Tag Archives: Printer Models, Reviews & Comparison

How to Find Printer Drivers & Software for Older Printer Model

If you want to ensure that your older printer keeps working well with the rest of your hardware and software, then you may need to update those drivers and other software occasionally. However, identifying these items for an older model printer can be a challenge. Below are some tips that can help you.

Why Drivers are Important for Printers

Without the right driver, your printer is simply not going to work with the rest of your hardware. A driver is a piece of software that basically acts as a translator between your printer and your computer. It ensures that communicate flawlessly so you can actually print the materials you need.

Free Ways to Find Printer Drivers

Before you abandon your older but perfectly functional printer because of a lack of driver support, make sure to check these potential sources:

  • The manufacturer. Many manufacturers continue to have downloadable drivers available for free through their web sites even for older models. For example, the Epson.com site still makes available drivers for the Epson Stylus C80 which was first released in 2001.
  • PrintCountry.com. If you want an easier solution, you can go to PrintCountry.com. Once there you have to select the brand and model of your printer and the operating system you are currently using. The driver is then emailed directly to you instantly. The service is completely free to use and includes a large catalog of brands and models to choose from.

Paid Services for Finding Drivers & Software

Besides the options listed above, you can also find a few sites that give you access to drivers and software for older printer models but only if you are a paid subscriber to the site. Choosing this option is rarely the best solution for several reasons:

  • Available for free elsewhere. Although you may feel desperate to locate the drivers and other software for your printer so it work with your hardware, you can find these downloads for free using other methods, including the ones listed above. These are downloads that were always available for free so it does not make sense to start paying for them now.
  • No more convenient. These paid sites argue that they provide a more convenient option for finding drivers and software for these printer models because everything can be located through one web site. While digging through a manufacturer’s web site can take time and patience, the PrintCountry.com alternative is very similar in set-up to most of these paid services (better, in fact, than the search features used in some) but the service is completely free.

Another Option

If the options above do not help you locate the driver software you need for your printer model, there is another option if you are using a Windows operating system. Microsoft includes a number of built-in drivers for printers and along with these it adds a “Generic/Text Only” driver that is not designed to work with any specific model. Your printing options will be limited if you choose this driver but it will prevent your old model from becoming nothing more than a bulky paperweight.

How to Find Hardware and Printer Driver for MAC or Old Windows OS

While newer Windows operating systems come with many of the drivers you’d need to operate a wide-range of hardware, including printers, if you haven’t upgraded, you’re using a MAC, or your hardware isn’t currently supported by the OS then you may need to start searching for your own downloads of these files.

The Reason You Need Those Drivers

Drivers are software that allows your hardware to communicate with your computer. For example, if you have a printer it needs to be able to communicate with your printer so you can have it print off those documents you create. Without drivers, your hardware will either not work at all or won’t have its full functionality available.

Finding Drivers for MACs

If you are looking for drivers to use with hardware for your MAC, here are a few options to check out:

  • Apple.com. If you are using the latest MAC OS, you can find a slew of drivers available for free download directly through the Apple web site. You simply go under “Downloads” and select “Drivers” from the left hand options. Unfortunately, you may not find a wide selection of drivers for older software at this site.
  • PrintCountry.com. If you need a printer driver for use with a MAC running MAC OS, MAC OS 8, MAC OS 9, or MAC OS X then you can download it for free at this site. You’ll need to choose the brad and model of your printer, then select your operating system, and submit your email address. You will be sent the driver to download.

Finding Drivers for Old Windows OS

Many people have chosen not to update their Windows operating system but that can pose a problem when you need to find drivers for the hardware you want to use with that un-updated computer. The good news is you can track down some of those drivers online.

  • PrintCountry.com. Just as with the MAC drivers discussed above, if you need to find a hard-to-find driver for a printer this is one of the best spots to visit. The site carries drivers for dozens of printer models and has drivers available for Windows Vista, XP, NT, ME, 2000, 98, 95, and 3x. The process is the same as above and the download is free of charge.
  • CNET Download.com. If you’re in need of non-printer drivers, you might want to visit this site which carries about 980 pages worth of device drivers for Windows operating systems going all the way back to the 3x OS which was released in 1992. You can even find some DOS drivers there as well.

Hardware Manufacturers

Regardless of the OS, you can usually find a decent amount of available drivers by going directly to the web site for the hardware’s manufacturer. They maintain drivers for their items for quite a long time. Before searching, be sure to have the model name and number available so you can find the correct driver for your hardware.

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