How to Copy a Printer Driver From One Windows XP Computer to Another

Updated July 19, 2017

Although it is generally preferable to download the most recent driver from the Internet when you are installing new hardware, it is possible that you may encounter a situation where you need to make a printer work on a new computer without having access to the Internet. If this is the case, and the original driver CD is not available, copy the drivers from an existing Windows XP computer to make a printer work on a new machine.

Click the "Start" button, then click "Control Panel." Double-click the "System" icon. If you do not see this icon, click the "Switch to Classic View" link on the left side of the screen.

Click the "Hardware" tab, then click the "Device Manager" button.

Click the plus sign next to "Printers" to expand the category, then right-click your printer and click "Properties."

Click the "Driver" tab, then click the "Driver Details" button. In the window that appears, you will see a full list of the driver files used by your printer, along with each file's location. Generally, these files will be located in "C:\Windows\system32" or "C:\Windows\system32\drivers." Keep this window open, because you will need to use it as a reference.

Copy each driver file to your removable storage device. Click the "Start" button, then click "My Computer." Double-click the removable storage device, then click "Start" and "My Computer" again to begin browsing to the driver files. For example, if the first file were located in "C:\Windows\system32," you would double-click "C:," "Windows" and "system32" to browse to that folder. Then you would right-click the driver file, and click "Copy." Then you would right-click in the window for the removable storage device, and click "Paste." Repeat this process until each file is copied.

Move the removable storage device to the second computer. When the printer is connected to this computer, the new hardware wizard will appear. Select "Install from a list or specific location" and direct your computer to the removable storage device to find the printer drivers.

Things You'll Need

  • USB flash drive or other removable storage device
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Jason Artman has been a technical writer since entering the field in 1999 while attending Michigan State University. Artman has published numerous articles for various websites, covering a diverse array of computer-related topics including hardware, software, games and gadgets.