If your printer (technically called a ‘Printing Device’) fails to work properly or doesn’t work at all with Windows 10, it might be due to some compatibility issues.
Below are the four most common methods to address the printer compatibility problem:
Method 01: Run Printer Troubleshooter
- ■Get to the Printers & scanners window
Type PRINTERS & SCANNERS in the Cortana search box, and click Printers & scanners from the Best match list. This opens the Printers & scanners window in the Settings app. From here you can manage the settings for all your printing and scanning devices.
■Get to the printer’s manage window
Click the culprit printer (HP Color LaserJet 2600n Class Driver for this example), and click Manage. This opens the printer’s manage window. From here you can manage the selected printer’s preferences, configure its settings, view and modify printer properties, etc.
■Troubleshoot the issue
Click Run the troubleshooter, wait while the troubleshooter detects the problems your printer has, and follow the on-screen instructions from there. This automatically fixes your printer’s compatibility issues.
Method 02: Check for Windows Updates
If Method 01 fails to fix the issue, you can check for and install Windows updates if they’re available.
- ■Get to the Update & Security window
Click Start, click the Settings icon, and click the Update & Security tile from the Windows Settings window. This opens the Update & Security window with the Windows Update category selected in the left pane. From here you can check for available Windows updates, manage how the updates should be installed, how often your PC should restart after installing the updates, etc.
■Check for updates
Click the Check for updates button. This checks for any available Windows updates, and automatically downloads and installs them on your PC. Because the updates contain many bug fixes and security patches, they may also fix the compatibility issue your printer has.
Method 03: Check for Printer Driver Updates
Another major part of troubleshooting the issue is to check for and install the latest printer driver on your PC. Here’s how:
- ■Get to the Device Manager snap-in
Right-click Start, and click Device Manager from the context menu. This opens the Device Manager snap-in. From here you can manage the drivers for all your devices.
■Update printer driver
Expand the Printer queues tree, right-click the problematic printer, click Update driver software, and follow the on-screen instructions from there. This checks online for any latest version of the printer driver, and downloads and installs it on your PC.
Method 04: Install the Printer Driver in Compatibility Mode
If the printer is a bit old, and its vendor no longer develops and releases the updated driver, the best you can do is, run its driver’s setup file in compatibility mode.
Note: Before proceeding, make sure to download the most updated version of the driver the vendor had released from its official website.
- ■Get to the files Compatibility tab
Right-click the driver’s setup file, click Properties from the context menu, and go to the Compatibility tab. This shows all the available settings you can use to run the file in compatibility mode. Depending on the version of the operating system the driver correctly worked on, you can pick your option.
■Use compatibility troubleshooter
Click Run compatibility troubleshooter, wait while the troubleshooter detects the problem, and click Try recommended settings when prompted. This runs the setup with the compatibility settings recommended by Windows. Many times, this automatically resolves the issue, and the programs (printer driver in this case) start running flawlessly.
■Select the OS version manually (If the troubleshooter doesn’t resolve the issue)
Check the Run this program in compatibility mode for box from the Compatibility mode section, select the version of Windows the driver properly worked with from the drop-down list (Windows 8 for this example), and click OK. This ensures that the setup file runs in the compatibility mode for the selected version of Windows. Because the driver worked correctly with the version of Windows you selected, when executed, the setup file should install the driver to work flawlessly.
■Execute the file
Double-click the setup file. This initiates the printer driver installation. After installation, the printer should work without any problem.