doctor, that might also come in handy for fixing the WIA driver issue.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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