Install and Uninstall a Wacom Tablet Driver for a Mac or a PC

Hello Everyone,

A couple of weeks ago I got my new Wacom Intuos 5 tablet and I love it.  So I decided to do a series of videos about how I setup and use my tablet.  But first, we need to talk about installing drivers.  This post will have two videos, one for a Mac and one for a PC.

Wacom suggests that before you install a new driver you should uninstall the present driver.  After uninstalling, then you install the new driver.  The following videos walk you through those steps.  I think most of you know how to do this, but there are always newcomers to the blog who do not.

The first video is for a Mac.

Update:  A friend, Miguel, suggested another way to open the Wacom Tablet Utility, which is different from the video.  If you have trouble with the way I show in the video try this:

1.  Click Command+Space Bar to bring up Spotlight.

2.  Start typing Wacom Tablet Utility

3.  The choices will appear in the window that opens as soon as you start to type. Click on the icon named Wacom Tablet Utility and then follow the suggestions in the video.

The second video is for a PC.

Update:  I left something out of the following video that is very important.  Do the following before you do anything in the video.

1.  Go to your Start Menu > All Programs > Wacom Tablet > Wacom Tablet Preference File Utility

2. In the Wacom Tablet Preference File Utility select backup.

3. Save your backup to your hard drive, but be sure to make a note or something so you will remember where it is.

4. Watch the video and after you have finished installing the new driver, return to Wacom Tablet Preference File Utility and select restore.  That will restore your tablet settings and you will not have to do them all over again.

I haven’t mentioned a Bamboo tablet driver.  The Bamboo tablets are more pressure sensitive these days.  Most have 1024 levels of pressure, the same amount as the Intuos 3.  I imagine that a lot of people use the Bamboo with Painter 12.  I have never owned a Bamboo, so I cannot tell you anything but what Wacom suggests.  It is similar to suggestions for the Intuos and Cintiq lines.  Here are the suggestions:

Windows 7/Vista Bamboo Driver:

Disconnect the tablet from the computer
Open your Start Menu and then the Control Panel
Open Programs and Features
Uninstall any listing here for Bamboo or Pen Tablet and then restart the computer

Windows XP Bamboo Driver:

Disconnect the tablet from the computer
Open your Start Menu and then the Control Panel
Open Add or Remove Programs
Uninstall any listing here for Bamboo or Pen Tablet and then restart the computer

Mac Bamboo Driver:

Open your Applications folder and locate any Bamboo or Pen Tablet folders you have
Use the Utility in each of these folders and click ‘Remove’ under ‘Tablet Software’

OK, that’s it for installing and uninstalling Wacom tablet drivers.

In my next post we will begin to set up my tablet.  I say begin because for me, the best way to set up a tablet is to have it open while I paint.  When painting I will see functions that I use all the time.  It will be those functions that I will want to add to the tablet.  So look for the next post.  I hope you enjoy this one until then.


21 responses to “Install and Uninstall a Wacom Tablet Driver for a Mac or a PC

  1. Thank you Skip for another helpful video. I bought my first Wacom tablet (Intuos 5) a few months ago and I having a hard time with it. I find the tabs on the side inconsistent with how much pressure to use. Sometimes I don’t get a response at all. The touch mode is just the opposite. If I leave it on the slightest movement triggers it! I hope you new video will address the proper way to use this tablet.

    • The next videos will be about using the Intuos 5, which I love. I also love the touch controls and find them very useful. Anyway…I’ll explain my take on setting it up and hope that it is helpful for you. Thanks.

    • Hi Kathi,
      I actually never unplug and plug back in. Wacom suggests that you unplug before you uninstall and then install a driver. After installation you plug back in.
      Hope this helps,

  2. Hi Skip
    I have been using the Bamboo Create for the past year and recently updated the driver. Bad move for me. The Touch On and Touch Off settings using either the tablet’s button or the Bamboo Preferences utility still brought up a confirmatory text on screen, but in either setting touch was actually always on. Needless to say that was frustrating as the canvas kept moving around merely through my hand resting on the tablet while drawing with the stylus. Uninstalled and reinstalled a few times. Finally uninstalled, and then reinstalled the driver using the original CD. Works fine now. As I am still using XP, and I suspect the new driver exists only to try to support newer Win7 and 8 OS’s needs, I am not going to update this perfectly working Bamboo driver ever again.
    I had been considering buying the new Intuos 5, but after reading some horror stories online in the Wacom site — example:
    I am going to wait until the dust settles. I know it is working well for you and many others, but I’ll still wait a bit.
    And as always your ongoing creation of very useful brushes, and tremendously helpful and inspirational videos, is greatly appreciated. As much fun as I can stand😉

    • Hi Steve,
      Go to your Painter Preferences and look on, I think, the interface tab. If not there, just check all preferences for Turn Touch on. You want to be sure the touch is turned on and it reduces the types of touch to two I think. Anyway, it may help with your issue. I keep mine turned off because I like to use some other touch features for the Intuous 5.

      Let me know if it helps,

      • Hi Skip
        Appreciate the timely response. The only touch related checkbox I can find in 12.2’s Preferences is in the General section and it is titled Enable Multi-Touch. In any case, the old Bamboo driver (from 2011) is working perfectly with my XP and Painter so I am going to leave well enough alone. (It’s just over 27 years since I got my first home computer (in a long line of machines at home and work) and my experiences and headaches over those many years has frequently reproven the saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

  3. Hi, I was wondering if you could help me out.
    I’m using my friends Wacom Bamboo tablet and the touch pad is on but will not turn off. I can use my finger but not the pen.
    I don’t want that, I want to use the pen but I can’t find out how to turn the touch pad off!
    I’ve tried bringing up the settings for it but it will not open.
    I do not have the installation disc to simply uninstall and re-install it to fix the problem.
    Before I could just press one of the side buttons and it would turn it off but it will not work now. (SADFACE)
    Is there a way you can help me?

    • Hi,

      I’m not sure I can help because I do not have a bamboo tablet so I cannot try to reproduce your problem. However, you don’t need the disk to uninstall and re-install the drivers for the bamboo tablet. Just uninstall the drivers as described in this post. Then search for Wacom Drivers and get the driver you need from there. Download it and install it and you should be good to go. You didn’t mention which bamboo you have so I am unsure which driver to recommend. I suspect you will want to go to the legacy drivers and find your model of bamboo and download that driver, which includes all the necessary software.

      Hope this helps,

  4. Hi Skip,
    Seems your the only one that can answer my question. I looked at your video and uninstalled my tablet. It works fine even if I plug it in, but there is no drivers or anything for it guess. Is it really still installed? I uninstalled it because the pen kept highlighting everything and wouldn’t click! I tried to mess around with the pen settings, but it didn’t work. It still highlights and now I don’t know how to update the drivers. I have driver detective and all, but I don’t know how to use it.
    Basically, my tablet is uninstalled and still works and I can’t seem to update the ‘drivers’ it keeps talking about. It’s also still highlighting everything! I just wanna draw.
    I have a Wacom CTE-440 tablet.
    What do I do? I’m not computer savvy.

    • Hello,

      I’m not sure I can help you, but I will try. Please be advised that this is my best guess. I am unfamiliar with the Wacom CTE-440, but I think it is the same thing as the Graphire 4 tablet. This is fairly old technology, I think. My first recommendation is to upgrade to one of the newer tablets sold by Wacom today; I think you would be much happier with the product.
      OK, that being said, if in fact, the product is a Graphire 4, I surmised this from an internet search for your product and found it along with the name Graphire 4, then you can find your drivers on the Wacom site for legacy drivers. Go to the page I have linked for you and look in the product drop down for the Graphire 4. Select it, then look at the operating system drop down, and select your operating system. That will bring up your driver. Download the most recent one and save it somewhere on your computer that you can find again…your desktop is a good choice. Then double click the file and the installation will proceed. Just follow any prompts that may appear. It will probably ask you to restart your computer after installation, which do if it says to. Otherwise you should be good to go.
      You didn’t mention what type of computer you are using and your operating system. When asking questions, that is a pretty important fact to tell me. For instance, if you are using the new Mavricks Operating system for a Mac, then you do need a new driver. If the legacy driver doesn’t work, let me know, and I’ll tell you another solution. But when you come back, be sure and tell me exactly what you have done to install the new driver.
      Hope this helps,

  5. Dear Skip,

    Thank you so much! I thought I had broken the tablet sensitivity and that I’d have to buy a new one. Your tutorial helped me realize all I needed to do was install new software.

    I can’t thank you enough!!!!

  6. When I open the Bamboo folder on my mac, it says that “a supported tablet was not found on the system”. Also, when I go to plug the tablet in, it stays the same whether it’s on or off. I’ve been told resetting the drivers will help but I can’t access them.

    • Hi Rose,
      You may have to call Wacom Technical Support, but it sounds like the Bamboo drivers have not loaded. I would go to the Wacom Driver Page and find your Product. Download the driver and install it. I don’t know if that will do the trick, but it is what I would do. If you cannot find your product on the link I provided, then try looking at Wacom Legacy Drivers. You will need to select your model from the drop down list and then pick your operating system from the drop down list.

      I hope this helps,

  7. Hey thanks for the steps, Skip!
    I use a Cintiq 13HD and I think most of these problems can be fixed by uninstalling and installing the drivers the same way.
    The only question I have is when you install the latest driver, it extracts to a temporary folder and just installs the driver automatically, but then after you restart your computer, do you just plug your USB cable back in and click on the Wacom Tablet Properties? I thought that I had to go through a Setup and I don’t know where the new Wacom Driver folder is and there is no Setup.exe for me to click on, I’m wondering how should I even start my Tablet after I restart my computer?
    It just keeps popping up the same error message about my tablet not being supported and the tablet actually opens but I can’t get to the pen settings when the message is displayed.

    • Hi Joy,
      Yes, after installing the new driver and a reboot, you simply plug in the Cintiq. The computer will match the hardware with the new driver. After they are connected, when you click on Wacom Tablet Properties, it will open. If you saved your settings prior to the uninstall, then you can restore them using the Wacom Tablet Preferences File Utility or the Wacom Desktop Center. As long as the tablet isn’t connected to the computer, you will get the message that a tablet was not found…so do connect the tablet after installation of the driver and a reboot.
      Hope this helps,

  8. hello! i just got my wacom intuos art last week! and i tried downloading the driver from the website! after i downloaded it i tried installing it! and just before finishing the instalation it gives me an error installing and that there is a file messing! and i have to reinstall it again to fix it! i done that several times and still doesnt work! so i downloaded the older driver version! and it worked but just yesterday! it gave me a message saying that the wacom/tablet driver is not found! so i uninstalled it and went to the website again to download it again but i couldnt find the older driver version! and i found that they out up a new driver! so i downloaded it! and tried to install it! but it gave me the same error about the messing file from my computer as the first time ever!! what should i do! i really need help because i am new to all of this! ……. i use windows7….

    • Hi Blacksnow, I’m not sure I can help. I don’t use the newer Intuos products, which were at one time called bamboos. I use something equivalent to the Intuos Pro and I have a Cintiq 24″ HD Touch…so I don’t have a product similar to yours to test. Anyway, here is what I do know. If you go to Intuos Driver Page, there are links that show older versions of the drivers. You can download an older version there. If you still have your older version that worked, you can simply uninstall the newer version and install the older version again. But, if the newer version isn’t working, I am guessing that you probably are not keeping your Windows 7 updated. For the latest drivers to work properly, you do need to keep your Windows Drivers updated. If you haven’t done that, you might want to see if updating the driver fixes your problem.
      The issue of Driver not found is one I do know about. For some reason, the Window service for the Wacom Driver will stop and needs to be restarted. It is pretty easy to do. When you get that error, go to your start menu and type Services in the search box. When it is found…click on it and another window will open called services. There will be a long list of services. Scroll down the list until you see Wacom Professional Services…or something similar. I am not on Windows 7 anymore and am trying to tell you about this from memory. If you select the Wacom Professional Services, look to the left. You should see a Start the Service and a Stop the Service. Click on Start the service…it may say that it is stopping it so that it can start it…that is fine…it will restart the service and then you tablet will be back in service. I hope I have told you this stuff correctly…if you have trouble holler back and I’ll see if I can give a better description. But first go to the link and download the driver that works for you. Or…check your windows updates and see if that will fix your problem with installing the later drivers. Hope this helps, Skip

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