Printer displayed as an unspecified device on a Windows computer

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A device is placed in an unspecified category when Windows cannot identify or find a driver for that hardware. In this case, if you see the Printer showing as a Device not specified on a Windows 11 or Windows 10 computer, this article will help you solve it.

Why does the printer appear as an unspecified device?

This can be due to a corrupted driver or when the driver is not compatible with the version of Windows. It can also happen when you try to use an old printer that previously worked on an older version of Windows. Sometimes these errors can also be fixed by restarting the PC. Assuming it doesn’t work, let’s find a possible solution to fix this problem.

Printer displayed as an unspecified device in Windows 11/10

If you see the Printer showing as a Device not specified on a Windows 11 or Windows 10 computer, follow these suggestions one by one to verify which one worked for you.

  1. Change USB port
  2. Run the printer troubleshooter
  3. Manually update the driver
  4. Reinstall the printer

You will need an administrator account to try these suggestions.

1]Change USB port

A faulty USB port can sometimes result in an unspecified device on your PC. When you connect anything including a printer, Windows won’t recognize it. The only solution is to change the port and see if that works for you.

You can apply the same for the USB cable that connects the printer to the laptop. You can buy or borrow a similar cable and try it out.

2]Run the printer troubleshooter

Windows printer troubleshooting

Windows offers a set of built-in troubleshooters, including one for the printer. When you run the tool, it examines virtual ports, services, or whatever is preventing the printer from being recognized as a valid device.

Go to Settings> System> Troubleshooting> Other troubleshooters. Locate the printer troubleshooter and click the Run button. After the wizard completes the process, reconnect the printer and check if the issue is resolved.

3]Manually update the driver

Although Windows Update downloads the driver for any connected device, this may not have happened. The best way to go ahead is to manually install the driver. Most OEMs have a dedicated download page where anyone can find the driver based on model number and Windows version. After the download is complete, install the driver and then check if the problem persists.

4]Reinstall the printer

uninstall Windows printer

If you were already using the printer, which happened after an update or any configuration change, you need to uninstall the printer. There are two ways to do this.

Using Device Manager

Use Win + X to open the power menu, then click on Device Manager. Expand the Printer section, and then right-click the printer you want to remove. Choose Uninstall device and follow the steps.

Using device settings

Open Windows settings and go to Bluetooth & devices> Printers & scanners. Select the printer you want to delete. Once the printer page opens, click the Delete button. The device will be deleted from the system, but it may remember a few settings around the device.

After doing any of the methods, make sure to restart the PC. Once done, reconnect the printer to the laptop and let Windows detect it. Make sure you install the OEM driver instead of letting Windows install a generic driver.

Hope these suggestions were easy to follow and you were able to resolve the error showing printer as unspecified device on Windows computer.

Related: The Devices and Printers page is empty in Windows.

What does an unknown device mean?

The error appears in the Windows Device Manager. This means that Windows is having trouble recognizing the device or cannot find a driver for it. The only solution is to install the official driver or a generic driver so that the essential functions of the device can work.

Related: The printer icon is not displayed in Devices and Printers.

How can I get rid of printer errors?

Here are some tips to avoid printer errors:

  • Keep the driver up to date or what works with your Windows
  • The USB port does not work badly
  • If it is a WiFi printer, make sure it is available on the network
  • Restart the PC

How do I check my printer for errors?

There are two ways to find out. The first is to run the Windows Printer Troubleshooter which can resolve most problems with using the software. The second method is to check the event logs for all printer-related activity. If you can understand newspapers, it can tell you a lot more about them. You will need an administrator account to access the event logs.

Printer displayed as unspecified device

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