Microsoft will stop offering third-party printer drivers through Windows Update soon

In a major move, Microsoft has announced that it will soon ban third-party printer manufacturers from including drivers in Windows Update.


  • Microsoft is deprecating support for third-party printer drivers delivered through Windows Update in favor of Printer Support Software distributed in the Microsoft Store.
  • The driver installation update, which started with Windows 10 version 21H2, will continue to newer versions including Windows 11 version 23H2.
  • The process of removing legacy v3 and v4 printer drivers will be staggered for several years, new drivers will no longer be published in Windows Update from 2025 and third-party printer updates will not be allowed after 2027.

With the availability of Windows 10 version 21H2 back in April 2022, Microsoft also started providing built-in support for Mopria-compatible drivers that communicate via USB and the Internet via the Microsoft IPP Class Driver. Although this operating system is no longer used by many users, driver updates have also gone to newer versions of Windows, including the upcoming Windows 11 version 23H2 as well. As such, Microsoft has announced that it is ending support for third-party printer drivers provided via Windows Update.

In a support document, Microsoft noted that printer manufacturers no longer need to bundle their drivers with Windows updates. Instead, they can create Publisher Apps using the UWP development process and distribute them through the Microsoft Store to provide a personalized experience. This also relieves developers because they can create a driver solution once and then it works for all supported versions of Windows.

With these enhancements in mind, Microsoft has announced the end of support for legacy v3 and v4 Windows drivers. However, since this change may affect many, the withdrawal process will remain stable for several years as follows:

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September 2023

Declare a third-party printer driver for Windows at the end of the operating system.


No new printers will be published in Windows Update. Printer drivers available on Windows Update can be updated.


Printer drivers have been changed to favor the Windows IPP inbox class driver.


Except for security-related fixes, third-party printer driver updates will no longer be allowed. Existing third-party printer drivers can be installed from Windows Update or users can install printer drivers using the printer’s installer.

In addition, printer vendors can continue to provide drivers through the Windows Hardware Compatibility Program (WHCP) and digitally sign them, but this will be changed for new drivers starting in 2026. However, existing printers signed by Microsoft will continue to be available for installation even after the end of the system. of the work described above. If distribution of Print Support Software through the Microsoft Store is not possible for third-party vendors, they may also offer them through dedicated packages provided through other means, such as hosting on the vendor’s website.

Microsoft says it has no plans to stop existing features supported by v3 and v4 printer drivers, but the long-term solution is clear: third-party printer drivers will no longer be available through Windows Update when the operating system expires, which. means that consumers will have to rely on Printer Support Software and dedicated packages to install and keep drivers up-to-date.

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