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How to Download and Install the Latest HP Printer Software

How to Download and Install the Latest HP Printer Software

Zach Cabading
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At HP, we make it easy to download, install, and update your HP printer software.
If you’ve just bought a new HP printer, or if you’re trying to reinstall the software on your existing printer, just go to HP Customer Support - Software and Driver Downloads, enter your device name, and choose your desired software from the available list.

Types of HP printer software

As you may or may not know, you can’t just plug a new printer into your computer and expect it to start printing within seconds. First, you’ve got to install software that’ll enable your computer to work with that printer. That’s why a lot of people are hesitant about buying a new printer: they don’t want to deal with all the hassle of installing new software.
Do not fear - HP is here! We’ve created a simple, streamlined process that makes it easy to install new HP printer software on your computer, whether you’re trying to set up a new printer or trying to re-install the software for your existing printer. And the best part? HP printer software is free.
There are two types of HP printer software that you can download:
  • Printer drivers
  • Printer management software

What is a printer driver?

A printer driver is a piece of software that translates your computer data into a format your printer can understand. Each printer is built with different hardware and software, so your computer needs to learn how to give instructions to each particular machine. That’s what a printer driver is used for.
  • A driver helps your computer understand the printer’s technical details, and how to transfer data to it
  • A driver transfers print data to the printer in a language it can understand
Imagine if you were trying to give instructions to someone who speaks a different language than you. A printer driver would be like your own personal translator who could relay your instructions in the appropriate language.
If a printer driver is not installed on your computer, or if it’s improperly installed, then your computer won’t be able to detect the printer or complete even the simplest printing tasks. Whenever you buy a new printer, you’ll have to install that printer’s driver on every computer that you wish to print from.

HP Printer Assistant

When you download a driver for an HP printer (any model built in 2010 or later), the driver will automatically install software called HP Printer Assistant. HP Printer Assistant provides a simple interface for you to:
  • Launch printing, scanning, and faxing tasks
  • Adjust your printer settings
  • Select output folders
  • Monitor your printer supply levels

What is the HP Smart app?

If you’ve got a smartphone or tablet that runs on either Android or Apple iOS, then you’ll be able to use the HP Smart app with compatible printers. Use HP Smart to:
  • Print and scan from your smartphone or tablet
  • Manage your printer supply levels
If you have photos or documents on your mobile device that you want to print, you can skip the “download to computer” process by using HP Smart to print them wirelessly.
To download HP Smart, just search for it on your device’s app store.

How to update your HP printer software

If you’ve already installed an HP driver on your computer, it may receive periodic updates to fix bugs and implement new features. You don’t want to skip these updates - an outdated driver may cause your printer to stop working with your computer. You can update your driver in a couple of different ways.

Update your driver with Windows Update

  • Restart your computer so you can make sure that any prior updates have been correctly installed
  • Press the Windows key and search for and open Check for updates
  • If there are any updates, they should begin installing automatically - otherwise, you can click Download to begin the installation
  • You can also adjust your Windows Update settings here

Update your driver in Device Manager

  • Press the Windows key and search for and open Device Manager
  • Select the printer that you’ve connected from the list of available devices
  • Right-click the device and select Update driver or Update driver software
  • Click Search automatically for updated driver software
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to install the updated driver
  • Restart your computer

Update your BIOS

Every computer has a Basic Input/Output System (BIOS). It gives your computer instructions for performing basic tasks, and when you download any sort of driver it’ll automatically be saved to your computer’s BIOS. An outdated or malfunctioning BIOS may cause your printer driver to stop working.
Update your BIOS when there are available updates so you can keep your printer and other connected devices working properly. Learn how to update your BIOS here.

HP printer software download and installation

If you’re setting up a new printer, you’ll need to download the driver onto your computer. But you might also need to re-install the driver if it accidentally gets deleted from your computer (maybe during a computer crash or BIOS failure) or if it becomes corrupted.
Here’s how you can download new printer software for your computer:
  • Visit HP Customer Support - Software and Driver Downloads
  • Enter your printer name in the search box - you should be able to find your printer name on the outer shell of your printer
  • Click Enter
  • You might have several different driver options to choose from - review them all and download the ones you deem necessary
  • The most important driver options will be placed at the top of the list
Once you’ve downloaded the printer software, open the downloaded file and you’ll receive step-by-step installation instructions.

HP Universal Print Driver (UPD)

The HP Universal Print Driver (UPD) is a versatile driver that enables your computer to print on a wide variety of supported HP printers, and even on some non-HP printers. This could be a great driver to install if you work in an office that has lots of different printers.
To install the HP Universal Print Driver:
  • Visit HP Customer Support - Software and Driver Downloads
  • Enter your printer name in the search box - you should be able to find your printer name on the outer shell of your printer
  • Click Enter
  • Select the HP Universal Print Driver from the available driver options

How to protect your drivers and software

The biggest threat to your driver and printer software - besides a BIOS crash - is corruption by malware. Corrupted drivers could make it impossible to print and they could even crash your BIOS, which could cause you to lose all your drivers, even the ones that are working fine. When a driver becomes corrupted, you’ll have to uninstall it from the Device Manager program and re-install it from the HP website.
But you can avoid those headaches by using secure programs to ward off computer viruses and malware. Here are a couple of helpful security programs that’ll help you protect your printer software and your drivers.

Firewalls

Computer viruses and malware usually come from the internet, so you should make sure that your computer is equipped with an effective security program. If you run a small business, you should make sure that your office is protected by a network firewall to defend your network against malware.

HP JetAdvantage

HP JetAdvantage On Demand is a great tool to have to keep your office printing secure. This software program is built to help you manage your network of devices that are connected to office printers. But it also comes with intricate security programs that will prevent unauthorized access to web-connected printers - and the computers they’re connected to. Wireless printing is a great feature, but it also exposes your network of devices to all sorts of attacks. That’s why you should consider HP JetAdvantage On Demand a crucial security measure for your small business.

Always download from HP®

When you’re downloading and installing HP printer software, always download from our HP site. Never download HP printer software from third-party websites. Cyber criminals often implant malware and viruses in software that’s provided on third party websites.
Remember; our HP printer software is free. If you are asked to pay for drivers, navigate away from that site immediately!

How to find the right HP printer for you

At HP®, we build printers for everyone. Here’s how you can find the HP printer that’s perfect for your needs.

HP InkJet printers

Inkjet printing is one of the most popular types of digital printing. These printers use ink to create your documents and images, and nearly all models are able to print in both black-and-white and color. But most people choose inkjet printers because they’re able to produce gorgeous color images. Choose an inkjet printer if you want to print professional-quality color photos or any documents that feature color imagery.
We have a couple of different lines of HP InkJet printers, like HP OfficeJet and HP ENVY All-in-One printers. Most of our HP InkJet printer models are also able to scan, copy, and print wirelessly.

HP LaserJet printers

Laser printers are popular for businesses and for those who need to print out a high volume of documents. These printers use lasers and electromagnetism to create documents, and they’re generally much faster than inkjet printers. Most laser printers can’t print color documents, but we do produce a few HP color laser printers that can print high-quality color images at incredible speeds.
No matter what you need to print, you’ll be able to find the perfect printer for your home or office at HP®.

About the Author

Zach Cabading is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Zach is a content creation specialist based in Southern California, and creates a variety of content for the tech industry.

Disclosure: Our site may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

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