How to fix common printer problems in Windows 10

One of the joys of using Windows 10 is that, unlike older versions of Windows, it has the ability to install any additional peripherals like your printer. If you’re having printer problems setting it up on Windows 10, there are some easy fixes.

Usually, you can troubleshoot your Windows 10 printer setup by following some pretty standard steps, such as double-checking the cable or connection. Driver installation is a must, but if all else fails, you can run the Windows Troubleshooter to try and fix the most common printer setup problems for Windows 10 printers.

Check for missing cable or wireless connection

It seems pretty simple, but one of the most common printer setup problems on Windows is a lack of connection between your printer and your PC.

For wired printers, it means that the cable is not firmly plugged in at both ends. Modern printers use USB or ethernet, so double-check that your included printer cable fits snugly at both ends. Wireless Printer Troubleshooting can be more complicated, however.

A wireless printer, like most WiFi devices, will need to be connected to your own wireless network before other devices can print to it. Further check your printer documentation for guided steps on how to do this, but in many cases there must be a WPS button on both your printer and your network router.

Depending on your printer model and manufacturer, this device may be listed as WPS or have a generic label like WIFI. By pressing this button on both devices, your printer will automatically connect to your wireless network. If it doesn’t work the first time, try the supplement.

From there, your device should be detected by Windows, as long as your Windows PC or laptop is connected to the same network. If the WPS method doesn’t work, you may need to first consider connecting the printer to your PC using USB and manually configuring the wireless.

Printer driver installation is missing

Printers are a popular peripheral for Windows 10 PCs. With that in mind, Microsoft has a large catalog of printer drivers available to download and install when a new printer is connected.

In most cases, you don’t need to do anything to install the printer driver, as Windows will do this for you. However, that is not always the case. Microsoft may lack drivers for new or uncommon printer models, or may not automatically install them.

  • First, use Windows to search online for the relevant driver software. To do this, right-click your Windows Start menu button and click Setting.
  • From here, click Device > Printers & Scanners.
  • At the top, click Add a printer or scanner.
  • Wait for Windows to scan your device for the printer. If Windows detects it, click it when it appears in the search list. If it cannot locate your printer, click The printer I want is not listed instead of.
  • inside Add a printer wizard, select the appropriate option for your device. If it is a wireless printer, select Add a printer discoverable via Bluetooth, wireless or network and click Next to continue.
  • Option My printer is a bit older if your printer is older (for example, if it doesn’t use USB).
  • Follow the on-screen instructions for your printer type to begin the installation. You can also use Windows Device Manager to locate or update your drivers. To do that, right-click your Windows Start menu button and click Equipment management.
  • In Device Manager, look for Printer Category. If you can’t see your printer listed here, click View> Show hidden devices or search for your device under Other devices instead of.
  • Right click on your device and click Update drivers.
  • Click Automatically search for updated driver software in the window that appears afterwards.

Set as default printer

If you have installed multiple printers, you may experience some problems printing documents. Setting your new printer as the default Windows printer can fix these problems, preventing you from accidentally sending printed documents to the wrong printer.

  • To set your printer as the default Windows printer, right-click your Windows Start menu button and click Setting.
  • In Settings, click Device > Printers & Scanners. You will need to uncheck Let Windows manage my default printer or you won’t be able to set the default printer yourself.
  • Once this setting has been disabled, click your printer and click Manage.
  • In your printer management settings, click Set as default to set it as the default Windows printer.

If your printer configuration is correct, you should be able to start printing from this printer. This will be the default option whenever you choose to print.

Run the Windows 10 Troubleshooter

If your printer is still not working after following these steps, running the Windows 10 Troubleshooter may resolve the printer problem. This will check your printer configuration and guide you through some additional steps to get your printer up and running.

  • To launch the Windows 10 Troubleshooter for your printer, right-click on the Windows Start menu.
  • Click Settingafterward Update & Security > Troubleshoot.
  • inside Troubleshoot bottom Wake up and runclick Printer.
  • Click Run the debugger to begin.
  • You will need to select your printer from the list provided. Select the relevant printer or select My printer is not listedthen click Next proceed with.

Windows will then start searching through your printer configuration and any related Windows settings for conflicts. If any printer problems are detected, Windows will ask you for permission to apply the relevant fix to get your printer working.

Solve your Windows 10 printer problems

These tips are by no means exhaustive, but these guides will help you resolve some of the more common setup issues that Windows 10 printers sometimes cause users.

If you are still having trouble setting up and using your printer, try removing your printer or reinstall the printer driver as the next step before contacting the manufacturer’s customer support team.

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