Troubleshoot printer connection and printing in Windows 10

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If you are trying to use a printer and you are having problems, here are solutions to common printer problems.

Step 1. Disconnect and then restart the printer

Sometimes turning the printer power on and off solves the problem. Turn off the printer and disconnect it from the power supply. Wait 30 seconds, plug in and turn on the printer.

If the printer still does not work, go to step 2.

Step 2. Check cables or wireless connection

Check cables (for wired printer). Make sure the printer’s USB cable is securely connected to the printer and the computer. If the USB is not recognized, see Automatically diagnose and fix USB problems in Windows .

Check the wireless connection (of wireless printer) . Do one of the following:

  • Make sure your printer’s wireless option is turned on and available. Many printers have a button that shows a blue wireless connection icon, if one is available. To find out where this printer button is located and how to enable it, see the instructions that came with your printer or visit the manufacturer’s website.
  • Run the printer’s wireless connection test. Many printers have a menu option for testing wireless connectivity. Read the instructions that came with your printer or visit the manufacturer’s website to find out how.
  • If you still have problem, your computer may not be connecting to the wireless network. For more information, see Why can’t I connect to the Internet? For more specialized help, see Fix network connection problems in Windows .
  • If you’re having trouble connecting to a Bluetooth printer, see Troubleshoot Bluetooth in Windows 10: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS .

Note:  If you are using wireless access points, signal extenders, or multiple wireless routers with separate SSIDs, make sure the printer is connected to the same network as your computer.

If the printer still does not work, go to step 3.

Step 3. Uninstall and reinstall the printer

Try removing and reinstalling the printer.

Removing the printer

  1. Click the Start button, then select  SettingsDevices > Printers and scanners .
  2. Under Printers & Scanners, find your printer, select it, and then select  Remove Device .

Reinstall the printer.

You will need to complete various steps when reinstalling or adding a wireless or local printer. Here are the relevant procedures.

Reinstall a wireless printer

  1. Click the Start button, then select  SettingsDevices > Printers and scanners .
  2. Select Add Printer or Scanner . Wait for the search for nearby printers to finish, select the one you want to use, and then select Add a device .

If the printer is turned on and connected to the network, Windows should find it easily. Available printers can include all printers on the network, such as Bluetooth printers and wireless printers, or printers connected to another computer and shared on the network. Certain printers may require permission to be installed.

Comments: 

  • If you are using wireless access points, signal extenders, or multiple wireless routers with separate SSIDs, make sure the printer is connected to the same network as your computer so it can be found and installed.
  • If you have a new wireless printer that was not added to your home network, see the instructions that came with your printer and the printer manufacturer’s website to learn more and obtain the latest printer software.

Tip:  You can print a test page to make sure the printer is working properly. If your printer doesn’t work after installing it, check the manufacturer’s website for information on troubleshooting or updating drivers.

Reinstall a local printer

If you want to reinstall or add a local printer, connect the printer USB cable to an available USB port on the computer, and then turn on the printer.

  1. Click the Start button, then select  SettingsDevices > Printers and scanners .
    Open printers and scanners settings
  2. Find your printer under  Printers & Scanners .
    • If you can see your printer listed, it means it’s installed.
    • If you don’t see your printer listed, select Add a printer or scanner . Wait for the search for available printers to finish, select the one you want to use, and then select  Add a device .

Tip:  You can print a test page to verify that your printer is working. If your printer doesn’t work after installing it, check the manufacturer’s website for information on troubleshooting or updating drivers.

If the printer still does not work, go to step 4.

Step 4. Install the latest printer driver

Most printers require the latest driver to function properly.

If the printer still does not work after installing the appropriate latest driver, continue to step 5.

Step 5. Run the printing troubleshooter

Download and run the printing troubleshooter . It allows you to troubleshoot problems with installing and connecting the printer. (This link opens a browser window and a download dialog. Select Open , and follow the instructions in the troubleshooter.)

If the link to the printing troubleshooter  does not open the tool, type Problems printing with in the search box on the taskbar , click Problems printing with in the list of results , and then click Troubleshooter to download the tool. Click the Open button and follow the steps displayed in the tool.

If the printer still does not work, go to step 6.

Step 6. Clean and reset the print spooler

If the previous steps did not resolve the issue, you may need to clear the spool files and restart the spooler service. The print spooler is a file that manages the printing process. To clear and reset the print spooler:

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type services , and then select Services from the list of results.
  2. Select the Standards tab , and then double-click the Print Spooler file in the list of services.
  3. Select Stop , and then select OK .
  4. Type % WINDIR% \ system32 \ spool \ printers in the search box on the taskbar , select % WINDIR% \ system32 \ spool \ PRINTERS in the results list, and then delete all files in the folder.
  5. In the search box on the taskbar, type services , and then select Services from the list of results.
  6. Select the Standards tab , and then double-click the Print Spooler file in the list of services.
  7. Select Start , select  Automatic in the Boot Type field  , and select OK .

If the printer still does not work, go to step 7.

Step 7. Troubleshoot printer problems after upgrading Windows 10

If you’re having trouble printing after upgrading or updating to the latest version of Windows 10, see Fix printer problems after upgrading or upgrading to Windows 10 .

If the printer still does not work, go to step 8.

Step 8. Change printer status to „online”

If your printer shows an „offline” status, see Solve offline printer problems .