Many people have this problem:

I bought a new laptop (HP Envy 13) with Windows 10. I have a USB printer (HP LaserJet 1018). When I plug it in, it appears as "unknown device" in Devices and Printers. The troubleshooter shows a message:

USB Printing Support is an older USB device and might not work with USB 3.0

which hints at that the problem is not in the printer but in Windows 10 USB printing support, which apparently cannot work with USB 3.0 ports. The laptop has only USB 3.0 ports, so apparently it cannot print at all (I did not try other printers).

What I have tried:

  • Read lots of forum messages. All of them say "I have this problem, too," but none has a solution.

  • I saw a suggestion to plug the printer into a USB 2.0 port, but modern computers have no USB 2.0 ports.

  • Connecting the printer via a USB 2.0 cable.

  • Connecting the printer to USB 2.0 or USB 1.0 external hub connected to the computer via a USB 2.0 cable.

  • Uninstalling USB controller drivers (Windows 10 installs them again after reboot).

  • Uninstalling the USB Printing Support device (Windows 10 installs it again after reboot) or updating it (Windows 10 says I have the latest version).

  • Looking for Windows 10 drivers on HP website. The printer is listed as supported and Windows 10 driver is in the list, but instead of a link to the driver their site says that I should use the built-in driver already included with the operating system. It has a link to "more information", which finally sends me back to the same page.

  • Using print doctor (or so) troubleshooter from the HP site. It says the printer drivers are not installed and sends me to the above page (where there is no driver).

  • Installing Windows 7 or Windows 8 driver (it is the same driver). It gives an error when I try to use its installer, and says "file not found" when I try to install the .INF file manually.

  • Connecting the printer to another computer with Windows 7 (works like a charm), marking it as shared and connecting to it from the Windows 10 laptop via IP. It does see it but asks to install a driver from file (shows a "choose file" dialog without attempting to use the alleged built-in driver), but as I said HP does not provide any driver file for this printer, suggesting to use Windows 10 built-in driver. In the list of known devices that the installer shows (after syncing with Windows Update) there is no 1018 printer.

  • Installing HP LaserJet 1020 driver from that list, instead of 1018 (Windows 7 driver is the same for 1018, 1020, and 1022). It says it cannot communicate with the printer.

Any better idea?

  • Since you have tried the native printer driver I presume have you contacted HP support for assistance? Using the USB 2.0 Hub should have worked, it certainly has worked, with my own Windows 10 machines in the past. – Ramhound Oct 31 '16 at 15:48
  • Your printer is clearly labeled to support Windows 10, this means at some point HP did test the printer, against Windows 10. HP Printers - Windows 10 Compatible Printers is the documentation I believe your trying to find. – Ramhound Oct 31 '16 at 15:51
  • "If a driver is not available from HP, you might be able to print from USB using the Add Hardware feature in Windows 10." - Have you tried that? – Ramhound Oct 31 '16 at 15:53
  • 1
  • I do not have sufficient reputation to create an answer, but had success with installation of a HP LaserJet 1018 using the exact driver w/o the aid of a second computer, older OS or driver. it was a maddening process and unfortunately I don't know the precise step(s) which enabled the driver to be found. What I do believe, is that it was a combination of a Manual setup, updating/obtaining drivers via Windows Update and possibly a reboot; the reboot likely took the place of the disconnect-reconnect step. See support.hp.com/us-en/document/c01796879, following Step 3 / USB (Win 10). – KDrewiske Dec 28 '20 at 0:45

Maybe now, after almost two years, Microsoft or HP changed something, and maybe now it would work out of the box.

Here is what worked for me (if I recall correctly), I am not sure why, and whether it was necessary:

I connected the printer to another (actually, newer) laptop with Windows 10. Even though that laptop apparently had the same USB 3.0 (or maybe 3.1) ports, after some maybe 10 minutes Windows suddenly said that the printer was ready, and I could print from that laptop.

I think I tried the same with my old laptop: connected the printer directly to my old laptop and waited enough time, but this did not work.

So on that new laptop where the printer installed on its own, I searched in files *.inf under C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository (including subdirectories) for the string "1018", which is a part of the model name of my printer, HP LaserJet 1018:

C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository>findstr /s "1018" *.inf

This revealed the file hplj1020.inf_amd64_5ffa82d4dfa98331\HPLJ1020.INF, which looked promising, so I copied the entire directory hplj1020.inf_amd64_5ffa82d4dfa98331 to my old laptop (where I wanted to install the printer).

I don't remember how I installed it on the old laptop. Probably in one of the two ways:

Maybe I copied the entire directory hplj1020.inf_amd64_5ffa82d4dfa98331 to C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository on the old laptop, then used the Add New Printer wizard, and in the list, under HP printers, the model 1018 (or 1020) now appeared, so I installed it.

Or maybe I copied that directory to some temporal directory on my old laptop, then used the Add New Printer wizard, chose "I have a disk", and pointed the wizard to the .INF file in the copied directory (probably it can be done with right-clicking on the .INF file and choosing Install).

So the printer installed normally and worked!

  • It's getting close to 2 years since you asked the question (2 months to go). Thanks for returning to inform on how you got it working. Though perhaps next time you could do so when the details are still fresh instead of saying 'I think I did this'. – 3D1T0R Aug 30 '18 at 19:27

I got a colleague's HP LaserJet 1018 recognised as such, and working with 64-bit Windows 10 1909, after installing the driver for 64-bit Windows 7 from:

I'm not sure of the exact routine, because the printer was not recognised (as a printer) immediately after installing the driver; also because at one point we tried, without success, to use the originally supplied HP CD/DVD.

The 'trick' might have been:

  • removal of the device
  • restart of Windows.

The simple answer is to download the Universal Printer driver for Windows 7.0 . You need to change the Operating system which may initially be autodetected as Windows 10 to Windows 7

Install the PCL5 driver, select the port as Dot_UsbX and continue.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.