“Printer is in an error state” is an error message that you normally encounter when giving a print command to your printer. While you get this error irrespective of the printer you are using, many users have reported this error after installing the latest Windows update.
Most of the time, incompatible drivers and network connectivity issues are the reason behind the error. Some users reported that they were able to solve the error after updating the drivers.
In this article, you will learn a few proven ways to solve this error.
Probable Causes of the Printer Error State Issue
- Poor cable connections
- Low ink levels
- Jammed paper trays
- Offline Printer Status
- Crashed Print Spooler
- Virus attacks
- Outdated Printer Drivers
How to Fix “printer in error state” Error?
Rebooting your printer and computer fixes the error most of the time. However, it may not always work, and you need to check the connections and tweak some settings. You can uninstall the recent Windows update before moving further to the fixes section.
Here, we have listed 8 ways you can apply to solve the error. Let’s get straight into them.
Check the Connections
Since the error mostly pops up due to the poor connection, the first thing you can do is check the connections. In the case of a wired printer, ensure the cables connecting your printer and computer are fine. You can try changing the USB port as well.
Also, check the power cables connecting your printer. If you use a surge suppressor with your printer, consider removing it.
If you are using a wireless printer, ensure the Wi-Fi speed is enough for the printer to operate properly. If there is an issue with one Wi-Fi network, you can connect it to another. You can easily connect printers using a WPS connection with your computer.
Check the Ink Levels and Paper Tray
If you have insufficient ink level on your printer’s cartridges, the printer can not output the quality print and gives an error message. If you own a printer from a manufacturer like Epson, you can easily check the ink levels from the respective driver. Otherwise, you need to open the printer’s casing and refill the cartridges or replace them if you see a low level.
If your printer still throws an error after installing the new ink cartridge, maybe you are running out of paper. Check the paper tray and ensure sufficient paper for the printer to work. Also, check if the paper tray is jammed.
Finally, the printer heads get clogged over time, interrupting the ink flow. If you can figure out the printer head is faulty, you can clean printer heads yourself or take expert help. Here’s our detailed guide on how to clean the printer head.
Ensure the Online Status
You must ensure the online status of your printer before you start giving the print commands. The printer is ready to print and has an online status with a proper connection. But if the printer is in offline or error status, it throws an error. You can check the status and make it online yourself.
- Hit Windows + R on your keyboard.
controland press Enter.
- Navigate to Hardware and Sound and then Devices and Printers.
- Under the Printers section, locate your problematic printer and click over it.
- In the lower window beside Status: you should see Ready if your printer is ready to print.
- If you see the status as Offline or Error, you can easily bring it back to the online state.
- Click over the printer and then select See what’s printing from top of the screen. Then click Printer tab and uncheck Use Printer Offline.
- Now, try printing a document; you should not face an error.
Note: You can also specify a printer as a default so that you should not choose the printer to carry out a print job every time you send the print command. Simply select Set as default printer after right-clicking the printer profile in Devices and Printers.
Run a Troubleshooter
Out of many troubleshooters, Windows also incorporates a troubleshooter to detect and fix issues with printer drivers. Running the troubleshooter will help you figure out the issue and solve the error.
- Press Windows + I key. It will open Settings.
- Select System in the left pane of the Settings window and choose Troubleshoot from the right section.
- Click Other troubleshooters on the next page.
- Find the Printer and click Run beside it.
Run a Virus Scan
Viruses and Malware affect the normal operation of your computer. Not to mention, it can also interfere with print jobs. The virus can prevent the printer from accessing the system files and driver necessary to handle the print job, and you may be facing the issue. You can run a virus scan using your antivirus if you have one and see if the issue persists.
If not, you can use Windows built-in tools to scan for malware.
Here’s how to run it:
- Open Settings on your computer by pressing the Windows + I key.
- Choose Privacy & Security from the left pane and select Windows Security in the right section.
- Click Virus & threat protection.
- In the next popup window that appears, click the Quick scan button and let it do the rest of the work.
Automate and Restart Print Spooler
The print spooler service is responsible for handling print jobs in a queue and managing them. This service can sometimes crash due to the pending print jobs and multiple print commands at once.
Restarting the spooler service will fix the issue if that’s the case.
- Press Windows + R key on your keyboard.
services.mscand press Enter key. It will launch Services application.
- Scroll down to find Print Spooler.
- Double-click over the service and choose Stop.
- After the service is stopped, click the Start button again.
- Under the Startup type: drop-down, choose Automatic and click Apply > OK to save the changes.
You should also further clean the pending print jobs in the queue and make a fresh start.
Follow the steps below to clean the spooler files:
- Launch File Explorer on your computer.
- Open Local Disk (C:).
- Then navigate to
- Delete every file that you see under this folder.
- Also, go to the location
Windows\System32\spool\driversand open the W32X86 folder. Delete every file there as well.
- Go back to the Print Spooler service and restart it again.
Update the Printer Drivers
Corrupted and outdated printer drivers are another reason your PC throws the “printer in error state” error. Printer manufacturers like Epson, Brother, and Canon release periodic updates to the driver so that their printers are compatible with Windows.
You can check their official website, search for your printer model and easily download and install the updated drivers. You should no longer face an issue after updating the drivers.
You can also use Device Manager to update the printer drivers.
- Hit Windows + R key to open Run.
devmgmt.mscand press Enter key to open Device Manager.
- Double click and expand the Printers menu.
- Right-click over your printer and choose Update driver option from the context menu.
- Choose Search automatically for drivers in the next window. It will search for and install updated drivers if available.
Take Professional Help
The mentioned error is not that major, and you should be able to sort it out once you go through the discussed fixes above. However, If you cannot, you can seek professional assistance anytime. Take your printer to the authorized store or repair center and get it repaired.