Update and manage printer drivers

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

The following sections provide information about how to perform a variety of tasks when you update or 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.

To add client printer drivers to the print server

  1. Right-click the printer to which you want to add additional printer drivers, and then click Manage Sharing.

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    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.

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. Right-click the printer with the driver that you want to change or update, and then click Properties.

  2. Click the Advanced tab.

  3. 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 Vista or Windows Server 2008, 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. Delete any printers on the print server that use the driver that you want to delete, or change the driver that is used by each printer to another driver.

  2. In the Print Management tree, click Drivers.

  3. Remove only the driver (which leaves the driver .inf file and related files on the server), or remove the printer-driver package:

    • To delete only the installed driver files, right-click the driver and then click Delete.

    • To remove the driver package from the driver store, completely removing the driver from the computer, right-click the driver and then click Remove driver package.

Additional references

Community Additions