How to download and install the latest printer driver from your printer manufacturer's Web site

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 2677141
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page

Summary

When you try to install a printer or to fix problems with using your printer that requires installing printer drivers, you may find yourself in one of the following situations:
  • You're having trouble installing your printer
  • You're printer was not automatically installed when you connected it to your computer and turned it on
  • You lost the driver CD that came with your printer
  • You're receiving a printing error message

In each case, downloading and installint the latest printer driver from your printer manufacturer's Web site may resolve the issue. This article describes how to locate and download the latest printer driver from your printer manufacturer's Web site, and how to install the driver on your computer.


More information

Before you start

To use these steps, you have to be logged on to the computer with an administrator account. Chances are that you are already logged on with an administrator account. We can help you verify that if you are not sure. If you are not logged on with an administrator account, you must know the name and the password of an administrator account on the computer. If you do not know this information, unfortunately this content cannot help you. If that is the case, you might want to ask someone that you know for help, or you might want to contact support.

Before you start, you must also know the following information:

  • The Windows XP platform type on your computer. For example, the platform type might be listed as 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64)).
  • The make and model of the printer that you are trying to connect.


If you need help verifying some or all of this information, what do you need help with? If you need help with all these things, please follow the order in which they are listed here.

  • I need help verifying that I am logged on with an administrator account.

    How do I log on as an administrator?
  • I need help verifying the Windows XP platform type. (32-bit or 64-bit)

    If you need to verify the Windows XP platform type, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, and then click Run.
    2. In the Open box, copy and paste (or type) the following command, and then click OK: msinfo32

      The System Information dialog box opens.
    3. In the System Information dialog box, locate System Type under Item, and then note the value for your computer to the right side of System Type. Notice that the possible values are as follows:
      • For 32-bit (x86) versions of Windows XP, the system type is X86-based PC.
      • For 64-bit (IA-64) versions of Windows XP, the system type is Itanium (TM)-based System.
      • For 64-bit (x64) versions of Windows XP, the system type is X64-based PC.

  • I need help verifying the make and model of the printer.

    To select the correct printer driver to download, you must know the make and model of your printer. To determine the make and model of your printer, you can do either of the following items:
    • Check the printer. The make and model are usually on the cover.
    • Check the documentation that was included with your printer.

Visit your printer manufacturer's Web site and find the latest printer driver:

You are now ready to go look for the printer driver that you need. We will give you links to some common printer manufacturer's Web sites in a minute. But before we do this, we'd like to remind you that the printer manufacturer's Web site is not under our control. Each manufacturer's Web site will be laid out differently. Therefore, we cannot give you the precise steps that you will need to locate and download the latest printer driver for your computer. So please realize that the following steps are general steps that you may have to adapt a bit. If at any time you no longer seem to be able to find what you need, please ask someone you know for help or contact your printer's manufacturer for help.

Basically what you want to dowhenyougettoyourprinter manufacturer'sWebsiteis:
  • Find the downloads or drivers section.
  • Find where you can select your printer make and model.
  • Find where you can select your Windows XP platform type.
  • Select the latest driver.
  • Read the download instructions if there are any, and then download the printer driver. (We will give you more specific instructions on how to download the printer driver file in a minute. For now, just try to locate the file.)

The following is just one example of what the page that you want to find on the printer manufacturer's Web site will resemble. This example is from the Epson Web site. As we said, other Web sites will look different.

Collapse this imageExpand this image
Example Printer Driver Download




Helpful links to Web sites of common printer manufacturers


Here is a list of links to the Web sites of some common printer manufacturers. Click the link for your printer manufacturer. The current Web page will remain open so that you can return to it after you have downloaded the latest printer driver for your printer.

Note If the Web site for your printer manufacturer is not listed here, just type the name of your printer manufacturer in any Web search engine to locate the manufacturer's Web site:
  • Brother (http://www.brother.com/E-ftp/softwin.html)
  • Canon (http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=DownloadIndexAct)
  • Dell (http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/index.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen)
  • Epson (http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/support/SupportIndex.jsp) 
  • HP (http://welcome.hp.com/country/us/en/support.html)
  • Kodak (http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=10/9652&pq-locale=en_US)
  • Konica Minolta (http://printer.konicaminolta.com/support/index_ds.html)
  • Lexmark (http://downloads.lexmark.com/en/us/index.html)
  • Panasonic (http://shop.panasonic.com/support/) 
  • Ricoh (http://www.ricoh.com/downloads/)
  • Samsung (http://www.samsung.com/in/support/main/supportMain.do) 
  • Sony (http://esupport.sony.com/perl/select-system.pl?DIRECTOR=DRIVER&SR=nav:service_support:electronics:drivers_software:esup&ref=http%3A//www.sony.com/index.php)

Download and then run the file that you located:

Now that you have located the latest printer driver for your printer, follow these steps to download and run the printer driver file. As we stated before, each Web site will have a different procedure for how you download a file. So again, the steps that we give you here are general steps that you might have to adapt a bit based on what you see on the printer manufacturer's Web site.
  1. First, click the download option on the printer manufacturer's Web site to download the printer driver file. The download option might just be a link that you can click, or it might be a button labeled "Download." Or it might be a link that is labeled with the operating system and the platform type. Some Web sites might even open a new window from which you can then download the file. Note When you click to download the printer driver file, you might receive a message that resembles the following in the message bar near the top of Internet Explorer:

    To help protect your security, Internet Explorer blocked this site from downloading files to your computer. Click here for options…

    To continue to download the file, just click inside this message, and then click Download file.
  2. In the File Download – Security Warning dialog box, click Save.
  3. In the Save As dialog box, specify where you want to save the file. For example, you could save it on the desktop. The download might be quick or it might take a long time, depending on the file size and on your Internet connection speed. If you want to work on something else on your computer while the file is being downloaded, you can do that. Just make sure that you leave the current Web page open in Internet Explorer so that you can continue with these steps when the download is complete.
  4. When the download is complete, if the Download Complete dialog box is still open, click Run. Otherwise, locate the file, and then double-click it.

Your next step will be determined by what happens when you run the downloaded file. As we have been saying, each Web site does things a bit differently. So, based on what the download file does when you start to run it, do one of the following:

Create a new folder on your desktop, and extract the files to the new folder:

Some printer drivers will run a Setup program to extract files to a temporary location on your computer. If you are prompted to extract files to a location on your computer, first create a new folder on your desktop. To create a new folder on your desktop, follow these steps:
  • Right-click a blank area of your desktop, point to New, and then click Folder.
  • Type a name for the new folder, and then press ENTER. For example, type LexmarkDriver, and then press ENTER.

Second, specify this new folder as where you want to extract the files. The steps to do this depend on the program that the printer manufacturer is using to extract the files. You might be able to use the program to browse to your desktop folder and then locate the new folder that you created. Or, you might have to type the full path of the new folder in the Setup or the extract program. If you are not sure how to do this, you might want to ask someone you know for help, or you might want to contact support.

After you extract the files from the printer driver installation file to the folder, go to Use the Add Printer Wizard to install the driver.

Extract the files to a new folder on your desktop:

If another program or another folder opens and displays files when you run the printer driver installation file, you must extract the files to a new folder. To do this, follow these steps:  
  1. Create a new folder on your desktop. To do this, follow these steps:  
    1. Right-click a blank area of your desktop, point to New, and then click Folder.
    2. Type a name for the new folder and then press ENTER. For example, type LexmarkDriver, and then press ENTER.

  2.  Run the extract command. The steps to do this depend on the program that the printer manufacturer is using. Open the File menu if the program or folder has menus, and then look for a command that is named Extract All or something similar.
  3. Specify the new folder that you created in step 1 as where to extract the files. Again, the steps to do this depend on the program that the printer manufacturer is using to extract the files. You might be able to use the program to browse to your desktop folder and then locate the new folder that you created. Or, you might have to type the full path of the new folder in the Setup or the extract program. If you are not sure how to do this, you might want to ask someone you know for help, or you might want to contact support.
  4. After you extract the files in the printer driver installation file to the new folder, go to Use the Add Printer Wizard to install the driver.

Use the Add Printer Wizard to install the driver:

Now that all the printer driver files are extracted, you still have to install the printer driver. You can use the Add Printer Wizard to help you do this. So follow these steps.

First, open the Add Printer Wizard:
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type
    control printers
    , and then click OK.

    The "Printers and Faxes" window opens.
  3. Under Printer Tasks in the navigation pane on the left, click Add a printer. The Add Printer Wizard opens.

Next, tell the wizard that you want to add a local printer:
  1. On the first page of the Add Printer Wizard, click Next.
  2. On the next page, click Local printer attached to this computer.

    Important Make sure that the Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer check box is not selected.
  3. Click Next.

Next, tell the wizard how you want the computer to communicate with the printer:
  • On this page, you must select the port that the printer will use to communicate with the computer. Most computers use LTP ports. If your printer cable connection resembles the picture that is shown on this page, click Use the following port, and make sure that LPT1 (Recommended Printer Port) is selected. If your printer is connected to a USB port, select the USB port option in the Use the following port list. Then click Next.

Next, tell the wizard where to find the printer driver files that you extracted:
  1. On this page, click Have Disk. The Install From Disk dialog box opens.
  2. In the Install From Disk dialog box, click Browse, and then locate the folder to which you extracted the printer driver files.
  3. When you have located the correct folder, click Open.
  4. The path of your folder should now appear in the Copy manufacturer's files from box in the Install From Disk dialog box. Click OK.

Now, supply the wizard with the last pieces of information that it needs to install the printer driver files:
  1. The printers that you can install should be listed in the Install Printer Software dialog box. Select the printer that you are trying to connect, and then click Next.
  2. If you are prompted to use an existing driver, select Replace existing driver, and then click Next. When you select to replace the existing driver, Windows will try to replace the current files on your system with the new ones that you downloaded.
  3. On the next page, click Next if you want to accept the suggested printer name and use the printer as your default printer. Otherwise, change these settings to what you prefer, and then click Next.
  4. If you see the Printer Sharing page next in the wizard, you can share your printer so that other computers on your home network can use it to print. Click Share name, and then specify a name for the shared printer. Otherwise, click Do not share this printer. After you have made your selection, click Next. You may be asked to enter optional location information for the printer. Type the location of the printer (for example, Home Office), and then click Next.

Finally, see whether you can print a test page:
  1. On the Print Test Page page of the wizard, click Yes to print a test page. Then click Next, and then click Finish.
  2. If the test page is printed successfully, you are finished.

Unfortunately, if the test page was not printed successfully, you still have some troubleshooting to do that is beyond the scope of this article. First, click Troubleshooting in the Add Printer Wizard to see whether it can offer you helpful information. If that does not resolve your printer problem, go to Next Steps for some next steps that you might want to take.

Verify that the printer is installed and try to print a test page:

When the installation process is complete, you can go to the "Printer and Faxes" folder to verify that the printer is installed. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Depending on how your Start menu looks, do one of the following:
    • Click Start, and then click Printers and Faxes.
    • Point to Settings, and then click Printers and Faxes.
  2. See whether your printer is listed.
  3. If your printer is listed, try to print a test page.

If you can print a test page successfully, you are finished. Unfortunately, if the test page was not printed successfully, you still have some troubleshooting to do that is beyond the scope of this article. So please see Next Steps to see what you can try next.

If you are comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, you might want to try the steps in Advanced Troubleshooting.

What do I do if no printer driver was listed for your printer or Windows XP platform type?

If no printer driver was listed for your Windows XP platform type, here is what you want to try next:
  • If no printer driver is listed by your manufacturer for Windows XP, download a Microsoft Windows 2000 driver if one is available.
  • If you are running a 64-bit Windows XP platform, and no 64-bit Windows XP driver is listed, download a 32-bit Windows XP driver if one is available.

If no Windows 2000 or Windows XP driver is listed for your printer, see whether a compatible printer driver exists for your printer make and model. A compatible driver is also known as an "emulation printer driver." An emulation printer driver imitates another printer driver. This step is a bit more involved, so if you have trouble, you might want to ask someone for help or contact support.

To find a printer driver that will function as an emulation printer driver for your printer driver, first search your printer manufacturer's Web site. If you do not find any mention of an emulation printer driver on your printer manufacturer's Web site, you can do the same search on the Internet. The steps to do this are as follows:
  1. Either on your printer manufacturer's Web site or on the Internet, type the make and model of your printer followed by the word "emulation" in the search box. For example, your search entry might resemble the following:

    Canon BJ20 emulation
  2. Look through the search results to see whether there is any mention of an emulation printer driver for your printer.

To download a compatible driver, you might have to visit a different printer manufacturer's Web site. For example, the Epson LQ510 printer emulates the Canon BJ20 printer. Therefore, you would have to visit the Epson Web site to download the latest printer driver for the Epson LQ510 printer for use with a Canon BJ20 printer.

If no printer driver is available in any form for your printer, the rest of this content cannot help you. At this point, you might want to read Next Steps or Advanced troubleshooting. Or you might want to ask someone you know for help, or contact the manufacturer of your printer.If you found the driver, go on to Download and then run the file that you located.

If you download and install the latest printer driver from the manufacturer and still have problems with the printer, visit this tutorial to see step-by-step instructions on solving your issues:

Printer problems in Windows

Next Steps:

If you were unable to complete the steps in this article to install a printer driver, or if you still have problems printing, you might have to ask someone for help or contact support. 

To contact support for your printer, visit the printer manufacturer's Web site again and look for information about how to contact them. To view Microsoft support options, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Contact Support

If you are familiar with forums and you read and post with others, try the Windows forums at Microsoft Community.

If you are comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, you might want to try the steps in Advanced Troubleshooting.

Advanced Troubleshooting:

If you are still having printer problems, and if you are comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, you might want to try the steps in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:

Properties

Article ID: 2677141 - Last Review: October 2, 2012 - Revision: 6.0
Keywords: 
KB2677141

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com