Fix: “Printer needs user intervention” error in Windows 10

Matthew Adams By: Matthew Adams
5 minute read

Home » Fix » Fix: “Printer needs user intervention” error in Windows 10

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.

How to resolve the “Printer needs user intervention” error in Windows 10

Table of contents: 

  1. Restart the Print service
  2. Run the Printer Troubleshooter
  3. Run the Hardware Troubleshooter 
  4. Reinstall the Printer’s Driver
  5. Update the Printer Driver 
  6. Install Windows updates
  7. Uninstall the latest updates

Fix – “Printer needs user intervention”

Solution 1 – Restart the Print service

The first thing we’re going to try is restarting the Print Spooler service to bring it back to its original state. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter services.msc. Now press Enter or click OK.
  2. When Services window opens, locate the Print Spooler service.
  3. Now choose Restart from the menu.

Solution 2 – Run the Printer Troubleshooter

If resetting the Printer service didn’t get the job done, we’ll try with Windows 10’s universal troubleshooting tool. To run Windows 10’s troubleshooter for resolving printer problems, follow these instructions:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Update & Security section.
  2. Select Troubleshoot from the menu on the left. Select Printer from the right pane and click Run the troubleshooter.
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the troubleshooter.

Solution 3 – Run the Hardware Troubleshooter 

We can also do the same thing with the hardware troubleshooter:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Update & Security section.
  2. Select BSOD from the menu on the left.
  3. Select Hardware & devices from the right pane and click Run the troubleshooter.
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the troubleshooter.

Solution 4 – Reinstall the Printer’s Driver

Maybe there’s something wrong with the printer driver. To see if that’s indeed the case, we’re going to reinstall it. Here’s how:

  • 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.

Solution 5 – Update the Printer Driver 

If reinstalling the printer driver didn’t help, we can check for additional driver updates for your printer. Here’s how to update the printer drivers in Windows 10:

  1. Right-click the Start and select Device Manager.
  2. Navigate to Printers queues and expand this section.
  3. Right-click your graphics device and open Properties.
  4. Select the Details tab.
  5. From the drop-down menu, open HardwareIds.
  6. Copy the first row and paste it into your browser’s address bar.
  7. The search results should show you the exact drivers you’ll need to install.

Update drivers automatically

If you don’t want the hassle of searching for drivers on your own, you can use a tool that will do this for you automatically. Of course, as you’re not able to connect to the internet at the moment, this tool won’t be useful. However, once you get online, it will help you to keep all your drivers up to date, so you won’t be in this situation anymore.

Tweakbit’s Driver Updater (approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus) will help you update drivers automatically and prevent PC damage caused by installing the wrong driver versions. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best-automatized solution.

Here is a quick guide on how to use it:

  1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting window
  2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
    scanning proccess of Tweakbit driver updater
  3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
    Automatically Update complete
    Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Solution 6 – Install Windows updates

Microsoft usually delivers printer drivers for Windows 10 through Windows Update. So, it’s possible that the very next driver update will resolve the issue. That’s why you should go and check for new updates.

To do that, go to Settings > Updates & Security, and check for updates.

Solution 7 –  Uninstall the latest updates

On the contrary to the previous solution, it’s also possible that one of the recent updates you’ve installed actually causes the problem. If you suspect that might be the case, go on and uninstall the troublesome update. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Once the Settings app opens, navigate to Update & security section.
  3. Go to Windows Update tab and click on Update history.
  4. Click on Uninstall updates.
  5. List of installed updates will now appear. Select the problematic update that you want to remove and click the Uninstall button.
  6. After removing the update, restart your PC.

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.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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