A few months ago I was marveling at how easy it was to install my aging HP printer on Linux. Really it even got easier with Ubuntu 20.04. Astonished. So by comparison, here are the steps required to install that same printer on Windows 10.
- Go to Settings and type Printers & Scanners
- Click the button that reads “Add a printer or scanner”
- Wait for it to scan for a printer.
- Click the “The printer that I want isn’t listed” link, because my printer doesn’t show up.
- It is at this point that I am jerked out of modern Settings and into classic Control Panel.
- Okay, it is an older printer so select the first option “My printer is a little older. Help me find it.” and click Next
- Again wait for it to scan for a printer.
- 5 minutes of searching it found it! Hurray.
- Select the printer and immediately get presented with a message “Install the printer driver.”
- Not Generic, not in Microsoft. Let’s check Windows Update. According to the screen, “This might take a few minutes.”
- 5 minutes later a list of Manufacturers and Printers is presented.
- Now, is my printer a Hewlett Packard, a Hewlett-Packard, or an HP? Let’s check them all.
- Found it, it’s an HP! Selected the driver and named the printer. Next
- Okay… I think it worked because the classic Control Panel disappeared, but it isn’t in my list of printers in the modern Settings panel.
- No, it crashed.
Out of frustration I quit this path and go the other route:
- HP.com -> Support -> Software & drivers
- Select Printer and type in the product name
- Download the 281.7MB package that was released in 2015.
- Run the package after it downloads.
- Select Install
- Select Next on the Please allow all HP processes screen.
- With this HP software, this is the trick. On the Terms of Service screen don’t just blindly click I accept and click Next. Select the link “HP software* to be installed, click here to customize”
- Now, uncheck everything except the driver software. We don’t want the Bing Bar from 2015 or any of the other extra stuff they want to install.
- Click OK and now accept the ToS and click Next to install the software.
- Next select that my printer is connected via Ethernet
- Select my printer from the list and click Next.
- Finally after all that it appears in my list of Printers.
Now I assume some of you out there are saying, “well it’s a really old printer” or “it’s connected via Ethernet” but if those were really issues I wouldn’t have been able to install it on Ubuntu in a few clicks. Either way, I’m frustrated, but at least I have a printer that works.