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Update and Manage Printer Drivers

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

The following sections provide information about how to use the Print Management snap-in to manage printer drivers on a print server:

Add drivers for client computers running 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows

To support client computers that use different processor architectures than the print server, you must install additional drivers. For example, if your print server is running a 64-bit version of Windows and you want to support client computers running 32-bit versions of Windows, you must add x86-based drivers for each printer.

noteNote
You can add printer drivers that are up to 2GB in size. You will not be able to back up printer drivers that are larger than 2GB.

To add client printer drivers to the print server
  1. Open Print Management.

  2. In the left pane, click Print Servers, click the applicable print server, and then click Printers.

  3. In the center pane, right-click the printer to which you want to add additional printer drivers, and then click Manage Sharing.

  4. Click Additional Drivers. The Additional Drivers dialog box appears.

  5. Select the check box of the processor architecture for which you want to add drivers.

    For example, if the print server is running an x64-based edition of Windows, select the x86 check box to install 32-bit version printer drivers for client computers running 32-bit versions of Windows.

  6. If the print server does not already have the appropriate printer drivers in its driver store, Windows prompts you for the location of the driver files. Download and extract the appropriate driver files, and then in the dialog box that appears, specify the path to the .inf file of the driver.

    noteNote
    You might not be able to extract some printer drivers without installing them. If this is the case, log on to a client computer that uses the same processor architecture as the printer drivers that you want to add to the print server, and install those printer drivers. Then use Print Management from the client computer to connect to the print server, and add the additional drivers from the Additional Drivers dialog box. Windows automatically uploads the drivers from the client computer to the print server.

Update or change printer drivers

To update or change the printer drivers for a printer, use the following procedure. Client computers automatically download and install the updated printer drivers the next time they attempt to print to the printer.

noteNote
When installing printer drivers that are provided by the device manufacturer, follow the instructions provided with the printer driver instead of using this procedure.

To update or change printer drivers for a printer
  1. Open Print Management.

  2. In the left pane, click Print Servers, click the applicable print server, and then click Printers.

  3. In the center pane, right-click the printer with the driver that you want to change or update, and then click Properties.

  4. Click the Advanced tab.

  5. Select a new driver from the Driver box, or click New Driver to install a new printer driver.

Remove printer drivers

When you install a printer driver on a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows first installs the printer driver to the local driver store, and then installs it from the driver store.

When removing printer drivers, you have the option to delete only the printer driver or remove the entire printer-driver package. If you delete the printer driver, Windows uninstalls the printer driver, but leaves the printer-driver package in the driver store to allow you to reinstall the driver at some point. If you remove the printer-driver package, Windows removes the package from the driver store, completely removing the printer driver from the computer.

To remove printer drivers from a server, use the following procedure:

To remove printer drivers
  1. Open Print Management.

  2. In the left pane, click Print Servers, click the applicable print server, and then click Printers.

  3. In the center pane, right-click those printers that use the driver that you want to delete, or change the driver that is used by each printer to another driver.

  4. In the left pane, click Print Servers, click the applicable print server, and then click Drivers.

  5. In the center pane, right-click the driver and do one of the following:

    • To delete only the installed driver files, click Delete.

    • To remove the driver package from the driver store, completely removing the driver from the computer, click Remove Driver Package.

Additional considerations

  • To open Print Management, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Print Management.

  • You must have administrative credentials to perform this task.

Additional references

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