Drivers are one of the most important elements on a computer as they act as a bridge between the software and hardware components. In this case, the printer driver helps you to print the digital information by sending specific commands to the printer.
If your computer is missing the printer driver, it won’t be able to print any documents, photos, etc. However, installing it on your computer is a very straightforward and simple procedure that hardly requires effort.
Moreover, there are multiple ways to install the driver on your Windows computer, and hence, you can choose the one most convenient for you.
Note: Before you proceed, make sure the printer is connected to your computer.
1. Check for Optional Updates
If you have purchased a new PC or the driver is not present after a system reset, it is highly likely that Windows found the missing driver on Microsoft servers and it is sitting in the ‘Optional Updates’ queue. Typically Windows itself manages the installation of updates, however, at times you may need to intervene to download them.
First, head to the Start Menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tile.
After that, click on the ‘Windows Update’ tab from the left sidebar.
Next, from the right section of the window, click on the ‘Advanced options’ tile.
Then, on the next screen, locate and click on the ‘Optional Updates’ tile to continue.
After that, from the list of available drivers, locate the printer driver (which might have ‘printer’ as a suffix or prefix) and then click on the checkbox preceding it. Then, click on the ‘Download & install’ button.
You might be prompted to restart your device. After the restart, the driver is now installed on your computer.
2. Use Device Manager
If you are not able to find the printer driver in the ‘Optional Updates’ section, you can also manually search for available drivers on Microsoft servers by using the Device Manager. Though it might not be as convenient as the previous method, it’s the next best option.
First, head to the Start Menu and type Device to perform a search. Then, click on the ‘Device Manager’ tile.
After that, right-click on the ‘Printers’ option to continue. Then, click on the ‘Scan for hardware changes’ option.
Now, right-click on the device you wish to install the driver for and click on the ‘Update driver’ option. This will open a separate window on your screen.
Now, click on the ‘Search for drivers automatically’ option to let Windows search for drivers.
3. Head to the HP Official Support Website
This is a slightly less convenient method compared to the others, however, it still works like a charm. You can simply let the official HP website scan your PC and recommend a driver for your device and then download it. Otherwise, you can also enter the model number of your printer and check the available drivers for your printer.
First, head to the support.hp.com/drivers website using your preferred browser.
To download the driver using the printer model number, click on the ‘Printer’ option.
Then, enter your model number and select the series from the suggestion provided.
After that, click on the ‘Installation Software’ option to expand the section. Then, click on the ‘Download’ following the ‘HP Full Software Solution’ option. Then, use the File Explorer window to save the file on your computer.
Once downloaded, navigate to the file and double-click on the .EXE file to initiate the installer.
A UAC (User Account Control) window will appear on your screen. If you are not logged in with an admin account, enter the credentials for it. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button to proceed.
After that, click on the ‘Continue’ button to proceed.
Click on the ‘Next’ button.
Then, click on the ‘I have reviewed and accepted the installation agreements and settings’ option and next click on the ‘Accept’ option.
After that, if you want to enable ‘Web Printing’ click on the ‘Yes’ button to proceed. Wait for a few minutes until the software is installed on your device. Once installed, restart your device and you can start using the printer.
If you happen to have an HP Device, you can also download the ‘Support Assistant’ that will detect and list the latest printer driver for you.
To download the ‘Support Assistant’, from the main screen of the website, click on the ‘Laptop/Computer’ option.
After that, enter the serial number of your device (typically at the bottom plate of your device) and hit the ‘Submit’ button. Otherwise, click on the ‘Automatically detect your product’ option to download software to detect your computer details.
If you clicked on the ‘Automatically detect your product’ option, a pop-up window may appear on your screen. Agree to the terms and conditions by clicking on the checkbox. Then, click on the ‘Start download’ button.
Next, head to the download directory and double-click on the .EXE file to initiate the installation.
Once the software is installed, the website should be able to detect your PC model number and display drivers for it.
Then, locate the ‘Printer’ category and click on it to expand. Next, click on the ‘Download’ option following the most updated driver to initiate the download.
Note: If you are not able to see the printer section, make sure you are connected to your printer.
Finally, double-click on the
.EXE file to start installing the driver on your computer.
After that, click on the ‘Next’ button to proceed.
Then, click on the radio button preceding the ‘I agree to the terms in the license agreement’ option and again click on the ‘Next’ button.
Once again, click on the ‘Next’ button on the following screen.
Once installed, restart your PC to let the changes take effect.
That’s it, you have successfully downloaded and installed the Printer driver on your Windows 11 PC using the manufacturer’s website.
In case you do not wish to download software on your PC, you can also simply enter the model number of your printer to download the software.
4. Use HP Smart from Microsoft Store
Though the HP Smart app does not let you download the driver explicitly, it can scan the connected printers and set it up for you. Not only that, but it will also help you in printing and scanning documents (if your printer has a scanner).
First, head to the Start Menu and click on the ‘Microsoft Store’ tile. Otherwise, you can also type Store to perform a search for it.
After that, type HP Smart in the search bar and hit Enter to proceed.
Next, click on the ‘Install’ button to install the app.
Finally, head to the Start Menu and type HP Smart to perform a search for it. Then, click on the ‘HP Smart’ tile to proceed.
Then, click on the ‘Accept All’ button to continue.
After that, click on the ‘Set Up a New Printer’ option to proceed.
On the next page, it will search for the connected printers. Once it appears in the list, click on it to continue.
Then, the HP Smart will set it up and get it ready for your use. You can then use HP smart app to print or scan the documents on your Windows 11 device.
That’s about it. A missing printer driver can be very frustrating and inconvenient. However, using the methods listed above, you can easily download the driver and start printing your photos/documents.