How to fix XPS printer error 1168: Element not found

Teodor Nechita
by Teodor Nechita
Software Managing Editor
Eager to help those in need, Teodor writes articles daily on subjects regarding Windows, Xbox, and all things tech-related. When not working, you may usually find him either at the gym or taking a... Read more
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Several users have been reporting on the official Microsoft forums that they are having issues with the XPS printer:

I was unable to print from software using the XPS writer.  I attempted to reinstall the printer but the installation fails reporting “printer driver not installed.  Element not found”

Apparently they are getting an error 1168: Element not found can have a wide variety of causes.

This article will guide you step-by-step on how to fix this error with the XPS printer.

How do you fix a generic error 1168?

1. Update your drivers

  1. Click on the Start button, then go to Settings
  2. Select Update & Security
  3. Click on Check for updates
  4. Allow Windows Update to download and install the updated driver

Follow these steps to install the latest printer drivers using Windows Update.

Alternatively, you can use a professional third-party tool that performs this process automatically and aims to keep your printer drivers updated and healthy.

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  5. Wait for the app to download and install the newest drivers.
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Disclaimer: this program needs to be upgraded from the free version in order to perform some specific actions.

2. Try reinstalling the Windows XPS feature

  1. Press Windows
  2. Click on Settings (the cogwheel-shaped button)
  3. Select Apps
  4. Go to Apps & features
  5. Click Optional features
  6. Look for XPS feature if it is present
  7. If it is, right-click it and select uninstall
  8. Restart your PC
  9. After the restart or if your PC didn’t have the feature, go to the Manage optional features screen, and select Add a new feature
  10. When on the Add a new feature screen, select the XPS Viewer
  11. Restart your PC
Add a new feature XPS

3. Manually search for the location of your XPS Writer

Depending on which version of Windows 10 you have installed, the location of the XPS Writer may vary.

As such, if the solution listed above didn’t work, try this:

  1. Press Windows + R
  2. Type in control.exe
  3. Click Programs
  4. Select Programs and Features
  5. Click Turn Windows features on or off
  6. See if XPS Services and XPS Viewer are listed
    • If the services are marked in their checkbox, unmark them and restart the PC
    • If the services are unmarked in their checkbox, mark them and restart the PC
  7. Press Windows + R
  8. Type in control.exe
  9. Go to Hardware and Sound 
  10. Click Devices and Printers
  11. See if Microsoft XPS Document Writer is installed as a printer.
  12. If it is, right-click it and choose Remove device
  13. Restart your PC
  14. Go back to Devices and Printers and select Add a printer
  15. Select The printer that I want isn’t listed
  16. Click Add a local printer or network printer with manual setting
  17. In the Choose a printer port screen, select Use an existing port and PORTPROMPT: (Local Port)
  18. In the Install a printer driver screen, select Microsoft on the left pane and Microsoft XPS Document Writer on the right
  19. When asked Which version of the driver do you want to use? select Use the driver that is currently installed (recommended)
XPS printer remove device

If these particular steps didn’t help, you could also try to:

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