Printer Not Responding Error Message

The Printer not responding error message occurs as a result of hardware faults, incorrect configurations, and even some unresponsive services. It is commonly encountered by printer users around the globe, and can sometimes be resolved by something as simple as restarting the printer only once. At other times, you may have to reinstall the drivers altogether. Every relevant solution depends on the configuration of the computer which the printer happens to be connected to. Following are some of the ways to fix the Printer not responding error.

Printer not responding error

Printer Not Responding

Check the Hardware First if Printer not Responding

Before troubleshooting printer problems starting with the software, you may want to check and see that all of the hardware is working in good order. First off, ensure that connections are made properly between the computer and the printer, whether over a wired network or Wi-Fi. Change and reset the cables as needed to make sure the signals being sent are reaching their intended destinations. Restart each machine and plug it back in. See if you can get out a test print from the rig, and if you can, you have probably already solved the issue you had at the beginning.

Follow the Below Given Steps to Restart the Print Spooler Service

The spooler service comprises a software program which manages all the print jobs you send to your printer. Users can see this service playing out, and can also cancel some of the print jobs which are already being processed. In other words, they can manage jobs which are essentially on the wait-list. You must perform the below steps if you want to restart this service.

Step 1: Hit the Win + R key combo to bring up the Run application. Type services.msc in the field that shows up and hit Enter.

Printer not responding

Step 2:  Find the service named Print Spooler from out of the list shown, and double click it to launch its Properties box. Hit the Stop button shown beneath the status, and then hit Ok so that the changes are saved.


Step 3: After disabling the service, move on to deleting the printer files. Hit the Win + E key combo to bring up explorer, and navigate to C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS (in Windows 10). If prompted to provide permission at this point, do that and continue. From the folder, choose and delete all files, and then close the window.


Step 4: Go back to the Properties box and head to the Services tab, and then start the spooler service. You should also ensure the startup type is set to Automatic.

Printer Spooler Properties


Step 5: Restart the PC and see if the printer is now working properly.

Run the Printer Troubleshooter to Check the Problems

Windows has a comprehensive troubleshooting wizard to check for problems with your printer, and using it is worth a try. To run it, follow the below steps.

Step 1: Hit the Win + R key combo to bring up the Run application, and then type Control Panel into the dialog box and hit Enter.


Step 2: In the control panel’s search bar, type in troubleshoot, and from the list of results you see in the window, choose Troubleshooting. From that menu, select View all from the left side of the window. In a few seconds, you should see all the available troubleshooters in your OS.

Step 3: Move through this list and pick Printer.

Step 4: When asked, select Run as administrator, and after that, choose Apply repairs automatically. These two used together ensure that the biggest number of problems are identified and fixed quickly.

Printer Troubleshooting

Step 5: Go through the instructions shown on the screen, and wait however long it takes for the troubleshooter to finish running.

Update Printer Drivers

If none of the above solutions works, then there is always the option of updating the printer drivers you have installed. For that, you would need to visit the manufacturer’s website and pick out and download the most recently released drivers meant for your printer model. That last detail can be found either on the front of the machine or somewhere on its box. Sometimes a newer driver may not work as well as an older one, in which case you will want to go with the latter when downloading and installing.

Step 1: Hit the Win + R key combo to bring up the Run application, and then type devmgmt.msc into the dialog box and hit Enter. This will bring up Device Manager in your PC.

Step 2: Go through the hardware list and choose Print queues from among the sub-menus, and then locate and right-click your printer and choose Update driver from the menu which drops down.

Update Printer Driver

Step 3: You will see a dialog box which will ask you the way you wish to update the driver for the printer. Choose Browse my computer for driver software, and move on.

Printer Upadate

Step 4: Pick the driver file that you just downloaded from the manufacturer, and hit Ok. Proceed until the installation is complete.

Step 5: Restart the PC and run a test print, and see if there is a printer error message coming up this time around.

Update Printer Drivers

Update Printer Drivers

The above instructions only apply for Windows 10, but there are only slight variations when it comes to other versions of the OS. What’s more, you also have us to call for assistance in case you encounter a hitch along the way.