The printer works flawlessly with Windows 10 PC most of the time and lets you print as many pages as you want. However, sometimes the ‘printer driver is unavailable’ error message pops up when the print command is given to the connected printer.
The reason for the driver is unavailable message is corrupt, outdated, or missing printer drivers and outdated Windows Operating system. One can get rid of this issue easily by making a few changes in the Device Manager.
10 Solutions To Fix Printer Driver is Unavailable Issue
To make the required changes in the Device Manager, you will need access to the administrator account. Make sure you have the right access before proceeding with the solutions mentioned below.
1. Update Windows Operating System
The outdated Operating System can cause too many unwanted issues in the system. You need to update your PC to the recent version to avoid any such trouble. It will possibly fix the printer driver is unavailable error as well.
Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app and go to Update & Security. Click on Check for updates button to see available Windows updates.
You need to have a stable internet connection to check and download the recent Windows update. Once the updates are downloaded, restart your computer to install them.
Now, try to print a page or two to check if the printer driver is unavailable issue is fixed with this or not.
2. Reinstall Printer Driver
If the printer driver is corrupt and buggy, you can experience driver is unavailable status after giving the print command. You can reinstall the driver to get rid of such issues.
Press Windows key + R and type devmgmt.msc there. Press Enter to open the Device Manager.
In the Device Manager, locate and expand Print queues. Next, right-click on the printer driver and click on Uninstall device. This will uninstall the printer driver.
Once the printer driver is uninstalled, click on Action ➜ Scan for hardware changes.
This will install the printer driver for you again. You can now try giving a print command to the printer to check if it works normally.
3. Scan for Virus and Threat
The virus can corrupt printer drivers leading to the driver is unavailable status. You can scan for viruses and malicious items on your computer using third-party antivirus software or inbuilt Windows Security. The below steps show the scan done using Windows Security.
Step 1: Open the Settings app and go to the Update & Security section.
Step 2: Go to Windows Security from the left panel and click on Virus & threat protection.
Step 3: Click on the Scan options link.
Step 4: Now, choose the Full scan option from different types of scan and click on the Scan now button.
Windows will scan and find all the threats and viruses that are causing trouble in the PC. Once the viruses are removed, reboot the PC and check if the printer issue is resolved. .
4. Update the Printer Device Driver
If reinstall didn’t fix the buggy printer driver, you could try updating the device driver. The outdated version of driver software can also cause the printer driver is unavailable issue for many users. To update the printer driver, download the latest stable version of the printer driver from the manufacturer’s website.
Open Device Manager, expand Print queues, and right-click on the affected printer driver. Click on Update driver from the context. You can follow the wizard on the screen to finish the driver update process.
5. Change the User Account Control (UAC) Settings
You can make changes in the UAC settings so that there are no printer driver installation issues whenever the printer is connected to the PC.
Open Control Panel by searching for it in the Start menu. Now, change the View by option to Small icons and click on User Accounts.
Click on Change User Account Control settings.
Next, drag the slider down towards Never notify and click on OK.
Once done, reboot the PC and try to print a page by connecting to the printer again.
6. Install the Driver Software in Compatibility Mode
If there are any compatibility issues in the printer driver software, you won’t be able to update it correctly. To have a compatible driver, you can run the driver software in compatibility mode.
Right-click on the downloaded driver software and select Properties from the context menu. Navigate to the Compatibility tab and check the checkbox next to ‘Run this program in compatibility mode for.’
From the drop-down menu under Compatibility mode, select Windows 7 or Windows 8. Also, check the checkbox next to Run this program as an administrator.
Click on Apply and OK.
Now, run the executable file and check if you can update the printer driver and get rid of the printer driver is unavailable issue.
7. Use Generic Windows Drivers for Printer
You can try using the generic Windows driver to fix the printer’s issue and start printing again. To do so, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Open Device Manager and right-click on the printer driver. Choose the Update driver from the context menu.
Step 2: On the prompt, select Browse my computer for drivers.
Step 3: Click on Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.
Step 4: Select the Generic software device and click on Next.
Now, follow the prompts on the screen to complete the entire process. Once the outdated driver is updated with generic driver software, check if you can print the required pages without any printer driver error.
8. Disconnect and Reconnect the Printer
Sometimes, you can simply unplug the default printer and then plug it again to fix the drivers’ issue. This is only applicable if your printer is connected to the PC using a USB.
Firstly, disconnect your printer and restart the PC along with the printer. Wait for some time and then reconnect the printer to your PC using the USB cable.
You can then follow the wizard that popped up as soon as you connected your printer to the PC. However, if there was no wizard on your screen, you can go to Settings ➜ Devices and click on the Devices and printers link under Related settings.
This will take you to the Control Panel window, where you can manually configure the connected printer.
9. Reset Firewall for Network Printer
If you are using network printers, you need to check if the printer is blocked in firewall settings. It can either be the printer’s IP address or port number. You need to check the firewall settings and remove the printer from the blocked list. If you are using any third-party antivirus software, you can check how to remove the address from the firewall’s blocked list.
You can also reset the firewall settings to fix the printer driver is unavailable error on your Windows 10 computer.
10. Connect With An Old Model of Printer
If you are not able to find the old printer, you can follow the below steps. Windows provides an option to connect an old model without any issues and errors.
Step 1: Open the Settings app and click on Devices.
Step 2: Go to Printers and scanners from the left frame of the Settings window.
Step 3: Click on Add a printer or scanner.
Step 4: Click on the ‘The printer that I want isn’t listed’ link. This link may pop up after some time once the scanning starts.
Step 5: On the popped up window, choose ‘My printer is a little older. Help me find it’ and click on Next.
You can now follow the screen instructions to connect to the older version of the printer available. Connecting to the old printer in this way will save you from printer driver issue.
Final Thoughts On Fix Printer Driver is Unavailable Issue
We need a printer to print important emails, letters, and other vital documents, especially in an office environment. The printers are easy to use and work without any issues. However, sometimes the device driver trouble can hamper your printing work. There are complaints that the status shows ‘Printer Driver is Unavailable’ whenever the print command is given via Windows 10 PC.
This issue is mostly because of the printer device drivers. The above guide will help you fix the driver is unavailable error in a simple and convenient way. With the simple explanation given in the above guide, anyone with little to no technical knowledge can fix the issue with the printer.