How to fix "Cannot connect to printer" error on Windows 11

Xiaobai Software  2022-08-10 16: 46  read 83 views

Windows supports many printers by default, so you can start printing as soon as you connect to your computer.However, even with the correct drivers installed, you may encounter the "Cannot connect to printer" error.This error can occur if you have not set up your printer correctly, or if the printer cable may be loose.

If you're having trouble printing from certain apps or connecting to a printer on Windows, here are some troubleshooting tips.


1. Restart the printer

Restarting the printer is the best way to resolve most printer-related connection problems.

Restarting the printer is very simple using the following steps:

1. Press the power button to turn off the printer.

2. Once the printer's display is turned off, you must unplug the power cord from the printer.

3. Wait at least 20 seconds before reconnecting the power cord.

4. You can now order a test print from your Windows computer to check for connection issues.

In most cases, a simple reboot should resolve any connectivity issues with your printer.However, if the error continues to occur, there are many other ways.

2. Check all connected cables


Turn off your printer and disconnect it from the power source.Now, make sure to check all of your printer's connecting cables.If any cable is loose, you must connect it correctly to avoid connection problems.Also, if any cables are damaged or cut, the only way is to replace them.

Also, make sure the cable is connected to the correct port before turning on the power.If you're not sure about the port, you can refer to the printer manufacturer's website or the guide provided by the printer itself.Finally, you can power up and check for errors by printing a test file.

3. Review Group Policy Editor

Group Policy Editor (GPE) is an advanced configuration editor for the Windows operating system.It allows you to adjust most of the Windows advanced settings in a short time.

When you connect the printer to your computer without administrator rights, Windows doesn't allow you to install the driver properly.In this case, you need to modify an option in the Group Policy Editor to fix it.

Follow the steps below to troubleshoot printer connection issues:

1. Open the Run menu by pressing Win + R on the keyboard.

2. Now, enter gpedit.msc and click OK.


3. Under Computer Configuration, click Administrative Templates > Printers.

4. Double-click the "Restrict print driver installation to administrators" option and select "Disabled".


5. To save the changes, click Apply, and then click OK.

6. Now you must restart your computer.

Also, make sure the "Allow print spooler to accept client connections" option is set to "Not Configured" or "Enabled".

4. Update your printer driver

If you haven't installed the driver for your printer, go to the printer manufacturer's website and download the necessary driver from there.

If you have installed the driver and still facing the problem, you need to update the driver.Follow the steps mentioned below to update your printer driver:

1. Press the Windows key, enter Device Manager, and open the "Start" menu.


2. Click "Open" and select "Print Queue" to check all connected printers.

3. Right-click your printer name in the list.

4. In the context menu that follows, click Update Driver.


5. If you have downloaded the latest driver file, select "Browse for driver on my computer".Then, you must select the driver file from Windows Explorer to update the driver.

6. If you do not have the driver file, click Search for driver automatically to update the printer driver.

7. When finished, restart your computer.

If you're not a geek and want a one-click solution, you can use any of the free driver updaters for Windows.Before running a driver scan, you must connect the printer to your computer.

If the preinstalled driver is damaged, it can cause problems with the printer.Thankfully, with each major update, Microsoft keeps adding support for more and more printers and their drivers.That's why we always recommend updating your PC to the latest Windows version.

5. Run the printer troubleshooter

Microsoft has provided a dedicated troubleshooter for fixing printer-related issues in Windows.So, if you're still having trouble solving a problem with your printer, running a printer troubleshooter might help.

Here are the steps to follow to run the Printer Troubleshooter:

1. Press Win + I to open the Settings app.

2. Click System > Troubleshoot > Other Troubleshooters, and then click Run next to the Printer option.Once complete, the troubleshooter will automatically display recommended fixes on the screen.


3. Once all fixes have been applied, click Close Troubleshooter.

4. Finally, restart your computer and recheck the connection.

Even if you're not a techie, fixing Windows-related errors is easy with the help of the default troubleshooter.

6. Restart the print spooler service

If you've followed all the steps above and are still struggling, restarting the print server service may help ease your headache.

The Printer Spool Service in Windows helps the operating system identify connected printers.So if the print spool service is disabled, even by mistake, you have no way of getting your printer working.

You can restart the print spool service using the steps below:

1. Press the Win+R key combination to open the "Run" menu.

2. Once the menu appears, enter services.msc and click OK.

3. Scroll down and find Print Spooler in the list.

4. Click the Print Spooler option, and on the left side of the screen, click Restart.


5. Now, try reconnecting your printer and your computer again.

Get your printer working again

Hope all the methods above can help you resolve the "Cannot connect to printer" error on your Windows computer.

While there is no specific cause for this error, the most common failure comes from the printer's driver.Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you update your drivers in a timely manner and do not adjust any settings in Windows without prior knowledge.

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