Fix Windows Couldn’t Connect to the Printer Error on Windows 10/11

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:

Method 1: Restart Print Spooler

1 – Search Services in Windows search box and click on Gear shaped services icon which appears in search result.

Open Services App

 

2 – Now, Locate Print Spooler from the list.

3 – Double click on it.

4 -Choose startup type as disabled and click on stop to stop it.

5 -Now, click on Apply.

 

Screenshot 2022 06 14 195805 Min

 

6 – Again , Choose startup type as Automatic and now, click on start to start the service.

7 – Again, Click on apply and OK.

Screenshot 2022 06 14 195943 Min

 

Now, try again.

Method 2: Change computer name

1 – Press Windows key + R together to open run.

2 – Write sysdm.cpl in it and click OK.

Sysdm Cpl System Properties Min

 

3 -Now, Under Computer Name Tab, Just click on change button



 

Screenshot 2022 06 14 200230 Min

 

4 – Now, Chnage your computer name to something else.

5 – After that, select Workgroup radio button and Type WWW in it.

6 – After that , select domain (If it is not greyed out) and Type PERFECT in it.

 

Screenshot 2022 06 14 200341 Min

7 -Click OK and close the window .

8- Restart your computer

Now, try again

Method 3: 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.

 

Run Command Windows Update Command 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.

 

Check For Updates Windows Update

 

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.

 

Install Windows Update Min

 

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 4: 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.

 

Run Command Troubleshoot Command Ok

 

Step 3: In the Troubleshoot settings window, go to the right side and under the Options section, click on other trouble-shooters.

 

Other Troubleshooters Min

 

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.

 

Other Troubleshooters Most Frequent Printer Run



 

Now, close the troubleshooter and check if the printer is connecting normally.

Method 5: 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.

 

Run Command Appwiz.cpl 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.

 

Control Panel Programs And Features 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.

 

Windows Features Turn Wndows Features On Or Off Microsoft Print To Pdf Check Min

 

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 6: 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.

 

Start Right Click Run Min

 

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.

 

Run Command Appwiz.cpl Enter

 

Step 3: Next, in the Control Panel window, click on the View installed updates on the left side of the pane.

 

View Installed Updates Min

 

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.

 

Select And Uninstall Update Min

 

Step 5: As you see the confirmation prompt, click Yes to confirm and wait for uninstallation process to get over.

 

Uninstall An Update Yes

 

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:

 

Microsoft Show or Hide Update Troubleshooter

 

Step 7: Now, as the Show or hide updates window opens, click on Advanced towards the bottom.

 

 

Show Or Hide Updates Advanced

 

Step 8: Next, check the box next to Apply repairs automatically and press Next.

 

Show Or Hide Updates Apply Repairs Automatically Check Next

 

Step 9: The troubleshooter will now start detecting problems. Wait till it looks up for any pending updates that are not yet installed.

 

Show Or Hide Updates Detecting Problems Wait

 

Step 10: In the next screen, click on the Hide updates option.

 

Show Or Hide Updates

 

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 7: 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.

 

Run Command Regedit Ok

 

Step 3: In the Registry Editor window, navigate to the below path:

 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print

 

Now, navigate to the right side of the window, right-click on an empty area, select New and then select DWORD (32-bit) Value.

 

Registry Editor Navigate To Print Folder Path Right Side Right Click New Dword (32 Bit) Value Min

 

Step 4: Now, rename the new DWORD value as RpcAuthnLevelPrivacyEnabled.

Double-click on it to open the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value dialogue box.

 

New Dword Value Rename Rpcauthnlevelprivacyenabled

 

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.

 

Edit Dword (32 Bit) Value Value Data 0 Base Hexadecimal

 

Now, close the Registry Editor window, restart your PC and check if the printer not connecting issue is resolved.

Method 8: 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.

 

Start Right Click 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.

 

Device Manager Print Queues Microsoft Print To Pdf Right Click Update Driver Min

 

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.

 

Search Automatically For Drivers

 

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 9: 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.

 

Run Command Devmgmt.msc Enter

 

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.

 

Device Manager Print Queues Microsoft Print To Pdf Right Click Uninstall Device Min

 

Step 4: Now, in the Uninstall Device prompt, click on Uninstall again to confirm the action.

 

Uninstall Device Microsoft Print To Pdf Uninstall

 

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 10: 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.

 

Run Command Firewall.cpl Enter

 

Step 3: In the Control Panel window, click on Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off on the left side of the pane.

 

Windows Defender Firewall Turn Windows Defender Firewall On Or Off

 

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.

 

Customise Settings Private Network Settings Turn Windows Defender Firewall On Or Off Public Network Settings Turn Windows Defender Firewall On Or Off Ok Min Min

 

Now, try connecting your printer and it should work normally now.