Windows 7/8.1/Server: Out-of-band Updates shall fix printing issues (March 2021)

Windows Update[German]Microsoft has released new, out-of-band updates for Windows 7.1 SP1 and Windows 8.1 and their server counterparts, effective March 22, 2021. These are intended to fix the printing issues caused by the March 9, 2021 security updates.


March 2021 update is causing printing issues

The March 9, 2021 security updates fixed numerous vulnerabilities in Windows. However, users reported significant printing issues – shortly after installing the security updates.

The latter point in particular goes back to a graphics feature (for bitmap operations) in Windows that was broken by the March 9, 2021 security update and also affected Windows 7 SP1 as well as Windows 8.1 and its server counterparts. For Windows 8.1, I refer you to this German comment of a blog reader, where someone reports problems printing graphics with Windows' photo display. And this comment of a German blog reader addresses that for a terminal server running Windows Server 2012 R2 – so not a theoretical problem. I had described the bugs and vulnerabilities fixed by the March 9, 2021 security updates in the patchday articles (see links list at the end of the article).

For Windows 10, Microsoft had confirmed the issues after I reported the graphics bugs (see also my blog post Windows 10: Still printing issues after update installation (March 2021)). In the meantime, however, the graphics printing problems have also been confirmed in the support articles for the Windows 7 updates (see, for example, update KB5000841) and Windows 8.1 updates (see, for example, update KB5000848):

  • Elements of the document might print as solid black/color boxes or might be missing, including barcodes, QR codes, and graphics elements, such as logos.
  • Table lines might be missing. Other alignment or formatting issues might also be present.
  • Printing from some apps or to some printers might result in a blank page or label.

For Windows 10, there were fix updates on March 15 and March 18, 2021. You can read about the drama surrounding these fix updates for Windows 10 in the blog posts linked at the end of the article. So much as a preface before you install the updates mentioned below untested on many machines.

New Updates for Windows 7/8.1 and Server

As of March 22, 2021, Microsoft has now released correction updates for Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 / R2. EP pointed it out in the English-language blog in this comment (thanks).


The update history for Windows 7 can be found on this Microsoft page. And the update history for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 is available on this Microsoft page. However, there is nothing on special update on either page yet.

The out-of-band updates are already available for manual download from the Microsoft Update Catalog. Here is the list of special updates for the different Windows versions:

For all of these updates, Microsoft writes in the support article linked above that the graphics printing issues caused by the March 9, 2021 security updates should be fixed:

Addresses an issue that fails to print the graphical content in a document after installing the March 9, 2021 update.

Microsoft says that there are no known problems with the updates, but only offers these updates for manual download from the Microsoft Update Catalog. On systems managed via WSUS, these downloads would have to be imported manually and then rolled out.

Just read at German site this comment shouting about slow boot times caused by the update. So I like to point to this comment I received for my english blog post, that claims slow Windows 10 2004 machines.

Similar articles:
Patchday: Windows 10-Updates (March 9, 2021)
Patchday: Updates for Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 (March 9, 2021)
Patchday: Windows 8.1/Server 2012 updates (March 9, 2021)

Windows 10 Updates KB5000802/KB5000808 causes BSOD when printing in win32kfull.sys – pulled?
News about the printer issues (BSOD) after March 2021 update
Microsoft provides workaround for Windows 10 patchday printer issue (BSOD)
Windows 10: Out-of-band Update for Blue Screen printing bug
Windows 10: Still printing issues after update installation
Windows 10: Microsoft confirms graphics printing issues after March 2021 updates
Windows 10: Out-of-band Update for graphics printing bug (March 18, 2021)
Windows 10: Update KB5001649 fails with install error 0x80070541 (March 18, 2021)
Windows 10: March 2021 update chaos, rollout stopped again due to new issues?
Windows 10: March 2021 update released again?

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