What to do if your HP printer couldn’t print

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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hp printer couldn't print

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HP printer users have discussed “The printer couldn’t print” error on HP support forums. The full error message states: “Error printing on (printer model). The printer couldn’t print (document title).

As a result, users can’t print the required documents when that error message appears. Here are some resolutions that might fix “The printer couldn’t print” error for HP printers in Windows.

How to fix ‘The Printer Couldn’t Print’ errors

Solution 1: Open the Printer Troubleshooter in Windows

First, check out Windows’ Printer troubleshooter. That’s a built-in troubleshooter which can provide resolutions for a variety of printing issues. The troubleshooter doesn’t always fix printing, but it’s worth a shot nonetheless.

This is how users can open the Printer troubleshooter in Windows.

  • Open Run by pressing the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut.
  • Enter ‘Control Panel’ in the Open text box, and click the OK button.
  • Click Troubleshooting to open the window shown directly below.
  • Click View all to open a list of troubleshooters.printer troubleshooter control panel
  • Right-click Printer and select Run as administrator to open the window shown directly above.
  • Then click the Next button.
  • Select the required printer to fix, and press the Next button. Thereafter, the troubleshooter might fix something or at least provide some potential resolutions.

— RELATED: How to fix Print Spooler Service high CPU usage in Windows 10

Solution 2: Use HP Print and Scan Doctor

If the troubleshooter doesn’t fix “The printer couldn’t print” error, users can check out the HP Print and Scan Doctor. That’s a troubleshooting utility more specifically for HP printers. This is how users can fix printing with that utility.

  • Click HP Print and Scan Doctor on this page to download the program’s exe.
  • Then click HPPSdr.exe to extract and run HP Print and Scan Doctor.
  • Press the Start button on the HP Print and Scan Doctor window.
  • Select the printer to fix, and click the Next button.
  • Select the Fix Printing option.HP Print and Scan Doctor
  • Then HP Print and Scan Doctor will show you the checks it carried out for various print categories, such as spooler, print queue, device conflicts, etc. Wrench icons highlight that HP Print and Scan Doctor fixed something.
  • If the software displays X icons for any categories, users can follow further instructions provided by HP Print and Scan Doctor to fix the issue.

Solution 3: Reinstall the HP Printer Software

Users have stated that reinstalling the HP printer software fixed “The printer couldn’t print” error for them. That will ensure that your HP printer software is update with the latest drivers. Follow the guidelines below to reinstall the HP software in Windows.

  • Open the Run accessory.
  • Enter ‘appwiz.cpl’ in the Open text box, and click the OK button.

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  • Then select the HP printer software listed in Programs and Features.
  • Click the Uninstall button, and then select Yes to confirm.
  • Restart Windows after uninstalling the software.
  • Next, open Run again. Enter ‘Control Panel’ and click OK.
  • Click Devices and Printers to open the Control Panel applet shown directly below.devices printers
  • Right-click the HP printer and select Remove device.
  • Then go through the on-screen guidelines to remove printer.
  • To reinstall the printer software, open the HP software page.identify HP printer
  • Click Printer to open the page shown below.


  • Enter your printer model in the text box, and press the Submit button.
  • That will open a page like the one shown below from which users can select to download the full software (installers and drivers) required to reinstall their printers. Make sure you download printer software that’s compatible with your Windows platform.
  • Then reinstall the printer’s software with the downloaded file.

— RELATED: What to do if your HP printer doesn’t print black

Solution 4: Disconnect the Printer and Router

  • Disconnecting and reconnecting the printer and internet router is another potential fix for “The printer couldn’t print” error. First, switch off the HP printer by pressing its Power button.
  • Then unplug the HP printer.
  • Next, unplug your router to disconnect it.
  • Shut down the Windows desktop or laptop you print from if it’s not already off.
  • Wait for about one minute before plugging the router back in.
  • When the router is back on, turn on the desktop or laptop.
  • Thereafter, reconnect the HP printer.
  • Switch on the HP printer. Then try printing a document.

— RELATED: FIXED: HP printer prints extra blank pages for Word documents

Solution 5: Clear the Print Spooler

Clearing spooler files can fix numerous printing issues. So that’s another resolution which might be worth a shot. Users can erase spooler files in Windows as follows.

  • Open the Run window.
  • Enter ‘services.msc’ in Run’s Open text box, and press the OK button.services.msc printer is slow
  • Double-click Print Spooler to open the window shown directly below.print spooler services
  • Select the Stop option.
  • Click the Apply and OK buttons.
  • Then enter ‘%WINDIR%system32spoolprinters’ in Run, and press the OK button. That path will open a spooler folder in File Explorer.
  • Press the Ctrl + A hotkey to select all files in the folder.
  • Click the Delete button shown below to erase the spooler files.

  • Open the Services window again.
  • Double-click Print Spooler to open its properties window.
  • Then click Start to restart the Print Spooler.

Those are a few of the resolutions that have fixed “The printer couldn’t print” error for some HP printer users. Note that some of those resolutions might also fix “The printer couldn’t print” error for other printer brands. Some of the fixes in this article might also help resolve the issue.


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