Microsoft moves printer drivers to Windows Update - gHacks Tech News

Microsoft moves printer drivers to Windows Update

Windows 10 administrators and users who connect printers or scanners to devices running the operating system may have noticed a change in how printer drivers are installed on the devices.

Windows installation media included basic drivers for printers and scanners in versions prior to Windows 10 version 1809; these were installed automatically on the device if a printer or scanner was detected by the operating system so that the devices would work right away.

Windows 10 version 1809 printing changes

Starting in Windows 10 version 1809, Windows 10 installation media does not include the bulk of default drivers for printers or scanners anymore.

Microsoft revealed that it changed how default printer and scanner drivers are distributed in the October 2018 Update for Windows 10 (and going forward).

Here is what happens:

  1. Users who upgrade from a previous version of Windows to Windows 10 version 1809 won't notice any differences as printer and scanner drivers will continue to work just like before.
  2. If a new printer or scanner is connected to a device running Windows 10, Windows will use Windows Update to download and install the new printer driver.
  3. If Windows Update is blocked or not available, e.g. if the machine is offline, drivers won't be installed automatically. Windows 10 installs a Mopria-compatible printer that require no external driver.

In other words: Default drivers for printers and scanners will only be installed if the machine is connected to Windows Update. While that is the case for most PCs running Windows 10, it may pose issues for admins who maintain PCs and devices that are offline or on which Windows Update is blocked.

Not all printers support the Mopria standard and functionality may be limited for printers that do.

The installation of a full printer or scanner driver provided by the device's manufacturer overrides any default driver that Windows may install.

Why did Microsoft implement the change?

Ron Martinsen of the Windows Print Team reveals that Microsoft wanted to reduce the footprint of the operating system to provide users with more storage space.

To reduce the Windows footprint and provide more storage space to users, these drivers no longer ship with the OS and instead are available through Windows Update.

Now You: What is your take on the change? (via Born)

Summary
Article Name
Microsoft moves printer drivers to Windows Update
Description
Microsoft changed how default printer and scanner drivers are installed on Windows 10 version 1809 devices. Find out what changed and how it may affect you.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. chump2010 said on October 7, 2018 at 11:21 am
    Reply

    “To reduce the Windows footprint and provide more storage space to users”

    Ahaha. That is a great joke. The Windows Print team is desperately trying to save space, meanwhile the apps team is chucking in gigabytes of data for all these apps that no one asked for or wanted.

    1. Anonymous said on October 8, 2018 at 1:52 am
      Reply

      Just another part of their strategy to make users completely dependent on the Microsoft “cloud”. Opening them up to mandatory 24/7 surveillance and subscription fees. Besides that, also forced ingestion of Microsoft-approved spam and bloatware.

  2. Yuliya said on October 7, 2018 at 11:23 am
    Reply

    Remove drivers, control panel, media player, I don’t care, just make enough space for Candy Crush!!1111eleven

    1. Herman said on October 8, 2018 at 4:14 am
      Reply

      OMG! Totally agree! Nothing is more important on Windows 10 than Candy Crush, Bubble Witch, Minecraft and Xbox. Well….not unless you take into account The Solitaire collection (that used to be free) that they’ve decided MUST be a live tile so you won’t miss purchasing it.

  3. Paul(us) said on October 7, 2018 at 12:13 pm
    Reply

    On the website from Morpia there are writing “Mopria is a set of standards that enable printing from a mobile device to printers from different manufacturers or brands.

    The first execution of the standard has been for Google’s Android operating system. The Mopria Print Service provides a “universal print driver” that converts the data to be printed to the appropriate file type required by the printer.

    Mopria gives users the ability to wirelessly locate and connect with nearby compatible printers at work, at home or on-the-go.”

    Martin ( Or anybody else who knows this), Is the printing sign set for a mobile phone not different than other apparatus?
    Will there be no downside for people who are only using Mopria to interact with there laptop’s, desktop or Raspberry Pi?

  4. Malte said on October 7, 2018 at 1:09 pm
    Reply

    So now Microsoft wants to mess up printers, too ?! LOL

  5. chesscanoe said on October 7, 2018 at 1:47 pm
    Reply

    I use an 8 year old Canon IP2600 USB printer directly connected to a Linksys E2500 router because it frees my netbook to take advantage of its portability. When I want to print, I just start USB Control Center software and remotely print. I do not see Microsoft messing up this setup.

  6. test said on October 7, 2018 at 1:59 pm
    Reply

    There are moving all the esential stuff to Windows shiT@y store. Windows as shiT@y service and as
    Nightmare.

  7. Emanon said on October 7, 2018 at 5:17 pm
    Reply

    Fine by me, never used Windows built-in drivers either way (as they tend to lack features).

  8. Rush said on October 7, 2018 at 5:26 pm
    Reply

    “Ron Martinsen of the Windows Print Team reveals that Microsoft wanted to reduce the footprint of the operating system to provide users with more storage space.”

    That is a flat-out lie. M$ simply doesn’t want the user turning off windows updates.

    Is M$ planning to sneakily bundle spying malware with print drivers for new printers / Scanners?

    Is M$ hoping to have all users set up Windows updates to automatic download / install, despite updates being fraught with issues, where it is highly probable to brick your machine?

    The printer / scanner manufacturer should supply their own drivers or have access to drivers on their website wouldn’t you think?

    Shouldn’t users just roll over and let M$ have their way? I’m all for making M$ happy……
    It is such a lovely day.

    1. Emanon said on October 7, 2018 at 10:31 pm
      Reply

      This make absolutely no sense, especially when the drivers are not exclusive to Windows Update (and tend to be inferior).

  9. Flyer said on October 7, 2018 at 11:17 pm
    Reply

    Geez it sounds like a stupid joke from the M$ to “reduce the footprint”.
    I’m just curious why the don’t care of footprint when they make gigabytes installations of tracing software :D
    The reason seems to be pretty simple – they don’t want users are off line as it decreasing the number of targets for tracing software and future advertising business. Simple as that.

  10. AnorKnee Merce said on October 8, 2018 at 10:07 am
    Reply

    [“Ron Martinsen of the Windows Print Team reveals that Microsoft wanted to reduce the footprint of the operating system to provide users with more storage space.”]

    What crock.!

    The Win 10 ISO file is about 4GB in humongous size = bloatedware. Recently, to service the Enterprise-VIPs, M$ split the Win 10 Ent/Edu 1809 ISO file into separate 64bit and 32bit, thus reducing the ISO file by half.
    ……. Non-VIP Win 10 1809 Home and Pro users were not given this facility “to reduce the footprint of the OS”.

    By moving device drivers from the ISO file to Windows Update, M$ is likely trying to force Win 10 users to use Windows Update and not defer updates/upgrades.

  11. An nym said on October 8, 2018 at 11:46 am
    Reply

    [“Ron Martinsen of the Windows Print Team reveals that Microsoft wanted to reduce the footprint of the operating system to provide users with more storage space.”]
    Fake news indeed. this is mostly locaded in the inf folder, which is less then a whopping 80MB,MB indeed.
    MS could still leave all drivers on the install media, but not on the installed OS.
    While the install media is nowdays more and more online or downloaded, there is little reason to copy all this onto the OS. they better leave that off and ask for install media when needed, be that windows update or a network share or even god forbid a CD.
    And not stop there, but do that for all unneeded software at that time. the installer with all versions of updates and not installed thinks MSFT included is 13 GB, that i where the footprint lies.

    1. Wolfie0827 said on October 8, 2018 at 4:54 pm
      Reply

      Uhm… The INF folder only holds files that contain the INFORMATION, of what files are needed by a particular piece of hardware and their location, not the files themselves. In 95 and 98 the files where stored in the CAB files, XP and 7 (And I am assuming 8) they were compressed files usually stored with the rest of the windows files. For 10 not sure but assuming it was similar to xp-8.1.

  12. John Fenderson said on October 8, 2018 at 8:30 pm
    Reply

    Is there a way to manually download and install printer drivers like in past Windows? If not, then this is a bad change.

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