In the near future, Microsoft will stop distributing third-party printer drivers through Windows Update. This decision was made due to the introduction of native support for Mopria compatible printer drivers in Windows 10 21H2, which can be used with any USB or Ethernet connected printers. The Microsoft IPP Class Driver offers basic printing functionality without requiring additional software installation.
To enhance device capabilities and customization options, Microsoft recommends that printer manufacturers create print support apps. For user convenience, the printer vendor can update and support such an app through the Microsoft Store. Until 2026, manufacturers can also release their own drivers under the Windows Hardware Compatibility Program (WHCP) and sign them with a Microsoft digital signature.
The retirement of third-party printer drivers will occur in stages, with new drivers no longer being published on Windows Update from 2025 onwards. In 2026, priority will be given to the Microsoft IPP Class Driver. The updating third-party printer drivers on Windows Update will not possible in 2027, though security-related fixes will not be affected.
Manufacturers who do not wish to distribute apps for printers via the Microsoft Store may offer them for download on their websites. Microsoft assures users that legacy v3 and v4 drivers will continue to be supported. However, the company encourages them to switch to new drivers where available for improved security and convenience.
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