Fix: Windows Cannot Connect To The Printer
- If Windows cannot connect to the printer, then it’s usually a problem with the printer’s drivers.
- However, keep in mind that you can also make some preliminary checks to see if the printer is working properly.
- It’s also useful to verify the physical connections and the cables between all the components involved in the printing process.
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If you recently upgraded your PC to Windows 10 or performed an update to the latest Windows 11 build, you might have encountered an error that says: Windows cannot connect to the printer.
There are tried and trusted solutions to fix the issue, and this article covers these fixes. Feel free to read and follow the steps exactly to resolve this pesky problem.
If your PC runs on Windows 10 S, some printers may not work well with it, or you may experience limited functionality with your printer.
This guide will also help if you encountered the Windows cannot connect to the printer 0x0000011b error or if you received the Operation failed with error 0x0000011b message.
Looking For Password Managers
When following a printer’s set-up guide, you might run into the following terms.
A printer driver is a piece of background software that teaches your device how to use it. Without the driver, your PC, tablet or phone won’t know how to ‘drive’ the printer.
When first connecting to a printer, your computer, tablet or phone should automatically download and install or update the drivers, so an internet connection might be needed during set-up. However, Windows has some up-to-date printer drivers pre-installed, so you might be able to skip this step. And Apple’s AirPrint technology side-steps the need for drivers.
If the installation isn’t automatic, you can search for the drivers online. Make sure you only download them from the manufacturer’s website, wherever possible.
Your network key is your home network’s password, including your Wi-Fi. If you never changed your network key, it should be on the same sticker as the SSID. However, we strongly advise you create your own personal key or use a password manager.
Your Service Set Identifier is the name of your home network and Wi-Fi connection.
If you never changed your router’s SSID, it’ll be printed on a sticker, usually on the bottom of the route.
This is a vague term that can refer to any wire-free connection technology. For printers, it usually means Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or both.
Your Wireless Local Area Network is your Wi-Fi network.
How To Manually Add A Printer To Windows 11
If your computer isn’t recognizing the printer automatically, you can try to add it manually.
Open Settings, and go to Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners> Add device.
Wait a few seconds while Windows attempts to locate the printer automatically. When you see the Add manually link, select it.
There are several options here, depending on your situation and how you plan to connect to the printer.
All five options work for wireless or network-attached printers. If your printer is attached locally/directly to your computer, choose Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings, and then Next.
Choose the port the printer is attached to, and then select Next.
If it’s connected via USB, select it from the list. There are also options for parallel and serial ports.
Next are your options for installing the printer driver. If the printer came with a disc that includes the driver, select Have Disk to browse for it. Otherwise, choose Windows Update.
Wait while Windows populates a list of options. You’ll see a screen with the message Windows is updating the list of printers. This might take a few minutes.
Choose the printer’s manufacturer from the left column, and then the model from the right column. Select Next.
Wait while the printer is installed in Windows 11.
Choose Do not share this printer, and then select Next. Unless, of course, you do want to share it with other devices on your network, in which case select and fill out those details.
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File And Printer Sharing Disabled
This is another often overlooked reason for network printers not working properly. You need to enable File and Printer Sharing on your network printer server. If this feature is not enabled, there is no way for the computer to access the printers. To allow your computer to connect and print, you need to turn on this feature.
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Corrupted/not Updated Printware Software
The printer software can also cause problems with network printers. This program is responsible for communicating between your computer and the printer, saying which files are to be printed. Without this driver, you wont be able to send document data for printing. It is, therefore, important that you check the printer driver regularly. More importantly, check if the driver is updated. If you recently updated your computers operating system, you need to update your printer driver too.
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The Printer Is Off Or Not Connected
Its often the simplest solutions that we overlook. Before you start pulling your hair out, see if the printer is connected to an electrical outlet. This is indicated by a green light on your printer. If the printer is locally shared, you will be able to see the printer connected on the computer task bar.
If the printer is not responding even after youve plugged it in, you can try a few things:
- Restart the printer and try again.
- Unplug the printer from an outlet. You can plug it back in again to see if it works this time.
- Check if the printer is properly set up or connected to your computers system.
Paper Jams And Ghost Jams
If your printer says you have a paper jam, there are a couple of potential culprits. First, make sure the paper is properly aligned in the paper tray. If your paper is askew even a little bit, it can quickly turn into a jam. Usually, removing the paper from the unit and lining it up better to the feeding elements will clear up the problem. Paper trays are designed to hold a specific paper capacity. For some, it could be just 100 sheets, while others can hold an entire ream. Check your printers user guide for the recommended paper capacity an overstuffed paper tray can instantly flag the paper jam warning in your machine. You should also make sure the paper or media type setting on the printer menu matches your current print job. Printers include settings for many different paper types like card stock, photo paper or presentation paper. Thicker paper can cause a paper jam if the settings are off and a quick change of the paper type can resolve your paper jam message right away.
Pick up rollers are the rollers that pick up the paper from the tray and feed it to the printer. These parts have also been known to cause a jams after repeated use and eventually may need to be replaced.
**A side note: this is explicitly for the HP® OfficeJet® L7680, but the general principles apply across printer models and brands**
Unplug your printer to reset the sensors if you are still getting a paper jam notice after cleaning.
Also Check: What Kind Of Printer Should I Buy For Home Use
The Computers Driver Software Is Not Suitable For Your Hp Printer
When the printing software saved on your computer becomes outdated or obsolete, your HP printer will stop getting detected.
To confirm that your drivers need updating, follow these steps on a Windows 10 computer:
The software will scan itself and conclude if the drivers need to update or not. Following this, the system will prompt you to install any updates which may involve you having to restart your computer.
The HP website has drivers available for every model. To install the most appropriate drivers for your HP printer, follow their onscreen instructions to extract the driver files.
There is another option available for you to install your new driver software at home:
How To Connect Your Hp Printer To Wi
Since there are many HP printers, its hard to list a generic set of instructions that will work for all models. As a rule of thumb, when trying to connect you HP printer to your wireless network, look for this icon:
If your printer has this icon on a button, press down that button until the blue light next to the wireless icon blinks.
If you dont see this icon as a button on your printers control panel, its probably something you need to get to from the printers display. Go to your printers display and look for the wireless symbol.
Press this icon on your display and follow the steps to setup your wireless settings. If you didnt have success with the Wireless Setup Wizard, go to the Wireless Settings menu again but this time, select Wi-Fi Protected Setup. Then touch Push Button, and then Start. When youve done this, go to your router, and press down the WPS button for 3 seconds until the wireless light blinks. Check in a few minutes if your printer is connected.
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Fix 5 Use The Generic Printer Driver
Some manufacturers are slow with releasing the latest compatible printer drivers. This might make your printer unusable after upgrading to Windows 10. If the device doesnt work and there is no fresh update, you can use the generic printer driver from Microsoft in the meantime.
Windows will install the generic printer driver for your printer. You will be able to use your printer again, even if you lose some niche functions.
Add The Network Printer Properly
Users often end up messing with the process of adding a new printer to the network. If you are using a wireless printer, you have to add it to the local network first and then make some essential changes to your Windows 10 or Windows 8 system to detect that printer.
First, turn on the wireless printer and follow the instruction manual to understand how to connect it properly to the network. Once the printer is visible, you need to tweak a few things on your computer.
To begin with, open the Settings window using the Win key + I shortcut. Select Devices from the list of the available options.
Then, choose Printers & Scanners in the left pane click on Add a printer or scanner in the right pane.
Once the computer starts scanning for new devices, check if the wireless printer appears in the search results.
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Disable Your Antivirus Software Temporarily
An antivirus program helps users to safeguard their Windows computer against phishing attacks and various threats and viruses. However, these tools can interfere with the smooth functioning of other applications on a Windows 10 PC. If you cannot see your printer or scanner on the network, you can choose to disable the antivirus software for some time and see if the problem is fixed. If there is a positive result, you have to consider replacing your antivirus software.
Restart The Print Spooler
Occasionally, printer issues are caused by unresponsive devices and driver settings, rather than by outdated drivers.
To solve this:
- Press Win + R to launch the Run dialogue box.
- Type “services.msc” and press enter.
- In services, find Print spooler and double-click on it.
- Proceed by clicking on Stop.
- Then follow the path C:\Windows\system32\spoolsv.exe and delete all the files present in the folder.
- Now, all you have to do is go back to Services and manually start the print spooler service again.
- Restart your PC.
Read Also: How Do I Enable Airprint On My Hp Printer
Check For New Windows Updates
Sometimes a newly available Windows update can be the key to resolving your printer issues and errors on Windows 11. It is possible you weren’t notified about the latest Windows update, so it’s worth checking out if a new version is available manually.
- Press the Win key and click on the Settings icon.
- Head over to Windows Update
- Click on Check for Updates.
Windows will automatically search for updates and if any new version is available, it will be installed, thus resolving your printer error.
Computer Recognizes The Printer But The Printer Won’t Respond
Few computer problems are more frustrating than unresponsive hardware, especially when it’s clear that the computer can see the hardware. If your PC acknowledges that it is connected to a printer, but the printer doesn’t respond to your print requests, there could be several issues at fault. Step-by-step troubleshooting is generally the best approach to solving problems of this nature.
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Update The Relevant Drivers
Running the troubleshooter should be your go-to step whenever an error or issue arises. However, it is highly rare for it to diagnose, let alone solve, the problem. As a result, the next first reasonable step is to check for driver updates.
- Right-click the Start Menu button and select Device Manager from the list.
- Scroll down and expand the Print Queues menu.
- Right-click on Microsoft Print to PDF and select Update driver. This prompt will open another window.
Selecting Search automatically for updated driver software in Windows 11 runs a check through your PC for updates. If it shows the best device driver already installed, you can still give the manual option a try. To do this:
- Right-click Microsoft Print to PDF and select Properties from the drop-down menu.
- Go to the Details panel.
- Select Device instance path from the drop-down list under Property and then copy the Value that appears.
- Go to the DriverPack database.
- Paste the copied value in the search box, download a suitable driver and then install it.
Fix : Add Your Network Printer To The Devices And Printers
Only when your printer is added to the Devices and Printers, can your PC detect and find it. That is, if your network printer is not added to the Devices and Printers, your network printer will not show up. You can add your network printer to fix the problem.
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Fix : Run Printer Troubleshooter
The Troubleshooter can find and solve any problem of your PC automatically. After you have tried the above method, it still doesnt work. You can run the Troubleshooter to check if there is an error in the printer.
In short, I hope this article is helpful to you. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.
Use Advanced Printer Setup
If you have uninstalled the printer because you cant locate it on your PC, you can try installing it using the Advanced setup method. You can install the printer correctly using this method.
To start with, open the Settings window and click on the Devices tab.
Then, select Printers and scanners in the left pane and click the Add a printer or scanner option in the left pane.
Select The printer that I want isnt listed.
In the dialog box, select My printer is a little older. Help me find it. Then, choose your printer from the list and click Next.
Type the name of your printer and press Next again.
Select Do not share this printer option and press Next again.
Then, click on the Print a test page option to confirm if the device is in a proper working condition. Select the Finish button to end the setup and check if you can locate the printer on the same network as the computer.
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