How to Fix Printer in Error State [Step-by-Step]

No matter which model of printer you happen to use, and from whichever brand. You are going to face issues from this every now and then. Especially, because of the fact that both software and hardware mechanisms are involved in the operation. 

So if your printer is in an error state, read further for all the solutions. 

Why is your Printer in Error State? 

Let us first take a look at all the general problems that get your printer to an error state. This is going to be very important for 2 specific reasons. Firstly, with a sound understanding of the problem at hand, you will be able to avoid any technical problems. 

Then the other big advantage is that you will be able to understand and implement the solutions better. So, with these things in mind, we are going to discuss the possible causes for your printer in error state

Now, there can be a lot of different issues with your printer involving either the software or the hardware. And sometimes both of these can cause error code problems together. Whatever the case may be, for each individual issue there is going to be a unique error code. 

The common reasons for these include out of date driver software which directly causes the malfunction. As the proper performance of the printer requires you to have the latest device drivers. 

Then, there is the issue of hardware malfunction, which can also cause such error messages to jcome up. It could be anything from an accumulation of dirt and dust on the delicate print heads to physical breakage. 

Barring these, there can be issues specific to the type of printer that you are using, inkjet or laser. 

How to Fix Printer in Error State in a Few Simple Steps 

So, after covering the most probable causes for this error message issue with your printer, it is time we go ahead and list out the solutions that are going to help you fix this. 

Run the Device Manager Tool 

The Windows Device Manager tool is very useful when it comes to identifying and troubleshooting technical glitches. You will be able to use this for fixing printer error issues as well and in this way. 

  • Launch the Windows Run dialogue box by pressing the Windows key and the R key together. 
  • As that comes up, type in devmgmt.msc into that and click on the OK button. 
  • Now, you will get to see all the drivers that are working in the system currently. Look for the Show hidden devices option over there in the dropdown section, click on it and expand. 
  • After this, click on the Ports (COM & LPI) section and underneath that, right-click on the Printer Port option. 
  • From that dropdown list, look for the Properties option at the bottom and click on it. 
  • In this particular Properties window, click the Port Settings tab. Here, look for the Use any interrupt assigned to the port option and click on it. 
  • Then, click on the checkbox next to the Enable legacy Plug and Play detection option. 
  • Finally, click on the Apply button to apply these settings, and finish by clicking on OK

As you have done all of this, just restart your computer to apply all the changes that you have made. 

Delete and then Re-install the Printer 

If there are a lot of system files for the printer that is corrupt in some way, then you will have to override all of that together. Just do it by uninstalling the printer and installing it back again. 

Here are the steps that you are going to need to accomplish that. 

  • First, take out the USB connection cable from your printer and then in your PC open the Run dialogue box. 
  • In this section, look for the Printers and Scanners section and click on it to expand the list. 
  • Under that section, look for the name of your printer and right-click on it. From the dropdown list that comes up, click on the uninstall device option to remove it from your device. 
  • Next, you are going to get a pop-up dialogue box on the screen which says – ‘You are about to uninstall this device from your system’. Confirm it from there to proceed. 
  • Now, on the Delete Driver Software option, and next to it, click on the Uninstall button. 
  • After some time, the uninstallation process will come to an end and you will have to restart the device. 

After carrying out all these steps you will be able to uninstall your printer, then you will have to install that printer driver program all over again. Thus, you will be able to fix any error problem that you are facing. 

Diagnose the Spooler of the Printer 

The spooler of your printer is a very important functional component. Any issue with that can cause a whole lot of error code problems one after the other. So, you will have to check it out and set it right. 

Here is the complete process that is going to help you fix things on that front. 

  • Open up the Windows Run dialogue box again by pressing the Windows key and the R key. Then, as the Run dialogue box comes up, type in services.msc in the search panel. 
  • Now, you are going to see a list of the different devices that are working. Look for the spooler of your printer from that list. 
  • Check if the services have started and if the setting for that is Automatic or not. If that is not the setting, then change it to Automatic and the Service Status to start the service
  • Click on the Recovery tab now to expand that section and under that, find the first failure. Change its setting to Restart the Service and then save. 
  • To confirm all the changes to the settings that you have made, click on the Apply button. 

As you have done this, you will be able to get a full report on the condition of the spooler. After this, you will just have to clean up all the spooler files that are there. 

How to Clean the Spooler Files?

  • Take the C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Printers path to go to the location of the printer spooler files. 
  • As you are in that folder, select all the files that are there and then click on the Delete option. 
  • Now, go through the C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Drivers\w32x86 path and get into that folder. Select and delete all the files that are in there. 
  • Now, just restart the printer system and check if it is working or not. 

By doing all this, you will be able to overcome the printer in error state and get it working again. 


There are different methods that you can apply to fix the problem. But still, since it is a more general approach that we are taking here. You might still have the problem and your printer might still not work. 

If you have the specific error code issue at hand, then you can get its solution through our articles. We have covered all the solutions for different error code issues that you might face. 

Also, if you have some important questions, then drop that into the comments section.