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How to Fix “Windows Cannot Connect to the Printer” Error

Print Spooler Service Not Running

Common Printer Issues

Many of the printer users complain that they are unable to print using a networked printer. There can be a few error messages that can appear when the printer is not working properly, such as:

            Windows Cannot Connect to the Printer. Access is Denied or

            Windows Cannot Connect to the Printer

There are many reasons for this error message to come up, and things can depend much on the set up that you use. The first thing that you need to check is if the printer is a networked one with a LAN port, or if it is just connected to some other computer and is shared on the local network. Depending on the type of printer that you use, the troubleshooting steps will differ a lot. Some of the possible fixes of printer errors are discussed below.

Shared Networked Printer

If the printer is connected to a computer, and is shared on that PC, and you are trying to add the same to some other computer on the network, you can try the following things.

  • The first thing that you need to do is to go to the Add Printer wizard and then select A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer.
  • Click on the Next button and select Connect to this printer. You need to type in the path to the shared printer, by entering “\\” and followed by the name of the computer on which the printer is shared. It should be followed by the name of the printer.
  • If everything is ok, you will be able to connect to the printer. However, if you are still getting the “cannot connect” error message, you will need to add the printer as the local one. This can be done by selecting Local printer attached to this computer, and then un-checking the Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer.

Add Printer Wizard

  • You need to select Create a new port on the next screen and then choose Local port from the displayed list.
  • Click on the Next button and you will be asked to type in a Port Name. Here, you can type in the path to the printer.

You need to keep in mind that the above-mentioned steps will only work if the printer that you are trying to connect is attached to some other computer and is shared on the network.

Networked Printer

  • If the printer that you use is directly attached to the wireless network or the LAN network, you also need to select a local printer that is connected to the computer.
  • After that, you can choose Create a new port by following the steps discussed above. Instead of selecting the Local port, you need to choose the Standard TCP/IP Port.

Printer Ports

  • Now you need to type in the IP address of the printer and everything will be ok. If you are unsure of the IP address of the printer, you can get it by printing the configuration sheet of the printer that you use.

Windows Firewall

Another reason why you are unable to connect to the printer might be that the Windows Firewall is blocking the connection between the computer and the printer. You need to ensure that File and Printer Sharing is allowed in the Firewall of your computer as well as on the computer to which the printer is connected.

  • Enable File and Printer Sharing by going to Control Panel, selecting Windows Firewall, and then choosing Exceptions.
  • Ensure that the File and Printer Sharing box is checked and this will make sure that the Windows Firewall is not blocking the connection between the printer and the computer.

Windows Firewall Settings

Drivers

Note that you will also encounter the cannot connect to Printer error if you are trying to add the network printer to a Windows 7 computer, and the printer is connected to a Windows Vista or Windows XP computer. If this is the case, you will have to download and install the printer drivers for Windows 7 operating system from the website of the manufacturer on the host PC. When you try to connect to the shared printer from the Windows 7 computer, the driver for Windows 7 will be available from the host machine for installation.

You can also run into this problem with 64 bit and 32 bit operating systems. If the PC that hosts the printer is 32 bit, and the one that is trying to connect to the printer is running 64 bit, then you will not be able to connect to the printer either. To fix the error, you will need to install the 64-bit version of the printer driver on the computer running on the 64-bit version of the operating system and then try to connect to the printer again.

If you are still facing the issues despite of trying all the above-said troubleshoots, then get in touch with our tech support team for an advanced solution to your cannot connect to printer problem.

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