FIX: Unable to Install Printer in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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FIX Unable to Install Printer in Windows 10

What to do if Windows 10 won’t install a new printer

  1. Buy a new printer
  2. Check your print process files
  3. Run the printer troubleshooter
  4. Use Clean Boot
  5. Uninstall your printer driver

Windows 10 offers great tools for creating various documents of all kinds. And of course, you’ll have to print those documents from time to time. But what if you face some kind of problem with your printer? Don’t worry, there might be a solution for that.
Unable to Install Printer in Windows 10

I can’t install my printer on Windows 10. Nothing happens when I click ‘Add Printer’.

Solution 1: Buy a new printer

Since you’re experiencing this issue in Windows 10, there’s a possibility that your printer is not compatible with the system, especially if you’re using an older one. So if you want to print your documents in Windows 10, you’ll have to buy a new printer if your current one is not compatible.

So, now that you’ve made sure that your printer is indeed compatible with Windows 10, but you’re still unable to install it, you can try the following solution.

Solution 2: Check your print process files

There’s a possibility that your PC is missing some print process files. In that case, you don’t have to re-install the whole system for this, all you have to do is to copy needed files from the PC without this problem and you’re good to go. Here’s exactly what you need to do:

  1. First, go to Search, type services and open Services.mscPrinter not responding to computer
  2. In Services, find Print Spooler service and stop it
  3. Now, from working PC, copy all files from the following location to the same location on the PC that has issues with the printer:
    • C:\Windows\System32\spool\prtprocsx64

Now you have to create a registry entry for your newly copied print process file. Just follow these instructions to do that:

  1. On the ‘working’ computer, go to Search, type regedit and open Registry Editor
  2. Navigate to the following path:
  3. Right-click on Print Processors folder and go to Export
  4. Save it on an external drive
  5. Now open Registry Editor on ‘other’ computer
  6. Navigate the same path as above
  7. Go to File, Import and import the registry file from you previously saved

— RELATED: How to fix printer queue in Windows 10, 8, 7

Solution 3: Run the printer troubleshooter

Windows 10 also features a built-in troubleshooter that allows you to quickly fix general print-related issues. To run it, simply go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshooter > run the Printer troubleshooter.

run printer troubleshooter windows 10

Additionally, you can also run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter.

Solution 4: Use Clean Boot

Sometimes, some of the apps and programs installed on your device may prevent Windows 10 from detecting and installing your printer. In order to fix this issue, you can clean boot your computer so that it uses only the minimum set of drivers and apps it needs.

  1. Go to Start > type msconfig > hit Enter
  2. Navigate to System Configuration > click on the Services tab >  check the Hide all Microsoft services check box > click Disable all.hide all microsoft services
  3. Go to the Startup tab > Open Task Manager.
  4. Select each startup item > click Disabledisable startup programs
  5. Reboot your computer.

Solution 5: Uninstall your printer driver

If your printer driver installed incorrectly or your old printer’s driver is still available on your machine, this could also prevent you from installing a new printer. In this case, you need to completely uninstall all printer drivers using Device Manager.

That would be all, you should be able to install your printer now. We hope that one of these fixes solved the problem. If you have any questions or suggestions related to this guide, let us know in the comments below.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2015 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in July 2015 and was revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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