Fix: Another Computer is using the printer

Printers have become increasingly important in the 20th century allowing you to print all your important documents with a click of a button. However, to this date many people have various problems when printing their documents. One such problem is where the computer refuses to print the document stating that printer is in use by another computer. This error may be valid if the printer is busy performing jobs submitted by another computer. But if you are the sole user, it means there is some technical problem. Follow the solutions given below starting with the first one.

Solution 1: Resetting Print Spooler Service

The spooler service is a software program which is responsible for managing all print jobs being sent to the computer printer. The print spooler service is usually visible to users and they can also cancel a print job which is being processed. It also allows them to manage jobs which are currently on the waitlist.

We can try restarting this service and check if this solves the problem.

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run application. Type “services.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Locate the service “Print Spooler” present in the list of services. Double-click it to open its properties. Click the “Stop” button present underneath system status and press “Ok” to save changes.

  1. Since we have disabled the service, we can now focus on deleting printer files. Press Windows + E to launch the quick access and click on “This PC” present in the left navigation pane.
  2. Navigate to the following path:

C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS

 

Permission might be needed to access the following folder. If prompted, press Continue.

  1. Once in the folder, delete all the files in the PRINTERS folder and close the window.
  2. Restart your computer and check if the printer connects correctly.

Extended Solution 1: Creating a Batch File

This is an extended snippet of solution 1. If the solution works for you and the problem occurs again and again, you can create a batch file to do all the above operations with a single click. This will save you time and you won’t have to perform all the above steps next time when the error comes up.

  1. Press Windows + E to open File Explorer, click View, then press Options and select Change folder and search options.

  1. Uncheck the option ‘Hide extensions for known file types’. This will enable us to convert the text file a batch file which we will create later on.

  1. Create a new text file on your Desktop and enter the following commands as shown below in the picture. Save the text file later on.

net stop spooler

net start spooler

exit

  1. Now rename the file replacing ‘.txt’ with ‘.bat’. You might be prompted with a pop up stating the following. Press Yes.

  1. Now whenever you double-click the icon, spooler service will automatically be executed without having you to do anything else.

Solution 2: Doing a Full Power Cycle

Another workaround which works for a lot of users is power cycling your computer, printer, and your Wi-Fi. Power cycling is an act of turning off a device completely off and then on again. Reasons for power cycling include having an electronic device reinitialize its set of configurations parameters or recover from an unresponsive state or module. It is also used to reset all the network configurations as they are all lost when you turn the device completely turned off.

After turning off your printer, Wi-Fi and computer, take out the main power cable and let them stay idle for a couple of minutes (~5). After the required time, plug in the cables, turn both devices on and try connecting them.

Solution 3: Connecting to the printer without “—WS”

Canon printers tend to have two printers listed in place of a single printer. One is a normal printer and the other one has the same name but has a ‘WS’ at its end. If you are connected to the ‘WS’ printer, this may be causing the issue of the printer not printing. There are many queries online to what the ‘WS’ means, most of them pointing that it stands for web services. Here are examples of the names your printer might be having in the devices window:

Canon MG5300 series Printer

Canon MG5300 series Printer WS

Canon MG5300 series Printer XPS

Cancel all the print jobs and restart the spooler service as shown above. Now try selecting the normal printer consisting of only the model (which doesn’t have WS or XPS). Try printing anything and see if this does the trick.

Solution 4: Installing the Latest Drivers for your Printer

If all the above solutions don’t work, it means that the problem probably lies with the drivers installed against your printer device. Outdated printer drivers cause major compatibility issues and render your device useless. You should navigate to the manufacturer’s website and download the latest printer drivers available. Make sure to download the exact drivers meant for your printer. You can look for the model number present on the front of your printer or in its box.

Note: There are few cases where a newer driver doesn’t work. In that case, download an older version of the driver and install it using the same method described below.

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run Type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and hit Enter. This will launch your computer’s device manager.
  2. Navigate through all the hardware, open the sub-menu “Print queues”, right click on your printer hardware and select “Update driver”.

  1. Now Windows will pop a dialogue box asking you which way do you want to update your driver. Select the second option (Browse my computer for driver software) and proceed.

Select the driver file you downloaded using the browse button when it appears and update it accordingly.

  1. Restart your computer and check if the problem gets resolved.

Note: If updating the drivers directly don’t produce any results, consider uninstalling the driver first and instead of updating the drivers by selecting manual or automatic, just double-click the driver and it will be installed automatically.

Solution 5: Changing WSD Timeout Setting (Advanced Users)

WSD (Web services for Devices) is a control mechanism which is designed for the automatic discovery, control and setup of devices. There is known problem regarding WSD Timeout settings. We can try extending the settings and see if this does the trick.

There are two ways through which you can change the WSD Timeout Setting. One is through the webpage by accessing the IP of your printer. You should change the setting to 10 minutes instead of the default one. Save changes and Exit. Make sure that you cancel all the pending jobs before doing any changes.

Some printers have the same configuration present in their modules. You can access the settings in the following order. Do note that the method may be a little different according to your model.

Menu > Set up > Device Setting > LAN Settings > Other Settings > WSD Settings > Timeout Setting > 10 Minutes

Save the changes, do a power cycle as explained in the solution above and try printing again.f

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: Another Computer is using the printer

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