Don’t fret if you suddenly run into the selected printer is not available error, as it’s a common issue in the printing world.
It happens when the software drivers installed on your printer are either incompatible with it, corrupted, or outdated.
Fortunately, it’s an issue you can get around by performing a few tweaks here and there. We’ll help you figure out the practical ways in which you can quickly fix it to save time and money.
To solve the selected printer is not available issue, uninstall the troublesome printer drivers, then let them reinstall automatically. You can also install the latest printer drivers manually or go for a generic printer driver. Other fixes include restarting all your devices.
Now that you’ve got a nice hint of what we’ll be doing, let’s briefly discuss why you may experience this error. You’ll then quickly understand the solution steps.
Let’s dive in.
Whenever you get an error message telling you the selected printer is not available or not installed correctly, it’s usually because:
1. Your Printer’s IP Address Has Changed
If you’re printing over a wireless network and have switched off your printer for too long, its driver software won’t identify its initial IP address.
This is because the time duration the printer can use the router’s IP address has elapsed.
2. Printer Drivers Are Corrupted Or Incompatible
In case of corrupt or incompatible printer drivers, you need to delete the driver and install the correct one.
3. The Printer Cables Are Fixed Loosely
If there is poor cable contact, it may also trigger the error message on your printer.
4. The Router Memory Is Leaking
This could be causing the router to malfunction, which may further result in the printer error!
Before proceeding with the steps in this part, please make sure all your cables are correctly inserted.
Your Device Manager may say everything is working perfectly, yet the print settings are still grayed out.
If the Troubleshooter still can’t spot anything, feel free to carry out the following steps:
Restarting all your devices helps clear both the hardware and network issues.
Turn off your printer, then turn it on after 3 to 5 minutes. Do the same with your computer, phone, or tablet.
Finally, disconnect your router’s power cable, wait 2-3 minutes, reconnect it, then wait for the internet connection to be re-established.
If you connect your printer and on the computer you get a notification that the selected printer is not available or not installed correctly, then your printer driver could be totaled and requires fresh reinstallation.
Follow these simple steps to successfully reinstall your printer:
- Go to the Windows startup menu.
- Navigate to Settings and double-click on Printers.
- Now, on your default printer, right-click and tap Delete.
- After deleting, wait for a few minutes.
- Tap on Add Printer and stick to the instructions on reinstalling the printer.
Once the computer is done reinstalling the printer, you can check out if the computer still displays the error message.
Troubleshoot the wireless printer network if you can’t complete wireless print jobs. You can do this by carrying out extensive checks in different parts of the printer.
You’ll need to confirm if:
1. Printer is in Off or Sleep Mode
Press the power button or touch the control menu to put the printer in the ready state.
2. Signal strength is weak
Move the printer and computer within a few feet of the router to beef up the signal strength. If the Wifi connection is still slow or intermittent, restart your router, as I’ve explained above.
3. Printer is disconnected
Make sure the light next to the wireless button or icon is on. If it blinks or is off, your printer isn’t connected to the same network as your computer and you need to reconnect it.
4. Bluetooth is enabled for the HP Smart app setup
Activate Bluetooth on your computer so HP Smart can find the printer during the setup process.
5. Print a wireless test report
Search your printer model on the HP Customer Support website, then go to the self-test page. You’ll find detailed instructions on how to print and assess the report. Test it out to see if the nuisance is resolved.
To be blunt, you might only encounter “the selected printer is not available” error when using Google Chrome, and it doesn’t help that you’ve cleared your history and cache.
That being the case, update to the latest version of Chrome as follows:
- Open Chrome and click the “More” option at the top right.
- Click Help.
- Go to About Google Chrome.
- Tap Update Google Chrome. If you don’t have this option, you’re already using the latest Chrome version.
- Relaunch your browser
Now try selecting the printer again to see if the issue is solved.
If you still get the printer error message, close all tabs, exit Chrome then uninstall it. Then restart your device and install Chrome again.
If none of the above methods have worked for you, it’s not a dead end. Your printer may be undetected by your computer.
That being so, go ahead with these steps to manually install the default generic printer drivers:
- Press the Windows Key and X simultaneously, then select Device Manager.
- Locate your printer from the new window. Look in the “Unknown Devices” category if you can’t find it.
- Right-click on your printer and choose Update Driver.
- Select Browse my computer for drivers.
- Select Let me pick from the available driver’s list.
- Click Generic Software Device, then choose “Next.”
Note: Installing a generic driver may alter some functionalities of your printer.
Tip: Print a test page to see if the problem is fixed.
Your printer may begin to malfunction following a Windows update. The updated drivers from Windows might not work well with all systems, and I’ve mainly experienced this with the HP model.
The quickest fix to this manually is by downloading updates from the manufacturer’s website. You must then disable Windows updates from interfering with the driver.
I highly recommend you download the specific drivers for your computer to a quick access location.
- Launch Device Manager by pressing the Windows key and R simultaneously. The dialogue box will show “devmgmt.msc”, so just press Enter.
- Navigate through the hardware and select Print queues.
- Click on your printer, then select Update Driver.
- Choose Browse my PC for driver software, then proceed.
- Select the driver file you downloaded already, and update it accordingly.
- Check if the printer is working correctly.
If the printer isn’t available yet, download the package “wushowhide.diagcab” from the official Microsoft website.
Run it, then choose “Hide Updates” from the options given. Next, click on Printer Update if the option is still available.
Once this is done, Windows can’t update or install the printer drivers until you specify, which is all good.
Pro Tip: If your printer isn’t visible in the Device Manager, just run the installer, and the driver will be installed automatically.
Read Next: Why Is My Epson Printer Not Printing Color?
The selected printer is not available issue can be very frustrating. Now, don’t get all worked up over this. You can easily resolve it by updating your printer drivers or rebooting it.
I hope you can now quickly and successfully fix the selected printer is not available issue.
If you’ve tried out everything we’ve discussed and nothing happens, please contact HP or Microsoft Customer Support for more professional assistance.
Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues.