After you have connected the power and data cables to the printer, the operating system discovers the printer and installs the driver.

A printer driver is a software program that enables the computer and the printer to communicate with each other. The driver also provides an interface for the user to configure printer options. Each printer model has a unique driver. Printer manufacturers frequently update drivers to increase the performance of the printer, to add options, or to fix problems. You can download updated printer drivers from the manufacturer’s website.

To install a printer driver, follow these steps:

Step 1. Determine if a newer driver is available. Most manufacturers’ websites have a link to a page that offers drivers and support. Make sure that the driver is compatible with the computer and operating system that you are updating.

Step 2. Download the printer driver files to your computer. Most driver files are compressed or “zipped.” Download the file to a folder and uncompress the contents. Save instructions or documentation to a separate folder on your computer.

Step 3. Install the downloaded driver. Install the downloaded driver automatically or manually. Most printer drivers have a setup file that automatically searches the system for older drivers and replaces them with the new one. If no setup file is available, follow the directions supplied by the manufacturer.

Step 4. Test the new printer driver. Run multiple tests to make sure that the printer works properly. Use a variety of applications to print different types of documents. Change and test each printer option.

The printed test page should contain text that is readable. If the text is unreadable, the problem could be a bad driver program or the wrong PDL is being used.