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Using HP Printer Software: Download, Install, and Fixing Common Problems

written by: C.D. Crowder•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 2/15/2011

Before you use your HP printer, you need the HP printer software. Download HP Windows 7 drivers and software for free from HP. To make the most of your HP printer, the software is a must. A driver is necessary to allow the printer to communicate with your computer.

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    HP Printer Software Download

    DeskJet D1660 The first thing you need to know before your download the HP printer software is the type of printer you have. Locate the name and model, which is typically found on the top or back of the printer. Enter the name in the product search box on the HP Support and Drivers website. For instance, I'll use the HP 5550C as an example.

    Select the radio button Download drivers and software. Enter your HP printer model or name, in this case I would enter 5550C. Press the double arrow search button. Select the model that best matches yours from the available product list. In some cases, this step is unnecessary.

    Choose your software language. The default is English. Choose your operating system from the list of available operating systems. Under the Software section, choose the software you need. Press the Download link to start the download. This will also take you to an instruction page for installing the software.

    Image Credits: HP Deskjet D1660 -

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    Install HP Printer Software

    Once you've downloaded the HP printer software, double-click the executable file to start the installation process. Follow the directions you were provided with when you downloaded the software. For instance, some HP printers must be disconnected while the software is installed. Wait for the installer to tell you when to plug in the cable. Other printers only require the printer to be turned off during the software installation.

    Follow the guided prompts to install your software. You do not have to install all components. For instance, some features may not apply to your needs, such as programs to create cards which may be included.

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    HP Windows 7 Drivers

    For Windows 7 users, many HP printers have Windows 7 drivers available to make the printer compatible with your operating system. Follow the steps from the HP Printer Software Download section. Instead of the Software section, select the most recent driver from the Drivers section. Press the Download link to download the driver.

    Double-click the downloaded driver to start the installation. Follow the prompts to install the driver.

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    Fixing Common Problems

    Two of the most common problems with HP printers are drivers not installing correctly or using the incorrect driver. If you encounter problems communicating with your HP printer, right click Computer and choose Manage. Select Device Manager. Right click your HP printer. Choose Properties. Select the Driver tab. Select Uninstall. This will uninstall the current driver. Restart your computer and install the latest driver available.

    You can also uninstall the printer driver by right-clicking your HP printer from within Devices and Printers. This is located in the start menu.

    Another problem users may encounter is the software not functioning correctly. The best way to fix this problem is by uninstalling and reinstalling the HP printer software. Go to Start, select Control Panel, choose Programs and Features. Locate the HP printer software. Press Uninstall at the top of the program list. Restart your computer and reinstall the software.

    Most other common problems can be fixed by restarting the print spooler or restarting the printer. Go to Start, type Run in the search box and press Enter. Type Net Stop Spooler and press Enter. Wait for the spooler to stop. Type Net Start Spooler and press Enter to restart the spooler.