If you are running Windows 11 and you recently updated your system with the KB5006746 cumulative update, then you may encounter printing issues. When trying to print documents after the update, you may come across the error message – Windows couldn’t connect to the printer. This is a common error reported by many users and this issue arises mainly after the KB5006746 update.
What’s interesting is, the cumulative update KB5006746 was released to fix the printing issues on Windows 11, and while most users benefitted out of the update, some users ended up having more problems with their printer. The reasons behind this issue could be anything, from a buggy update to disabled print to PDF feature, fortunately, there are a few solutions that may fix the KB5006746 update issue, “Windows couldn’t connect to the printer” error o your Windows 11 PC. Let’s see how:
Table of Contents
Method 1: Update Windows
Step 1: Press the Win + R keys simultaneously on your PC to open the Run command search bar.
Step 2: In the search field, type ms-settings:windowsupdate and hit Enter.
Step 3: This will open the Windows update page in the Settings window.
In the Settings app, on the right side, click on Check for updates.
Step 4: Windows will now start looking up for any available updates.
If it’s available, it will start downloading the update automatically.
Step 5: Once done, it will display the Install now button. Click on it to proceed with the installation.
Step 6: Next, you will be prompted to reboot your PC with immediate effect or you can choose a time and date as per your convenience.
Now, check if the “Windows couldn’t connect to the printer” error is fixed.
Method 2: Run the Printer Troubleshooter
Sometimes, simply running the Windows printer troubleshooter can help fix the printer issues on your Windows 11 PC. Here’s how to run the troubleshooter:
Step 1: Go to Start, right-click on it and select Run to launch the Run command window.
Step 2: In the search box, type ms-settings:troubleshoot and press OK to open the Troubleshoot settings.
Step 3: In the Troubleshoot settings window, go to the right side and under the Options section, click on other trouble-shooters.
Step 4: Next, on the right side, under the Most frequent section, go to Printer and click on Run.
The Troubleshooter will start running and will try to look up for any issues. If any found, will automatically fix the issue.
Now, close the troubleshooter and check if the printer is connecting normally.
Method 3: Re-Enable the Print to PDF feature
Sometimes, the printer issue could arise due to a glitch with the Print to PDF feature after the last Windows Update. It could be possible that the Print to PDF feature got disabled after the last update was installed. In this case, you can enable the feature by follow the instructions below:
Step 1: Press the Win + R keys simultaneously to open Run command.
Step 2: In the Run command search field, type appwiz.cpl and hit Enter.
Step 3: This will open the Programs and Features window in Control Panel.
Now, on the left side of the window, click on Turn Windows features on or off.
Step 4: In the Windows Features dialogue box, look for Microsoft Print to PDF and check the box next to it.
Step 5: Confirm the action in the prompt to enable the Microsoft Print to PDF feature.
Press OK to save the changes.
Restart your PC and check if you can connect to the Printer.
Method 4: Uninstall the KB5006746 update
Possibility is that the KB5006746 update is causing the “Windows couldn’t connect to the printer” issue and hence, uninstalling the update is the only option. Let’s see how:
Step 1: Go to Start, right-click on it and select Run from the context menu.
Step 2: In the Run command window that opens, type appwiz.cpl in the search bar and press OK to open the Programs and Features window in Control Panel.
Step 3: Next, in the Control Panel window, click on the View installed updates on the left side of the pane.
Step 4: Now, go to the right side of the window and under the Uninstall an update section, look for the KB5006746 update, right-click on it and select Uninstall.
Step 5: As you see the confirmation prompt, click Yes to confirm and wait for uninstallation process to get over.
Step 6: Next, don’t restart your PC and click on the below link to extract and run the Microsoft Show or Hide Update Troubleshooter:
Step 7: Now, as the Show or hide updates window opens, click on Advanced towards the bottom.
Step 8: Next, check the box next to Apply repairs automatically and press Next.
Step 9: The troubleshooter will now start detecting problems. Wait till it looks up for any pending updates that are not yet installed.
Step 10: In the next screen, click on the Hide updates option.
Step 11: Next, you will see the KB5006746 update. Uncheck the box next to it.
Press Next to hide the update.
This step will prevent the update from getting installed again.
Restart your PC once more and check if you are able to connect to the printer again.
Method 5: Through Registry Editor
But, if you are unable to uninstall the KB5006746 update because it was installed more than two weeks ago, then the only way to remove the update would be through the Registry Editor. However, before you make any changes to the registry settings make sure you create a backup of the registry data, so that, in case you lose any data, it can be recovered easily.
Step 1: Press the Win + R shortcut keys on your keyboard to open the Run command search bar.
Step 2: In the search field, type regedit and press enter to open the Registry Editor window.
Step 3: In the Registry Editor window, navigate to the below path:
Now, navigate to the right side of the window, right-click on an empty area, select New and then select DWORD (32-bit) Value.
Step 4: Now, rename the new DWORD value as RpcAuthnLevelPrivacyEnabled.
Double-click on it to open the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value dialogue box.
Step 5: Next, in the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value dialogue box, navigate to the Value data field and set it to 0.
Also, select the Base as Hexadecimal.
Press OK to save the changes and exit.
Now, close the Registry Editor window, restart your PC and check if the printer not connecting issue is resolved.
Method 6: Update the Printer Driver
Sometimes, the “Windows couldn’t connect to the printer” issue could be simply due to outdated printer drivers and hence, updating the driver to the latest version may help fix the issue. Follow the below instructions to update the printer driver:
Step 1: Go to Start, right-click on it and select Device Manager.
Step 2: This will open the Device Manager window.
Here, go to the Print queues section and click to expand it.
Now, look for Microsoft Print to PDF option, right-click on it and select Update driver.
Step 3: In the Update Driver window, click on Search automatically for drivers and Windows will start scanning the system for any latest versions of the driver available.
If available, it will update the driver automatically.
Once done, close the Device Manager window and restart your PC for the change to be effective. Now, check if the printer issue still persists.
Method 7: Uninstall the Printer Driver
However, if the Printer driver is broken and has stopped working completely, the smartest thing to do would be to uninstall the driver. let’s see how:
Step 1: Press the Win + R hotkeys to launch the Run command window.
Step 2: In the Run command search bar, type devmgmt.msc and press OK to open the Device Manager window.
Step 3: In the Device Manager window, navigate to Print queues and click to expand the section.
Here, right-click on Microsoft Print to PDF and select Uninstall device.
Step 4: Now, in the Uninstall Device prompt, click on Uninstall again to confirm the action.
Step 5: Once the driver is completely uninstalled, visit the manufacturer website and look for the latest version of the printer driver.
Now, download and install it manually.
This should help you to fix the printer could not connect issue on your Windows 11 PC.
Method 8: Disable Firewall
A lot of times, to our surprise, printer issues could simply arise because the Windows Defender Firewall on your system is enabled and it prevents any external devices, like printers to connect to your PC. In such cases, you can try disabling the Firewall and see if it helps fix the issue. Here’s how:
Step 1: Press the Win + R keys together on your keyboard to open the Run command window.
Step 2: In the Run command search field, type firewall.cpl and hit Enter to open the Windows Defender Firewall window in Control Panel.
Step 3: In the Control Panel window, click on Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off on the left side of the pane.
Step 4: In the Customise Settings window, under the Customise settings for each type of network, go to Private network settings and select the Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended) option.
Repeat this for the Public network settings also.
Press OK to save the changes and exit.
Now, try connecting your printer and it should work normally now.
I find passion in writing Tech articles around Windows PC and softwares