Several printer users encounter the error message ‘The printer requires your attention’ when they try to print something using Windows. This is a very common error message and usually occurs when there is an issue with the configuration or the printer is physically having problems.
Usually, the error message is accompanied with tips which usually help in resolving the issue but this is not the case every time. Here in this article, we will go through the potential causes as to why this error occurs and also what are the remedies required to fix it. Make sure that you start with the first solution and work your way down accordingly as they are ordered with the degree usefulness and complexity.
What causes the Error message ‘The Printer Requires your Attention’?
After getting reports from users and analyzing them, we also experimented on our own systems and came about the following reasons as to why this error message might occur on your computer. Some of the reasons as to why you might experience this issue are but not limited to:
- Issue in printer configuration: In numerous cases, the printer has trouble with its configuration internally. Since each printer is of different build, Windows usually uses the manufacturer’s driver and its own communication system to operate the printer. If this messes up, you might experience the error message.
- Issues in webpage printer: We also encountered cases where this error message occurred when webpages tried to print directly through the printer. Here, using different alternatives might work.
- Protected mode in Internet Explorer: Normally, a protected mode is enabled in Internet Explorer where some unverified website requests to gain access of your hardware is denied and rejected. You can try disabling the protected mode and see if this does the trick.
- Outdated Drivers: Another potential issue which users face is where the drivers of the printer don’t work because they are either outdated or corrupt. This is a very common issue and can be easily solved by reinstalling the drivers.
- Outdated Windows: We also came across several versions of Windows where the version had induced some bug and because of this, users were having issues with their printers. Updating printers to the latest build solved the problem.
- Print spooler service: Print spooler service is notorious for either getting into a bad configuration or having issues on its own when the directive to print is given. Restarting the spooler service solves the problem instantly.
- Checking Ink levels: Usually, when the printer requests the user to check it, the issue is mostly of either Ink levels or of a page being stuck. This is a very common scenario and can be usually solved by manually attending to the printer.
Before we move on to the solutions, make sure that you have an active and open internet connection and also, are logged in your computer as an administrator.
Solution 1: Running the Printer Troubleshooter
Before we try anything else, you should try running the Printer Troubleshooter on your computer. The printer troubleshooter automatically analyzes all the components related to your printer and attempts at restarting them. If there are any solvable issues, it solves them itself so the issue is resolved.
- Press Windows + R, type “control” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
- Type Troubleshoot in the search bar of the control panel at the top right side of the window and select the option of Troubleshooting when the results return.
- Once in the troubleshooting menu, click “View all” present on the navigation pane at the left side of the window. Now Windows will populate all the troubleshooters available on your computer.
- Navigate through the options until you find Printer. Click the option to start the troubleshooter.
- Check both options: “Run as administrator” and “Apply repairs automatically”. These options will ensure that you find maximum problems and the repairs are applied fast as well.
- Follow the on-screen instructions and wait for the troubleshooting to complete.
Solution 2: Updating Windows to the Latest Build
There are several instances where the printer displays the error message not because of some error from the modules, but from the operating system itself. This has been the case previously in the past numerous times and can be easily solved by updating Windows to the latest build. Microsoft engineers usually detect this discrepancy and solve it as soon as possible. Make sure that you have an active internet connection and patience.
- Press Windows + S, type ‘Update’ in the dialogue box and open the application.
- Now Settings will be opened up. Click the button Check for updates. Now your computer will automatically check for any latest updates available and install them on your computer.
Solution 3: Restarting the Print Spooler
Print Spooler is a software component which is tasked in managing all your printer jobs passed on by the operating system and then forwarded to the printer drivers. It allows users to get the functionality of checking the current status of all the printer jobs as well as the functionality to cancel them when necessary. When this module goes into an error state, users experience the error message with no clue what to do.
In this solution, we will navigate to your settings and then restart the Print Spooler service itself and see if this makes any difference. We will also be deleting the current temporary configuration files and see if this does the trick.
- Press Windows + R to launch the run application and type “services.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
- Locate the service “Print Spooler” present in the list and double-click it to open its properties. Click the “Stop” button present underneath system status and press “OK” to save changes.
- Since we have disabled the service, we can now focus on deleting printer files. Press Windows + R and type the following path in the dialogue box and press Enter to navigate to it.
You might be required to authenticate yourself as an administrator of the computer. If prompted, press Continue.
- Once in the folder, delete all the files in the PRINTERS folder and close the window.
- Now navigate back to the services and start the service After starting the service, try printing your documents and see if this fixes the issue.
Solution 4: Restarting the Entire System
In some cases, you might be faced with the issue where your printer has gone into an internal error state. This usually has to do with the printer’s own configurations and the only way to fix this is power cycling the computer. Power cycling is the act of turning off all the devices including the computer and then making sure all the static charge and temporary configurations go away. So when we start the system again, the temporary configurations will be created again.
- Power off your printer and computer using their power buttons.
- Now, take out the power cable from each of the module and press and hold each device’s power button for around 10 seconds.
- Now wait for 10 minutes before plugging everything back in and try printing. Check if the issue is resolved.
Solution 5: Checking the Printer Physically
Before we jump right into reinstalling the printer and its drivers, it is vital that we check the printer physically whether it has any problems. There can be many issues with the printer where there are either pages stuck in the printer or there is low ink/toner. When this occurs, instead of correctly displaying the error message ‘Check page’ or ‘Low Toner’, the printer displays the error message ‘The printer requires your Attention’.
If you don’t know how to check the toner or if a page is stuck, you can easily consult the internet of your printer model and then check the steps to check. Follow the steps and once you are absolutely sure that there is no problem with the printer physically, you can move on to the next solutions.
Solution 6: Installing Webpages Alternatively
If you are receiving the error message when printing a web page directly, there might be chances that the browser is causing problems when passing the instruction to the printer. This is a very common scenario and can be solved by bypassing the printer completely. This can be done by saving the web page to an accessible location and then printing it manually using another browser. Follow the steps below:
- Open the website which you want to print. Right-click on any empty space and click on Save as.
- After saving the HTML file locally, right-click on it and select Open with and select another browser which wasn’t causing the problem.
- Now you can try printing using that browser and see if the problem is solved.
Solution 7: Disabling Protected Mode
If you are encountering error message of printing while using the Internet Explorer, we can navigate to the Internet Explorer settings and disable the Protected Mode there. Protected mode allows the computer to block requests to access hardware and other internal file structure if the source is not verified. Even though this is a useful feature, it might prove to be a problem in situations like these. Hence, we will disable the protected and try again.
- Press Windows + R, type ‘inetcpl.cpl’ in the dialogue box and press Enter.
- Now move the slider down so the level of security is reduced and uncheck the option of ‘Enable Protected Mode (requires restarting Internet Explorer).
- Press Apply to save the current changes and exit. Now restart the Internet Explorer and try printing again. Check if the issue is resolved.
Note: All your current windows will be closed when the explorer is restarted so make sure you have all the changes saved.
Solution 8: Reinstalling the Printer
If all the above method didn’t work, it probably means that there is some issue with the printer’s installation itself on your computer. Usually, each printer is installed automatically when you connect the printer to the computer. The computer automatically detects the drivers and if they are not present, it will download them from the internet manually.
Here in this solution, we will uninstall the printer from your system and uninstall the drivers as well. Then we will reconnect the printer and search for the device. If the printer is found, the drivers will be automatically installed.
- Press Windows + R, type “control” in the dialogue box and press Enter. Once in the control panel, click on the option of View by and select the category of Large Once large icons are present, click on Device and Printers.
- All the printers installed against your system will be installed here. Right-click on the printer which is causing the issue and click on Remove Device.
- Now, press Windows + R and type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter. Then, click on Print Queues and right-click on the printer and select Uninstall Device.
Note: The printer might not be listed here in some cases if the printer is uninstalled using the above method so nothing to worry about.
- After you have performed all the above steps, disconnect the printer from your computer. You will have to unplug the wire if it is connected using a wire or disconnect the internet if it is connected wirelessly. Perform the Power Cycling solution again (solution 2).
- After you have successfully power cycled the entire system, start the system again and connect the printer again. Now after connecting, the printer should be automatically recognized by the system. If not, you can wait a bit until the appropriate drivers are installed.
- Now navigate back to the control panel, right-click on the device and select “Set as default printer”. Now try printing the document and check if the issue is resolved.
Solution 9: Install the Drivers Manually
If the drivers to the printer are not detected automatically using the Windows system, you can navigate to the device manager again and install the drivers manually from there. Drivers are the main components which connect the operating system with the hardware. If they are outdated or not valid, you might experience several error messages including the one under discussion. Perform the steps below to install the drivers manually.
- 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.
- Navigate through all the hardware, open the sub-menu “Print queues”, right click on your printer hardware and select “Update driver”.
- 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.
Note: There might be instances where the printer is not visible on the page. Here, you can just download the required installation file from the website and run the installation package.