Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Printer stuck in landscape mode - Windows 10 / Brother J5620DW J5720DW

When you use Add printers & scanners then Windows scans your network for printers. Sometimes, if I install my networked Brother printers this way, they only allow me to print in Landscape, no matter what I try. There is a workaround, fortunately.


Note

This may affect other printer brands and models as well, and is extremely annoying. Root cause: Windows installing a universal driver, and being showing inconsistent behavior depending on how you install the printer.


Fix / workaround #1

Note: the real fix is using the right driver, but there may be no 'right' driver for your printer.


1. Remove the old printer devices

  1. Windows 10 Settings / Devices / Printers & scanners / select device / Remove device

2. Add them manually

  1. Assign a fixed IP address to your printer (!)
  2. Windows 10 Settings / Devices / Printers & scanners / Add a printer or scanner
  3. Let Windows scan
  4. Do not use the suggested printers
  5. Select 'The printer that I want isn't listed'
  6. Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname
  7. Enter IP address / Next

Suddenly, the printer behaves differently, in spite of using the same (Windows 10 provided) printer driver.

In my case it suddenly perfectly prints landscape and portrait, but now it no longer prints double-sided...

Aaaaaargh!


Fix / workaround #2

In my case I had some problems with a Brother printer. Apparently, Windows 7 contained a decent Windows default printer driver, and in Windows 10 Microsoft replaced it with something that sometimes works. And sometimes not. (See paragraph above.)

The real fix. Get the correct driver.

Go to the Brother website, and download the official Brother printer driver for your printer. It may include a whole boatload of stuff you don't want, so you have to pay attention when installing.



Notes

Driver only

Brother offers different versions of their printer drivers, there's a driver-only package, and a package including utilities. If you only want to print just take the driver only package. The other packages install all sorts of (mostly) useless stuff.

 
J5620DW versus J5720 DW

I own both, one upstairs, one downstairs, so Brother thought 'let's make it more confusing'. Although the J5620 and J5720 use the same driver, and include the same utilities, the installation prompts are slightly different.

I skipped all Brother's utilities, problem solved 😁

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