Windows Tip: How to add an old printer to Windows 10 or 11
A friend wanted help, he has an old HP Laserjet 1018 printer and was unable to get it recognized on his Windows 10 laptop. The printer is an old model, so after connecting by the USB port, Windows was not showing it automatically. The HP.COM drivers download page was unhelpful, it said there are no drivers and suggested we use the drivers that come with the operating system. In Windows, “Add a Printer” wizard there is an option “Add Manually”. That lists only Generic and Microsoft, there were no other manufacturers including HP listed. I remembered, that starting in Windows 10, Microsoft doesn’t pre-download and list the thousands of printers out there – this is a space optimization and a welcome move. In our case, we needed the HP drivers. So the tip is to press the button “Windows Update” below the listing (as seen in the image below) and wait – it takes between five to ten minutes. Once done, you will see hundreds of manufacturers in the list box on the left and their corresponding models on the right. In our case we need the HP Laserjet 1018 which was not listed, I went with HP Laster 1015.
Detailed steps on the above can be found on YouTube videos on the topic.
Go for Windows 7 Drivers
A second option was to go to the HP drivers page and search for the printer (HP Laserjet 1018), the page would auto-detect the operating system, in our case as Windows 10 64-bit and showed that are no drivers from HP for this old printer for this operating system. A tip will be to select an older operating system. I checked for Windows 8.1 and 8.0, but there were none. Then I found drivers for Windows 7 64-bit for the model, which I downloaded and installed. The printer was recognized and Windows was able to print.
Beware: Drivers for the older versions of Windows may not always work on Windows 10 or 11, and they may even affect the OS. So, please follow the usual procedures of creating a “system restore point” and backup before proceeding.