How to Fix Printer not Activated Error Code -30?

Printers are really important these days, especially in workplaces. There are many companies out there that manufacture printer that prints your soft copies into hard copies with lightning speed. However, often you might stumble upon an issue while trying to print a document or whatever. Printer errors are generic and we face them now and then. One of them is the “Printer not activated; error code -30” error which pops up while trying to print a PDF file on your system which is usually caused by the printer not being configured correctly.

Printer not Activated, Error Code -30

If you are trying to print an important pdf file and suddenly this error pops up on your computer then don’t worry as we are going to tell you how you can fix this error on your Windows. But first, let’s go through the causes of this error.

What causes the Printer not Activated Error Code -30 Error Message?

As we have aforementioned, the error comes up while you are trying to print a document (PDF file usually) on your system. This can be due to the following reasons —

  • Having not elevated or full permissions on your account: If you are using an account on Windows which does not have full permissions or does not allow you to run certain administrative tasks, then you may be getting this error due to that.
  • A user account on Windows with no administrative privileges can be the cause of this error.
  • Printer Drivers not correctly working: If the printer that you are using on your machine does not have the right drivers, then you will most probably get this error and you won’t be able to print anything. If the drivers have been corrupted or they are not compatible with the printer that you are using, then it means you are getting this error due to a bad driver.
  • Printer device not set as default: If the printer you want to print something on with your machine is not set as the default device, then you will likely get this error. If you have multiple printers set up on your machine and you have not set the printer you want to print on as the default printer device in Windows then this error will come.
  • Outdated Windows 10: If you have a new printer device that is a recent model and your Windows 10 has not been updated for quite some time, then, likely, Windows would not be able to configure the printer correctly as their drivers are not available in your system. Windows updates usually install latest drivers as well for different devices that come new and are recently released. So, an outdated Windows 10 can also be a cause of this issue.

There are many solutions listed below that you can try to fix this issue on Windows 10. As the solutions are dependent on the cause of the problem, so every solution listed here might not solve your error but you can try all and hopefully, your problem will be fixed.

Solution 1: Update Printer Drivers

The first solution that you can try is to update your printer drivers. There are two ways you can update your printer drivers. The first method is to manually go to the manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your printer from there and then install the drivers.

The second method is to use a driver installing a utility that automatically downloads and installs the drivers for you. These driver installing utilities detect the hardware attached to your computer and then automatically downloads and installs the suitable drivers for them. There are way too many out there so downloading one won’t be that hard.

Solution 2: Make your Printer Device as Default

Sometimes, if you have more than one printer attached to your computer, then it is recommended that you set the printer that you want to print on as your default device in Windows.

  1. To do that open Start Menu, search for Control Panel and open it up.
  2. Click on Hardware and Sound and then click on Devices and Printers.
    Hardware and Sound
  3. Now, you will see a list of printers connected to your computer. Right-click on the printer that you want to use and select Set as default printer.
  4. Exit the window and restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
  5. If the error was caused due to your printer device not set as default in Windows, then making it as the default printer would hopefully fix the problem for you.

Solution 3: Reinstall the USB composite device from Device Manager

Sometimes, if your USB composite device has not been configured correctly, then you will get this error. To fix the issue, you need to reinstall the USB composite device from the Device Manager in Windows.

  1. Press Windows + R key and type devmgmt.msc to open Device Manager.
  2. Afterward, scroll down until you see Universal Serial Bus Controllers on the right pane. Click on the + icon next to it to expand the items in the list.
  3. Then, right-click on the USB Composite device and click on uninstall.
    Uninstalling USB Composite Device Driver
  4. Now disconnect your printer and reconnect it again.
  5. The Found New Hardware wizard will open and follow the instructions to install the drivers for it.

After doing this, try to print the pdf file again. If the error was caused due to the USB composite device not being configured correctly, then following the above steps will hopefully fix the problem for you.

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

How to Fix Printer not Activated Error Code -30?

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