Printer is not recognized by PC

Printer is not recognized by the PC

When you buy a new inkjet printer or even a laser printer, you have chosen the device based on its performance and reliability. A printer is installed relatively quickly. However, before you can print, the correct connection must be chosen. With a PC, you can choose between USB and WLAN. However, optimal detection does not always take place. Therefore, we would like to briefly explain to you below why your printer may not be recognized.

Table of contents

Printer is not recognized despite the driver

During the initial setup, every printer needs a suitable printer driver that is tailored precisely to the operating system used. A new printer is usually supplied with a CD or even DVD containing various printer programs and, of course, the driver.

Please note, however, that the printers are usually in stock for a long time and that the drivers on the CD are therefore often out of date. If your printer is not correctly recognized after a driver installation and does not respond to your print job, you should try to get the latest driver. You can find this primarily on the support page of the respective printer manufacturer.

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Printer is not recognized by the PC

If your printer is not recognized by the PC, we recommend that you check the connection step by step. Of course, the printer must be connected to a 230 volt socket and switched on. So press the power button to see if the printer responds. At least a signal light or the printer display must appear.

If your PC does not respond to the printer, you should restart your PC and printer. In most cases, the printer is then initialized and recognized by the computer. Ideally, you would connect your PC to the printer using a USB cable.

This is the easiest and safest way to check that the printer is working properly. To be on the safe side, you should not use a USB hub, as these components often lose their connection.

In some cases, however, the supplied USB printer cable can also be defective. Many of these cables are very filigree. Cable breaks are not uncommon. You can determine whether there is such a cable break by bending and twisting it slightly. In this case, you need to replace the USB cable.

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Printer is not recognized by the laptop

Many use a laptop and therefore want to print from it too. A printer is connected in a similar way to a PC. Again, you can use a USB cable to connect the printer. With some manufacturers, special printer programs are supplied, such as the HP Solution Center. This program does not always work properly. Some users have therefore reported in relevant forums that the program interferes with the printer.

Even when a new driver was installed, the HP laptop could no longer print. In part, this is a faulty printer installation in which special cleaning programs have deleted important entries. For this reason, the printer should be completely deleted via the control panel of the operating system and then reinstalled.

It is important that you do not connect the USB cable to the printer until the HP software instructs you to do so. Basically the same problems can arise as with a PC. The only difference between the laptops is their mobility.

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Printer is not recognized in Windows 10

If you are using the new Windows 10 operating system, the connected printer may not be recognized. Again, you should take the following steps:

  • The printer must be connected to the power supply and switched on.
  • It is helpful to briefly turn the printer off and then on again.
  • If the printer is connected wirelessly via WLAN, the correct network must be selected and the appropriate access data entered.
  • If possible, activate the printer with a USB cable.
  • If one USB port doesn’t work, try another one.
  • Windows tries to install the printer driver from its own driver database.
  • Be sure to install the latest driver.

Of course, you can also set up your printer manually under Windows 10. To do this, proceed as follows:

  • Go to the Control Panel and then to ‚ÄúHardware and Sound‚ÄĚ.
  • Here click on “Devices and Printers”.
  • Select the Add Printer option.
  • Windows 10 will now search for all connected printers.
  • Select the option ‚ÄúThe printer that I want isn’t listed‚ÄĚ.
  • If you select the second and fourth points here, you can enter the printer using its IP address and port.
  • The installation wizard guides you through the entire installation up to the point “Install driver”.
  • Now choose a source to install the latest driver.

Your printer should then be recognized by Windows 10.

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Printer is not recognized in Windows 7

Instead of Windows 10, many still use the tried and tested Windows 7 as the operating system, even if it has not been supported for too long. The setup is done in a similar way to Windows 10. However, the Windows 7 database is not as up-to-date as it is under Windows 10. This is why it is best to install the printer manually using the driver CD supplied or with a current driver from the Internet.

  • Open the start menu and click on “Devices and Printers”.
  • Here click on “Devices and Printers”.
  • Click there again on “Add printer”.
  • Then select “Add a local printer”.
  • Then click on “Install the printer driver”.
  • Then follow the instructions of the installation wizard.
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The Mac does not recognize the printer

Of course, we don’t want to let you down as a Mac user.¬†If you have a¬†Macintosh with Mac OS, there is usually a¬†problem¬†with a¬†device driver¬†if the printer is not recognized.¬†Proceed as follows:

  • Make sure your printer is turned on and connected to your Mac.
  • Go to the Apple website and see if your printer is supported by the Mac OS.
  • Enter the key combination “CMD + F” and the model number of your printer.
  • If the printer is listed there, you will also find the printer driver there.
  • In the right column, D stands for ‚ÄúPrint‚ÄĚ, F for ‚ÄúFax‚ÄĚ and S for ‚ÄúScan‚ÄĚ.
  • To update the driver, click on the upper left Apple logo.
  • Select the entry “Software update”.
  • Click the latest update and download the device driver.
  • The driver will install itself and then restart your Mac.
  • Under the “Printer” settings you can now check whether your printer has now been recognized.

The printer is not always properly recognized by your Mac. You should therefore reset the printer system despite the latest software. To do this, you have to delete the installed printer as follows:

  • Go to the settings for “Print & Fax”.
  • The installed printers are listed by right-clicking.
  • Call up the “Reset” function and close the warning with “Ok”.
  • The printer list should then be empty again.
  • With the plus sign at the bottom left you can now manually add a new printer.
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Printer is not recognized by the USB port

A USB printer cable usually corresponds to the current USB 2.0 standard. A standard a socket is used for the PC side and a standard B socket for the printer. It should be noted that not only your printer is connected to the USB ports of a PC, but also your keyboard, mouse, external hard drive and other external devices . A USB port is even required to transfer photos from your digital camera. As mentioned earlier, a broken cable can result in the printer not being recognized. It is interesting that there are different USB standards. These have different transmission speeds:

  • USB 1.1 with 12 Mbit / s.
  • USB 2.0 with 480 Mbit / s.
  • USB 3.0 with 4 GBit / s.
  • USB 3.1 with 10 GBit / s.
  • USB 3.2 with 20 GBit / s.

In the printer sector, the USB 1.1 to 3.0 standards play a decisive role. Fortunately, the ports are backwards compatible. However, this also means that a fast printer with USB 3.0 on a USB 1.1 port only achieves the slow transfer speed. Due to such incompatibility may cause disconnections come.

If the printer is not recognized at a USB port and the operating system even outputs an error message, you should use a different USB cable or a different USB port on your PC. Even if they look the same, there can still be differences in the type of connection.

Unclean driver installations often lead to the printer being declared as an unknown device. Use a good uninstaller and uninstall all printer software and drivers. Only then should you install the new printer driver and check whether it is recognized via the USB port.

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Printer is not recognized by the wireless network

So far we have mainly dealt with the wired printer connection. However, most inkjet and laser printers and their multifunctional models also support wireless WLAN connection. With this connection option, you can print much more flexibly, especially since the printer does not necessarily have to be in the immediate vicinity of the PC. However, it can be quite frustrating when the wireless printer is not recognized. A wireless printer requires a wireless connection to your wireless router.

Incidentally, Windows 10 automatically detects a wireless printer. Of course, this has to be switched on. Then proceed as follows:

  • Open the Control Panel and go to ‚ÄúHardware and Sound‚ÄĚ.
  • Select ‚ÄúDevices and Printers‚ÄĚ.
  • Click on ‚ÄúAdd Printer‚ÄĚ.
  • Set up the printer as the default printer.

If the printer was not found, go to the¬†option¬†‚ÄúThe printer I want is not in the list‚ÄĚ.¬†You can now¬†set up¬†your¬†printer manually.¬†Click on the item “Bluetooth, wireless or network printer”.¬†You can also¬†install¬†your wireless printer by entering the¬†TCP / IP address.¬†You can¬†find out¬†this address¬†from your wireless router.¬†Be sure to install the supplied¬†printer software and drivers.¬†If necessary, update them via the Internet.

Before you can use your wireless printer, you need the right wireless encryption. This is usually located on the back of your wireless router. Enter the letter-number combination when installing your printer. This ensures that no unauthorized person has access to your printer. If a wireless printer is not recognized or does not respond to print jobs, the following problems may have occurred:

  • the range between printer, router and PC is too great
  • the firewall is preventing access to the printer
  • You have selected the wrong WLAN network
  • You have entered the wrong WiFi key
  • the WiFi signal does not come through thick walls and floors

As a rule, however, it is hardly difficult to operate a WLAN printer wirelessly with the PC.

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Printer is not recognized by the Fritzbox

The Fritzbox is a router from the German company AVM. The provider has become known for its modern WLAN routers. The Fritzbox offers a fast and stable WLAN connection between the integrated WLAN end devices. You can not only operate your PC here, but also your wireless printer.

It is interesting that you can not only connect a modern WLAN printer, but also a conventional inkjet or laser printer via the integrated USB interface. You therefore have to connect your printer directly to the Fritbox using a USB cable and still have wireless access to this printer from anywhere. Most modern printers can be automatically connected to a Fritzbox . Here, too, you should select a WLAN printer as printer via the control panel and enter the WLAN security key. But it is also possible to configure the printer manually via the deadline box. Follow these steps:

  • Call up the address “” via the browser
  • Go to the menu item “System” and then to “View”
  • Activate the advanced view to see the DHCP server
  • Click on “Apply”
  • Then go to the “home network” and there to the point “network”
  • In the network settings select the option “IPv4 addresses”
  • Check the box next to DHCP server
  • Enter the DHCP range here, such as “ to” and acknowledge with “Ok”
  • Then go to the menu item “WLAN” and then to “Wireless Network”
  • Activate the item “WLAN devices are allowed to communicate with each other”

You can then search for your printer via the control panel. Now enter the WiFi password. After that, the wireless printer should have a stable connection to your system.

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Printer is not recognized on the network

Some printers are used on corporate networks. If the printer cannot be found in the network, there is either an error in the network connection or the printer driver is missing.

Connect your printer to the LAN port on the network using the LAN cable. With modern printers, you can now print out a test report that shows whether a network connection has been established. If necessary, enter the network address of your printer manually. The prerequisite is that the network administrator has given access to a new network device. In order to optimally register the printer in the network, you should make a note of the MAC address and the IP address. Assign a fixed IP address in the DHCPv4 server. You may have to restart the printer again. Then it should be in the network.

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Printer is not recognized by the LPT port

Only in rare cases is a printer connected via the traditional LPT port. This parallel interface is also known as the Centronics interface. It represents the first functioning printer interface in the PC area. Many older laser printers still have this connection. But even old ink jets are still equipped with an LPT connection.

Compared to the modern USB and WLAN solutions, the LPT port can be seen as very reliable. It is only in rare cases that the connected printer is not recognized. This is only the case if there is mechanical damage to the cable. The plug connections are relatively large, so that individual pins can bend if improperly used. These parallel printer cables are still available from specialist retailers for older printers.

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Printer problems with printer cartridges and toner

In some cases, a printer is not recognized because faulty printer or toner cartridges are preventing it from functioning. In this case, you should replace these consumables. By the way, here at Copiac you can get the right printer and toner cartridges for almost all printer models at affordable prices.

In addition to the originals, we would also like to¬†recommend¬†our¬†compatible models.¬†This enables the¬†printing costs to be minimized enormously.¬†Likewise, the¬†manufacturer’s¬†warranty for your printer is not affected in any way.


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