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Are Focusrite USB interfaces 'Plug and Play' on Windows?

Applies to: Scarlett 1st and 2nd Generation ranges, Forte, Saffire 6 USB

In short, no - Focusrite interfaces require a driver in order to run properly on all Windows systems. To obtain the latest driver for your interface you can either log into your account where you'll find any drivers listed under 'Downloads and Activation Codes' below your product:


OR you can visit the Downloads section of our website and then select your product from either dropdown list to view all available drivers/software:


The driver for the Scarlett 6i6, 8i6, 18i6, 18i8 and 18i20 is installed as part of Scarlett Mix Control (1st Generation) or Focusrite Control (2nd Generation). The driver for the Forte is installed as part of Forte Control.

Please note: an update for Windows 10 that is available from the 11th April 2017 (version 1703, informally known as the 'Creators' update) includes the addition of a 'Microsoft USB 2.0 Audio Class Driver'. This driver is assigned to USB 2.0 audio devices that do not have any other drivers from the manufacturer installed for them. This means that, if you don't install the driver for your device by following the steps above and instead connect your interface to the computer without installing any drivers, the Microsoft USB 2.0 Audio Class Driver will be assigned to your interface instead. At the time of writing, this driver does NOT work with Focusrite USB devices.

If the Microsoft USB 2.0 Audio Class Driver is assigned to your device then you will still see it appear as a Playback and Recording device, however you will be unable to play any sound back through it and you may encounter errors when trying to playback or record. You can check which driver is currently assigned to your interface by going to Control Panel > Device Manager, then expand the 'Sound, video and game controllers' section. Double-click on your interface in this section and then go to the 'Driver' tab to reveal the driver version currently assigned to that device. If this version begins with a '10' as per the screenshot below then this is the Microsoft driver - if that's the case, please follow the steps at the beginning of this article to install the latest Focusrite driver instead.


If you have any problems then please Contact Technical Support

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