The printer not printing documents and getting the Printer Driver is Unavailable Error on Windows 11. This error usually means your printer driver is missing, corrupted or not recognized by the computer. Again there are several other reasons that may cause the printer not working or be unresponsive on Windows 11. This type of error is quite common on HP printers although it can occur in different brands as well and faulty drivers or corrupt Windows system files are the primary reason behind this. Here in this article we have prepared a bunch of solutions, to fix the problem and restore the printing function again on Windows 11.
What Is a Printer Driver?
The main reason behind the printer Driver Is Unavailable Error is the printer driver that not function properly, so it’s important to know what a printer driver is. Its a small program or software program that enables the communication between your computer (windows 11) and the printer. The Printer driver let understand your computer about the hardware specifications and details of the printer, It is also responsible for translating the print job data to signals that the printer can understand. If the printer driver is outdated or incompatible with the current Windows version that may not function as expected and result printer not printing with different errors.
A printer driver is a software program that enables communication between a computer and a printer.
You can Run the printer troubleshooters try to update the printer driver or install the latest printer driver from the manufacturer’s site or repair corrupted system files and install the latest Windows updates to fix printer problems in Windows 11.
How to Fix Printer Driver Unavailable Error?
You can fix this Printer Driver is Unavailable error message in a few different ways—even a quick restart might solve it. Let’s first reboot your PC and Turn off and on the printer and try to print a document.
The next thing you need to check, the printer cable is properly connected between the printer and your computer port, or connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your device.
Also, check for any paper jams, Try removing the paper tray, re-aligning the paper, and sliding it back in.
Run printer troubleshooter
Whenever you printing problem on your computer the first thing you need to run the related troubleshooter. Running the printer troubleshooter automatically detects problems with the printer or its driver and related services and settings and try to fix them. Let’s run the troubleshooter and let Windows fix the problem for you.
- Press the Windows key + X and select settings from the context menu,
- Navigate the system tab, click on troubleshoot then other troubleshooters,
- this will display a list of available troubleshooters, locate the printer and click Run next to it,
- Select the printer which causing the problem, click next and follow the on-screen instructions,
- The printer troubleshooter will start looking for problems and attempt to fix them automatically.
Install all Windows updates
Install the latest Windows updates and keeping your system up to date is essential to ensure your PC has the latest security, stability, and usability fixes. If there is a critical Windows bug that’s causing the printer error Microsoft may have bug fix for this with recent Windows updates. If you haven’t updated your system for a while, make sure to do it first.
- Press the Windows key + X and select settings from the context menu,
- Navigate Windows Update then hit the check for updates button at the right side,
- If pending updates are there, allow them to download and install on your computer,
- In addition, click on advanced options, expand the driver updates section,
- Checkmark on if any driver updates are pending there, and click on download and install.
- Once done reboot your computer to apply the changes.
Update Your Printer Driver
As discussed before If you have an older printer driver installed on your computer, it could be the primary reason behind the printer driver is unavailable error message on your Windows 11 PC.
Doing so updates the files that help your printer communicate with your computer.
- Do a quick Google search for the printer make and model and download the latest driver from your printer manufacturer’s support website.
- Now open the device manager using devmgmt.msc or using Windows key + X
- This will display all devices and peripherals connected to your computer,
- Locate and expand the Printers section, right-click the printer, and select Update driver.
- Select Browse My Computer for drivers, and locate the printer driver you have downloaded,
follow the on-screen instructions to install the latest printer driver.
Also, you can choose Search automatically for drivers. Follow the wizard’s instructions if it finds a driver update.
Reinstall your printer driver
Another possible cause of this error could be that your existing driver is corrupted and requires replacing. Let’s try removing the driver problematic files that may be causing the “Driver is unavailable” error and reinstalling it to resolve the issue. You can Reinstall the printer driver with Device Manager
This removes the problematic files that may be causing the “Driver is unavailable” error.
Device Manager is a Windows built-in tool that allows you to view and control the hardware attached to your computer and update the device drivers.
- Press Windows key + R, type devmgmt.msc and click ok to open the device manager,
- Locate the expand the printer category, Right-click your installed printer and select Uninstall device.
- Checkmark on Delete the driver software for this device and click Uninstall.
- Restart your computer to employ the changes, and Windows should install the correct driver for you.
Or you can visit the device manufacturer to download the latest printer driver for Windows 11 and install it on your computer.
Use Generic Printer Drivers
Microsoft offers generic printer drivers to use when your actual ones don’t work on Windows 11. If the above solution fails to fix the problem let’s Use Generic Printer Drivers to fix the “Driver is unavailable” error and print your documents.
- Press Windows key + X and select device manager,
- Locate and Expand the Print queues section right-click your printer, and choose Update driver.
- Select the second option Browse my computer for drivers then Choose Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.
- Now Select Generic software device and choose Next and reboot your PC to apply the driver.
Check for corrupted system files
There might be something wrong with your system files that prevents apps and printer software from functioning properly. Yes, Corrupt system files can trigger various printer issues including driver error, If the above methods fail to fix the problem, you need to fix system files with SFC and DISM tools.
- Press Windows key + S and type cmd, right-click on the command prompt select run as administrator,
- Type sfc /scannow and press enter key to execute the command,
- This will scan all protected system files, and replace corrupted files with a cached copy that is located in a compressed folder at %WinDir%\System32\dllcache.
- Next, then the DISM command DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
- Once the scanning is complete, reboot your PC and try to print a document.
Usually, its a problem with the printer driver that displays the Printer Driver is Unavailable error on Windows 11. In addition to updating or reinstalling the printer driver, we recommend restart the print spooler service as well, which helps fix most of the printer problems on Windows 11.
Did the above solutions help fix Printer Driver is Unavailable error on Windows 11? Let us know on the comments below.
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