When you buy a new printer one of the most important parts of the installation are the software drivers. If this is your first printer you may feel just connecting it to your computer is enough to make it operate but that is not the case at all. Without the software that comes with your printer, you will be unable to use it. Like the software for your operating system, the drivers for your printer tell it what to do and the software for each printer includes different fonts, color varieties and other important information about the printer itself.
If you have had your printer for some time and it tends to not work as efficiently as it once did, it may be necessary to download new drivers. This is especially true if you do not choose settings that perform automatic updates. In most cases, automatic updates will also update the drivers to all the hardware on your computer including printer drivers. The older your printer becomes the more important it is to keep the drivers updated otherwise your printer may reach the point that it becomes incompatible with the other hardware on your system.
If you are replacing your printer do not assume the drivers will be the same even if they are the same manufacturer. It's possible the old drivers may work if you are replacing the same model-for example you didn't have the first one very long when it died or you are buying a second one for another computer in the house. Sometimes the same drivers work on more than one model but do not assume that is the case. Always have the CD with the drivers on it or be prepared to download them before you attempt to use a new printer.
Another thing you want to watch when you are installing the drivers for your printer is using the drivers for your operating system. On some printers, the drivers for Windows XP are the same as those for the MAC while one would think you would use the drivers for the Windows version. Sometimes there is one set of drivers, but you want to make certain that is the case before you attempt to use your printer and discover it is not working.
If you are purchasing a used printer make certain you have the drivers and that the drivers are compatible with your operating system. If you purchase a printer at a second hand store it's essential to ascertain the printer will work with your system. It does no good to attempt to save money if in fact you are not going to be able to use the printer. It is better to pay extra money and buy a printer with device drivers that will work with your operating system rather than buying a cheaper printer with drivers too old to work with your operating system. Making the right choice the first time will save you not only money but aggravation as well.