When your printer begins to lose jobs, becomes unresponsive, or displays other problems, you may start thinking that it’s time to buy a new printer. However, sometimes the answer is as easy as updating the print driver.
A print driver is the software that links your computer to your printer. It takes the information you are trying to print and translates it into instructions that the printer can understand, allowing your documents to print. Print drivers are specific to the make and model of your printer, allowing each printer to communicate effectively with a variety of computers and devices. Signs that your print driver may need an update include:
- Lack of responsiveness
- Lost printing jobs
- Inconsistent printer connections
- Declining print quality
Updating Your Drivers
Updating your drivers is a simple procedure. For networked printers, often your IT department will want to do the updates to ensure consistency across the network. If you are doing it yourself, these simple steps can guide you through the process:
- Find the make and model of your printer. This information is essential, as the driver will be specific to your printer.
- Check on the manufacturer’s website and search for the driver update. The most recent update available may not be the best one to remedy your printer’s problems; be sure to look through the updates to find the best one to suit your needs.
- Download the recommended driver and install it on your computer, following the prompts on the screen.
- Test your printer using various applications to ensure the updates were successful. Try to perform print tasks that were problematic before.
While it may seem like updating your print drivers regularly is a good idea, this may not be the case. It’s best to only update your print drivers when needed.
By updating your software when print quality begins to suffer, you can keep your printer online and delivering high-quality prints for many years. Updating you print drivers is a good first step for troubleshooting the most common printer problems.