How To Fix Driver Is Unavailable Printer Error Windows 10/11

Using a printer at home or offices is a common thing in everyone’s life these days and with printers come a variety of errors such as Driver is unavailable error.

In today’s article, we will guide you in understanding and fixing the ‘Driver is unavailable’ error.

So, How To Fix Driver is unavailable Printer error?

The best way to fix the driver is unavailable printer error is by updating the driver software. You can do this directly from your Windows or Mac computers. Here are the steps to update the driver software: 

  1. Search For Device Manager and open it
  2. Look for all the printers in the list that appears in front of you by expanding the list
  3. Now right click on the name of your printer and select Update Driver
  4. Click on “Search automatically for updated driver software” and your computer will now begin the search
  5. Once your computer can update the driver successfully click on the OK button

The printer is unavailable error should now be fixed and you can begin using your printer again.

However, before you perform the above solution to fix the error on your printer so ensure that

  1. The printer is switch on and is connected to the computer through the same WiFi network
  2. The printer should be in an active mode and not in sleep mode
  3. Check that the cables of your computer are properly plugged into your computer
  4. Lastly, ensure that there are papers inside the printer and the cartridges are not empty.

What does Printer Driver is unavailable error mean?

The printer driver is unavailable error means a problem that the driver on your printer is facing and why it is refusing to work. It also means that your computer is not able to recognize your printer and hence the printer will not be able to complete the printing task.

This also means that the driver installed in your printer is corrupt or is not up to date and needs to be updated immediately. This error does not have anything to do with the type of printers that you are using as this is a common problem with the devices.

Why does the error ‘printer driver is unavailable’ appear?

One of the main reasons for this error is the fact that the printer driver has been deleted from the system or is corrupted. In such cases, the system is unable to find the driver and you get this error.

However, there could be other reasons such as

  1. If your printer is not connected to your PC properly or there is a loose connection
  2. If the operating file that you are using is corrupt
  3. If the printer driver is not compatible with the printer and is outdated
  4. If the windows version that you are using is outdated and not compatible with your printer
  5. Sometimes the error also occurs when the drivers are not properly installed and
  6. At times when the printer spooler is crashed, you tend to receive the error code Printer driver is unavailable

In case the error code Printer Drive is unavailable still appears even after updating your driver then you might have to try uninstalling and then reinstalling the printer’s driver.

How to Uninstall and Reinstall the Printers Driver?

To uninstall and reinstall the Printers driver, you will need to navigate to the Device Manager and then open the Printer dropdown from where you can install and re-install the drivers. Here are the detailed steps.

  1. Turn on your computer and go to the control panel
  2. Now go to the Hardware and sound option
  3. Click on the device and printers option and click on open Device manager
  4. Click on the print queues option and a drop-down list will appear
  5. Choose the name of your printer from the drop-down list and right-click on the small icon you see against it
  6. To Uninstall, select the option which says Uninstall device
  7. Click on uninstall again and click confirm
  8. Now go back to the control panel and choose Device and Printers
  9. Search for your printer here and click on it
  10. Now click on the Remove device option which will appear to your right
  11. Your driver is now uninstalled. Here you will get another option which will say reinstall printer driver

Click on the option and the system will automatically reinstall the updated driver on your system. Your Printer driver is unavailable code should now be fixed.

In case you are not able to automatically reinstall the driver then you might have to do it manually.

How to reinstall printer driver manually?

To manually install printer drivers, visit the Device Manager, then the Printer option and you will see the name of your printer. From here you can reinstall the drivers. Here is how you can do it.

  1. Turn on the computer and press Windows + R to launch Run
  2. Now on the run dialogue box type ‘devmgmt. msc’ and press enter
  3. Go to the control panel and click on the Hardware and sound option
  4. Click on the device and printers option and click on open Device manager
  5. Click on the print queues option and a drop-down list will appear
  6. Right-click on the name of your printer and select update driver
  7. Here you will see a dialogue box that will have ways to update the driver
  8. Click on browse my computer for driver software option and click on ok
  9. Select the driver of your choice that you would like to download and click ok

The error code of the printer driver is unavailable should now be fixed and you should be able to begin printing again. If the error still exists then try using another method to fix it which is by reconnecting the plug and play printers.

How to reconnect plug-and-play printers?

To reconnect plug and play printers, you will need to install them as a fresh printer. When you do this, all issues related to connectivity also go away. 

To reconnect, you need to

  1. Unplug all the cables which connect the printer and the computer
  2. Wait for 30 seconds and replug the cables back to the printer and the computer
  3. A configuration will start on your screen immediately now
  4. In case it fails to start go to your start menu and right-click on it
  5. Go to settings and select the Devices
  6. Now go to printers and scanners and click add a printer or scanner
  7. Give it some time before windows identify your printer
  8. In case windows are unable to find the device then click on The printer that I want isn’t listed
  9. Go to your windows screen again and type Win key + R
  10. This will open the Run dialogue box
  11. In the box type Control Panel and press enter
  12. Now go to Devices and Printers and select your printer from the printers category
  13. Right-click on the printer name and select Set as default printer
  14. Click on ok

You should now be able to start printing again and the error code device not available should also be fixed.


While having a printer at home or office is easy but it needs a lot of maintenance and needs to be regularly updated with the latest technologies so that they function properly without any glitch. In situations when the drivers are not regularly updated they tend to crash or corrupt and hence the error messages appear.

We hope you have enjoyed reading the article today and found it informative. So the next time the printer ‘driver is unavailable’ error appears we hope this article will be able to help and guide you to fix the issue.

Mark Manson

Mark Manson is the Founder, Senior Editor here at UP3DUSA blog. Apart from being a geek, he loves playing and watching football!

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