Fix: “Printer needs user intervention” error

Matthew Adams By: Matthew Adams
3 minute read

Home » Fix: “Printer needs user intervention” error

Are you getting a “printer needs user intervention” error message when printing documents? The error message might appear on the printer’s top panel display as well as within a dialog window. This is a fairly common error on various brands of laser printers. That might mean there’s a corrupted print job, the spooler isn’t running or could have something to do with the printer’s driver. These are a few potential fixes for the “printer needs user intervention” error.

Restart the Print Job

  • First, you should restart the print job. Open the Devices and Printers tab by clicking the Cortana button and entering ‘devices and printers.’
  • Select Devices and Printers to open the tab below.

  • Select your active printer there and click See what’s printing to open the window directly below.

  • Now right-click the print job you need to restart. Select the Restart option from the context menu that opens.

Clear the Print Queue

  • Clearing the print queue will delete corrupted print jobs, which might resolve the error. To clear that queue, turn the printer off first.
  • Then stop the Print Spooler service in Windows. Press the Win key + R hotkey to open Run, and enter ‘services.msc’ in the text box to open the window below.

  • Double-click Print Spooler to open the window in the snapshot below. Press the Stop button to switch the Print Spooler off.

  • Now press the File Explorer button on the taskbar, and enter ‘C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS’ in the folder path bar.
  • Select all the files in that folder. Then press the X button to delete them.
  • Return to the Print Spooler Properties window again, and press Start to switch the service back on.

Restart the Print Spooler

Restarting the Print Spooler is another effective fix for the user intervention error. To do that, open the Services window by entering ‘services.msc’ in Run’s text box. Then you can right-click Print Spooler to open its context menu. Select the Restart option on the context menu.

Run the Printer Troubleshooter

Windows 10 has various tools that can help repair hardware or software errors. One of those is a Printer troubleshooter that comes in handy for fixing printer errors. This is how you can run that troubleshooter in Windows 10.

  • Click the Cortana button on the taskbar, and then enter ‘printer’ in the search box.
  • Select Find and fix printing problems to open the troubleshooter in the snapshot directly below.

  • It’s better to run the troubleshooter with admin permissions. So click Advanced and select Run as administrator.
  • In addition, select the Apply repairs automatically option.
  • Press Next to run the troubleshooter’s scan. It will automatically apply required fixes.

Reinstall the Printer’s Driver

Outdated or incompatible drivers are responsible for many hardware errors. As such, reinstalling your printer’s driver could feasibly resolve the user intervention error. That will ensure the printer has the latest manufacturer driver.

  • First, uninstall the driver via Device Manager. Open Cortana and enter ‘Device Manager’ in the search box.
  • Select Device Manager to open its window.
  • Click Printers and then right-click your printer. Select Uninstall on the context menu, and click the OK button to confirm.

  • Now when you restart your desktop or laptop, Windows will usually automatically reinstall an update driver for the printer.
  • Alternatively, you can manually install the latest driver by downloading it from the manufacturer’s website. For that, you’ll need to note down your printer model number details to find the correct driver, download it from website and then run through its setup wizard.

Those are some of the best fixes for the “printer needs user intervention” issue. You might also be able to fix the error with printer manufacturer troubleshooting software, such as HP Print and Scan Doctor, if the manufacturer provides any utilities.


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