Several Windows users are reporting that they are getting the “Your printer has experienced an unexpected configuration problem” error every time they try to print something on their locally connected printer. In some cases, these error codes might appear alongside the message: 0x80070002, 0x80040154. The issue is not exclusive to a certain Windows version as it’s reported to appear on Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.
What is causing the ‘Unexpected Configuration Problem’ error with some printers?
We investigated this particular issue by looking at various user reports and the repair strategies that were commonly used to troubleshoot and resolve the issue by users finding themselves in a similar situation. Based on our investigations, there are several different scenarios that are known to trigger this particular error message:
- Printer entry is glitched – On Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, there’s a chance that the issue is caused by a case of a glitched printer. Whenever this happens, you will be unable to print anything, even though the printer will show up as operational inside Printer & scanners. In this case, you can resolve the issue by using the Windows Printer Troubleshooter or by re-adding the printer inside the Printer & scanners menu.
- The printer driver is outdated – Another potential case in which this error occurs is when you’re using a severely outdated driver. Several users finding themselves in a similar situation have reported that they managed to resolve the issue after using Windows Update to update to the latest version or after updating the driver manually.
- The printer is not shared across the network – As it turns out, this issue can also occur if the device you’re trying to print from is not shared across the network. If this scenario is applicable, you can resolve the issue by making the printer sharable from the Printer’s properties menu.
- 3rd party app or Windows update is interfering with the printing sequence – In some case, system file corruption can be responsible for this particular error. Since both bad Windows updates and some 3rd party software can interfere with the printing sequence, one cure-all fix is to use a System Restore point to restore your machine to a healthy state.
If you’re actively looking for ways to resolve this exact error message that is keeping you from using your printer, this article will provide you with a list of quality troubleshooting steps. Down below, you’ll discover a collection of methods that other affected users have successfully used to fix this particular problem.
The potential fixes below are ordered by efficiency and severity, so please follow them in the order that they are presented. One of the methods below is bound to fix the problem, regardless of the culprit that’s triggering it.
Method 1: Running the Printer Troubleshooter
As some users have reported, this built-in utility has the potential of resolving the issue automatically if the problem is covered by one of the many automated repair strategies covered by the Printer Troubleshooter.
As soon as you start the Printer Troubleshooter, the utility will analyze your current situation and determine if any of the predetermined repair strategies are applicable in this situation. If one is a match, you will be prompted to apply the fix. If everything goes well, this will end up resolving the issue with minimal hassle.
Here’s a quick guide on running the Printer Troubleshooter:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type” ms-settings:troubleshoot” and press Enter to open up the Troubleshoot tab of the Settings app.
- Inside the Troubleshooting tab, go to the Get up and running tab and click on Printer. Then, click on the Run the troubleshooter button.
- Wait until the initial scanning period is complete, then click on Apply this fix if a repair strategy is recommended.
- Once the operation is complete, close the troubleshooting window and see if you’re still encountering the same error message when trying to print something from your default printer.
If the same issue is still persisting, move down to the next method below.
Method 2: Adding the same printer again inside Printer & scanners
Some affected users have managed to resolve the issue by adding the same printer again inside the Printers & scanners menu. All users that have resulted to this fix have reported that this doesn’t create any sort of conflict – the only minor inconvenience is that you will have your printer listed twice under Printers & scanners.
Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “ms-settings:printers” and press Enter to open the Printers & scanners tab of the Settings app.
- Once you get the Printers & scanners to click on the ‘+‘ icon under Add printers & scanners. Wait until your printer is identified again, then click on it to finish setting it up again.
- Once you manage to add your printer once again, restart your computer and see if the issue has been resolved at the next startup.
If you’re still encountering the “Your printer has experienced an unexpected configuration problem” error, move down to the next method below.
Method 3: Updating your printer driver using Windows Update
As it turns out, one reason that might trigger the “Your printer has experienced an unexpected configuration problem” error is a severely outdated printer driver. Several affected users have reported that the issue was no longer occurring after the used Windows Update to find and install an updated version of the printer driver.
Here’s a quick guide on updating your drivers using Windows Update:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “devmgmt.msc” and press Enter to open up Device Manager. If prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant administrative privileges.
- Inside Device Manager, scroll through the list of devices and expand the Printers (Print queues) drop-down menu.
- Right-click on the printer that you’re having issues with and choose Update driver.
- From the next screen, click on Search automatically for updated driver software to let Windows Update to scan and download the newer driver version for your printer.
- Once the newer printer driver is installed, restart your computer and see if the issue is resolved at the next startup.
If the same “Your printer has experienced an unexpected configuration problem” error is occurring even after you’ve updated the driver or Windows Update wasn’t able to find a newer version, move down to the next method below.
Method 4: Updating the Printer’s driver manually
If Windows Update wasn’t able to update the driver automatically, you can also download and install the driver by yourself. Chances are that your printer already came with software capable of updating the driver.
But since not all manufacturers will include an auto-updating software, the most generic way to update your printer’s driver automatically is to uninstall the current one and then download the latest version from the manufacturer’s website.
Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “devmgmt.msc” and press Enter to open up Device Manager.
- Expand the drop-down menu associated with Printers (or Print Queues). Then, right-click on the printer that you’re having issues with and choose Uninstall device. You’ll need to confirm once again before the driver is uninstalled.
Note: It’s very important to avoid restarting your computer during this time. Doing this will trigger Windows Update to search and install a generic version of the driver at the next startup, which will likely end up producing the same error.
- Once you manage to remove your printer’s driver open your browser and search online for your manufacturer’s website. The latest printer driver versions are often available in the support section.
- When you locate and download the latest driver version, open it and follow the on-screen prompts to install it on your system. Almost all printer drivers are self-installing – meaning that they only require you to double-click them and accept the UAC prompt for them to install.
- Once the newer printer driver is installed, restart your computer and see if the issue is resolved once the next startup is complete.
If you’re still encountering the same “Your printer has experienced an unexpected configuration problem” error, move down to the next method below.
Method 5: Making the Printer Sharable
Some affected users have managed to resolve the issue by making the printer sharable on Windows 10. As it turns out, you might get the “Your printer has experienced an unexpected configuration problem” error if you want to trigger the printing sequence from a different computer and the printer in question is not shared across the network.
If this particular scenario applies, you can resolve the issue very easily by making the printer sharable. Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “control.exe” and press Enter to open up Control Panel.
- Inside Control Panel, use the search function (top-right corner) to search for “device & printers“. Then, click on Device and Printers from the search results.
- Inside the Device and Printers screen, right-click on the printer that you’re having issues with and choose Printer Properties.
- Inside your printer’s Properties screen, go to the Sharing tab.
- Inside the Sharing tab, start by checking the box associated with Share this printer and then set a name for it.
- Click Apply to save the changes, then try to print something and see if the “Your printer has experienced an unexpected configuration problem” error has been resolved.
If the issue is still occurring, move down to the next method below.
Method 6: Manually Installing the DLL file
It’s possible that you don’t have the DLL file installed on your computer properly. The DLL that’s responsible for running your Printer properly. Follow the steps to fix this issue:-
- Head over to this location on File Explorer: C:\Windows\WinSxS
- Once you are there click on the Search button and search for “Printconfig.dll”.
- Once you find it right-click on it and click copy.
(If you can’t able to find the DLL file you can head over to this location and try to search for it: C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository)
- Once the file is copied head over to this location “C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\x64\3″ and paste the file you just copied.
- Restart your computer and your printer.
- Check to see if the issue persists.
Method 7: Performing a System Restore
If your printer was functioning normally until now, chances are an update or some 3rd party application that you might have installed might have disrupted it. If this particular scenario is applicable, you will most likely be able to resolve the issue by returning your machine to a fully working state.
The quickest and most non-destructive way to do this is by using System Restore. This utility will return your machine state to a previous point in time. If you’re lucky enough to have a restore point dated before the apparition of this issue, then you’ll be able to resolve the “Your printer has experienced an unexpected configuration problem” error very easily.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “rstrui” and press Enter to open up the System Restore Utility.
- Inside the first System Restore screen, click on Next.
- At the next screen, make sure that the box associated with Show more restore points is checked. Then, select a restore point older than the apparition of this issue and hit the Next button once again.
- Hit Finish to start the restoring procedure. Soon after you click the button, your computer will restart and the older state will be mounted.
- Once the next startup is complete, try to print something again and see if the “Your printer has experienced an unexpected configuration problem” error has been resolved.
If none of these methods have worked for you, it’s possible that the manufacturer has provided custom modified drivers that should be stable and compatible for your Printer specifically. Simply head over to the official support website of your printer and search for the drivers by using the model number.