How to get rid of “Another computer is using the printer” error message?

September 17, 2018 |

greater than 5 minutes

When you are trying to print a document, and you get the error message, “Another computer is using the printer”, do not panic because it is a common error. Many users have reported the same issue. In this article, we are going to show you how to fix the “Another computer is using your printer” error.

Before you begin with any of the solutions, we recommend that you try restarting your printer and then connecting it again to your PC. If that doesn’t work, make sure you go through all the solutions until you find the one which works for you.

Table of Contents

  1. Restart the Print Spooler service
  2. Perform a full power cycle
  3. Make sure that your printer drivers are up to date
  4. Make sure your printer is the default printer
  5. Make sure your Windows is up to date
  6. Perform a system restore
  7. Do a malware scan of your system

Solution 1. Restart the Print Spooler service

This is one of the most potent solutions to this error. To restart the Printer Spooler, you need to cancel all the print commands first. and then follow these instructions:

  • Press the Windows logo key + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box.
  • In the Run search area, input services.msc and press Enter. This will open the Services dialogue box.
  • Look for the Printer Spooler service and select it, then click Restart on the upper left panel to restart the service.
  • You can try to print again to check if the error has been resolved.

Solution 2. Perform a full power cycle.

Many users also confirmed that restarting all their devices, i.e., their PC, printer and wireless router, had solved the error for them. Refreshing the devices will terminate accumulated tasks. This makes sure that the devices are able to receive new commands and process them correctly. It will also recover your devices from an unresponsive state:

  • Power off your PC, wireless router, and printer.
  • Unplug the devices from any power source.
  • Wait for about 5 minutes, plug the devices back to power and turn them on.
  • Now, you can try to print and check if the error has been resolved.

Solution 3. Make sure that your printer driver is up to date.

Normally, when your hardware devices malfunction, one of the first things you want to check is the drivers. They mediate the communication between the device and the operating system. It the drivers are missing, corrupt, or outdated, your devices will not function well. In this case, we will check the printer driver. We will show you the best ways to update your drivers:

Method 1. Download and install Auslogics Driver Updater

This tool is very efficient in updating your drivers. It is quick and saves you a lot of time. You will be able to update all your drivers in just one click. Auslogics Driver Updater will scan your system for missing or outdated drivers and install their latest versions. This tool is good for average computer users who are not versed in this type of processes. You won’t have to worry about downloading the wrong driver.

Method 2. Download the driver from the manufacturer’s site

What driver you need depends on the printer’s manufacturer. Usually, the drivers are located in the support section of the site. You are required to know the complete name and version of the printer to be able to download the correct driver. This is because installing the wrong driver can lead to further issues with the device.

Method 3. Use Device Manager to update your driver

Device Manager is a very useful tool in the Windows operating system. It manages the devices which are connected to your PC. It also gives you the option to update your drivers. Here is how to do it:

  1. Right-click on the Start or Home button and select Device Manager from the pop-up menu.
  2. In the Device Manager dialog box, navigate to your printer, right-click on it and select Update driver.
  3. Now, select the first option which prompts you to download the latest driver from the internet.
  4. Once the driver is installed, try to print to check if the issue has been resolved.

Solution 4. Make sure your printer is the default printer

You have to make sure that the printer you are using is set as the default printer. Especially if you are using a Canon printer. They are noted for having more than one printer listed. The real printer has just its name, but the fake printer has “WS” added to its name. If your default printer is the fake one, then you will experience the “Another computer is using the printer” error. We are going to show you how to set your default printer:

  • Click the Start or Home button and type printers in the search box, then select Printers and scanners.
  • In the next page, uncheck Let Windows manage my default printer.
  • Navigate to Printers and scanners, select your default printer and click the Manage button.
  • In the next dialog box, click Set as default

Solution 5. Make sure your Windows is up to date

Windows updates may contain a fix to this error. Microsoft releases updates regularly to improve and add new features, and also to fix the minor bugs users encounter while using the operating system. Normally, Windows 10 downloads and installs updates automatically, but sometimes that is not always the case. You will have to force updates manually, and here is how:

  • Press the Windows logo key + I on your keyboard to open the Settings app.
  • Click Update and Security from the list of options available.
  • Navigate to the Windows Update tab and click Check for updates.
  • Windows will now download and install any pending updates for your system.

Solution 6. Perform a system restore

System Restore is a very important tool in the Windows operating system. It helps solve issues of unknown origin in your system. This tool sends your computer back to a state in which it was in the past at a particular time. It affects only your system files and settings. It does not make changes to your documents. System Restore can be used only if you created restore points in the past. Nevertheless, if you did not, do not worry since Windows automatically creates restore points when important changes want to occur in your system. Here is how to perform a system restore:

  • Click on the Start or Home button and input Recovery in the search box. Select Recovery from the list of results.
  • In the Recovery dialog box, click Open System Restore, then click Next to proceed.
  • In the next dialog box, you will see all the restore points in your system. Select the one you want to restore your system to.
  • Complete the process, using the instructions of the wizard

Solution 7. Do a malware scan of your system

Malware infection can also be the reason why you are experiencing the “Another computer is using the printer” error. That is why we recommend you to perform a full system scan, using Auslogics Anti-Malware. This tool will scan your system and remove all harmful files. You will be able to surf the internet in a safe environment. The tool is updated on a regular basis to make sure that no virus gets past its defenses.

We hope that this article has solved your printer problem. Share it with others who encounter similar problems.

We appreciate your ideas and comments, and we are ready to answer all your questions regarding the above topic.

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