There is a bit of an issue with Lexmark and existing (older) printers because Lexmark left the consumer market of ink-jet printers and is thus not providing new drivers anymore. Which means you have to use Windows 7 or Windows 8 drivers on newer versions of Windows like latest Windows 10 Anniversary (Redstone). Trying to install it normal way just won’t work, so you have to do several additional steps to make it work.
First, download the latest Lexmark drivers for your device:
Right-click on the downloaded installer and select Properties. Go to Compatibility tab and select Run this program in compatibility mode and select same Windows version as the driver was designed for. In my case, it was Windows 8 for my rather old Lexmark X3650.
In the past, it used to work even without this step, but with Windows 10 Redstone, this isn’t the case anymore. At least for me that is…
Temporarily disable Windows driver signing check
This step is critical, otherwise the installation of driver will fail since it is not designed for the latest Windows.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Hold Shift key and click Restart button that you’d otherwise use to simply restart the computer (holding Shift key will open a special recovery menu).
- Select Troubleshoot
- Select Advanced options
- Select Startup Settings
- Click Restart
- Press F7 key on keyboard to select Disable driver signature enforcement
System will restart and start in a mode with driver signature check disabled just for this session. After you restart the system again, this feature will automatically turn itself back on again!
Installing the driver
Firstly, make sure you don’t have printer connected with USB cable to your PC. Yes, this is not a typo. Lexmark requires driver installation prior physical connection, otherwise you’ll experience problems.
After you have disabled Driver signature enforcement and made sure it’s not connected to PC with USB cable, you can start the installer with compatibility mode already applied to it (as shown above). Follow the instructions of the installer.
It is possible there will be an error message during driver installation, but you can just dismiss it, it’ll still work just fine.
You may also get popup like this (example from Windows 8.x):
Don’t worry, this is normal since we have disabled driver signature enforcement. Confirm the installation of the driver. If you do not do this, printer won’t work!
When driver installation is complete, Lexmark driver installer will ask you to connect printer with USB cable to your PC. Do so and wait for a moment for it to recognize it.
Setting printer as default device
It is possible that driver won’t set your newly installed Lexmark printer as your default printing device.
Go to Start and then Settings. Select Devices button, select the Lexmark printer and click Manage button. Select Set as default. That’s it.
We’ve finished everything already, just make sure to restart your system in order to re-activate Driver Signature Enforcement feature. It is really not recommended to run system this way other than for such specific tasks as installation of trusted but old driver.
I have an old Lexmark X3650 that I use for making copies and printing using just black cartridge, because I just don’t need color printing. And I was this close of throwing the damn thing through the window because it kept on failing to install the driver, but then I gave it one more try and then I figured it out with the compatibility step. Would be a shame since it’s scanning stuff really nicely, printing stuff nicely as well and I’m using its card reader as general purpose SD card reader. So, despite the age, it’s actually a really nice device with quite cheap cartridges. It would really be a shame throwing it away. So, I’m kinda happy that I’m this determined for certain things and I got it working again. I hope this guide will help you get your Lexmark printer working again even on latest Windows. 🙂
2 thoughts on “Installing old Lexmark printer drivers on latest Windows”
This only works if you’re running the same bit os as the driver. If you’re running win10 64bit and there are only 32bit xp drivers, you’re fucked and there is nothing you can do to natively run that device.
Hi! I had to right-click several times (2 or 3 times) the device’s icon in the Printers and devices menu, then run the Solve problems script/menu. Maybe because I had not previously allowed Windows update to automatically download drivers (which I did), or because I’m under Windows 7. Eventually, it worked! Thus, many many thanks!!!