10 Ways To Fix ‘Printer Driver is Unavailable’ Issue

Printer Driver is Unavailable

Printers are very useful devices, whether it is a general use, personal use, or any kind of business use. But most of the users are stuck with the Printer Driver is Unavailable error and are seeking an effective solution to resolve it.

Are you one of the users and don’t have any idea about how to fix it? If Yes, then, fortunately, you are at the right place as here we will suggest every possible as well as relevant solutions to fix the error.

Indeed, it becomes more annoying when you have to print something urgently but the error appears. Many users are facing the same and there is no need to worry about it as it is easier to resolve the issue than you think.

Printer Driver is Unavailable

So, let’s have a deep understanding of the error and its causes to terminate it from the roots with just a few efforts.

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What is Printer Driver Unavailable Error?

In the beginning, all appears well and good, but suddenly the printer becomes unresponsive with the status: Driver is unavailable. Printer Driver is Unavailable error occurs due to corrupt, incompatible or out-dated printer driver which is the result of the incomplete installation of drivers in our system.

These printer drivers connect the computer and the printer and convert the data to be printed to a format that a printer can understand and give access to print. Now, you might be wondering about the solutions to bring your non-functioning printer back to life. So, let’s begin with the most effective and relevant ways to fix the issue.

Understanding the “Printer Driver is Unavailable” Error

Definition and User Experience

The “Printer Driver is Unavailable” error typically appears when trying to print documents in Windows. This error message indicates that the printer’s driver, the software component that facilitates communication between your computer and the printer, is either missing, outdated, or incompatible with your system.

Technical Perspective

From a technical viewpoint, this error suggests a disconnect or communication failure between the computer and the printer. Drivers are essential for translating your computer’s commands into a format that the printer can understand and execute. Without a functional driver, the printer cannot receive or process these commands.

Causes of the “Printer Driver is Unavailable” Error

Outdated or Corrupted Printer Drivers

One of the most common causes is an outdated or corrupted printer driver. Drivers can become obsolete or get corrupted due to system updates, software conflicts, or improper installations.

Incompatible Driver

If the printer driver is not compatible with your current operating system version, it can lead to this error.

Incorrect Printer Installation

Improper installation of the printer or its driver can also result in this error. This might happen if the installation process was interrupted or not completed correctly.

System Updates

Certain Windows updates can sometimes conflict with existing printer drivers, especially if the drivers are outdated or not designed for the latest OS version.

Temporary System Issues

Temporary glitches in the system can also cause this error. These can often be resolved with simple troubleshooting steps.

10 Ways to Fix Printer Driver is Unavailable on Windows

Method 1: Unplug and Restart the Printer

This is the most basic solution to resolve the issue and worked successfully for many users. Firstly, turn off your printer completely and remove the plug. Now, wait for a minute or two and then plug in your printer again and restart it. Check whether the error still persists or it is resolved.

Method 2: Check all the Connections

If restarting the printer was not able to solve the issue, then try to check all the connections of the printer.

Make sure that the USB cable is plugged into the USB port of the printer, and the other end of the USB cable is plugged directly into any USB port on the computer. If connections are made wrong, then it is obvious to get the error.

Method 3: Look for the Wireless Options

This method is for users to have a wireless printer. If you want to check the connectivity of your wireless printer, then go to the wireless option on your printer shown by the blue icon and check whether it is turned on or not. If turned ON, then well and good.

However, if it is not, then turn it ON. Moreover, every printer has a different procedure for changing the wireless options. In this case, you need to check out the procedure mentioned in the booklet that comes along with the printer or you can contact the respective company for further help.

Method 4: Remove the Printer Driver

As mentioned above, the error can arise due to a corrupted or damaged driver. In this scenario, you need to remove the printer driver to resolve the issue. For doing so, try out the steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Press Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box. Type control printers and press Enter.

Step 2: Now, Devices and Printers window will open up. From the list of printers, find your printer’s name and then right-click on it. Select the Remove device

Step 3: Click on Yes to give the confirmation to remove.

By doing so, your printer’s driver will get removed and now it’s time to check whether the issue is resolved or not.

Method 5: Reinstall the Printer Driver

For reinstalling the driver, at first, you need to uninstall the existing driver and then installing the newest version of the driver available. For doing so, proceed with the steps below:

Step 1: Press the Windows key + R hotkey to open the Run dialog box. Type devmgmt.msc. Hit enter to open the Device Manager.

Step 2: From the list of options, double click on the Print Queue. Locate the model of your printer and then right-click on it. From the options, click on Uninstall.

Step 3: After uninstalling the printer, reboot your system and connect it again. Now, visit the printer manufacturer website and download the latest version of the printer driver on your system and then install it.

Now, try to print out something and check if you are facing the same error again or not.

Method 6: Refresh with the Latest Printer Driver

If you are not using the driver and printer of the same company, then it is obvious for the problem to occur. So, try out some of the best and the latest printer drivers to permanently resolve the issue caused due to drivers. Let’s have some look at a few of them:

A. HP Printer Driver

HP Printer Drivers are the most reliable and efficient drivers in the industry. If you have an HP printer then undoubtedly you need this driver. These printer drivers will let you change the color, paper, quality settings, and more when printing documents, photos, and web pages.

B. Canon Printer Driver

Apart from cameras and lenses, Canon is leading in providing one of the best printer drivers in its class.

This printer driver supports various Canon devices and you can use this driver for all the printer models just by changing the settings for the printing port and device information. Undoubtedly, this printer driver is worth to buy for all Canon printer users.

C. Epson Printer Driver

Epson provides a large variety of high-quality printers having advanced printing and ink technology which delivers out the best quality prints. Use the Epson drivers if you use any of the Epson printers. You can get every kind of support related to the driver from Epson’s website.

D. Brother Printer Driver

Brother printers produce high-impact documents with clear, rich colors and sharp images. The best thing about these printers is that they are easy to set up, cheap to run, works with all kinds of devices, and produces beautiful prints. The Brother printer drivers are worthy to buy for every Brother printer user.

E. Samsung Printer Driver

Undoubtedly, Samsung is one of the best brands in the world. Along with mobile phones and home appliances, it provides the best printer drivers too, and they are designed with new technologies. You need to have Samsung drivers introduced in your respective Windows to use the Samsung printers.

Method 7: Update Windows with all Available Options

An out-dated system might be the reason behind getting the Printer driver is an unavailable error as it can create some minor bugs in the printer driver, thus making it incompatible with your operating system.

In this case, you need to update the Windows to resolve the issue. Moreover, the updating process differs for different Windows, so apply the method according to your Windows version:

1. Windows 10

Step 1: Firstly, open the Settings menu and select the Update & security option. Now, from the left panel, select Windows Update.

Step 2: Now, click on Check for updates to prompt the PC to scan for the latest updates available. The update will download and install automatically. Now restart your PC.

B. Windows 8

Step 1: Open the Settings menu and select the “Change PC settings” option.

Step 2: Now, select “Windows Update” from the left panel and select the “Check for updates now” option. Windows will download and install the updates automatically. Now, restart the PC for the changes to take place.

Now, check if the printer status is still displaying the driver is unavailable on the printer error or it is fixed.

Method 8: Utilize the Troubleshoot

So, if you have come so far after applying all the above methods and are still not able to resolve the issue, then using a troubleshooter is the best option for you. It will identify and fix all the hardware or software issues. So, for using the troubleshooter, proceed with the steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Open the Settings From the left panel, select Troubleshoot.

Step 2: Now, from Get up and running section, choose Printer and click on the Run the Troubleshooter

Now, after completion of the process, restart your PC and try printing out something to examine whether the error is still showing up or it is fixed.

Method 9: Reset the Print Spooler

As we all know, printers have limited memory and sometimes much smaller than the size of a single document that you want to print. In such cases, Printer spooling allows you to send multiple documents to a printer so that you should not have to wait for the printing process to complete before carrying on to your next task.

The thing to note here is that the Print Spooler can also be the reason for the issue and for resolving it you need to reset it by following methods:

Step 1: Go to Start menu, type Services in the Search box or press Windows key + Q, type msc and hit Enter.

Step 2: Services window will open up. Navigate to Printer Spooler and right-click on it. From the options, select Stop and then OK.

Step 3: Now, browse to C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTER and delete all the files in the PRINTERS Unplug the printer from your PC.

Step 4: Start Printer Spooler Service and plug in the printer.

Method 10: Change the Status of the Printer

If your printer is showing the status as offline, it means that it is having trouble in communicating with your PC and there can be many reasons behind it, from connectivity issues to any fault in your printer.

So, to change the status of your printer from Offline to Online, go through the following steps:

Step 1: First and foremost, make sure that the printer is turned on and is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your PC.

Step 2: Go to the Start menu and search Settings. From the options in the Settings window, select Devices. Click on Printers and scanners from the left panel.

Step 3: Select your printer and click on the Open Queue Now, In the Print Queue window, choose Printer Offline.

Step 4: A message will appear that reads: “This action will change the printer from offline to online.” Click Confirm and the status of your printer will be changed online.

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Finally, we have discussed every possible cause of the error and the solution to fix the same. Hopefully, you would be able to resolve the issue after applying the above methods systematically.

Moreover, in order to avoid such problems in the future, avoid installing drivers from unknown sources as the driver can be corrupted or damaged, as well as keep the driver and Windows up to date.


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