Windows

Printer Driver Information: How to determine the version and type of a Printer Driver

A Printer Driver is a software that your computer uses to communicate with a Printer. It is a piece of software on a computer that converts the data to be printed to a format that the printer can interpret. The purpose of printer drivers is to allow applications to do printing without being aware of the technical details of each printer model. Here are some articles relating to Print Drivers I have written; how to delete obsolete drivers from the Driver Store in Windows 10 and how to rename a Printer in Windows 10.

Most printers require that you install the latest printer driver so that the printer will work well. Printer drivers should not be confused with print spoolers, which queue print jobs and send them successively to a printer.

How to determine the version type of a Driver? There are absolutely many ways to determine the Printer Driver version in Windows 10.
1: Via PowerShell Print Management Cmdlets (Get-Printer cmdlet): In order to run the command below, ensure the print spooler service is running and that PowerShell is run in Admin privilege.

You may want to discover the Drivers installed on your Device. To do this run the following cmdlet below.

Get-Printer -ComputerName <PCname> | Format-List Name,DriverName

Note:You can also use the Print Management console to determine the drivers installed on your PC. Like I said ealier, there are many ways to go about this.

Now that we have the Printer name, we can then determine the Printer version by entering the cmdlets below.

Get-PrinterDriver -ComputerName <devicename> -Name ">printername>*"

Nowadays, printer drivers are either version 3 or 4. You may be able to check the version in the INF file but not always.

Note: The major difference between a Type 3 and a Type 4 driver is. Type 4 can facilitate print service management because standard end-users can install them without administrative rights. Otherwise, adjustments can be made using Group Policy.

The v3 model relies heavily on OEMs to produce customized drivers for each specific device to make sure that specific features of each print device can be accessed by Windows applications. Managing a printing infrastructure using the v3 driver model requires the administrator to manage a large number of drivers, and to manage drivers on client machines as well as servers, resulting in the requirement to manage both 32-bit and 64-bit print drivers to support both of these client architectures.

2: Via the Windows Setting (Print Server Properties). Navigate through the following steps below in order to determine the Printer Information (version).
– Open the Control Panel and go to Devices and Printers or
– Click on Windows Settings, navigate to Printers and Scanners and click on an existing printer to make the button Printer server properties appear in the top menu.

Alternatively, you can click on the server properties to view the entire installed drivers by
- Clicking on the Printer server properties and go to the Drivers tab. Here you will find the currently installed printer drivers including their versions (type)

You can now close all the dialog boxes that are open.

Alternatively, you can also determine version of drivers in the following way
- Open Device Manager from Start menu or search in Start menu.
- Expand the respective component driver to be checked, right-click the driver, then select Properties.
- Go to the Driver tab and the Driver Version is shown.

Note: Using the version 4 driver model, OEMs can provide Print Class Drivers that support features that are common to a broad set of devices that use the same printer description language, such as PCL, PS, or XPS.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session. I welcome you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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