In order to reduce the operating system size and give users more storage space, Microsoft has decided to remove printer drivers from the Windows 10 installation image. Starting with Windows 10 version 1809, the operating system will include only a few modern printer drivers which support the Mopria standard.
As you may already know, previous Windows 10 versions shipped with the full set of printer drivers. The drivers could be installed automatically once a printer or scanner was connected and detected by the OS. In that case, the device would start working right away.
Starting with Windows 10, version 1809, inbox printer and scanner drivers have been moved to Windows Update. To reduce the Windows installation footprint and provide more storage space to users, this decisions has been taken. The drivers are instead available through Windows Update.
In most cases, there is no noticeable impact due to this change. Here is what will happen:
- When you upgrade to Windows 10, version 1809, your installed printers will continue to work using the same printer driver as before.
- When you install a new printer, and your Windows PC or Print Server has access to Windows Update, the correct driver is automatically downloaded and installed.
- If you install a new printer when Windows Update is not available, a driver will not be automatically installed. In this case, Windows will install Mopria certified printers without requiring an external driver.
So, basic drivers for printers and scanners will only be installed if your computer is connected to the Internet and can access Windows Update.
If your PC is not connected to the Internet, you should get the drivers in advance.
The only devices supported out of the box are Mopria certified Wi-Fi printers. Windows 10 version 1809 can install these printers without the user needing to install any additional software or drivers.
It is interesting to see how the Windows Print team is optimizing the storage space by saving megabytes, while we still have extremely huge UWP apps preinstalled. Removing UWP apps and replacing them with their classic Win32 versions could make Windows 10 take up notably less space on the drive.
So, what do you think about this change? Share your opinion in the comments.