How to Fix Printer Not Working on Windows 10? Step-by-Step Guide

Aug. 03, 2023 / Updated by Cathy to Windows 10

Is your printer not working when you issue a print command? If so, there is no need to panic because it's so common when you use. Many people have encountered this problem when trying to print documents from a Windows 10 computer. Corrupted, outdated or damaged printer drivers are the main causes of this annoying printer not working error. The good news is that you can quickly resolve this issue by implementing the step-by-step methods outlined in this guide.

Article Contents:

Why does my device show that the printer driver is not working?

What are printer drivers for?

How to fix Windows 10 printer not working error?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does my device show that the printer driver is not working?

There are several reasons why a printer may become not working, and you can start by testing the following steps:

  • Check if the printer cable is properly connected to the computer.

  • Check if the printer is connected to Wi-Fi.

  • Make sure the ink cartridge is not empty.

  • Check your system for warning lights or error messages.

  • If you just upgraded your computer from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 and started experiencing printer issues, the update may have corrupted the printer driver.

  • It may be that the original printer driver is not compatible with the latest version of the Windows operating system.

Microsoft has said that when Windows 10 launches, certain apps won't have built-in backwards compatibility. However, the situation is further complicated by the failure of numerous printer manufacturers to update drivers in a timely manner.

What are printer drivers for?

Before you can understand how to troubleshoot an not working printer, you must understand printer drivers. It is a simple application installed on a Windows 10 computer that allows interaction between the PC and the printer.

It performs two key roles:

  • The first function is to act as a link between the printer and your device. It allows your computer to recognize the printer hardware, its capabilities and details.

  • Secondly, the driver is responsible for converting the print job data into signals that the printer can understand and act upon.

Each printer has its own special driver tailored for a different operating system profile such as Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10. If your printer is not programmed properly or has the wrong system drivers installed, the computer won't be able to find it & process the print job.

On the other hand, some printers can use generic drivers provided by Windows 10. This allows you to print without installing external vendor drivers. 

How to fix Windows 10 printer not working error?

If you are unable to print any internal documents or files downloaded from the Internet, then you may encounter a printer driver not available error. To resolve the printer not responding error, you can follow the troubleshooting steps listed below. the

Method 1: Run Windows update

One possible reason why your Windows 10 computer displays a printer driveris not working error is that you are running an outdated operating system. To update your Windows operating system, please follow the steps below: 

1. Click the Start button and navigate to the Settings icon.


2. Select Update & Security.


3. Windows will check for updates and, if found, will automatically download and install them.


4. Now, restart your computer after the update process is complete.

You can now check if you are able to fix the Printer not responding error.

Method 2: Update your printer driver

To update your printer drivers, you can download the latest drivers from the manufacturer's website. Drivers can also be downloaded from the manufacturer's support site. To install a printer driver downloaded from the manufacturer's website, follow these steps:

1. Search for Control Panel in the Windows Search bar, and then click Control Panel from the search results.


2. Make sure that "Large icons" is selected from the "View by:" drop-down list. Now look for Device Manager and click on it.

3. Under the Device Manager window, find the printer for which you want to install the driver.

4. Right-click on the printer name and select Update Driver Software from the accompanying pop-up menu.


5. A new window will appear. If you downloaded the driver from the manufacturer's website, select the Browse my computer for driver software option.

6. Next, click the Browse button and navigate to the location where you downloaded the printer driver from the manufacturer's website.


7. Follow the on-screen instructions to manually install the driver.

8. If you do not have a downloaded driver, select the option labeled Search automatically for updated driver software.


9. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the latest printer driver.

Restart your PC and see if you can fix the not working printer issue.

Method 3: Reinstall the printer driver

If you are unable to print your document due to the error message "The printer driver is not available," the best thing to do is to reinstall the printer driver. Follow the steps below to fix the printer not responding error:

1. Press Windows key + R then type devmgmt.msc and click OK.


2. The Device Manager window will open. Expand Print Queue and find your printer device.


3. Right-click on your printer device (the one you're having trouble with) and select the Uninstall device option.

4. Remove the device from the printer queue and restart the PC to complete the uninstallation.

5. After restarting the device, reopen Device Manager and click Actions.

6. Select Scan for hardware changes from the Action menu.


Windows will now reinstall the appropriate printer driver on your computer. Finally, restart the device and see if your printer responds and you are able to print the document.

After you reinstall the printer driver, Windows will automatically detect your printer. If it recognizes the printer, follow the onscreen instructions.

1. Unplug the printer from the computer. Also, remove all wires and wires connected between them.

2. Reconnect everything and follow the setup wizard process.

3. If the wizard is not available, navigate to Start > Settings > Devices > Printers and Scanners > Add a Printer or Scanner.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What should I do if my printer driver is not installed?

If nothing happens by double-clicking the installation file, try the following steps:

1. Click Start and navigate to Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners.

2. Select Print Server Properties under Related Settings.

3. Make sure your printer is specified under the Driver tab.

4. If your printer is not visible, click Add under Welcome to the Add Printer Driver Wizard, and then click Next.

5. Select the device architecture in the processor selection dialog. When finished, click Next.

6. Select your printer manufacturer from the left pane. Then select your printer driver from the right pane.

7. Finally, click Finish and follow the on-screen instructions to add the driver.

Q2. How to download the driver from the manufacturer's website?

Consult your printer manufacturer's service Web site. To do this, do an Internet search for your printer manufacturer, and then search for the word "support," such as HP support.

Driver updates can be obtained and accessed from the printer manufacturer's website under the drivers category. Some support sites allow you to check specifically based on the printer model code. Find and download the latest driver for your printer, and install it according to the manufacturer's installation instructions.

The vast majority of drivers are executable files that you simply double-click to install. After downloading the file, start the installation. Then, continue with the following steps to reinstall the printer driver:

1. Click Start and navigate to Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners.

2. Find Printers under Printers and Scanners. Select it and click Remove Device.

3. After removing your printer, reinstall it using the Add Printer or Scanner option.

Or there's actually a easy way for you to download latest printer driver.

1. Click the button below to download Driver Talent.

Download Driver Talent

2. Scan all the printer drivers of your computer and select yours.


3. Select the corresponding printer driver and click update. Then you can use your printer as usual.

Q3. What does it mean that the printer driver is not working?

The error Printer driver is not working means that the driver installed on your computer is not compatible with your printer or is outdated. If the driver is not recognized by the machine, you will not be able to activate or print from the printer.

We hope this guide was helpful and that you were able to fix Printer not working error. Let us know which method works best for you.

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