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How to fix ‘Another Computer is Using this Printer’ error?

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Printers are a seriously useful invention but can often be troublesome to deal with. Between the cartridge changes, hardware issues and software headaches you’ll have to deal with, using a printer can turn frustrating real quick.

In this article, we’re talking about how to fix the ‘another computer is using this printer’ error? 

Also read: How to turn on Network Discovery on Windows 10?


Restart your printer

Power cycling your printer, PC and even router if you’re using a WiFi printer can help resolve seemingly random issues that might be causing printing conflicts. This should really be the first item on your troubleshooting list. 


Resetting the print spooler service

The print spooler is a service on your computer that manages all printers, print ques and print jobs. Resetting this service can resolve any printer conflicts you’re facing. 

Step 1: Press Windows key + R to launch the Run prompt. Type in services.msc and hit enter.

How to fix 'Another Computer is Using this Printer' error?

Step 2: Locate the Print Spooler service and double click it to open the properties.

Step 3: Click the Stop button to stop the service. Click OK after that.

Step 4: Now open Windows Explorer and head over to the following directory. 

C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS

Once there, delete all the files in the PRINTERS folder. Restart your computer to check if the printer works properly now.

Creating a batch file to automate the process

If you need to repeat this process multiple times, you can create a batch file that’ll do this entire process in a single click. 

Step 1: Open the notepad and type in the following lines.

net stop spooler
net start spooler
exit

Step 2: Save the file with a .bat file extension. Make sure you’ve selected All Files in Save as type before saving the file.

Next time you need to use this method, simply run the batch file by double-clicking it and you’ll be good to go. 

Also read: How to save screenshots as PDF in Windows 10?


Use the printer without ‘-WS’

This is an issue specific to Canon printers, so if you’re using some other brand you can move on to the next solution. 

Canon printers often list two devices in place of a single printer. One of these printers has a ‘-WS’ preceding the device name which most likely means web services. 

Try using the version of the printer without this ‘-WS’ and you should be able to print just fine. 


Check your drivers

Make sure your drivers are properly installed and up to date can resolve a lot of printer issues. 

Step 1: Press Windows key + X to open the quick access menu and click on Device Manager.

Step 2: Double click Print Queues to show all installed printers.

Step 3: Right-click on the problematic printer and click on Update drivers.

Step 4: Click on Search automatically for drivers. Windows will automatically look for driver updates and install them.

Also read: Opentype vs Truetype fonts: Key differences; which one should you use?


Check default printer

At times if your default printer and active printer are different it can cause issues with printing on your machine. 

Step 1: Press Windows key + I to open Windows settings and click on Devices.

Step 2: Head over to the Printers & scanners tab.

Step 3: Select the printer you want to use and make sure it’s set as the default printer.


Run the Windows troubleshooter

Windows 10 comes with an excellent set of troubleshooters that can resolve a bunch of issues on your PC, including the ones with printers. 

Step 1: Press Windows key + I to open Windows settings and click on Update & Security.

Step 2: Head over to the Troubleshoot tab.

Step 3: Click on Additional troubleshooters.

Step 4: Click on Printer and then Run the troubleshooter. Follow the on-screen instructions to run the troubleshooter.

Restart your computer and try again.

Also read: Inkjet printers vs Laser printers: Which one should you buy?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: yadullahabidi@pm.me.

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