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What Is a Receipt Printer Driver?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

A receipt printer driver is a type of software file used by the operating system (OS) on a computer or other piece of hardware to properly access and utilize the features of a connected receipt printer. This type of driver is usually made available by the company that manufactures a particular receipt printer, though drivers can be developed by the company that makes a particular OS or even a third-party software developer. A receipt printer driver might be needed for a computer that is utilized as part of a cash register or for a portable device used to process transactions and print receipts.

The purpose of a receipt printer driver is to ensure proper communication between the OS on a device and a receipt printer connected to that device. Most complex pieces of hardware, such as computers and even handheld devices like smartphones, use an OS to organize files, run software, and communicate with other hardware connected to the device. Drivers are used by many different types of OS to allow that program to properly recognize and work with other pieces of hardware. A receipt printer driver is much the same, and allows an OS to recognize a particular receipt printer and function with it properly.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

This receipt printer driver is usually available as one or more files that are installed onto the OS of a computer or similar device. The company that manufactures a receipt printer typically provides a disc with that printer that has the drivers included. Updated drivers are often available from manufacturers as a download from that company’s website. A receipt printer driver for a printer may also be available from the company that makes a particular OS, and some third-party companies also focus on developing drivers for use with certain systems and pieces of hardware.

While older cash registers were often designed as a single system that functioned by itself, many new systems essentially use a computer that is connected to a receipt printer. This computer usually runs a basic OS such as Windows® and so a receipt printer driver is typically needed to ensure the OS can properly function with the connected printer. Other devices that may need a receipt printer driver include handheld devices that can be used to process transactions. These devices can be connected to a phone, or may be an application available for a phone, which can then be connected to a printer and used to complete a transaction, process payment, and print a receipt.

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