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How to Troubleshoot Unable to Install Driver of Printer on Windows

How To Turn Printer Online

Common Printer Issues

There are many causes to “Unable to install printer” error that appears while adding a printer driver to Windows or using a printer after upgrading or reinstalling the OS. Regardless, in case you come across the issue, follow the below troubleshooting steps to resolve it.

Start the Spooler Service

The said error may appear in case this Windows service is stopped. If so, start the spooler as mentioned below:

  • Press Windows and R keys simultaneously.
  • In Run, type services.msc and press Enter key.

Windows Run

  • From the list of Windows services that pops up next, scroll down to and find Print Spooler. Then, right-click on it and choose Properties.

Windows Services


  • If Stop is selected under Service status, click on Start In addition, ensure Startup type is configured as Automatic. Then, click on OK to apply the changes.

Print Spooler Properties

  • For the changes to take effect, restart the PC

In case you are wondering how to turn printer online on Windows, reboot the system by unplugging its power cord. Then, turn off the printer the same way and turn it back on to see if that fixes the offline status. Some steps for troubleshooting printer issues on Windows are similar. If starting spooler service and rebooting the computer fails to resolve “Unable to install printer” error, move on to the next step.

Remove Mentioned Registry Keys and Update the Printer Driver

First, delete contents from the two folders mentioned below:

  • Type C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Printers on the address bar of Windows Explorer and press Enter to navigate to the folder.

Printers Folder

  • To access the second folder in C: drive, move back to Spool folder on address bar of Windows Explorer, double-click on Drivers and open w32x86.

Printer Spool Drivers

To clear the printer keys from Windows Registry, follow the below steps:

  • Click Start button, search for Run and open it
  • Key in regedit in the Run dialog box and press Enter. To access the Registry Editor, click Yes in the confirmation box that pops up next.

Windows Run

  • From Registry Editor’s left side, click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and navigate to SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print. Now expand the Environments folder, followed by Windows x64 > Drivers and click on Version.

System Folder

  • Here, you can see the registry entries on the right pane of the window. Delete all of the entries by right clicking on them and choosing the respective option.

Printer Registry

  • Start Spooler service again as mentioned above, and restart the computer.
  • Download and install the latest version of printer driver from its manufacturer website.

If you are wondering how to turn printer online from offline mode, or want assistance with any other issues, contact our printer support professionals for immediate help.

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