Are Windows 10 update related printing issues are back?

[German]It seems that the cumulative updates of December 2019 and January 2020 are again causing printing issues for some users. Suddenly, printers disappear or printing stops working.


I am bringing the issue back into focus through this blog post. The background: Some blog posts now serve as a kind of honeypot or seismometer for emerging problems. During the last weeks I could observe user comments reporting printer problems after installing updates.

Printing issues due to September 2019 update

In September 2019, many users discovered that there were still printing problems when installing the cumulative update KB4517211. In Windows 10 version 1903, the printer queue crashed after installing update KB4517211 and printing was no longer possible. Specifically, the spooler service for the printers crashed, causing the applications to no longer recognize printers. The affected person can restart the service – but it will crash again during printing.

Due to reader comments, I had briefly addressed the issues within the blog post Windows 10: Issues with Updates KB4522015, KB4522016 / KB4517211 (Sept. 2019). Later, I addressed this issue within the blog post Windows: Printer issues after Sept. 2019 Update confirmed, after Microsoft has confirmed that some Windows systems may have printer issues after the September 2019 updates. It is probably related to changes in the Windows printer interface as a result of the patch that affect V4 printer drivers. There is also a workaround in the blog post that V3 printer drivers can be installed to work around the problem.

However, in October 2019, Microsoft released a batch of fix updates to solve these printer problems (see Windows Updates fixes printer bug (Oct. 3, 2019)).

Interesting is the German comment here from October 2019, which observed printing issues and fixed them by re-registering the vbscript.dll and jscript.dll. If someone has applied the Microsoft workaround for the IE vulnerability (see Warning: 0-Day vulnerability in Internet Explorer (01/17/2020)), this would be one explanation why some printers are now having issues.

User reports on issues

Regarding the German blog post Windows: Printer issues after Sept. 2019 Update confirmed (and its English counterpart), I have received several comments in the following months. In December 2019, I received the following comment (I've translated the German comment here):


I am (still) using Windows 7 SP1. I have issues with printing since yesterday, after the December patchday. All previous updates never caused printing problems for me.

And a second comment (within this thread) from December reports Windows 10 printing issues with the 1909 version:

also printing problems with Windows 10 1909, computers are on a domain, network printers…
Printing from Word and PDFs does not work.

So the fix from September/October 2019 does not seem to work for all users.

Printer issues in January 2020

Reports of printing issues will continue in January 2020. There is something happening in particular in the comments related to the English blog post here. The comment here is from January 17, 2020:

Is there any solution to the "No printers installed" issue? This began for me after the KB4528760 update on 1/14/20. I had spooler errors before that, but was able to clear and restart the spooler to resolve it. I tried uninstalling the 8760 update, but it had no effect. I cannot access my printer connected via a wired network. I haven't tried via USB yet. Does anyone have a solution? Microsoft support is less than useless.

There the user is informed that no printers are installed. He has been able to solve the issues with the printer spooler. But the WiFi printer is no longer responsive.

Canon drivers cause problems

In January 2020, the following German comment was made where a Canon all in one device cannot print, even though the drivers are installed correctly.

last friday (17.01.2020) my new multifunction device (all-in-one) from Canon arrived. In spite of a faultless installation of the device doesn't print. Neither via Excel, nor Word, nor browser. They all end up in the spooler where it only says "Will be printed". Only when you shut down the computers, the documents are printed.

I can't find the updates KB4522016 and KB4517211, because I started the computer (W10 64 bit) on 05.01.2020. Could the error be in another update? My other (older) printers from HP, Brother and Dymo print immediately after sending the job.

The last comment (German) is from yesterday and refers to an old German article Druckerspoolerdienst defekt – Drucken geht nicht from 2011, which refers to a deactivated printer spooler service:

Windows 10 deactivates print spoolers.
I have already tried everything possible and nothing helped. Can anyone help me? I'm beginning to despair. Before, I had Windows 7 and my printer was working. Now with 10 not anymore. It is a Canon MX495. When I try to install the printer, the spooler pops out and the installation cannot be completed.

My guess is that the Canon printer drivers collide with the latest changes to the Windows print.dll. Maybe the hint from this comment (English) to another article helps to switch on the direct print output without printer spooler.

Similar articles:
Windows 10: Issues with Updates KB4522015, KB4522016 / KB4517211 (Sept. 2019)
Windows: Printer issues after Sept. 2019 Update confirmed
Windows Updates fixes printer bug (Oct. 3, 2019)

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9 Responses to Are Windows 10 update related printing issues are back?

  1. Pingback: Microsoft Patch Alert: January 2020 patches look relatively benign – ComputerWorld

  2. Kathi says:

    My son was able to fix my printer issue after the latest Windows 10 update Feb 2020. The update had randomly changed my printer port to one that did not exist so my computer could not 'talk' to my printer and the Troubleshooting data and scan was being sent to the wrong location. He reset my printer port to the correct location for my system and printer is working fine now!

  3. Antony Carpenter says:

    As of 25th Feb after updating windows 10. 2 of my older my laptop has stopped printing however my Surface Pro is OK.
    Spend hours trying everything to get them working without success.
    Can you help?

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  5. Ndianabasi says:

    I am having this issue on Windows 10 Pro V1909. I cannot print or export as PDF from Office Applications.

  6. AZ says:

    Since last update, most programs are unable to print multiple copies of a document !

  7. Nina says:

    Since last update, my HP LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw shutdowns. It will not turn back on when I press the button. It will only restart once I unplug the cord from the back of the printer, then unplug from the wall, and wait 60 seconds. I then put the plug back into the wall and then back into the printer. After a while, the printer will shut down again. I have reset the power settings on the printer screen to see if this helps.

  8. A.G. MacNeill says:

    I just came across this forum as I am searching for a solution to a new- but very similar issue. There is a new update causing more issues.
    Cumulative update KB4560960 has rendered a printers using PCL5 useless.
    Removing the PCL5 driver and installing a PCL 6 (or postscript if applicable) resolves the problem.
    However that's easier said than done, when you're the printer tech supporting hundreds of clients in hundreds of locations!
    I've been getting support calls for the last 2 days, and I expect it to increase as more and more people get back to their updated PC's.
    Anyone seen this, or have a different (more user friendly) workaround, etc??

    • guenni says:

      Thx, nice feedback. I'm in front of writing a new blog post on the printer bug in the latest Win 10 June 2020 updates. Will cover your suggestion. Maybe I will get more reader feedback.

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