Printer Glitches on Windows 11? Here’s How to Fix the Issue

If you’ve recently upgraded your office laptop to Windows 11 and are facing printing issues, you are not alone. Several users have reported problems ranging from printers not responding to print spooler errors, and poor print quality. So here at Printer Repair Centre, we’ve created a quick fix guide to help resolve a printer not working with Windows 11 to ensure your office work doesn’t come to a standstill.  

Basic Printer Troubleshooting Steps

Before we get into more complex solutions, let’s start with some basic troubleshooting steps that can resolve minor printing glitches on Windows 11:

  1. Restart Your Printer: Turn off your printer, wait a few seconds, and turn it back on. Restarting the device can often resolve many connectivity and hardware issues.
  2. Check Connections: Ensure all cables are securely connected. If you’re using a USB printer, try connecting it to a different USB port to rule out port issues.
  3. Check for Paper and Ink: See if the printer has enough paper, ink, or toner. Low levels can cause printing errors.
  4. Run the Printer Troubleshooter: Windows 11 includes a built-in troubleshooter to diagnose and fix common printer issues. Access it via Settings > System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters > Printer

Advanced Troubleshooting Techniques

If the basic steps don’t resolve the issue, it’s time to move on to more advanced troubleshooting:

  • – Update Printer Drivers: Outdated or corrupt drivers can cause printers to malfunction, especially after system changes like a Windows update. So, one way to troubleshoot a printer not working with Windows 11 is to update its drivers. You can do so through your computer’s Device Manager or download the latest drivers from the printer manufacturer’s website.
  • – Clear the Print Queue: Sometimes, stuck print jobs can cause issues. Clear the print queue by stopping the print spooler service, deleting the files in C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS, and restarting the spooler service.
  • – Reinstall the Printer: Remove the printer from your system through Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners, and then add it again. This can help reset the printer’s configuration and resolve underlying issues.

Dealing with Print Spooler Errors

Print spooler errors are particularly vexing as they can stop all printing activities. Here’s how to handle them:

Restart the Print Spooler Service

  1. Open the Services application by searching for it in the Windows search bar.
  2. Find the Print Spooler service in the list.
  3. Right-click on Print Spooler and select Restart. If Restart is not available but Start is, click on Start the service.

Clear the Print Queue

  1. Stop the Print Spooler service as described above.
  2. Navigate to C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS using File Explorer and delete all files within this folder. This will clear the print queue.
  3. Start the Print Spooler service again.

Run the Printer Troubleshooter

  1. Go to Settings > System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters.
  2. Click the Run button next to the Printer troubleshooter and follow the on-screen instructions.

Use Command Prompt to Manage Spooler Issues

  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. Type ‘net stop spooler’ to stop the service, then ‘del /Q /F /S “%systemroot%\System32\Spool\Printers\*.*”’ to delete the spooler files, and finally ‘net start spooler’ to restart the service.

Check for System File Issues

Sometimes, corrupted system files can affect the print spooler. So, run the System File Checker tool by opening Command Prompt as an administrator and typing ‘sfc /scannow.’

Adjust Print Spooler Service Settings

Ensure the Print Spooler service is set to start automatically. You can check this in the service’s properties in the Services application.

Temporarily Disable Windows Security Firewall

If your printer is connected to a Wi-Fi network, try temporarily disabling the Firewall in Windows Security to see if it resolves the issue.

Do a Manual Registry Edit (for advanced users only)

If the printer cannot be removed and restarting the print spooler has not cleared the issue, you may need to remove the printer manually from the registry. This should be done with caution and preferably by advanced users or IT professionals. If you’re going the DIY route, back up your system before making significant changes.

If these steps do not resolve the issue, you may need to consult professional printer repairs or contact the printer manufacturer’s support team for further assistance. 

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Addressing Print Quality Issues

Poor print quality can be frustrating. Here are a few tips to improve it:

  • – Align and Clean Printer Heads: Most printers have the option to align and clean the printer heads. Check your printer’s manual or settings for these functions.
  • – Adjust Print Settings: Ensure that the print settings in the printer properties are set for the highest quality, especially if you are printing high-resolution images or documents.

Fixing a Printer Not Working After a Windows 11 Update

Is your Brother or Epson printer not working after a Windows 11 update? You can run the printer troubleshooter, restart the print spooler service, update or reinstall the printer drivers, or reinstall the printer (The steps for those troubleshooting tips are all discussed above). If all of those fixes fail, follow these steps instead:

  • – Check for Windows Updates: Sometimes, a subsequent Windows update might include fixes for issues caused by earlier updates. Go to Settings > Windows Update > Check for updates. 
  • – Restore Previous Windows Version: If the printer stopped working immediately after the Windows 11 update, you might want to consider rolling back to a previous version of Windows. Go to Settings > System > Recovery and find the option to go back to the previous version of Windows. Note that this option is only available for a limited time after updating.
  • – Consult Manufacturer Support: If none of the above steps work, visit the printer manufacturer’s support website or contact its customer service for further assistance. They may provide firmware updates or specific instructions for issues related to Windows 11.

Final Tip

While Windows 11 has brought many enhancements, it also comes with its share of issues, such as printer glitches. Follow the troubleshooting tips and steps outlined above, as they can quickly resolve most printing problems. If issues persist, contact your printer manufacturer or a professional technician to help sort things out.

At Printer Repair Centre, we provide expert Epson, HP, Canon and Brother printer repairs in Sydney. We provide same-day service for major inkjet and laser printer brands. Don’t hesitate to give us a call if your printer is not working with Windows 11.

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