All about Installing, Uninstalling, and Deciding Which Wacom Driver to Use

Hello Everyone,

Wacom released new drivers on 27 Jul 2016.  I decided it was time to update my information on installing and uninstalling Wacom Drivers.  Also, there is confusion about which drivers to use for which products.  Following are my thoughts on these issues; some of them are different from what I have posted before.

Updating from an older Wacom Driver to a Newer Wacom Driver:

If you keep your Wacom Drivers up to date, then you should have a program called Wacom Desktop Center.  You can find it in your apps.  This program or utility notifies you when there is an update to your Wacom Driver.  In my experience, sometimes it does and sometimes it does not.  But it does have a lot of useful functions.  You can back up and restore your preferences, you can make changes to your preferences, you can get help and find tutorials.  But the most useful function is its ability to install an updated driver.  It does this seamlessly and there is no need to uninstall the current driver first.  Whether you are on a PC or a Mac, when you need to update your current driver to the latest driver, I suggest using the Wacom Desktop Center.  If you are updating from an older driver and you do not have a Wacom Desktop Center, then use the manual methods shown in later videos.

Manually uninstalling and then reinstalling your current Wacom Driver on a PC:

From time to time, things go awry.  You are finding that you tablet isn’t performing as it should.  There could be lots of reasons for this and I am not going into those, but many folks think that uninstalling and installing the same driver will solve the problem.  This uninstall/install process is best done manually.  The next video shows the process for a PC.

Manually uninstalling and the reinstalling your current Wacom Driver on a Mac:

This video covers the manual process for uninstalling and reinstalling your Wacom Driver on a Mac.  I know that many folks uninstall their current driver by dropping the Wacom Folder into the trash bin.  I believe it is better to remove the Wacom Software through the Wacom Tablet Utility.  Check out the steps outlined in this video.

But…What Wacom driver is best for my tablet or Cintiq Model – Latest One or Legacy:

OK…I believe this issue is one that is the most misunderstood of any issues with Wacom drivers.  I believe that the problem is with Wacom’s website, which isn’t easy to understand.  But let me go back a few years.  I called Wacom support with some question, which I don’t remember now, but the support tech told me at that time that the drivers for my Intuos 4 would work for my Intuos 3.  The information was correct.  So, I continued updating drivers listed for the Intuos 4 and later for the Intuos 5 without having any issues with any of my tablets.  But, I kept hearing from folks who were having issues and they needed to go back to a previous driver for their tablet or Cintiq to work correctly.  I wasn’t having an issue, but since others were and the solution always was go back to a previous driver, I joined the fray and suggested going back to a previous driver, too.  But, what was the real problem?

I think the problem relates to updating the operating System (OS).  Think about it.  Why does Wacom or any other company update its drivers?  To keep up with changes to the OS is a major reason.  So the perfect driver for your tablet is the driver released about the same time that you last updated your OS…PC or Mac.  In other words, if you have kept your Mac or PC updated to the absolute last OS update, then you should use the latest Wacom Driver even if you are using a Wacom Intuos 3.  I know it works on my Intuos 5 Touch and Cintiq 24″HD Touch.  I am away from home and I cannot test my Intuos 3, but I am pretty sure my theory is correct.  You guys will let me know if it isn’t.  But, remember, the key is when you updated your OS.  I am talking about updates here…not upgrades.  If I understand Wacom website correctly, if you are still on Windows 7, but it is currently updated, then use the latest Wacom driver for the Intuos family…or the one listed for the Intuos Pro.  The same would be true for a Mac OS; if you are using an updated 10.9 x, then you can use the latest Wacom Driver.  I believe the following video gives a better explanation.


Well that about covers it.  The information provided is strictly my opinion; I do not have any contact with anyone at Wacom.  I am sharing what works for me.  I hope it is helpful and works for you, too.



11 responses to “All about Installing, Uninstalling, and Deciding Which Wacom Driver to Use

  1. Hi Skip,

    Thanks so much for your comments on the Intuos tablet drivers. I had decided to update my Intuos 4 with a new driver so obediently removed the old driver before going to the Wacom site for a new one. I looked for the new driver for it and couldn’t find it. I was thinking my old tablet was going in the trash. But because of your email I did find the driver for the Intros tablets, installed it and now my old tablet is working fine. I wish I could say the same about my Cintiq 21UX. I’m not having problems with it but I’ve read that it is no longer supported. Do you know if the driver for the newer Cintiqs will work on the 21UX? Sorry your sister is sick. You are
    Such a good brother to her her out.

    • Hi Marty,
      Sorry for the delay in answering. I wish I had good news, but as far as I can tell the 21 UX is no longer supported. You might contact Wacom support and ask them if they have anything that might help you out, but I am guessing they do not. If they did, I think it would still be listed under the legacy drivers.

      I wish I had better news, but unfortunately, it is the norm for manufacturers to stop supporting older products…sigh.

      Just out of curiosity…did you watch the fourth video about how to determine which driver to use for your product. I am guessing that you haven’t kept your OS up to date and that is why you didn’t use the current driver listed for the Intuos Pro.

      Enjoy the Intuos 4,

      • Hey Marty,
        Forget everything I said in my previous note. My dear friend, Tim Shelbourne, noticed your question and my reply and sent me a note. He said that he still has a 21 UX, but hasn’t used it for years and also mentioned that he has a friend still using his 21 UX. Tim also gave me this link. Wacom Asia Tablet Drivers. This is the most detailed list I have seen and it is showing the 21 UX. I would find the Operating System you are using…and match that to the driver listed…and download it and give it a try. Remember, you must match the OS exactly…based on the last time you updated the driver. Let me know if it worked.
        Good luck,

  2. Hi Skip
    I have the Wacom Desktop Center but never used it to install new updates, thank you so much for this info I just updated to the latest driver.

  3. I think you do the best job detailing how to upgrade drivers for wacom. I have a intuos 4 PTK, and found that none of the new drivers work on my HP laptop with windows. Followed all the steps on your videos, did the same with the driver that the wacom tech support sent to me, they did not work. Finally went back to the driver page and chose an older 2012 windows xp, 7, 8 driver that I had not tried before and finally got windows to recognize the driver and get the mouse and wacom art pen to work properly.

    • Hi Bob,

      Thanks for the nice note. I am wondering if you watched the last video about finding the right driver for your product. In it, I talk about making sure your current OS is updated. To use the new driver, you need at least Windows 7, 8, or 10. And those versions need to be updated with the latest updates. If they are not, then yes, you have to go back to an earlier driver. At least, that is what I think. However, if you tell me your Windows is actually up to date and the new driver didn’t work, then I may need to go back to the drawing board. You can go to your Control Panel and check to see if there are updates available. I’m not saying download them…if you are happy with stuff the way it is, then stay there. I just need to know if you are updated and that the current driver for the Intuos Pro did not work.

  4. Skip – our Mac has been boxed for the last 18 months due to home relocation. Upon startup we noticed that the Desktop Center shows a new driver available but when I click on the driver update nothing happens. I notice there is a message in the upper right hand corner of DT Center stating “Not Connected”. We are definitely connected to the Internet. I’ve been unable to figure out what the problem is and hoped you might have some suggestions since I would prefer to use DT Center to do the update. Given this excellent video I can certainly update the driver manually if that’s best.

    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Mark, Sorry for the late reply…I have been away from home and just returned last night. I hope you have figured out what is wrong…I’m not sure I know. I am on a PC and when my desktop opens, in the upper right hand corner, it says Log In | More. If I click more, there are some other options. Anyway…a Mac saying not connected might be the same thing as not logged in…just guessing. I am not sure what to tell you. I know I do not log in when I update using the desktop center. I wish I had a Mac and then I could try to troubleshoot for you. The only other thing I can think of is your device isn’t connected. In other words, try checking to see that you tablet or cintiq is well connected to your computer. It should be working even though you have not updated. If it is connected to the computer…then I am at a loss. Good luck.

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