Cannot connect to the Printer error in Windows are very ordinary but they are very disturbing especially when you are in a hurry.
In this blog, I am going to demonstrate how to solve Cannot Connect To The Printer Error In Windows and give you the full solution so that it does not bother you again. If you have any printer-related issues you can check our printer guide section.
Also See: Our Recommended Best Printers
How to Fix Windows that cannot connect to a Printer?
When you are connected within a local network that shares a printer, the error message may appear when you try to add the shared printer to your computer using the Add Printer feature.
This problem occurs because Windows 10 or Windows 7 looks for the Mscms.dll file in a subdirectory other than the windows\system32 subfolder once the printer is installed.
If Windows is unable to connect to the printer, the fault is likely with the printer’s drivers.
Moreover, it is also a good idea to double-check the physical connections and cords between all of the printing components.
Keep in mind, however, that you can perform some basic checks to determine if the printer is functioning properly.
There is now a Microsoft hotfix available for Windows that cannot connect to printer issues. However, it does not appear to be working for a number of users.
So, without wasting any more time, let’s learn how to fix the Cannot Connect To The Printer Error In Windows 10/11 using the troubleshooting guide provided below.
Make sure the printer is working perfectly.
A lot of printer connection troubles from simple issues like a cable that isn’t correctly connected or other fundamental settings.
Although these may seem self-evident to many of you, for windows cannot connect to a printer error, there’s no harm in checking them out before moving on to more sophisticated matters.
- The power is connected and turned on.
Check to see if the printer’s power cable is hooked into a power socket. Also, ensure that the printer is turned on by pressing the power button. It should be a light or a display signal.
- Check that the data wire is properly attached.
It’s possible that the data cable between your printer and computer isn’t correctly plugged in; double-check both ends for an appropriate connection.
If you have any instances to believe that the present cable has been damaged, you can try a different one. In the case of wireless printers, turn on the wireless option on your printer, then conduct the wireless connectivity test from the menu option for wireless printers.
- All network components should be turned on.
When using a shared printer or a network printer, it has to be ensured that all of the necessary components are correctly switched on.
If a printer is shared over a network PC, that PC should be turned on. In addition, the router that connects the PC must be appropriately operational.
- Try restarting your computer.
Although it is not directly related to the windows cannot connect to the printer issue of your printer, a reboot of Windows can resolve a variety of topics. First press the Start button, followed by the Power symbol, and then Restart. Check for any changes once the computer restarts.
Inspect if your printer is an Unspecified Device and revise the drivers
- Figure out if your printer is an Unspecified Device.
- Click the Start button, type control into the search box, then select Control Panel from the list of options.
- Select your printers and devices.
- Check under the ‘Unspecified’ option to see if your printer is listed.
So, If your printer is listed in the Unspecified section, proceed to the following steps.
- Drivers should be updated
- Choose Device Manager from the list by right-clicking the Start button.
- Expand Printers or Printer Queues, locate your printer in the list, right-click it, and choose the option for Update Driver. If you can’t find it in the options above, look under USB controllers or LPT on your computer.
- Select ‘Automatically search for drivers now.’
- If a new driver is detected, the system will install it, and you will need to restart your computer to apply the changes.
However, manually downloading and installing the driver is another option to consider. If Windows can’t discover a driver update for your printer or you don’t have an installation disk, do this.
Another option for updating your drivers is to utilize a utility like DriverFix. Install it, and it will automatically update all obsolete drivers with just a few clicks.
Uninstall and reinstall your printer
For uninstalling the printer from your computer.
- Choose Start and then Settings.
- Selecting Devices
- Click Printers & scanners.
- Find your printer and right-click it, then choose Remove device.
Reinstalling the printer
- Select Settings from the Start button.
- Select your devices.
- Click Printers & Scanners.
- Choose this option to ‘Add a printer or scanner.’
- If your printer is detected by the system, select the printer and continue with the installation. If the printer you want is not displayed, you can click on ‘The printer I want isn’t listed.
- You now have a variety of options, including a network or Bluetooth printer. Since it’s the most popular option, we chose ‘Add a local printer’ in our example. Choose the suitable option for you and then click ‘Next.’
- Then, from the drop-down box, select the port to which your printer is connected and click Next. Printers are commonly attached to a USB connection nowadays, although this may not be the case in your situation.
If you’re unsure about which one it is, look for it in the user manual of the printer or try contacting the manufacturer.
- Look through the list for the manufacturer and model number. If there aren’t enough options, pressing the Windows Update button will add a lot more, but it will take a few minutes.
- If you have the software disc that comes with the printer, you may also click the ‘Have Disk’ button. Click ‘Next’ after you’ve chosen your printer.
- Click ‘Next’ after selecting the printer name (it’s already there, but you can change it).
- The printer will be installed in a few seconds by the system. You can choose whether or not to share the printer, but at the end of the process, click Next.
- You can click ‘Finish’ after clicking the ‘Print a test page’ button in the last window. We recommend printing the page because it will tell you if the printer is working.
To confirm that the printer is working properly, try giving a test print. If it’s installed but not functioning, look for troubleshooting or driver upgrades on the device’s manufacturer’s website.
To link to a local printer, join the printer’s USB cord to a computer USB port, then turn on the printer.
Temporarily disable your antivirus security software
For disabling the antivirus temporarily –
- Click the Start button, type ‘security’ into the search box, and then select Windows Security from the list of options.
- Select ‘Virus and Threat Protection’ from the drop-down menu.
- Under Virus & Threat Protection Settings, scroll down and choose ‘Manage settings.’
- Real-time protection’ should be turned off.
We’ve shown you how to disable your system’s fundamental protection, i.e., Microsoft Windows Defender.
If you have a third-party antivirus installed, however, the Windows Defender protection has already been evaded, and you will need to disable that antivirus instead.
Look for the disable feature in your antivirus’s main window or in its settings window. Don’t worry; they all have the capacity to turn themselves off.
Check Default printer settings
Another step for resolving windows cannot connect printer issues is checking your printer’s default settings –
- Select ‘Settings’ from the Start menu.
- Selecting ‘Devices’
- On the left pane, select ‘Printers & Scanners’.
- Scroll down to uncheck the box that says ‘Let Windows manage my default printer.
You can change this setting on Windows 10 from the current printer to the one you want to use if your printer keeps switching from the default one.
Perform a Windows Update
For performing a windows update –
- To check for updates from the results, go to Start, type Update, and then click ‘Check for updates from the results.
- Right-click the ‘Check for Update’s button.
- If the system detects new updates, they will be downloaded and installed; however, you must restart your computer for the updates to take effect.
Keep Windows up to date with the latest system updates and drivers for a healthy system. This also helps in the resolution of any concerns or problems you may be having.
Clear spooler files and restart spooler service
Stop the spooler service of printer –
- Click Start, type ‘services,’ and then select the app from the list of options.
- Double-click ‘Print Spooler’ under ‘Services.’
- Choose ‘Stop,’ then ‘OK.’
Restart the Print Spooler service after deleting the contents of the Spool folder –
- To open File Manager, press Windows key + E, then navigate to the (C:\\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS) path.
- If you find any folders in the folder, delete them all.
- Select the ‘Services’ app from the results by pressing the Start button and typing services.
- Double-click ‘Print Spooler’ under ‘Services’ once again.
- Start by pressing the Start button.
- Select ‘Automatic’ from the Startup Type drop-down menu.
- After that, click ‘Apply,’ then ‘OK.’
Create a New Local Port
If you encounter the message “Windows cannot connect to the printer” when attempting to add a network shared printer, you must be quite frustrated.
One of the most recommended methods try by creating a new local port, as follows –
- Go to Control Panel
- Click ‘Devices and Printers’ by viewing large icons.
- At the top of the window, select ‘Add a printer.’ Note: To proceed, you must log in as an administrator to the computer.
- Select ‘Add a printer to your wireless or Bluetooth network.
- Select ‘Create a new port,’ change the “Type of port” to Local Port and press the Next button.
- In the box, type a port name. The printer’s address is the port name. IP address or Computer Name\ Printer’s Name is the address format. Then press the OK button.
- Click the Next button after selecting the printer model from the directory.
- To finish attaching the printer, follow the rest of the easy steps and then complete the setup.
Copy “mscms.dll” Manually
To copy the mscms.dll manually, follow the steps below –
- Find the file “mscms.dll” in C:\Windows\system32.
- Copy the file to this location:
C:\windows\system32\spool\drivers\x64\3\ if you’re using a 64-bit version of Windows
C:\windows\system32\spool\drivers\w32x86\3\ if you’re using a 32-bit version of Windows
- Try reconnecting to the printer if necessary.
Delete a Subkey
Incorrectly modifying registry keys can result in major system issues. So, before you begin modifying, take a backup of the registry key so that you can restore it if anything goes wrong.
- Turn off the Print Spooler service.
To stop the service, follow the procedures –
- When you press Win+R, the Run dialogue box appears.
- In the run box, type ‘Services.msc’ and press the OK button.
- Locate and double-click ‘Service Print Spooler’ in the Name list.
- Click the Stop button under Service Status.
- At the same time, press Win + R (Windows logo key and R key). A Run dialogue box appears.
- In the run box, type ‘regedit’ and hit the OK button.
- Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Print\Providers\Client Side Rendering Print Provider
- Select Delete from the Client Side Rendering Print Provider by right-clicking on it.
- The Print Spooler service should now be started.
- Restart your computer and attempt again to install the printer.
Run Printer Troubleshooter
Suppose you see the following error message (Windows cannot connect to the printer, Error Operation failed with error 0x0000011b) while attempting to print from a network shared printer or adding a new printer. In that case, you can try running a printer troubleshooter.
Follow the steps below –
- Follow the steps below to launch Printer Troubleshooter in Windows 11.
- From the Start Menu, select Settings.
- Access System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters.
- Find the Printer troubleshooter and press the Run button.
- Follow the steps below to launch Printer Troubleshooter in Windows 10.
- By pressing Win + I, you can access the Settings menu.
- Select Update, and Troubleshooter > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooter from the drop-down menu.
- After that, click Printer and run the troubleshooter.
Allow the troubleshooter to finish its work and see whether the problem remains.
We hope that our solutions assisted you in resolving the Cannot Connect To The Printer Error In Windows and that you are now able to continue working without interruption.
If none of our suggestions helped, contact the manufacturer of your printer for additional troubleshooting and support, depending on your individual problem.
Uninstalling third-party software on your PC, such as computer cleaners or antivirus applications, is another alternative.
When it comes to protecting your PC with antivirus software, temporarily disable it because you’ll need it to keep your computer safe from security threats.
You can re-enable it as soon as you’re done repairing the connection fault.
However, if the antivirus is the source of the problem, this would be a good time to switch to a different one.
Check More Printer Problem Solutions
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5 Simple Ways To Add or Install A Printer In Windows 11
How To Fix Printer Port in Use, Please Wait Error (5 Simple Ways)
How You Can Clean Streaks On A Laser Printer (7 Simple Steps)
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Tanmoy Misra found his love for tech early in life when he got his first Nintendo (NES) console. He spent many hours blowing into cartridges to no avail until inspiration struck and he started taking apart and rebuilding anything that didn’t work. After dropping console gaming at the end of high school, Tanmoy entered the world of PC online gaming. His love of gaming and problem-solving soon led him to build his computers. As per expertise, he is an ISF-certified video calibrator and covering AV for a number of publications since 2018.