If you’re getting an ‘Another computer is using the printer’ error, it can be due to incorrect printer settings, bugs, or even an outdated printer driver. You might usually see ‘The following status is the usage status of that computer’ as well.
Thankfully, it’s not a major problem as there is nothing wrong with your printer. Just by tweaking the settings and a few other things, we can solve this common issue. Let’s see how we can do just that.
Why Is My Printer Showing ‘Another Computer Is Using the Printer’ Error?The following potential reasons may be responsible for the error:
- Corrupted/Outdated printer driver
- Different Default Printer
- Potential Viruses
- Incorrect settings
- Minor bugs
How to Fix ‘Another Computer Is Using the Printer’ Error?
Before we begin, try restarting your printer or running an antivirus scan on your computer. If you don’t have a premium antivirus scan, you can also run the Windows Defender wall.
Although these are simple steps, they can help to get rid of lags and bugs. If this is not helping, we can now move on to further fixes:
Choose the Correct Default Printer
If you use two printers, it’s natural to get confused and pick the wrong one. So, you might get an error saying another computer is using the printer. So, you can select the right printer as a default printer. Here’s how you can do it:
On Windows 11
- Go to Settings from the Start menu on the taskbar.
- On the left panel, click on Bluetooth and devices.
- Select Printers and Scanners.
- Select and open the printer you prefer to set as default.
- On the new page, click on Set as Default option.
On Windows 10
- Go to your Settings and select Devices.
- On the left panel, click on Printers and Scanners.
- On this page, below the list of printers, untick the box that says ‘Let Windows manage my default printer.’
- Choose the correct printer and select Open Queue.
- Now, you’ll see a pop-up menu of your printer. From the header menu, click on the Printer menu. From the drop-down menu, click on Set As Default Printer.
On Windows 7
- Go to the Start menu and click on Devices and Printers.
- Double-click on your printer and select Set as Default Printer.
- Click on the Apple menu and go to System Preferences.
- Select Printers and Scanners. Make sure your printer is connected and is available on the list of printers.
- Now, below the printer information, click on the Default Printer option. Select your desired printer. You can now notice that your selected printer will have ‘Default’ mentioned along with the printer name.
You can now try to print any document.
Select the Printer Without “WS”
Depending on the brand, you might see two to three versions of printers instead of one. You might see the original name only, then one with WS, and another with XPS. For e.g., you might see “Canon PIXMA MG5700 Series Printer WS.” WS stands for web services and XPS means color and graphics features.
Whenever you select the printer with WS or XPS at the end, you might face the ‘another computer is using the printer’ error. This is because it’s an alternate version of the printer and the process may not always go smoothly.
So, select the printer with only its original name without these abbreviations. Then, it’s best to restart the printer spooler service and restart the printer as well. You can now try to print a file to see it works.
Restart Printer Spooler Service
The printer spooler service is responsible for all the print tasks. Sometimes these tasks can pile up, and such pending print jobs can cause lags and bugs when you’re trying to print. So, you can follow these steps to restart the printer spooler service:
- Press Win + R keys at once on your keyboard. Doing this will display the Run application.
services.msc. Click on OK.
- Find and select Print Spooler from the list. On the left panel, you’ll see two options, Stop or Restart. Click on Restart the service.
If restarting the spooler service is not helping, you can clear all files from the spool folder. Since the pending print tasks can cause common errors, deleting all of them can help. Here’s how you can do it.
C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Printerson the search bar and select the folder. This is where you can locate all the pending print jobs.
- Press Ctrl + A to select all files and delete them.
Modify WSD Timeout Setting
If you want advanced solutions, changing the WSD Timeout Settings is one of them. WSD stands for Web services for Devices and is a mechanism that automatically manages devices. But occasional errors with this setting can invite problems in your printing process.
So, you’ll need to extend this Timeout setting. You can either do it from your printer’s IP address or by changing the settings. First of all, cancel the printer queue. Then, visit the IP of your printer. You can change the timeout setting to 10 minutes. Then, click on Save changes.
Perform a Full Power Cycle
If most solutions aren’t working, you can always perform a power cycle on your computer and printer. Power cycling is like a hard reset option. It helps to fix any minor issues and reset network configurations on a computer or the printer.
Turn off the printer and the computer and unplug them. Let the devices rest for several minutes. Then, you can plug them back in and reconnect. If you’re having a weak internet connection problem, you can do the same with a Wi-Fi router as well.
Update/Reinstall Printer Driver
If the troubleshooting method is not working, another effective solution is to update/reinstall the printer driver. Since this driver looks over most functions of the printer and your computer, this is a solution worth trying. If the printer driver is outdated or has bugs, it can cause errors, like another computer is using, printer not printing, and such.
So, here’s how you can refresh your printer driver by updating it:
- Click on the Search button on your taskbar. Type Device Manager and click on it.
- You’ll now see a pop-up window with a list of all the devices. Find and click on Printers.
- Select your correct printer and right-click on it. From the list of options, click on Update driver.
- Windows will ask you how you want to search for the driver software. Click on Search Automatically option.
- Now, you can install the suggested printer driver.
If you want to reinstall the printer driver, follow our steps above from #1 to #2. Now, right-click on the printer and click on Uninstall driver. To download the latest printer driver, check your product information and visit the brand’s official website. You can navigate and open the Drivers section and select the correct model of your printer.
Now, from the list, you can install the complete driver and software package for your printer. Restart your computer and try to print again.
One easy and simple method to try is the Troubleshooter feature on your Windows. Doing this will automatically detect issues and fix them for you. Here’s how you can run the troubleshooter.
- Go to Settings and open Update & Security.
- On the left panel, click on Troubleshoot.
- Select Additional Troubleshooters. Here, you can select any devices or components you want to troubleshoot. Click on Printer > Run the troubleshooter.
You can now view the issues causing your printer to show this error and get recommended solutions to apply.
By updating your Windows to the latest version, most drivers and components on your PC also get updated. Doing this will also help solve bugs and glitches.
Simply go to your Settings > Update & Security. Check for any available Windows updates and click on Download and Install.
What to Do If the Printer is Still Not Printing?
If you’ve resolved the ‘Another computer is using the printer’ error, but your printer is still not working, there may be a problem with other aspects. Check if you’ve correctly placed the ink cartridges. There may be paper stuck in your printer as well. So, carefully take the papers out and try again.
Another way to fix a printer not working is by canceling the printer queue. Here’s how you can do it:
- Open Control Panel and go to Devices and Printers.
- Right-click on your printer and select See what’s printing.
- Open the printer menu and select Open As Administrator.
- Again, open the previous printer menu and select Cancel All Documents.
- Click on Yes to confirm the cancellation.