Fix: Windows Couldn’t Connect to the Printer

If you receive an error message as Windows couldn’t connect to the printer when using the printer, this post will help you resolve the problem. While it can happen because of anything, many users have reported about Windows Update is one of the reasons for causing the issue. This post will help fix the problem in Windows 11/10.

What Causes This Problem?

There can be multiple reasons why printers can have issues on Windows PC. It can be because of a firewall, a corrupt driver, or a disabled printer.

Basic Checks Before Getting Started on the Range of Solutions

Before we start troubleshooting, ensure to check on a few basic things to know it’s not a basic mistake or a glitch.

1] Did You Turn on the Printer?

The last used printer is set as default if you’re using Windows. To connect the PC to the printer in real-time, click Start. Go to Settings: select devices, printers, and scanners. Make sure the checkbox beside Let Windows manage my default printer” is selected.

2] Did You Connect the PC With the Printer? Check the Wires

At times, the PC and printer don’t stay connected on the same network. You need to check if the printer is available in share mode from the primary PC.

Navigate to Start. Choose settings, then devices. Then select printers and scanners. Select the printer you want to connect with, and click on manage. Open the Printer Properties and Sharing tab and enable the Share this printer feature.

3] Did You Restart the PC?

Try restarting the system as it can simply solve the problem. When a PC restarts, it closes everything and relaunches everything from fresh. A lot of temporary issues can be resolved.

If none of these works, follow the detailed guide to resolve the problem.

Fix: Windows Couldn't Connect to the Printer

Fix: Windows Couldn’t Connect to the Printer

Here are seven ways by which you can fix the Windows couldn’t connect to the Printer problem in Windows 11/10

  1. Run Printer Troubleshooter
  2. Update Printer Driver if listed as an unspecified device in Device Manager
  3. Reinstall Printer
  4. Check Windows Firewall Blocks
  5. Restart Printer Spooler Service
  6. Windows Update
  7. Registry Changes

Some of them will need admin permission to execute the steps.

1] Run the Printer Troubleshooter

Printer Troubleshooter Windows

Sometimes, only running the printer troubleshooter can fix the particular problem on Windows 11 PC. It can be executed in the following steps:

  • Right-click on the Start button and choose Run. It will open the Run command window.
  • Type ms-settings: troubleshoot in the search bar and press OK. It will lead to the Troubleshoot settings window.
  • Next, under the Options section on the right side, select other troubleshooters.
  • You will find the Most frequent section on the right side. Under it, select Printer and then Run. The troubleshooter will start running, and if any issue exists, it will be automatically fixed.

Later on, close the troubleshooter and see if the printer can be connected to the system.

2] Update Printer Driver if listed as an unspecified device in Device Manager

Uninstall Printer Driver from Device List

If the printer driver is broken and nonfunctional, it’s best to uninstall it. You can do it in the steps listed below:

  • Press Win+R hotkeys to open the Run command window.
  • A search bar will appear. You need to type devmgmt.msc followed by clicking on OK to open the Device Manager window.
  • Next, go to Print queues and click on it to expand the section.
  • Right-click on the printer and choose Uninstall Device.
  • Select Uninstall again to confirm the same.
  • When uninstallation is complete, go to the manufacturer’s website and download the updated printer driver version led by manual installation. The new version would resolve the problem.

3] Reinstall the Printer

Uninstall Printer Windows

  • Go to Settings (Win + I) and select Devices. Then choose Printers & scanners.
  • Now, select the printer that needs to be removed.
  • Click on Remove device and select Yes

These steps will delete the driver from your system. If you have additional devices connected to the computer, repeat the process to delete them individually. 

To reinstall the printer, connect it to the system and download the driver from OEM for installation.

4] Check Windows Firewall Blocks and Inactivate Them

Many a time, printer problems arise due to enabling Windows Defender Firewall on the system, which prevents any external device from connecting with the PC. The Firewall must be disabled to help fix the issue in such situations.

Customize Windows Firewall Settings

  • Press Win+R to launch the Run command window.
  • In the search bar, type firewall.cpl and press Enter. It will open the Windows Defender Firewall window in Control Panel.
  • Click on Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off on the left side.
  • Then in the Customise Setting window, navigate to Private Network settings for each network and choose the Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended) option. Click on Ok to save the changes and close.
  • Repeat the process for Public network settings as well.
  • Now, try to connect the printer to the system.

If this works, you will need to check if the printer ports or printer services are being restricted anywhere in the firewall list.

5] Restart Printer Spooler Service

Restart Printer Spooler Service

It is a printer-related service offered by windows systems without which printers cant function. You can try restarting the designated service in a few steps:

  • Open Run prompt using Win+ R, type services.msc, and then press the Enter key
  • Next, navigate to Print Spooler. Right-click on the option and choose to restart

This will restart the Printer Spooler Service, and if something is stuck, this should clear it out.

6] Windows Update

Updating Windows can be another alternative. Microsoft rolls out general fixes through Windows updates that can help fix the problems.

Check if an update is available for Windows

  • Press the Win+R keys to launch the Run command.
  • As the search bar pops up, type ms-settings:windowsupdate and press Enter. It will open the windows update page in the Settings panel. Go to the right side and select Check for updates. If any update is available, it will be downloaded successfully.
  • After the download is complete, it will show the Install now button. Press it.
  • Lastly, you will be asked to reboot the PC with immediate effect, or a time and data can be chosen as per your convenience for the action to be initiated.

It should solve the issue of Windows couldn’t connect to the Printer.

7] Use Registry Editor

Before making any changes in the settings, you must have a backup of the registry data to avoid data loss. Once done, follow these steps:

registry fix for Windows could not connect to printer

  • Press Win+R to open the Run command.
  • Type regedit in the search bar. Press enter to launch the Registry Editor panel.
Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print
  • Navigate to the right side of the window and right-click on a blank area.
  • Then choose New, followed by selecting DWORD(32-bit) Value.
  • Next, rename the DWORD value as RpcAuthnLevelPrivacyEnabled. Double click on the newly created value to open the Edit DWORD(32-bit) Value section.
  • Next, go to the Value data field and type 0. Choose Hexadecimal in the Base. Press OK to save the changes and close the dialogue box.
  • Exit the Registry Editor window and restart the system.

Check if the issue has been resolved.

Conclusion

I hope the post was easy to follow, and you were able to fix Windows couldn’t connect to the Printer error on your Windows PC.

What Are the Most Common Printer Problems?

There are a few common printer problems that you may run into. These include paper jams, ink cartridge issues, and connectivity problems. Paper jams are probably the most common issue that you will encounter. They can be caused by various things, such as ripped or crumpled paper, debris in the paper tray, or even a problem with the printer itself.

Ink cartridge issues are another common problem. It can be caused by an empty cartridge, clogged cartridge, or defective. Connectivity problems can be caused by a variety of things, such as a bad connection between the printer and the computer, a problem with the printer’s drivers, or even a problem with the printer itself.

What Can Cause a Printer Not To Print?

There are several potential causes for a printer not to print. One common issue is that the printer is not connected correctly to the computer. Another possibility is that the printer is turned off or is not receiving power. Additionally, the printer may be out of ink or toner. Finally, there may be an issue with the printer driver or with the document that is being printed.

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