Full Fix: Printer is not responding in Windows 10, 8.1, 7

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
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Are you getting a “printer not responding” error when trying to print a document with Windows 10? If so, there are a variety of potential fixes. Read on to find out about them.

Printer not responding message in Windows 10, how to fix it?

Printer not responding message can cause certain issues on your PC and prevent you from printing documents. Speaking of this issue, here are some similar problems that users reported:

  • Printer not responding Canon, HP, Epson, Samsung – This problem can appear with any printer brand, and if you encounter this issue, be sure to try some of our solutions.
  • Wireless printer not respondingThis issue can sometimes appear if you’re using a wireless printer on your PC. To fix this problem, be sure to temporarily disable your antivirus and firewall and check if that helps.
  • Printer not responding to PC, computerSometimes this problem can occur if your drivers are out of date. Simply update your printer drivers and check if that solves the issue on your PC.

Solution 1 – Check your antivirus and firewall

Printer not responding to PC

In some cases, Printer not responding message can appear due to your antivirus or firewall. This usually occurs if you’re using a Wi-Fi or network printer. To check if your antivirus is the problem, we advise you to disable it temporarily and check if that helps.

If not, your next step would be to uninstall your third-party antivirus software. Once you do that, check if the problem is still there. If removing the antivirus solves the issue, you should definitely consider switching to a different antivirus solution.

There are many great antivirus tools on the market, but if you’re looking for an antivirus that won’t interfere with your system in any way, be sure to try BullGuard.

Solution 2 – Check all the printer connections

The most obvious thing to check first is the printer’s connections with desktop or laptop to see if they’re all correctly plugged in. If the printer connects via a USB port, try connecting it with an alternative USB port. For Wi-Fi printers, you’ll need to check that the printer is connected to the correct Wi-Fi network. For example, it could be that the printer isn’t detecting the correct network name.

Solution 3 – Run the Printer Troubleshooter in Windows 10

If you’re getting Printer not responding message on your PC, you might be able to fix the problem simply by running a troubleshooter on your PC. Windows 10 has various troubleshooters that can fix common problems, and if you’re having issues with your printer, you just need to run the troubleshooter by doing the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. When Settings app opens, go to Update & Security section.
    Printer not responding Canon
  3. Choose Troubleshoot from the menu on the left. Select Printer in the right pane, and click the Run the troubleshooter button.
    Printer not responding to PC
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the troubleshooter.

After the troubleshooter finishes fixing the problem, the issue should be completely resolved.

Solution 4 – Update the Printer’s Device Driver

Outdated printer drivers can cause Printer not responding message to appear. However, you can fix that problem simply by installing the latest drivers for your printer. The simplest way to do that is to use the Device Manager. You can update your drivers by doing the following:

  1. Open Device Manager. You can do that quickly by pressing Windows Key + X and choosing Device Manager from the list.
    Printer not responding to PC
  2. Locate the printer on the list of devices, right-click it and choose Update driver.
    Printer not responding Samsung
  3. Now choose Search automatically for updated driver software.
    Wireless printer not responding

Windows will now try to download the suitable driver for your printer. If that doesn’t work, you can always download the latest driver directly from the manufacturer’s website.

If you don’t want to manually download the drivers, you can use tools such as TweakBit Driver Updater to automatically download the missing drivers.

Solution 5 – Is the selected Printer the default printer?

You should also check if the printer that isn’t responding is the default one. Note that Windows 10 has a Let Windows manage my default printer option that automatically configures the last printer you printed with as your default one. You can switch that option off and select your default printer as follows.

  1. First, enter ‘default printer’ into the Cortana search box and select Change default printer to open the window directly below.
    Printer not responding Canon
  2. That window includes a Let Windows manage my default printer option, which you can now switch off if required.
  3. Now the Devices and Printers tab in Control Panel will include a green tick to highlight your default printer as shown directly below. You can right-click an alternative printer there and select Set as default printer.

Wireless printer not responding

Solution 6 – Check the printer’s Windows 10 compatibility

If you’ve recently upgraded to Windows 10, check if the printer you own is compatible with the platform. Almost all new printers will certainly be compatible with Windows 10, but older printers might not be. You can check if a printer is compatible with Windows 10 at the manufacturer’s website.

For example, this page on the Canon site provides printer compatibility details. If you click SELPHY Series on that page, you’ll find that most models in that series are not compatible with Windows 10. The page also highlights that Canon isn’t issuing Windows 10 device drivers for the Photo Inkjet Series. So look for a similar page on your printer manufacturer’s website.

Solution 7 – Restart the Print Spooler service

In order to print, Windows relies on Print Spooler service, but sometimes certain issues with this service can occur. These issues can lead to Printer not responding message and other similar problems. However, you can fix this issue by doing the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter services.msc. Now press Enter or click OK.
    Printer not responding to computer
  2. When Services window opens, locate and double-click the Print Spooler service.
    Printer not responding Epson
  3. When Properties window opens, set the Startup type to Automatic and click the Start button to start the service. If the service is running, click the Stop button, wait for a couple of moments and then click the Start button.
    Wireless printer not responding
  4. After doing that, save changes.

Once you restart this service, the problem should be completely resolved and everything will start working again.

Several users are recommending to completely stop this service and then delete the files associated with it. Stopping the service is simple, and you can do it right from the Services window.

Once you disable the service, go to the C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS directory and delete all files from them. After doing that, start the service once again and check if the issue is still there.

Solution 8 – Make sure that your printer is properly configured

According to users, Printer not responding message can appear if your printer isn’t configured properly. To fix that issue, you need to do the following:

  1. Open Control Panel and go to the Devices and Printers section.
  2. Locate your printer on the list, right-click it and choose Printer properties.
    Printer not responding HP
  3. Go to the Ports tab. Now make sure that the proper port is selected. After doing that, click Apply and OK to save changes.
    Wireless printer not responding

After making these small adjustments, check if the problem with your printer is resolved.

Solution 9 – Install the latest updates

If you’re getting Printer not responding message on your PC, the issue might be a missing update. Sometimes there might be certain glitches on your system, and in order to remove them, you need to install the latest updates.

Microsoft is frequently releasing new updates, and Windows usually downloads these updates automatically. However, sometimes you might miss an update or two, but you can always install them manually by doing the following:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Update & Security section.
  3. Click Check for updates button.
    Wireless printer not responding

Windows will now check for available updates and download them in the background. Once the updates are downloaded, restart your PC to install them. After updating your PC, the issue should be completely resolved.

Now you should be able to get the printer responding and printing again. However, if not you can always check out other Windows Report articles that provide further printer fixes.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.