Find and install printer drivers in Windows 7

If you've connected a printer to your computer and it doesn't work—or mysteriously stops working—you might need to reinstall or update its driver.

Where do you find it? Start with Windows Update, the Microsoft online repository for the latest hardware drivers.

Watch this video to learn how check for drivers in Windows 7(1:09)

To check Windows Update for new drivers

  1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Update, and then, in the list of results, click Windows Update.

  2. In the left pane, click Check for updates, and then wait while Windows looks for the latest updates for your computer.

  3. 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 for your computer.)

  4. Select the driver you want to install, click OK, and then click Install updates. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Note

  • If Windows Update doesn't locate an updated driver for your printer, you can visit the Windows 7 Compatibility Center, which lists thousands of devices and has direct links to driver downloads. Also try checking the manufacturer's support website, where companies sometimes publish new drivers before making them available to Microsoft.

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

Watch this video to learn how to manually install a driver (0:51)

To manually install a printer driver

  1. Open Devices and Printers by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then, on the Start menu, clicking Devices and Printers.

  2. Right-click the printer you want to update, and then click Printer properties.

  3. Click the Advanced tab.

  4. Click New Driver, and then follow the instructions in the Add Printer Driver wizard.

To ensure all of your hardware remains up to date, see Automatically get recommended drivers and updates for your hardware.