Earlier in the year, Windows 10 arrived with much aplomb, promising users a cleaner, more intuitive experience than the firm’s previous 7 & 8 operating systems. And so far it seems Windows 10 has been a complete success, with limited criticism from users and very few glitches, errors and problems.

One area in which Windows 10 has fallen short, however, is printer support. After upgrading to the latest Microsoft OS, thousands of users have experienced problems connecting with their existing printer due to the lack of driver support afforded by the new software.

New operating systems are often plagued with hardware connectivity issues, due to the lack of necessary drivers being in place upon installation. As it turns out, Windows 10 has very few drivers for older printer models, and even those that are supported have been found to not work smoothly after the Windows 10 software update.

If you’ve recently installed Windows 10 and are experiencing printing difficulties, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to successfully pair your existing printer with your Windows 10 device.


Step 1: Open the Devices and Printers Control Panel on Your PC

The first step in reconnecting with your printer is to diagnose and troubleshoot the exact problem; you can do this by opening Devices and Printers on your PC to access the Printers control panel.

Step 2: Troubleshoot and Diagnose the Issue

Once you’ve successfully accessed the Printers control panel within Devices and Printers, use the menu to find the status of connected printers. Your printer could be listed under Printers or Unspecified, so be sure to check both. When you’ve located the device, select the Troubleshoot option and follow the instructions to diagnose the connectivity issues with your machine.

If the Troubleshoot tool doesn’t work, move to step 3 below.

Step 3: Make Sure the Printer is Installed 

When you upgraded your PC to the Windows 10 OS, your printer may have been removed from trusted devices if the correct drivers weren’t in place to accommodate it. To check if the printer is still installed, go to Start>Settings>Devices>Printers & Scanners — this will list all of the devices currently installed on the PC.

If your printer isn’t shown in this pane, you’ll need to add or install it. To do this, switch on your printer and connect it to the machine, before clicking the Add a printer or scanner option. All being well, Windows should detect the machine.

Step 4: Ask Windows to Search for an Older Printer

If Windows is unable to detect your printer, this may mean that the relevant printer drivers are not installed on your PC, in which case you’ll need to click ‘The Printer that I want isn’t listed’ option in the Printers and Scanners pane.

Once you’ve selected this option, you’ll be given five options — four of which relate to connecting a printer to a specific network. The fifth option reads ‘My printer is a little older. Help me find it’; hit this option, and with any luck Windows should detect the printer and install the appropriate drivers.

Step 5: If All Else Fails, You’ll Need to Install Manually

If the above steps don’t work and you’re still unable to connect your printer, you could try installing the machine manually yourself. To do this you’ll need to source the Windows 10 printer drivers for your machine from the manufacturer’s website — a simple Google search for ‘[insert manufacturer name] printer drivers’ should let you do this.

Once you’ve found the right driver, you’ll need to install it on your Windows device yourself. Thankfully, most printer drivers are .exe files, and will therefore install on their own once you’ve downloaded and opened the file. When you’ve successively installed the driver, your PC should be able to detect the printer.

If not, you’re sadly out of luck. Some printers are simply too old to be compatible with Windows 10, chiefly because the manufacturer has neglected to provide an updated version of the machine’s drivers. If you have an old printer, we’d advise checking the compatibly of your machine before installing Windows 10.

If your printer is too old to work with Windows 10, perhaps it’s time to invest in a whole new machine? At TonerGiant, we stock a huge range of new printers that are guaranteed to work seamlessly with Windows 10 devices. To browse the range, visit the TonerGiant website, or call us on 0845 365 3605.

Image sourced via Microsoft Press Center. Credit: Microsoft.