Printer Error 0x000003e3: 8 Easy Solutions That Will Help

Check our expert solutions for quick troubleshooting

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Key notes

  • The 0x000003e3 printer error appears when accessing the printer or sending a print job.
  • It usually arises due to incompatible drivers or when an antivirus or Firewall is blocking the connection.
  • To fix things, disable the antivirus, whitelist File and Printer Sharing in Firewall, or modify the Registry, amongst other solutions.
fix printer error 0x000003e3 in Windows

Printers are vital devices used often with computers in both homes and offices. But these are more prone to errors, especially when the printer is connected wirelessly. And an error that usually affects users is 0x000003e3.

The full error message reads, Windows cannot connect to printer. Operation failed with error 0x000003e3. The error affects every iteration, from Windows 7 to Windows 11. But with the right approach, you can have things up and running in no time. Let’s find out.

What does error 0x000003e3 mean?

The error indicates the PC’s inability to print from a shared local network printer. And it doesn’t go away even after a restart. Here are a few reasons you might be getting the error:

  • Issues with the driver: In most cases, an incompatible or outdated driver triggered the error, and users also had 0x000003e3 when installing the printer driver.
  • Bug in Windows: A few also found that a recent version of the OS led to the error, and uninstalling the update fixed things.
  • Third-party conflicts: Several third-party applications, including antivirus and security software, can affect the connection and lead to this error.

How can I fix printer error 0x000003e3?

Before we head to the slightly complex solutions, try these quick troubleshooting tips:

  • If you have an antivirus installed, disable it, and verify whether things work out. In case yes, we recommend you switch to a more reliable antivirus.
  • For users who have TrendMicro installed, uninstall the program to get rid of error 0x000003e3. It’s been found to conflict with the printing operation, though a patch for the issue was released.
  • Check if there’s an update available for Windows and install it.

If these don’t work, move to the fixes listed next.

1. Restart the Print Spooler

1. Press the Windows + R hotkey, type services.msc, and click the OK option.

2. Then double-click Print Spooler to open its properties window.

3. Select Automatic on the Startup type drop-down menu.

4. If the service is not running, click the Start button and apply.

Simply restarting the Print Spooler service fixed this problem for many of our readers so you should definitely try it out.

2. Copy the mscms.dll file into the driver installation folder

  1. Launch File Explorer with the Windows + E hotkey.
  2. Then open this path in File Explorer: C:\Windows\System32
  3. Input mscms in the search box to find the mscms.dll file.
  4. Right-click the mscms.dll file to select the Copy option.
  5. Now, open this path for 64-bit Windows: C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\x64\3
  6. For 32-bit Windows platforms, you should open this folder: C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\w32\x86\3
  7. Then right-click an empty space with the 3 folder and select Paste.

3. Manually install the printer drivers

  1. Press Windows + X to open the Power User menu, and select Device Manager.device manager
  2. Locate the printer, right-click on it, and choose Properties.properties
  3. Now, head to the Details tab, choose Hardware Ids from the Property dropdown menu, and then copy the ID.hardware id
  4. Next, go to Google or any other search engine, search using the Hardware ID you copied earlier, and click OEM entry here. It’s usually the first, though not always.install driver to fix 0x000003e3
  5. Download the driver setup, and run it to complete the installation process.

If you keep getting the 0x000003e3 error when Windows tries to install the driver, a quick solution is manually installing the printer driver from the manufacturer’s website. Just make sure not to download the driver from an unverified source.

4. Run the printer troubleshooter

  1. Press Windows + I to open Settings, and click on Troubleshoot on the right in the System tab.troubleshoot to fix 0x000003e3
  2. Click on Other troubleshooters.other troubleshooters
  3. Locate the Printer entry and click on the Run button next to it.printer troubleshooter to fix 0x000003e3
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.run troubleshooter

Your primary approach when dealing with the 0x000003e3 error or even other problems with the printer should be to run the dedicated troubleshooter.

5. Uninstall recent Windows Update

  1. Press Windows + I to open Settings, go to Windows Update, and click on Update history.update history
  2. Scroll down to the bottom and click on Uninstall updates.uninstall updates to fix 0x000003e3
  3. Locate the last major update, and click Uninstall next to it.uninstall
  4. Again, click Uninstall in the confirmation prompt that appears.uninstall

In case the problem started a while back, check if any updates were installed around the same time. If true, uninstall them since many have been found to trigger the error.

6. Modify the registry

Note icon NOTE
Before you proceed, create a restore point or back up the Registry to restore the previous settings in case things don’t work out as expected.
  1. Press Windows + S to open Search, type Services, and click on the relevant search result.services
  2. Locate and right-click on the Print Spooler service, and then select Stop.stop service to fix 0x000003e3
  3. Next, press Windows + R to open Run, type regedit in the text field, and hit Enter.registry
  4. Click Yes in the UAC prompt.
  5. Paste the following path in the address bar and hit Enter:Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Printpath
  6. Now, expand Environments, and choose your architecture of the OS.environments
  7. Double-click on Drivers, then on Version 3, right-click on the key under it, and select Delete.delete key to fix 0x000003e3
  8. Click Yes in the confirmation prompt.yes
  9. Similarly, delete the other keys here.
  10. Now, delete all the keys under the following four entries as well:
    • Monitors
    • PendingUpgrades
    • Printers
    • Providersdelete to fix 0x000003e3
  11. Once done, go back to Services, right-click on Print Spooler, and select Start.start service

In all likelihood, you shouldn’t get the 0x000003e3 network printer error anymore in Windows. If the problem persists, head to the next solution.

7. Allow File and Printer sharing in Firewall

  1. Press Windows + S to open Search, type Windows Defender Firewall in the text field, and click on the relevant result.windows defender firewall
  2. Click on Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall on the left.allow an app or feature
  3. Now, click on Change settings.change settings
  4. Make sure both the Private and Public checkboxes are ticked for File and Printer Sharing, and click OK to save the changes.enable to fix 0x000003e3

If you are getting the 0x000003e3 Cannot connect to printer due to the built-in firewall, make sure File and Printer Sharing is allowed to fix things.

8. Reinstall the printer

If nothing works, the last option is to remove the device and then manually add the printer back. The connection may have run into issues, but it’s easy to fix with a simple reinstall.

While re-adding the printer, use an LPT1: (Printer Port), install the suitable drivers available on the PC, and follow the on-screen instructions. The process is simple and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

That’s it! One of the solutions listed here should have helped you get rid of the Operation failed with error 0x000003e3 popup in Windows.

For those who frequently use printers, check the best Printer Management Software for Windows.

If you have any other queries or want to share a solution not listed here, drop a comment below.

More about the topics: error, Printer Errors