How to Fix 0x000003e3 Printer Error on Windows?

If you’re dealing with the 0x000003e3 error code, you will likely see it when attempting to connect to your printer or when sending a printing job to your connected printer. This issue is confirmed with every recent Windows version from Windows 7 to Windows 11. 

Connect to Printer Error 0x000003e3
Connect to Printer Error 0x000003e3

This problem frequently occurs due to a driver issue, a bad update, or a generic update that is not fully compatible with your printer.

Follow the methods below for a series of confirmed fixes that will help you troubleshoot the issue. 

1. Run the Printer Troubleshooter

You should be able to resolve most common connection issues (including the 0x000003e3 error) by running the Printer troubleshooter and implementing the suggested fix – this is only true if a bad Windows Update does not cause the issue.

Note: The Printer Troubleshooter application will begin checking your present printing components for any irregularities it can identify as soon as it is launched. The program will recommend an automated fix if an identifiable issue is found. 

For detailed instructions on how to launch the Printer Troubleshooter and apply the recommended fix, refer to the steps below:

  1. Press the Windows key + R to see the Run dialog box. Then, to enter the Troubleshoot tab of the Settings app, put “ms-settings:troubleshoot” into the text field and hit Enter.
    Accessing the Troubleshoot tab
    Accessing the Troubleshoot tab
  2. Click on Other Troubleshooters from the menu on the right-hand side once you’re within the Troubleshoot tab.
  3. Click on the Printer’s Run button after you’ve reached the Other Troubleshooters menu.
    Access the Other Troubleshooters tab
  4. When the initial screen appears, wait until the scan is finished. A screen where you may implement the suggested repair will be shown to you if a problem is found.
  5. Click Apply this fix to implement any valid recommended fixes that the troubleshooter has suggested.
    Apply this fix
    Apply this fix and repair the printing component

    Note: You may need to perform manual tasks, depending on the recommended patch.

  6. Restart your computer and check whether your network printer is accessible again.

Continue to the next fix below if the 0x000003e3 error still appears when you try to connect to your printer. 

2. Update your Windows build to the latest

If you suddenly start to experience the 0x000003e3 error code after installing a pending update, you should first check Windows Update to see if a new update is available. With some luck, Microsoft might have already released a hotfix that will resolve the issue automatically.

Here’s how to update your Windows build to the latest version available:

  1. Press the Windows key + the R key simultaneously to open the Run dialog box.
  2. In the next step, type “ms-settings:windowsupdate” in the text box and press Enter to open the Windows Update tab in the Settings program:
    Access the Windows Update screen
    Access the Windows Update screen

    Note: Even if you haven’t changed the UAC’s default settings, you could be asked for an account control prompt at this point. To enable admin access in this circumstance, choose Yes.

  3. Next, move to the area on the right and select the Check for Updates option.
    Checking for updates
    Checking for updates
  4. If a new update is available, click the Download & Install all button to start the update’s local installation after it has finished downloading locally.
    Downlload & Install pending updates
    Download & Install pending updates
  5. Restart your computer and check to see whether the problem is still present.

If you’re still experiencing the same 0x000003e3 error code when attempting to connect to a printer, move down to the next method below. 

3. Uninstall the latest problematic update

If you followed the method above and there is no new update to hotfix the issue that started appearing after installing a pending update, the next step would be to try and uninstall the bad update.

To do this, access the Program Files menu and uninstall the latest update from the View installed updates pane. 

Note: This fix is confirmed to work on both Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Follow the instructions below to uninstall the latest problematic update:-

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. After that, type “appwiz.cpl’ in the text field and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the Programs and Features menu. 
    Open up the Programs and Features menu
  3. Select View installed updates from the vertical menu on the left after selecting Programs and Features.

    Accessing the View Installed updates menu
    Accessing the View Installed updates menu
  4. Find the most current update on the Installed Updates screen and right-click it. From the context menu, select Uninstall.
    Uninstall the latest update
  5. Click Yes when prompted for your consent to delete the update. If prompted, confirm to allow the uninstalling procedure to finish.
  6. It’s not advised to restart your computer after the update has been removed. Visit the official download page for the Microsoft Show or Hide troubleshooter instead. 
    Note: If you restart before finishing this procedure, your OS will likely reinstall the bad update you just removed. 
  7. The troubleshooter we’ll be utilizing ought to begin downloading immediately. When the process is finished, open the. diagcab file and choose Advanced.
  8. After checking the box next to Apply Repairs Automatically, click Next.
    Configure the Show & Hide Troubleshooter
    Configure the Show & Hide Troubleshooter
  9. The application will look through your computer for uninstalled updates that are still pending. Select Hide Updates from the options menu on the following screen to conceal updates.
  10. Check the box next to the most recent Windows update and click Next on the next screen.
  11. Restart your PC and attempt to connect to your printer again.

If you’re still experiencing the same 0x000003e3 error again, move down to the next method below. 

4. Install the manufacturer-specific driver

If you’ve utilized the methods above to ensure that you are not experiencing this error due to a bad Windows Update, you should next concentrate on the printer driver.

Unless you’ve followed your manufacturer manual and installed the recommended drivers, you probably use a set of generic printer drivers that Microsoft provides by default on Windows 10 and Windows 11. 

This will work with most modern printers, but if you’re using an older printer model that was made before the launch of Windows 10, there’s a chance you might face inconsistencies when you try to establish the initial connection. 

In this case, we advise downloading the official printer driver from the manufacturer’s website.

Here’s a generic driver install that should help you resolve this issue regardless of your printer maker:

  1. Open your default browser and do a web search on “*Printer manufacturer* + *printer model* + *driver download*“.
    Search for the official driver page

    Note: Keep in mind that Printer manufacturer and printer model are two placeholders that you’ll need to replace with your actual printer model. In our case, the search term was ‘HP DeskJet 3700 driver download’.

  2. Make sure you always click on the official support link from the list of results. In the vast majority of cases, the first result is the official website. 
  3. From the results page, see if your manufacturer recommends any official tool that will automatically update your printer driver. HP does it through their HP Smart App. 
    Downloading and installing the HP Smart app

    Note: If your printer manufacturer doesn’t have a proprietary app that updates the printer driver to the latest OEM version, look through the download page and download the latest version of your driver. Ensure you download the online version if your printer is connected to the network.

    Download the printer driver
    Download the printer driver
  4. Whether you downloaded the proprietary app or the standalone driver, follow the on-screen prompts to install one of them on your system and reboot your PC.
    Note: If you downloaded the proprietary app, open it and trigger a system scan. It will find and install the latest OEM driver version and replace your generic printer driver (if you have one). 
  5. At the next startup, try to connect to your printer driver once again and see if the problem is now fixed. 

5. Update or Uninstall TrendMicro (if applicable)

If you have TrendMicro installed on your network, chances are it’s conflicting with the print spooler service. This is a well-known issue that is affecting endpoint security software. 

Fortunately, TrendMicro provided a patch that completely fixed the issue. The build responsible for this type of conflict is 12.0.4440. Just update your security build to above this version, and you should be ready.

If you can’t update, the only viable option is to uninstall the security suite. Follow this step-by-step guide to do this without leaving any remnants of files.

Update the TrendMicro app

If the problem is still not fixed, move to the next method below.  

6. Delete all printer keys & Restart Print Spooler Service

You might see this error due to an inconsistent key with the Client Side Rendering Print Providers currently used for your network printer.

If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to resolve it by deleting the Providers value in the Registry Editor tool, restarting the Print Spooler service, and adding the printer once more.

If you haven’t used this fix yet, deploy it by following the detailed steps below:

IMPORTANT: Take your time and back up your registry data before beginning this process.

  1. To bring up the Run dialog box, press the Windows key + R. To launch the Registry Editor with admin access, type “regedit” into the text box and hit Ctrl + Shift + Enter
    Open the Registry Editor
    Open the Registry Editor
  2. Click Yes to provide admin access when the User Account Control prompts you.
  3. Using the left-hand menu, go to the following place once you’re in the Registry Editor:
    HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Print\Provider

    Note: You may either manually browse to this place or instantaneously get there by pasting the complete path into the navigation box.

  4. After you’ve found the suitable spot, use the context menu that just appears to select Delete by right-clicking on the Providers key.
    Delete the providers key
  5. After removing the Providers key, shut the regedit window.
  6. To launch a new Run box, press the Windows key + R. Make the Services page appear by typing “services.msc” and hitting Enter. 
    Open the Services screen

    Note: If the User Account Control prompts you, select Yes to allow admin.

  7. After entering the Services panel, identify the Print Spooler service by scrolling down the list of services.
  8. Right-click on the service and click Restart the context menu that just appeared. 
    Restart the Print Spooler Service
  9. After closing the services window, add the printer once more and see if the 0x000003e3 is fixed. 

Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.