How to Locate, and Download Printer Drivers

Printer drivers are prone to screwing up, but it's actually fairly easy to fix a broken or outdated printer driver. Unfortunately, printer driver malfunctions occur quite frequently, so it's a good idea to be prepared in case your printer goes on the fritz.

Fixing those Finicky Printers

Most printers sometimes seem to have a mind of their own. They'll spit out too many pages, they'll start printing out a bunch of gobbledygook, or, more often than not, they'll just refuse to work. They're finicky machines, so you have to be diligent when you're fixing printer driver issues.

Maybe you bought a printer secondhand, but your operating system won't recognize it. Sometimes applying updates to your operating system renders your printer useless. Either way, there are many ways to resolve these issues.

We all know the feeling of seeing printers stop in the middle of printing or randomly stop spitting out documents for no apparent reason. That's why we wanted to pinpoint solutions for wacky printers.

Updating Printer Drivers Correctly

Generally, it's fairly simple to fix printer issues, since the culprit is most often the printer driver. Few people are aware that printer drivers are necessary for the proper functionality of the printer. It would be great if manufacturers actually informed customers about their printer drivers. It would probably give them a boost in sales. Alas, we can dream, can't we?

You have to be proactive and update your printer drivers yourself. This is a lot easier than you might think. Here, we'll provide some very simple solutions that can help you update that printer driver.

First, you can try opening up the Control Panel, navigating over to the Device Manager, and clicking “Update Driver Software.”

Device Manager

This might work if your OS recognizes your printer that needs a crucial update. Often, your OS won't even list the printer within its devices. If this is the case, you need to move on to other options.

Go to the Printer Manufacturer

You can attempt to directly download the driver from the manufacturer. While manufacturers do seem to exert quite a bit of effort in making drivers readily available, the process can be somewhat consuming.

It's not very difficult to locate the page where you can download the drivers for what you need.  Usually, this will be located within a category labeled "Customer Support" somewhere.  Hewlett Packard's site, for example, has a link labeled “Support and Downloads” on its home page.  If your manufacturer's site doesn't have a "Drivers" link on the first or second page down, you should be able to find what you need in the section labeled “Downloads.”

Support and Drivers

It's a good idea to create a new folder for the driver that you download. This makes it easier to locate everything later.

Create a New Folder

Once you've download the software, all you need to do is click “Run” when prompted.

Select Run

Then, click “Next”, or “I Agree” at the Installation Wizard.

Click Next

The simplest way to fix your printer drivers is to download and install effective driver update software. This software will detect outdated drivers and then cull them from the Web so that you can instantly fix any outstanding driver issues.

Try all of these methods to get your printer running again. One more thing: once you've fixed your printer, run a test print before you actually get to printing documents. This way, you can be sure that the printer is working properly.

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