Find and install printer drivers

Printers need driver software to work properly. Windows now has basic drivers built in so you can start using your printer right away—even without installing drivers. When you connect to the Internet, all the latest drivers for your printers should download automatically so you can use even more printing features.

If drivers are outdated, incompatible, or damaged, you might experience printing problems. Downloading and installing the latest driver for your printer can fix problems. Here are a few ways to get drivers.

Use Windows Update

Windows Update is an online repository for the latest drivers. Windows Update can automatically download and install recommended updates so you don’t have to worry about them. For more info, see Windows Update: Frequently asked questions.

To check Windows Update for new drivers

  1. Open Windows Update in Control Panel by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or, if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Windows Update in the search box, tapping or clicking Settings, and then tapping or clicking Install optional updates.

  2. In the left pane, tap or click Check for Updates.

  3. Tap or click the link that tells you optional updates are available. (If you don't see this link, it means Windows Update didn't find any updates.)

  4. Select the driver you want to install, tap or click OK, and then tap or click Install updates.

Any new driver you download should install itself automatically. However, if necessary, you can also manually install a printer driver.

Manually check for a printer driver

There are a few ways to manually check for drivers. Here are a couple of the most popular options:

Download and install the driver yourself. You can search for a driver on the manufacturer's website. Try this if Windows Update can't find a driver for your printer.

Install software from the printer manufacturer. If your printer came with a disc, that disc might contain a driver for your printer. Insert the disc and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This is a good option to use if you’re not connected to the Internet, but because discs are quickly out of date, try the other options first.