How to Fix the Printer Driver Unavailable Error

Printer Driver Unavailable

printer driver unavailable

Printer Driver Not Available error can be a frustrating problem for many users, preventing them from printing important documents. This error occurs when the computer is unable to communicate with the printer, often due to a problem with the printer driver.

In this article, we will discuss the causes of the Printer Driver Unavailable Error, as well as provide step-by-step instructions on how to fix it. Whether you are a tech savvy or someone new to troubleshooting printers, this guide will help you solve the problem and get back to printing.

Printer Driver Unavailable error is a common problem that occurs when the computer is unable to communicate with the printer. This can happen for a number of reasons, including outdated or missing printer drivers, incorrect printer settings, or compatibility issues between the printer and computer.

The printer driver acts as an intermediary between the computer and the printer, translating instructions from the computer into a language the printer can understand. If the driver is not available or installed incorrectly, the computer will not be able to communicate with the printer and will display an error message.

It is important to resolve this error as soon as possible to avoid delays in printing important documents. In the next section, we will discuss some of the most common causes of Printer Driver Unavailable Error and how to fix it.

Fixing the Printer Driver Unavailable Error is important for several reasons.

  1. Enhanced Print Quality: Printer drivers are responsible for ensuring that print quality is optimized. If a driver is not available, print quality might be affected, causing text or graphics to appear blurry or out of alignment.
  2. Improved Printing Efficiency: Printer drivers also help manage the printing process, ensuring that the printer is used in the most efficient way possible. If a driver is not available, the printer may not work efficiently, causing longer print times and increasing wear and tear on the printer.
  3. Avoid Printing Delays: Printer Driver Not Available error can prevent printers from working altogether, causing delays in printing important documents. This can be very frustrating if you are on a tight deadline.
  4. Cost Savings: Correcting errors promptly can help avoid the need for costly printer repairs or replacements. It’s much more cost-effective to fix problems as soon as they occur.

By fixing the Printer Driver Unavailable Error, you can improve printing quality, increase printing efficiency, avoid printing delays, and save money in the long run.

See also: HP Printer Error Code 04358A98

Understanding the Error

The Printer Driver Not Available error is caused by an incompatibility between the printer driver installed on your computer and the printer you are trying to use. This error can occur if the printer driver is out of date, missing, or corrupted.

The error can also occur if there is a compatibility problem between the printer driver and your operating system. Some common causes of the Printer Driver Unavailable error include updating the latest operating system, installing new software, or connecting a new printer to your computer.

The Printer Driver Unavailable error can be identified in a number of ways, including the following:

  1. Error messages: When trying to print, a message may appear stating that the printer driver is not available or the printer cannot be found.
  2. Printer status: The printer may appear as offline or disconnected in your device manager or computer control panel.
  3. Printing problems: When you try to print, you may encounter problems such as blank pages, garbled text, or unable to print at all.
  4. Compatibility warning: If you try to install a new printer driver, your computer might display a warning or error message indicating a compatibility problem.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then you are most likely facing the Printer Driver Not Available error. By identifying the error, you can take steps to resolve the problem and restore your ability to print.

Quick Fixes

Updating the Printer Driver

Updating the printer driver is one of the most common solutions to fix the printer driver not available error. This step is important because out-of-date drivers can cause a variety of problems, including compatibility issues and reduced performance. To update the printer driver, follow these steps:

  • Check the manufacturer’s website for the latest driver version
  • Download and install new drivers on your computer
  • Restart your computer and printer for the changes to take effect
  • It is recommended to check for updates regularly to keep printer drivers up to
  • date and avoid errors in the future.

Restarting the Printer Spooler Service

The printer spooler service is responsible for managing the communication between your computer and printer. If this service is stopped or not working properly, it can cause the printer driver unavailable error. Here’s how you can restart the printer spooler service:

  • Press Windows + R on your keyboard.
  • Type “services.msc” into the Run dialog and press Enter.
  • Find the “Print Spooler” service in the list and right-click it.
  • Select “Restart” from the context menu.
  • Wait for the service to restart, then try printing again.

If restarting the printer spooler service doesn’t resolve the error, continue to the next step in your troubleshooting process.

Uninstalling and Reinstalling the Printer Driver

If updating the printer driver does not resolve the printer driver not available error, uninstalling and reinstalling the printer driver may help. The steps for doing so will vary depending on your operating system, but the general process is as follows:

  • Open Control Panel
  • Select Devices and Printers
  • Right-click on the affected printer and select Remove device
  • Follow the prompts to complete the uninstallation process
  • Go to the manufacturer’s website and download the latest printer driver
  • Install new drivers following the manufacturer’s directions
  • Restart your computer and try printing again.

This will help resolve the printer driver unavailable error and get your printer working properly again.

Clearing the Print Spooler Queue

The print spooler queue is the area where all print jobs are stored before they are sent to the printer. Sometimes, the print spooler queue becomes clogged with old or corrupt print jobs, causing the printer driver to become unavailable. To clear the print spooler queue:

  • Open Control Panel.
  • Click Devices and Printers.
  • Right click on the printer giving the error and select See what is printing.
  • Click Printer, then select Cancel All Documents.
  • Close the Devices and Printers window.
  • Go to Services.
  • Right click on Print Spooler and select Stop.
  • Navigate to the C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS folder.
  • Delete all files in the folder.
  • Restart the Print Spooler service.
  • Try printing again.

If clearing the print spooler queue doesn’t fix the printer driver not available error, proceed to the next solution

Rebooting the Printer and Computer

Rebooting the printer and computer can help resolve the Printer Driver Not Available error. In some cases the error might be caused by a temporary glitch which can be fixed with a simple reboot.

To reboot the printer, turn it off and unplug it from the power source. Wait a few seconds, then plug it back in and turn it on. For computers, click the “Start” button and select “Restart” or press the restart button on the computer.

After rebooting, check if the Printer Driver Unavailable error is resolved. If not, try the next solution

Checking for Driver Conflicts in Device Manager

Device Manager is a feature in Windows that allows you to view and manage the hardware devices installed on your computer. To check for driver conflicts, follow these steps:

  1. Open Device Manager. You can do this by right-clicking on the Start button and selecting “Device Manager” from the context menu.
  2. Find the printer device in the hardware list. You can do this by expanding the “Printers” or “Print Queues” section.
  3. Right-click on the printer device and select “Properties” from the context menu.
  4. Go to the “Driver” tab and check the information listed there. If there is a yellow exclamation point next to the device, it indicates a driver conflict.
  5. To resolve the conflict, you can update the driver or reinstall the driver. To update the driver, click the “Update Driver” button. To reinstall the driver, click the “Uninstall” button and then follow the on-screen instructions to reinstall the driver.

After you have resolved the conflict, restart your computer and try printing again to see if the printer driver unavailable error has been resolved.

Downloading and Installing the Latest Printer Driver

Updating the printer driver to the latest version is one of the most effective ways to solve the “Printer Driver Not Available” error. The manufacturer’s website is usually the best source for downloading and installing the latest drivers. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to the manufacturer’s website and look for the latest drivers for your printer.
  2. Download the driver files to your computer.
  3. Follow the instructions provided with the driver to install it.
  4. Restart your computer after the installation is complete.
  5. Try printing a test page to check if the error is resolved.

It is important to note that downloading and installing the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s website can sometimes resolve compatibility issues and improve overall printer performance.

Advanced Solutions

Modifying the Registry

In some cases, the “Printer Driver Unavailable” error can be caused by a problem with the registry. To work around this problem, you can modify the registry to remove old, invalid entries.

Before modifying the registry, it is recommended to back up the registry. This can be done by clicking on the “File” menu in the Registry Editor and selecting “Export”.

Next, open the Registry Editor by typing “regedit” in the Windows search bar and clicking on the “Registry Editor” option.

Navigate to the following key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Drivers\Version-3

Find the entry for the problematic printer driver and delete it.

Close Registry Editor and restart your computer.

After rebooting, try installing the printer driver again and check if the error is resolved.

Installing the Latest Printer Driver Manually

  1. Look for the latest printer driver on the manufacturer’s website
  2. Download the drivers to your computer
  3. Open Device Manager
  4. Right click the printer and select “Update driver”
  5. Select “Browse my computer for driver software”
  6. Navigate to the downloaded driver file and select it
  7. Follow the prompts to install the drivers
  8. Restart the printer and computer after the installation is complete.

Contacting the Printer Manufacturer for Support

If none of the solutions above work, you may need to contact the printer manufacturer for support.
They may have specific recommendations or troubleshooting steps based on the printer make and model.

Additionally, they may have updated drivers or software available to resolve the issue.
Before contacting the manufacturer, make sure you have the printer model and serial number, as well as a detailed description of the error message and troubleshooting steps taken so far.


“Printer Driver Unavailable error” occurs when the printer driver is unable to communicate with the printer, resulting in failure to print. This error can be caused by several factors such as out of date drivers, conflicting drivers, problems with the print spooler, or registry problems.

To fix the error, one can try some quick fixes like restarting the print spooler service, clearing the print spooler queue, rebooting the printer and computer, or checking for driver conflicts in device manager. Also, updating or reinstalling the printer driver, downloading the latest driver from the manufacturer’s website, or installing it manually can also resolve the problem.

If all else fails, contacting the printer manufacturer for support is another option. By following these steps, one can effectively fix the “Printer Driver Unavailable Error” and get their printer working again.

See also: How To Fix Printer Printing Blank Pages

About Author

Carl Abel
I am a printing expert with years of experience in various printing techniques. My expertise includes offset printing, digital printing, and screen printing. I am known for my attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and commitment to delivering outstanding results. I am dedicated to staying up-to-date with the latest developments in printing technology to provide cutting-edge solutions. I am passionate about collaborating with clients to transform their ideas into stunning prints. Read more about us
%d bloggers like this: