Windows 11 Can't Find Printer: How to Get It Detected

First step is to run Windows troubleshooter

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Key notes

  • This issue usually occurs when your printer is not connected to the network or if printer drivers are outdated. 
  • To fix this, you need to check for printer driver updates or run the Windows troubleshooter.
windows 11 can't find printer

Windows 11, no matter how aesthetically pleasing and powerful, still hasn’t been free from bugs and errors.

One such error is that Windows 11 can’t find the printer. Many users have complained that they face this problem after installing the KB5006746 update on their computers.

Microsoft addressed the issue and released an update to fix it; however, if you are still facing it, you must also try other methods.

In this guide, we will cover some expert-recommended methods to get rid of the issue right after discussing the potential causes of the same. Let’s get started!

What causes the Windows 11 can’t find printer error? 

There could be several reasons for Windows not being able to identify your printer, some of the popular ones: 

  • Outdated printer driver – If you have not updated your printer driver in a while, it could be the reason for the issue. To get rid of this, update the drivers. 
  • Windows update – If the Windows update on your computer is pending, or you have installed a bad update, you may get this problem. Check for updates if available or remove the previous update to fix it. 
  • Security software interference  – If your antivirus is conflicting, then your printer might not be able to get detected. Try to disable the antivirus temporarily and check if it fixes the issue.
  • Printer not connected to the network – If your printer is not connected to your computer or network, you may find it difficult to connect. To fix this, check the cables and network settings. 
  • Network connectivity issues – If you have a weak internet connection, you might face this problem. To resolve this, you need to reset the network or contact your ISP. 

What can I do if my Windows 11 computer can’t find a printer?

Before diving into actual troubleshooting steps, make sure you go through these quick fixes: 

1. Check for Windows updates

  1. Press Windows + I to open Settings
  2. Go to Windows Update, and click Check for updatesSettings check Updates -windows 11 can't find printer
  3. If there is an update available, click Download & install
  4. Reboot your computer once done. 

2. Run the Windows troubleshooter

  1. Press Windows + I to open Settings
  2. Go to System, then click Troubleshoot.System - Troubleshooter -windows 11 can't find printer
  3. On the next page, click Other troubleshootersTroublesshooter 2
  4. Now, locate the Printer and click RunSystem Troubleshooter - Printer - Run
  5. Choose the printer from the list and click Next.Printer Troubleshoot
  6. Follow the onscreen instructions if prompted and wait till it’s done. 

3. Update the printer driver 

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run window. Device Manager RUN COMMAND
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Device Manager
  3. Go to Print queues and expand it. Then, select the driver, right-click it and select Update driverUpdate driver Printer -windows 11 can't find printer
  4. Now, click on Search automatically for driversPrinter queues
  5. If available, Windows will download the suitable driver. 
  6. Restart your PC once the work is done. 

Most of the time, updating your printer driver manually can lead to several issues, and to avoid this situation, we recommend an automatic alternative, such as Outbyte Driver Updater.

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4. Rollback to the previous version 

  1. Press Windows I to open Settings
  2. Go to Windows Update, and click Update history.Windows Update 2
  3. Click Uninstall updates.Uninstall Updates -windows 11 can't find printer
  4. Go to the update you want to uninstall, and click Uninstall.Uninstall Windows

5. Reset the Printer Spooler 

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run console. Services Run Command - System recovery -windows 11 can't find printer
  2. Type services.msc and press Enter to open Services
  3. Locate and double-click Printer Spooler.Printer Spooler -windows 11 can't find printer
  4. Under the Service status, click the Stop button. Stop Running
  5. Now on your computer, navigate to this path: C:\Windows\system32\spoolsv.exespool
  6. Open the Spool folder, and delete everything inside. 
  7. Go to Services and click the Start button on Printer Spooler PropertiesSTART
  8. Reboot your computer to let the changes take effect. 

6. Make changes to Printer properties

6.1 Set default printer

  1. Press Windows + I to open Settings.
  2. Go to Bluetooth & devices, click Printers & scanners.Bluetooth & drivers -windows 11 can't find printer
  3. Under Printer preferences, toggle off Let Windows manage my default printer option.Printer preferences
  4. Navigate to your printer, right-click it, and choose Set as defaultSet as default

6.2 Configure Port

  1. Go to the printer again, right-click it and select Properties
  2. Switch to the Ports tab on the properties window. Port tab windows 11 can't find printer
  3. Look for a port compatible with your printer, select it, and click Configure port
  4. Click Apply and OK

So, the steps you need to follow to fix Windows 11 can’t find printer issue. Please, let us know in the comments section below if you have any questions or concerns.

More about the topics: Printer, Windows 11