What is a Printer Driver?

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For the most part, printer drivers typically run quietly in the background. It can seem like when you are least expecting it that an error code displays on your computer or your printing device generates bad output, printing pages showing hieroglyphics instead of text. 

Occasionally, software updates have been known to corrupt or erase printer drivers. This can cause communication or connectivity issues that disrupt your print jobs.

In addition, if the incorrect page size is sent due to a printer driver update or corruption, your printing device could display an error message. It's also possible that the device will no longer accept the command buttons you may be pushing repeatedly in frustrated confusion.

In order to better prepare for the possibility of this happening at your business, let’s learn more about what printer drivers are and how they are used.

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What is a Printer Driver?

A printer driver is a type of software that translates the data from a printing request into a language that the printing device will understand. Printer drivers allow applications to print without being aware of the technical details of each printer model. A multifunctional piece of software, printer drivers convert data as well as control the printer by performing such tasks as telling the device which type of paper to use, binding options, etc.

Printer drivers are typically created for a specific brand and model of printer. They are usually not interchangeable between brands. That’s why it’s important to always use the correct driver with your printing device. Confirming the correct driver is in use, will save future headaches.

However, there are instances sometimes when a printer driver is noted as being a universal printer driver. This generic type of printer driver could potentially be used for multiple brands of printers.

But experts recommend downloading the brand-name driver designed for your device, for best fit.

Printer Driver Problems

Printer drivers can often be a common cause of printing device issues.

In fact, printer driver problems are most commonly due to the printer driver being missing, not up-to-date, incompatible with the operating system or corrupt.

What Can I Do to Fix It? 

Troubleshooting techniques differ based on the type of printer driver problem that you are experiencing and the brand/model of your printing device. However, there are a few standard things to keep in mind when trying to find a resolution.

A good starting point is to simply check your printer’s connections to make sure that all cords and cables are plugged in securely. Then turn your printer off, wait a few minutes, and restart your printer and software application.

Another option is to check and see if the version of printer driver installed in your device is the most current one available. If it is not, you can download a suitable printer driver from the manufacturer’s website.

Be sure that you navigate to the manufacturer’s official website and not an imposter site. Downloaded software from an incorrect site could contain a virus or other malware that could potentially harm your printing device or your network.

When you’re ready, remove the current printer driver software and replace with the up-to-date version.

It is recommended that you update your printer drivers, regularly. This will help to prevent printer driver conflicts and improve device performance.

A Managed Print Services Provider Can Help

Also, consider working with a Managed Print Services (MPS) provider. If your print devices allows, a MPS provider can configure the settings to automatically install driver updates as they are released.

At Gordon Flesch Company (GFC), we also offer a webpage with quick links to print drivers for the brand names of devices that we provide. Just go to our Drivers & Utilities webpage and click on the logo of the manufacturer of your printing device. You’ll be immediately directed to the manufacturer’s webpage for easily downloadable printer drivers and additional support information.

Working with an experienced MPS provider can benefit your business.

Did you know? Organizations of all sizes are increasingly enlisting the help of MPS providers to streamline business technology processes, increase productivity and save money. Contact us for a free, no obligation needs assessment to learn more. 

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