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WSD seems a great idea for installing printers – but you probably shouldn’t use it

WSD Printer Installation Step by Step

WSD (Web Services for Devices) was designed to make life easy when it comes to installing printers. However, it often has the opposite effect, and in many cases, you probably shouldn’t use it. Here we tell you why.

What exactly is WSD?

WSD  is a similar technology to Apple’s Airprint. Essentially, any computer on the same network as a WSD enabled device will automatically install the printer on your behalf.

Microsoft and Wikipedia describe it as:

Web Services for Devices allows network-connected IP-based devices to advertise their functionality and offer these services to clients by using the Web Services protocol.

WSD provides a network plug-and-play experience for Printers, Scanners and File Shares that is similar to installing a USB device.

This removes the painful process of unearthing the correct device driver, the device’s IP address and figuring out how to install it on the computer.

Sounds like a great idea! Who enjoys installing printer drivers, right? But…

The problem with WSD

The problem with this is that Microsoft uses a generic driver designed to work with a whole range of devices. This means you will be able to print in mono or colour, and choose between single or double sided. If that’s all you need, then WSD will certainly be a benefit.

For those looking for a bit more from their Printer/Multifunctional, they may need all of the features available to the device such as Secure Print, Store in Mailbox, Department ID Authentication, Booklet Folding, Saddle Stitching, Hole Punch etc.

In this scenario,  you really don’t want Windows installing a WSD based print driver. Here’s how to prevent it.

How to prevent WSD

1 – Turn off WSD at the device. This is the best way to prevent Web Service Devices from installing on your PC. WSD is listed in most printers/MFD’s under Network Settings.

2 – Don’t use Auto Detect when installing the print driver. If you are manually installing the driver, the screen below shows the setting you should choose. To prevent WSD, you should change the Device Type from Auto Detect to TCP/IP Device. Windows will then ask you to select the location of the correct driver you want to install.

WSD Change Device Type

Get help

Our Service Team can help if Windows continuously installs the wrong driver on your your PCs, or you need help locating the correct driver for your device.

You can also see for further information on the WSD installation process.

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