How to troubleshoot printing problems in Windows 10

Technical Level : Basic

Summary

This article provides basic troubleshooting steps that you can try if you can't print anything within Windows 10.  The steps listed in this article are an expansion of the troubleshooting article, Fix Printing Problems.  If you have any feedback about these steps, please leave a comment on this Wiki article.


Details

  • Check hardware.  Make sure your printer is turned on and connected to your PC. Many printing problems are caused by hardware that isn't set up quite right. Here are ideas to solve common problems with printer hardware.

1.  Check the power.  Make sure that the printer's electrical cord is plugged into an electrical outlet and that the power switch is turned on. If you're printing to a shared printer or a printer on a network, make sure that all necessary computers and routers are turned on too. If your printer or other equipment is plugged in to a surge protector or a backup power supply, make sure that hardware is plugged in and turned on as well.

2.  Check the cables (wired printers).  Make sure that the printer cable is properly connected from the printer to your PC.

3.  Check the wireless connection (wireless printers)

      • Make sure the printer’s wireless option is turned on and available. Many printers have a button that displays a blue wireless icon when wireless is available. To learn where this button is located on your printer and to find instructions about how to turn it on, see the manual that came with the printer.

      • Run the printer’s wireless connectivity test. Many printers have a menu option to test the printer’s wireless connectivity. Read the instructions that came with the printer or check the printer manufacturer’s website for instructions about how to do this.

      • If those check out and you’re still having problems, your PC may not be connecting to your wireless network. To learn more, see Why can’t I get online? If you're still having problems, you can try more advanced steps here: Learn more about fixing network connection issues.

  • Run the Troubleshooter.  To let Windows try to help you fix the problem, run the printing troubleshooter.  A troubleshooter is an automated tool that can find and automatically fix some problems with your PC. The printing troubleshooter can fix problems with installing and connecting to a printer. If the link doesn't open the troubleshooter If the link doesn't open the troubleshooter, go to the search box on the taskbar, type Printing, then select Find and Fix printing problems.

  • Update drivers.  Most printers require driver software to work properly. If you recently upgraded from one version of Windows to another, it's possible that the current printer driver is for the previous version of Windows and may not work with Windows 10. If you've had recent power outages, viruses, or other computer problems, it's possible that the drivers have become damaged. Downloading and installing the latest driver for your printer can resolve these types of problems.

    Here are three ways to find and install a driver:

1. Use Windows Update‍. Windows Update might have an updated version of your printer driver. To update your drivers using Windows Update follow the steps in the article Update driver in Windows 10.  

2. Install software from the printer manufacturer‍. If your printer came with a disc, that disc might contain software that installs a driver for the printer.

3. Download and install the driver yourself‍. You can search for a driver on the manufacturer's website. Try this if Windows Update can't find a driver for your printer, and the printer didn't come with software that installs a driver. To download and install a driver yourself:

      • If Windows can't find a driver for your printer, and the printer didn't come with driver software, you can look for a driver on the manufacturer's website. Driver updates are often available in the support section of such websites. Locate and download the latest driver for your printer.

      • Follow the driver installation instructions on the website. Most drivers are self-installing—after you download them, you usually double-tap or double-click the file to begin the installation, and then the driver installs itself on your PC.

      • Some printers have drivers that aren't self-installing. If you download a driver that isn't self-installing, follow these steps.   You must be signed in as an administrator.

 1. Go to the search box on the taskbar and type Device Manager, then select Device Manager  You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.

2. Find the device that you want to update, and then right-click the device name.

3. Tap or select Browse my computer for driver software and then browse to the location that you downloaded the driver software to and click next.   You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.

      

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My problem is printing to PDF, even with Microsoft Print to PDF?

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My problem with my Epson printer is that I can not scan strait to my computer without using a third party program. I don't have any problems printing anything from the computer. 

Horizon Ceilings

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So far, every time I allow a Windows Build to install the nearby HP 7525 printer the Build later sends a driver update which fails over and over again. In order to prevent a build up of failures in the update system I have to uninstall the printer to stop the updates. This has been going on for a long time. Would really prefer to have a generic driver that works and stop the updates or get this thing right. HP is not helpful here as it wants to install software to nag me about buying their ink. I know where to buy the ink.  Would prefer they spend some time on fixing their programming and drivers. HP software takes up much more storage than necessary as well. Simple driver please.... .

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Followed the trouble shooting link and after clicking on it and identifying the printer, the response was the issue has been fixed.  However, the Lexmark printer still does work with Windows 10.  I did not have a choice not to upload Windows 10. Makes me want to switch to an Apple

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I also have had trouble trying to print e-mail messages & attachments in Outlook (Windows 10).  By luck, I discovered how to fix this:

Open up Settings.

Choose Devices.

Open up Printers.

When you see "Let Windows Manage My Default Printer", make sure the option selected is "ON".  Somehow mine was set on "OFF" -- not sure how, maybe an update from Outlook (they like to change things around just for the sake of change, and because they can).

Haven't had any printing issues since I did this.

Hope this helps someone.

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I am having problems printing Word and Excel documents from my desktop.  For example, when I print a Word document--even if I've printed it many times in the past--will not show the words I've typed.  It does display anything that was hard formatted on the document--such as a church logo.  I have connected my printer to my laptop and the documents print perfectly--so I don't believe the problem is with the printer.   The print jobs worked fine on Saturday, but not since then.  I can print PDF files without any problem.  Would anyone know what has happened?

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My computer is telling me my printer is offline and that it is turned off.

However my printer is on and connected to the web and will print from my iPhone.

How can I get connectivity back on between my HP printer and my computer ?

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Greetings,
I have an HP printer that depends on Win10 software to print from my (really great one year old DELL) PC that came with WIN 10. 

There was a paper jam in the printer.  It was cleared and the unit is fully functional, except it won't print anything from any program (Office, Adobe, Screenshots, etc) from my WIN 10 PC (it will from my old Vista unit though).  The printer currently scans and makes copies but will not print because the Win 10 software still says there's still a paper jam (in every printing attempt from the above-mentioned programs), and despite following all existing online and internal troubleshooting/support advice, there isn't a way to clear the error from YOUR software...unless you provide a new one.
Attempts: Same response from MS and HP troubleshooters stating there's still a "paper jam" with no way to clear it from YOUR software. I've tried uninstalling/reinstalling the printer, turning my PC/printer on and off again, and updating the WIN 10 software--which it states is up to date.  Tried rolling it back.  Cleared all previous jobs. There isn't a spooling error. There is no external driver to download...the unit works by interfacing with yours.  My PC does not have a CD drive so I cannot install the original software...which would also not be current with WIN 10 anyway.
The only option for printer drivers is YOUR software and there does not seem to be a way to clear the "paper jam" error from your software.  Please reply with a fix. 
Printer is an HP 4315 Office Jet All-In-One and it works great otherwise so I'm not buying a new one.  Please reply to me at *** Email address is removed for privacy *** with a fix for this specific issue and provide the info online with a link because according to the blogs, there are hundreds of other people struggling with this issue...which I'm also having with my Epson printer, so that's 2 printers worth over $500 disabled by Win 10 software issues. 
It seems like every time MS creates the "newest and best" thing, there are expensive (and often crippling) issues with pre-existing products, usually at the worst possible time, for example, when when facing a deadline...like now.

Please fix these Win 10 bugs or I'm trading in my PC for a MAC... again! 

Thank you.

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Correction:  HP unit states paper jam is clear and the unit functions perfectly except when trying to print from my WIN 10 unit regardless of the source of the document for print.  The WIN 10 software is the only part of this picture that still thinks there's a paper jam. This is a WIN 10 bug that needs fixing.

Greetings,
I have an HP printer that depends on Win10 software to print from my (really great one year old DELL) PC that came with WIN 10. 

There was a paper jam in the printer.  It was cleared and the unit is fully functional, except it won't print anything from any program (Office, Adobe, Screenshots, etc) from my WIN 10 PC (it will from my old Vista unit though).  The printer currently scans and makes copies but will not print because the Win 10 software still says there's still a paper jam (in every printing attempt from the above-mentioned programs), and despite following all existing online and internal troubleshooting/support advice, there isn't a way to clear the error from YOUR software...unless you provide a new one.
Attempts: Same response from MS and HP troubleshooters stating there's still a "paper jam" with no way to clear it from YOUR software. I've tried uninstalling/reinstalling the printer, turning my PC/printer on and off again, and updating the WIN 10 software--which it states is up to date.  Tried rolling it back.  Cleared all previous jobs. There isn't a spooling error. There is no external driver to download...the unit works by interfacing with yours.  My PC does not have a CD drive so I cannot install the original software...which would also not be current with WIN 10 anyway.
The only option for printer drivers is YOUR software and there does not seem to be a way to clear the "paper jam" error from your software.  Please reply with a fix. 
Printer is an HP 4315 Office Jet All-In-One and it works great otherwise so I'm not buying a new one.  Please reply to me at *** Email address is removed for privacy *** with a fix for this specific issue and provide the info online with a link because according to the blogs, there are hundreds of other people struggling with this issue...which I'm also having with my Epson printer, so that's 2 printers worth over $500 disabled by Win 10 software issues. 
It seems like every time MS creates the "newest and best" thing, there are expensive (and often crippling) issues with pre-existing products, usually at the worst possible time, for example, when when facing a deadline...like now.

Please fix these Win 10 bugs or I'm trading in my PC for a MAC... again! 

Thank you.

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My problem is printing to PDF, even with Microsoft Print to PDF?

I had that issue after a WIN10 software update.  I had to roll back the update to get it to work again.  Also check your browser updates b/c sometimes the browser and WIN updates are released in close proximity and have conflicts requiring one or the other to be rolled back for functionality with several aspects in addition to this. 

Discovered this by trying everything when the advice from both entities failed at 3 AM under deadline as a desperately tried everything to finish my assignment.

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Last updated July 27, 2021 Views 36,559 Applies to: