How to Fix ‘(Error: 0x00000709)’ When Selecting a Default Printer?

Fix: Operation could not be completed (error 0x00000709) on Windows

There have been reports of users encountering an issue with their printers. As it turns out, upon trying to change the default printer on their system, the “Operation could not be completed (error 0x00000709)” error message is triggered. On the other hand, some users are getting this error message in a shared network where a printer that has been deleted keeps on returning. The error message shows itself when they try to connect to the said printer when it reappears. In this article, we will be taking you through the process of fixing the mentioned problem quite easily so just follow through.

Operation Could not be Completed Error 0x00000709

As it turns out, printers remain to be one of the widely used devices, especially in a work environment. Not only that, some of us use printers in our homes for our convenience. When you set a default printer, all the print jobs are sent to the selected printer automatically instead of selecting a printer every time you wish to print something which can be quite repetitive. In some cases, Windows may refuse to change the default printer on your computer. In such a scenario, you can get the job done quite easily by modifying some keys in your Windows Registry. With that said, let us get started and show you how to change your default printer on your operating system without any issues.

Change Default Printer via Windows Registry

As it turns out, when you are encountering the 0x00000709 error code when trying to change the default printer on your computer, do not worry as there are alternate ways to changing the default printer.

In such a case, what you can do as we have mentioned previously, is to use the Windows Registry to change the default printer on your computer. Windows Registry is responsible for how the operating system on your computer behaves and such it stores the default printer in a key. When facing the problem in question, you can edit this key to change the default printer on your computer. Normally, making changes to the Windows Registry is not recommended especially when you do not know what you are doing. This is because any unwanted changes can deal serious damage to the operating system. Therefore, before proceeding with the instructions that we are going to provide, we would recommend creating a backup of the Windows Registry in case anything goes wrong.

The instructions down below are pretty straightforward and if you follow them strictly, you won’t be facing any issues. With that said, let us get started and show you how to change the default printer via Windows Registry:

  1. First of all, open up the Run dialog box on your computer by pressing Windows key + R on your keyboard.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type in regedit and then hit the Enter key on your keyboard.
    Opening up Windows Registry
  3. On the follow-up User Access Control dialog box, click the Yes button.
  4. This will bring up the Windows Registry. In the address bar, copy and paste the following path in the address bar and hit Enter to navigate to the respective location automatically:
    Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows
    Navigating to Appropriate Path
  5. Once you are there, on the right-hand side, double-click the Device key.
    Opening up Device Key
  6. On the dialog box that comes up, you will have to change the Value data.
    Changing Default Printer
  7. There are three parts to the value data each separated by a comma and you will be changing only the first part which is the name of your printer.
  8. Thus, change the first part with the name of your printer that you wish to make the default.
  9. Once you are done, click OK. It should look something like this:
    PrinterNAME,winspool,Ne01:
    Changed Default Printer via Registry
  10. Make sure to replace PrinterNAME with the actual name of your printer. In addition, the last two parts may differ depending on your case and you should leave them as is.
  11. In case you do not know the name of the printer that you wish to make the default, open up the Control Panel by searching for it in the Start Menu.
    Opening up Control Panel
  12. Then, in the Control Panel window, click on the Hardware and Sound option.
    Control Panel
  13. There, click on the Devices and Printers option provided.
    All Devices
  14. Here, you will be shown all of the devices that are connected to your computer including your printer. Provide this name in the Value data box above.
  15. Once you are done with that, go ahead and restart your computer for the changes to take effect. After your computer boots up, the problem should now be gone.

Clear Printers Folder

If you are facing the issue in a network where a deleted printer keeps on coming back, you can solve the problem by clearing out the printer’s folder that resides on your computer. These are called ghost printers and there are a few ways you can clear them out. One way of doing this would be to empty a printer’s folder as we have mentioned. To do this, you will first have to stop the Print Spooler service. Follow the instructions down below to do this:

  1. First of all, press Windows key + R on your keyboard to open up the Run dialog box.
  2. Then, in the Run dialog box, type in services.msc and then hit the Enter key.
    Opening up Services
  3. The Services window will open up that will list all the services that are on your system.
  4. From the list of services, look for the Print Spooler service. To make this easier, you can press P on your keyboard which will take you to all services starting from the said alphabet.
    Locating Print Spooler Service
  5. Once you have located the service, right-click on it, and from the drop-down menu, click the Stop button.
    Stopping Print Spooler Service
  6. After doing that, open up Windows Explorer.
  7. In the address bar, copy and paste the following path:
    C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS
    Navigating to Printers Folder
  8. There, delete all the files and folders. Make sure that you have hidden files enabled so that you clear them out as well.
  9. Once you have done that, open up the Services window again and start the Print Spooler service again. The problem should now go away.

Use Print Management

As it turns out, another way that you can get rid of the ghost printer is through the Print Management utility which lets you manage and handle all the printers that are connected to your computer. This includes any print servers and more. To use the print management utility, follow the instructions given down below:

  1. First of all, open up the Start Menu and search for Print Management. Open it up.
    Opening up Print Management
  2. On the left-hand side, expand the Custom Filters list.
    Expanding Custom Filters
  3. Then, click on All Printers.
    Opening up All Printers
  4. After doing that, on the right-hand side, locate the ghost printer.
  5. Right-click on it and from the drop-down menu, click the Delete option.
    Deleting Ghost Printer
  6. Once you have done that, the ghost printer will be no longer appearing.
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.

Expert Tip

How to Fix ‘(Error: 0x00000709)’ When Selecting a Default Printer?

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Restoro which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Restoro by clicking the Download button below.

Download Now

I'm not interested