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The Printer Does Not Print in Windows 8 and is Listed as 'Unknown' or 'Unspecified' or Appears with a Yellow Triangle in the Devices and Printers Folder

  • PrintPrint

Issue

After you connect your HP printer to the computer using a USB, wired (Ethernet), or wireless connection, the printer does not print. When you check the Devices and Printers folder, you see an 'unknown' or 'unspecified' icon or the printer icon displays with an exclamation point inside a yellow triangle. The printer does not display as an available printer that you can print or scan to.
This issue can occur under the following conditions:
  • The printer has a Windows Update driver available for download from the Internet, but the computer is not connected to the Internet.
  • For printers with Full Feature driver support, a Full Feature driver for Windows 8 has not yet been installed.
NOTE:If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, the information in this document might not match. You can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.

Solution

Follow these steps in the order presented to resolve the issue.
Important : To resolve the issue, the computer must be connected to the Internet.

Step one: Uninstall the printer software

Follow the steps to uninstall the printer software for your connection type.
  1. Disconnect the USB cable from the printer and the computer (if you already connected it). If the printer is connected to a network, leave it connected.
  2. Press the Power button to turn on the printer.
  3. Right-click the Start button ( ) in the lower left corner of the screen, and then click Programs and Features .
  4. Right-click your HP printer's name, and then click Uninstall .
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to uninstall the software.
  6. Repeat these steps for each occurrence of your printer's name until none remain in the list.
    If an error message displays while you are uninstalling the software, follow these steps.
    1. Click OK to close the error message.
    2. Right-click the Start button ( ) in the lower left corner of the screen, click Search , and then type administrative tools .
    3. Click Administrative Tools in the results.
    4. Double-click Print Management , and then double-click All Drivers .
    5. Find every instance of the printer you are trying to uninstall, right-click the name, and then click Delete .
    6. Close the Print Management window, return to Programs and Features , and then continue uninstalling the remaining printer software.
NOTE:Do not disconnect the printer from the network to uninstall the software.
  1. Right-click the Start button ( ) in the lower left corner of the screen, and then click Programs and Features .
  2. Right-click your HP printer's name, and then click Uninstall .
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to uninstall the software.

Step two: Download and reinstall the printer software

Not all HP printers support a Full Feature driver for Windows 8. Some printers only support an in-OS driver. (An in-OS driver is a driver that comes pre-installed in Windows 8 and allows basic print, fax, and scan capabilities.) HP recommends that you use the HP Printer Install wizard to find the best print driver for your printer.
The HP Printer Install Wizard works with printers connected with a USB cable or with a wired (Ethernet) or wireless network connection. If you want to connect your printer wirelessly, but it is not on a wireless network, you need to temporarily connect the printer with a USB cable to run the Printer Install Wizard.
Click the link to the tool to download it to your computer, and then follow the steps run it to find the best driver for your printer.
NOTE:The HP Printer Install Wizard is not available for all printers and is available only for the Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems.
Link to toolFile size
HP Printer Install Wizard > 1MB
  1. Press the Power button to turn on the printer, if it is not already on.
  2. Make sure that the printer is connected to the computer via a USB cable or a wired or wireless network connection.
    NOTE: If you would like to connect your printer wirelessly, but it is not on a wireless network, you need to temporarily connect the printer with a USB cable to run the Printer Install Wizard.
  3. Make sure that your computer has an Internet connection. The wizard must access the Internet to work correctly.
  4. Click Next to begin the utility. The wizard displays a list of detected products.
  5. If the wizard detects more than one printer, select your HP printer from the list.
    If your printer is not in the list, click My Printer is not listed , and then follow the on-screen instructions.
  6. The wizard automatically displays the best available driver for your HP printer.
    • If a full feature driver
      This driver provides full product functionality. HP also includes valuable software to help you get the most out of your printer.
      is available, the wizard detects it. Click Next to download and install the software. For full functionality, HP recommends installing the full feature driver if it is available.
    • If an in-Operating System (in-OS) driver
      An in-OS driver is a basic driver that is already included in the operating system. You do not need to download or install any software from HP.
      is available, the wizard explains that the driver is already installed. It also supplies a link to more information about using the in-OS driver with your printer.
    • If a Windows Update driver
      Windows Update automatically searches for and installs the latest printer driver when you connect the printer to the computer.
      is available, the wizard explains that the driver is already installed. It will also supply a link to more information about using a Windows Update driver.
    • If an alternate driver
      For some products that do not have a driver available, there might be another compatible driver that you can use instead.
      is available, the wizard supplies a link to learn how to install and configure the alternate driver for your printer.
      NOTE:Alternate drivers are supported by Windows 7 only.
Follow these steps to download and then reinstall the printer software.
  1. Turn on the printer.
  2. Disconnect the USB cable from the printer and the computer (if you already connected it). If the printer is connected to your network, leave it connected.
  3. Go to HP Drivers & Downloads . If prompted, type your printer model number, click Go , and then click Drivers .
  4. Make sure that your operating system is selected, and then click Next .
  5. Scroll down the page, and then click Driver .
  6. Click Download , and then follow the on-screen instructions to save the software to your computer.
  7. Open the folder where the software file saved (usually Downloads ), double-click the file, and then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
Video of downloading and installing the Full Feature software with a USB connection
The following video demonstrates how to download and install the Full Feature software with a USB connection in Windows 8.
If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click here to play the video on YouTube .
Video of downloading and installing the Full Feature software with a wireless connection
The following video demonstrates how to download and install a Full Feature driver with a wireless connection in Windows 8.
If you have trouble viewing the video or to view the video in a different size, click or tap here to play the video on YouTube .
If the printer does not have a Full Feature driver available, you can install the Windows Update driver manually. First, click your connection type.
Follow these steps to install a Windows Update driver using a USB connection.
  1. Make sure that the printer is turned on.
  2. Right-click the Start button ( ) in the lower left corner of the screen, click Search , and then type Change device installation settings .
  3. Click Change device installation settings .
  4. If it is not already selected, click Yes, do this automatically (recommended) , and then click Save changes .
    NOTE:Windows 8 might prompt you to restart the computer. Make sure that you bookmark this page so that you can quickly access it again.
    Your Windows 8 computer can now automatically detect the most current in-OS print drivers and then download and install them using Windows Update.
  5. Reconnect the USB cable to the printer, and then to the computer. The drivers should install.
      If the Windows Update installation does not begin automatically, follow these steps to add the printer using Devices and Printers.
      1. Right-click the Start button ( ) in the lower left corner of the screen, click Search , and then type Devices and Printers .
      2. Click Devices and Printers .
      3. Click Add a printer . The computer searches for available printers and then displays a list of printers.
      4. Click your printer, and then click Next . Windows automatically detects your printer and then installs the correct driver.
      5. After the installation completes, the Add Printer window displays. Either accept the default printer name or rename it, and then click Next .
      6. Choose whether you want to set the printer as the default printer, and then click Finish .
Follow these steps to install a Windows Update driver using a network connection.
  1. Make sure that the printer is turned on and connected to the network.
  2. Right-click the Start button ( ) in the lower left corner of the screen, click Search , and then type Change device installation settings .
  3. Click Change device installation settings .
  4. If it is not already selected, click Yes, do this automatically (recommended) , and then click Save Changes .
    NOTE:Windows 8 might prompt you to restart the computer. Make sure that you bookmark this page so that you can quickly access it again.
    Your Windows 8 computer can now automatically detect the most current in-OS print drivers and then download and install them using Windows Update.
  5. Reconnect the printer to the network. The drivers should install.
      If the Windows Update installation does not begin automatically, follow these steps to add the printer using Devices and Printers .
      1. Right-click the Start button ( ) in the lower left corner of the screen, click Search , and then type Devices and Printers .
      2. Click Devices and Printers .
      3. Click Add a printer . The computer searches for available printers and then displays a list of printers.
      4. Click your printer, and then click Next . Windows automatically detects your printer and installs the correct driver.
      5. After the installation completes, the Add Printer window displays. Either accept the default printer name or rename it, and then click Next .
      6. Choose whether you want to share the printer over the network, and then click Next .
      7. Choose whether you want to set the printer as the default printer, and then click Finish .
If you have tried all of the preceding solutions in the order presented , and the issue is not resolved, try the following resource for more information.
HP Consumer Forums
See what other customers are saying at the HP forums .

HP Support forums

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