How to Fix Printer Driver is Unavailable on Windows 11

If you’re printing a lot, you may run across the “printer driver is unavailable” error on Windows 11. Here’s how to fix it.

Seeing a printer driver is unavailable error on Windows 11? The message is pretty clear — your printer drivers are missing, corrupt, or just aren’t working as expected.

If this happens, there’s usually a clear-cut reason why. If you’ve recently updated your PC, a new driver may prove incompatible with your printer. A driver might be missing entirely, making it impossible for your printer to work properly.

You can fix this error message in a few different ways — even a quick restart might solve it. If it doesn’t, however, you can give these more complex troubleshooting tips a try.

Check Windows Update

It should go without saying, but 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 could have a fix available for it.

To manually check for Windows updates, use the Windows key + I keyboard shortcut to launch Settings. When Settings opens, go to Windows update > Check for updates and install anything it recommends. windows update

Your PC may restart to complete the update process, so make sure to close any important apps first.

Update Your Printer Driver

Printer drivers usually come with important bug fixes and feature upgrades. If you’re using an older driver, it could be causing a printer driver is unavailable message on your Windows 11 PC.

Thankfully, you can quickly check for driver updates, but you’ll need to download the latest version of the driver from your printer manufacturer’s support website. A quick Google search for the printer make and model should help you find this.

How to Update Your Printer Driver

  1. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + R to launch the Run dialog.
  2. In Run, type devmgmt.msc and click OK.devmgmt fix printer driver is unavailable on windows 11
  3. When Device Manager opens, expand the Printers section, right-click the printer, and select Update driver.update driver device manager
  4. When the Update Drivers wizard opens, select Browse my computer for drivers, and follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver you downloaded.Browse my computer or select driver
  5. If that doesn’t work, relaunch the update wizard, but this time choose Search automatically for drivers. Follow the wizard’s instructions if it finds a driver check fix driver unavailable on Windows 11

If you can’t select your printer driver files, your printer manufacturer may offer them with an automatic installer (usually with a .exe file extension). If that’s the case, run the file—the new driver should install automatically.

Uninstall Your Printer Driver

Unfortunately, the printer driver is unavailable error might appear if you’ve recently updated your driver. Not every printer driver is compatible or bug-free. There’s also the possibility that your existing driver is corrupted and required replacing.

If this happens, you can try removing the driver and reinstalling it to try and resolve the issue. To uninstall and reinstall a printer driver on Windows 11, use the following steps.

Uninstall Printer Driver on Windows 11

  1. Press the Start button, type device manager, and choose the top result.device manager windows 11 start menu
  2. When Device Manager opens, expand the Printers section, right-click your device, and select Uninstall device from the menu.uninstall fix printer drive is unavailable on windows 11
  3. When the confirmation window appears, check the Delete the driver software for this device option and click the Uninstall button.verify uninstall driver
  4. Restart Windows 11 to apply the changes — Windows should reinstall the correct driver during the startup process.Restart Hold Shift

Run the Printer Troubleshooter

Windows 11 has built-in troubleshooters for various hardware devices — including one for a printer. Note that this will only work on ealy versions of Windows. Microsoft has deprecated the troubleshooter on new modern versions of Windows 11.

How to Run the Printer Troubleshooter

  1. Click Start and open Settings.
  2. When Settings opens, navigate to System > Troubleshoot.system Troubleshoot
  3. In the Options section, click Other troubleshooters.other troubleshooters
  4. Find the Printer option and click the Run button next to it.printer fix printer driver is unavailable on Windows 11
  5. The printer troubleshooter will start looking for problems and attempt to fix them automatically.fix printer driver is unavailable on Windows 11

Better Printing on Windows

If you’re getting a printer driver is unavailable error on your Windows 11 PC, one of the fixes described above should get it working. Typically, you can get it up and running by updating or reinstalling the printer’s current driver.

It’s also worth noting that if you have a plug-and-play printer, you can unplug the USB cable, plug it back in, and re-run the setup wizard.



  1. Brian Salmond

    November 9, 2023 at 4:50 pm

    all most all solutions access printers from the device manager, but my device manager has no printer devices

    • Jeff Butts

      November 9, 2023 at 5:39 pm

      You may need to try installing the printer again. It should appear in Device Manager. If your printer included drivers, either on a CD/DVD or via download, try installing them and following the Quick Start instructions for your printer.

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