Installing older printers on Windows 10

So I had a problem at work: a client had a pretty old printer and after a Windows 10 update they couldn’t install its driver. Let’s see how we can resolve the issue.

The printer in question was a Sharp AR5316E and the error message was the following: “Windows can’t install the kernel-mode print driver. To obtain a driver that is compatible with the version of Windows you are running, contact the manufacturer.“ and after this there was another message “Windows cannot connect to the printer. The printer driver is not compatible with a policy enabled on your computer that blocks NT 4.0 drivers”. After a while googling I found out that windows 10 blocks older drivers and because of that you had to set some setting in windows group police editor. This process should work also with other printers.

Here are the steps I took to get it working

Firs of all you have to delete the previous printer drivers, so because of this after this process previous printers need to be reinstalled.
The folders you have to delete are as follows:

NOTE: If you can’t delete them you need to stop printer spool service from service manager, and after deleting start the service again


For this purpose I also made a cmd script that dose this for you, copy the code and past it into a file and name it delprint.cmd . After this you can run it and it will delete the required files.

echo -----------------------------------
echo Remove printer driver files from Windows
echo WARNING: If you continue you have to 
echo reinstall all the printers you had 
echo previously installed.
echo If you don't want to continue press 
echo CTRL+C
echo                 Script by D0rkye
echo -----------------------------------
net stop spooler
echo Deleting printer driver directories.
rmdir /S /Q c:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\W32X86
rmdir /S /Q c:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\x64
net start spooler
echo DONE!

Start Group Police Editor pressing Windows key + R and type gpedit.msc


Next step is to set the following settings:

Local computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Printers -> “Disallow installation of printers using kernel-mode drivers” set it to disable1

Local computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Printers -> Point and printer Restrictions set it to enable and set the other marked settings.

These setting have to be set also here: Local computer Policy -> User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Printers -> Point and printer Restrictions


After these settings have been set you need to restart your pc or run the following command: gpupdate, when this is done try to install the printer again.

I hope this will help someone.

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