When trying to print, scan, or simply add a new printer, some users may encounter a pop-up message saying Driver is Unavailable. While this problem can occur on any printer being in use, the most reported are usually those manufactured by HP – partly because this is a popular firm used by many people. As a rule, the most common reason for this error to pop is the lack of some driver or system updates. Whatever it is, solving the problem should not deprive too much time and effort of you. Follow our guidelines below and get your printer back to its working condition – both on Windows 10 and Windows 11.

printer driver is unavailable error

Download Windows Repair Tool

Download Windows Repair Tool

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There are special repair utilities for Windows, that can solve problems related to registry corruption, file system malfunction, Windows drivers instability. We recommend you to use Advanced System Repair to fix error printer “Driver Is Unavailable” in Windows 11 or Windows 10.

1. Run Windows Printer Troubleshooter

The first thing we usually advise people to do is run the in-built Windows Troubleshooter feature. Your operating system has already got a set of Microsoft troubleshooting instruments designed for various devices to help detect and rectify basic issues related to them. Follow the steps below to try it yourself:

For Windows 11 users:

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu button at the bottom taskbar of your desktop and choose Settings.
  2. On the left pane, navigate to System and then to Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters on the right side.
  3. Find the Printer troubleshooter and click on the Run button to launch it.
  4. Let Windows figure things out and apply available fixes to the issue, if any.

For Windows 10 users:

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu button at the bottom taskbar of your desktop and choose Settings. You can also press Windows Key + I buttons instead.
  2. Go to Update & Security and then navigate to Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooter.
  3. Choose Printer and click Run the troubleshooter.
  4. Wait until Windows finds possible solutions and applies them to the error.

2. Make sure your system is up-to-date

Many people underestimate the potential of new updates to solve various issues. In fact, it is important to keep your system updated to ensure better security and workability of your PC. We hence recommend you check for the presence of new updates and install them, if any:

To install new updates in Windows 11:

  1. Open Settings as we already did in the first method.
  2. Navigate to Windows Update and click Check for updates.
  3. Wait until Windows finds new updates and install them. If new updates were already pending, you can install them immediately without searching for them.

To install new updates in Windows 10:

  1. Go to Settings and Update & Security as was done in the method above.
  2. Then, navigate to Windows Update and click Check for updates.
  3. If updates have already been found, simply Download and install them.

3. Update/Reinstall Printer Driver

As mentioned above, one of the most potential reason why you are facing the “Driver Is Unavailable” message is due to faulty or missing drivers for printer. Thus, perform these steps below to reinstall them therefore making sure they are updated:

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu icon and select Device Manager.
  2. In the opened tab, find and expand a section called Printers.
  3. Right-click on your printer driver, select Uninstall, and follow the on-screen instructions.

From here, there are now alternatives following the above-mentioned – you can either restart your PC and wait until Windows installs new drivers for your printer itself, or you can go to the printer’s developer website and download drivers directly from it. The latter option should be even better since you will know that now you have proper drivers installed. If nothing has changed, then this was not a problem, it seems.

Updating drivers manually can be time- and energy-consuming. If you want to update drivers faster, not only for printers, we recommend using a special utility called Driver Booster from IObit. It has broad databases of drivers for all the devices to maintain your PC. You can download it using the button below.

Download Driver Booster

4. Check integrity of system files

Last, but not the least comes down to checking whether all system files are properly there. It can be some missing or damaged files that cause incompatibility issues while using your printer or any other possible device. We will both use SFC (System File Checker) and DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) utilities, which will detect and restore absent components if any will be eventually found. Make sure to use both utilities as they may have a different impact on solving the problem. This is how:

Using SFC

  1. Open Command Prompt by typing cmd into the searching loop next to the Start Menu button.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.
  3. Once the console is opened, type the sfc /scannow command and click Enter.
  4. When the fixing process is done, restart your computer.

Using DISM

  1. Open Command Prompt as we did in the previous step.
  2. Copy and paste this command DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth.
  3. Click Enter and wait until Windows ends the scanning and fixing.
  4. Once done, restart your PC and try to open the problematic program again.

After performing both of these scans, attempt to use your printer again.

Summary

Having no choice, but to search for resolution instructions around the web is always something one would like to avoid. However, we hope you led the problem to its final conclusion and no longer have issues while trying to use a printing device again. If there is something else preventing you from adequate usage of something, we also welcome you to search for other articles on our website that might be relevant to your problem.

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