If your Windows computer is unable to establish a connection with your printer, you will see the error message “Windows Cannot Connect to the Printer.” When this occurs, you will not be able to print any documents or complete any other operations that require use of a printer.
If you receive this message, check to see if your printer is switched off, your printer drivers are up to date, or your computer has a tiny issue. When you’ve resolved those problems, your computer may finally establish a connection with your printer and print your documents.
How to Fix Windows Cannot Connect to the Printer
Windows has built-in support for a wide variety of printer models, so you can get to work as soon as you hook up your printer to your computer.
However, you may still get a “cant connect to printer” issue after installing the proper drivers. Many factors, including improper printer setup or disconnected wires, can contribute to this error message.
Solution 1: Use the Windows 10/11 Printer Troubleshooter
If you’re having problems, Windows probably has a tool that can help you find them. The first is a tool designed to diagnose and fix problems with printers. Most problems can be resolved by this troubleshooter without any assistance from you.
Step 1: Press Windows + I to bring up the Settings menu.
Step 2: In the Settings menu, click Update & Security.
Step 3: To begin troubleshooting, click the Troubleshoot button on the left sidebar.
Step 4: On the right, click Extra troubleshooters.
Step 5: Then, from the menu that appears, choose Printer > Run troubleshooter.
Step 6: Hold off on fixing the printer until the troubleshooter has found and fixed the problem.
Solution 2: Restart the Print Spooler Service
In Windows, print jobs are queued up in the print spooler service and held there until the printer is ready to print them.
Any time you get a “Windows Cannot Connect to the Printer” message, it’s a good idea to stop this service and start it again. Deactivating and reactivating this feature takes precisely one minute.
Step 1: To open Run, simply hit the Windows key and the letter R simultaneously.
Step 2: In the Run prompt, enter services.msc and hit Enter.
Step 3: To access its settings, double-click Print Spooler over on the right.
Step 4: To temporarily halt the spooler service, click Stop.
Step 5: Please hold on for just a minute and ten seconds.
Step 6: To restore service, click Start again.
Solution 3: Review Group Policy Editor
If you need a powerful tool to tweak your Windows installation, go no further than the Group Policy Editor (GPE). You can quickly and easily adjust all of Windows’s granular settings using this.
Windows will not let you install printer drivers properly unless you are logged in as an administrator. If this is the case, you can resolve the issue by making a change to a corresponding setting in the Group Policy Editor. If you’re having trouble connecting to your printer, try the following:
Step 1: To access the Run dialog, hit the Windows key plus R.
Step 2: Now hit OK after typing gpedit.msc.
Step 3: Select Printers under Administrative Templates in Computer Configuration.
Step 4: Disable the Limits print driver installation to Administrators setting by double-clicking the relevant menu item.
Step 5: When you’re finished making adjustments, select Apply, and then click OK.
Step 6: Rebooting your computer is now required.
Solution 4: Update Your Printer’s Driver
Get the drivers for your printer from the maker’s website if you haven’t already. After installing the drivers, if problems persist, try updating the driver. To get the most recent driver for your printer, do as is stated below:
Step 1: Start Device Manager by hitting the Windows key and typing the word.
Step 2: If you want to verify all of the available Printers, you may do so by clicking Open and then selecting Print Queues.
Step 3: To access the printer’s menu, just right-click its name in the list.
Step 4: If a menu appears, select Update driver from the drop-down list.
Step 5: Choose Browser my computer for drivers if you have the most recent driver file on your hard disk. Windows Explorer is where you’ll go to select the driver update file.
Step 6: To update your printer’s driver without the driver file, select Search automatically for drivers.
Step 7: Restart your computer after you’re finished.
Each of the aforementioned techniques has a chance of resolving the “windows cannot connect to the printer” issue on a Windows machine.
Although the cause of this problem is unknown, the printer driver is usually to blame. So, make sure to install driver updates on schedule and avoid making any changes to Windows configurations until you’re sure what you’re doing.