How to Fix “Printer in Error State” on a Windows 10 PC

How to Fix “Printer in Error State” on a Windows 10 PC

/ Shayne Sherman

A printer is an essential device for many businesses and individuals, making it crucial to keep the machine functioning properly. However, there may be instances when you encounter a “Printer in Error State” issue, which can be frustrating and time-consuming to resolve. This error usually indicates that there is a problem with the printer’s hardware, its connection to your computer, or the device’s drivers.

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In this guide, we will walk you through the possible causes behind this error and provide you with effective solutions to get your printer back to working condition. With a better understanding of the issue and these troubleshooting steps, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the “Printer in Error State” problem and enjoy seamless printing once again.

Causes of Printer in Error State

To help you understand the “Printer in Error State” issue better, let’s dive into some common causes behind this problem. Identifying the root cause can make it easier for you to address the issue and get your printer functioning properly again. Here are some possible reasons for facing the printer in error state:

  1. Outdated or incompatible drivers: If your printer’s drivers are outdated or not compatible with your operating system, it can result in the printer entering an error state. Drivers are essential components that enable your computer to communicate with the printer effectively.
  2. Hardware issues: Issues with the printer’s hardware, such as paper jams or internal component failure, can lead to the printer being in an error state. In addition, internal components like the print head may need cleaning or replacement.
  3. Incorrect port settings: Your computer communicates with the printer through specific port settings. If these settings are incorrect or have been changed accidentally, it can prevent the printer from functioning correctly and lead to an error state.
  4. Printer Spooler service problems: The Print Spooler service manages the printing process by sending print jobs to the printer. If the service is not working properly, it can cause the printer to enter an error state.
  5. Connectivity issues: If your printer is not properly connected to your computer or there is an issue with the USB cable or network connections, it may result in the printer displaying an error state.
  6. Power supply issues: Inadequate power supply or power surges can cause your printer to malfunction and display an error state message.

By understanding the common causes behind the “Printer in Error State” issue, you can effectively diagnose the problem and apply suitable solutions to fix your printer. In the following sections, we will discuss various troubleshooting methods to help you resolve this issue and get your printer back to its optimal performance.

How to Fix Printer in Error State

Fix #1: Reinstall Your Drivers

For printers to function, a driver needs to be installed. All printers have an included driver disc. But, some users don’t have CD-ROM to read the disc. If you don’t have a CD-ROM or you don’t have the driver disc with you, follow these steps.

Step 1: Check for the model number of your printer and the brand. Most printers have their brand and model on the front, so it would not be difficult for you to find them.

Step 2: Go to the manufacturer’s website and search for the model of your printer.

Here is a list of some printer manufacturers:

HP –

Canon –

Epson –

Brother –

If your printer manufacturer is not on the list, search for it.

Step 3: Download your printer driver.

Step 4: Follow the instruction on the setup wizard.

Step 5: Restart your computer and try using the printer again.

Fix #2: Change port settings

Incorrect or misconfigured port settings can lead to communication issues between your computer and printer, causing the “printer in error state” issue. Adjusting these settings can help reestablish a proper connection and resolve the problem.

Follow the steps outlined below to check and modify your printer’s port settings, ensuring smooth communication and enabling you to continue with your print jobs.

Step 1: Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard.

Step 2: Enter “devmgmt.msc” and click ok.


Step 3: On the device manager, click View on the menu bar and select Show hidden devices.

Show hidden devices

Step 4: Right-click on Ports (COM & LPT) and select properties.

Step 5: Click on the Port settings tab.

Step 6: Select Use any interrupt assigned to the port.

Step 7: Check Enable legacy Plug and Play detection and click ok.

Step 8: Reboot your device and check if the printer is fixed.

Fix #3: Check Printer Spooler Service

The Printer Spooler Service is an essential component that manages your printer’s print jobs and communicates with the printer driver and the printer itself. Occasionally, issues with the spooler service can lead to your printer showing an error state.

Ensuring that the service is running correctly and is set to start automatically can resolve these issues and get your printer back in working order. In this section, we will guide you through the process of checking and adjusting the Printer Spooler Service settings on your Windows 10 OS.

Step 1: Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard.

Step 2: Enter “services.msc” and click ok.


Step 3: Look for Print spooler and right-click on it.

Print Spooler Properties

Step 4: In general, set the Startup type to “Automatic.”

Startup type Automatic

Step 5: Click apply, then ok.

Step 6: Reboot your computer and try using the printer.

Fix #4: Check for Windows Updates

Another thing to check if you are having problems with your printer is your Operating System. Windows 10 have issues, and windows roll out updates from time to time.

This can cause your printer to encounter problems. Follow these steps on how you can update Windows 10.

Step 1: Press the Windows key and click on settings.


Step 2: On settings, Select Update & Security.

Update & Security

Step 3:  Click Windows Update on the side menu.

Step 4: Click on Check for updates and wait for the update to finish downloading.

Windows Update

Step 5: After the download has finished. Restart your computer for the update to install.

Check and try using your printer if the error is already fixed.

Fix #5: Check Your Printer and Cables

If the printer is still having issues following the guide above, check your printer cables and ensure they are correctly connected. Also, check if your printer cables have damage and replace it.

If the issue is still present, your printer might be faulty. Go to the nearest service center and have your printer checked and repaired.

Frequently Asked Questions About Printer in Error State

What does “printer in error state” mean?

“Printer in error state” is a common issue that occurs when a printer has trouble communicating with the computer or encounters a problem with its internal components. As a result, the printer cannot carry out any print jobs and displays an error message.

Why is my printer showing an error?

Several factors can cause a printer to show an error, including incorrect port settings, outdated drivers, hardware issues, or problems with the print spooler service. Identifying the root cause is crucial to resolving the issue effectively.

How can I fix a printer in error state?

To fix a printer in error state, you can try various solutions, such as:
Reinstalling the printer drivers
Checking and changing the port settings
Ensuring the printer spooler service is running correctly
Updating Windows OS
Inspecting printer hardware and cables for any damage or loose connections

How can I prevent my printer from entering the error state again?

To prevent future instances of the printer in error state, follow these tips:
Keep your printer drivers up-to-date
Regularly check and adjust port settings, if necessary
Verify proper connectivity between the printer and computer
Make sure the print spooler service is set to automatic startup
Regularly update your Windows Operating System to avoid compatibility issues

Do I need to contact a professional for help with the printer in error state issue?

While the solutions provided in this article can help you resolve the printer in error state issue on your own, sometimes the problem may require professional assistance. If you have tried all suggested methods and the issue persists, it is recommended to consult a professional technician or visit a service center for an accurate diagnosis and repair.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, facing a “printer in error state” issue can be frustrating, especially when you need to print something urgently. However, by following the troubleshooting methods and guidance provided in this article, you should be able to resolve the problem and get your printer back in working order.

Remember that maintaining your printer’s drivers and settings, checking connectivity, and monitoring the printer spooler service are essential steps to keep your printer functioning smoothly and preventing future issues.

In case the error persists even after trying all the methods mentioned above, it is advisable to contact your printer manufacturer’s support team for further assistance or visit a service center to have your printer checked and repaired by professionals.

With the right troubleshooting steps and preventive measures, you can minimize the occurrence of the “printer in error state” issue and enjoy a smooth printing experience.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert on all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. Aside from entertaining at his home theater, he enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie.