How to resolve Microsoft Print to PDF not working on Windows 10?

April 2, 2019 |

greater than 9 minutes

Microsoft did well to introduce the Print to PDF feature so that users can convert their files – Word documents, JPG images, and so on– into PDFs easily on their devices. In other words, with this feature, you should be able to print almost anything on your computer as a PDF file.

To be fair, some users already convert their documents into PDFs by attempting to print them, so it is hardly surprising that a functionality directed at the conversion operation ends up being very useful to many people.

How do I fix Microsoft Print to PDF problems?

The Print to PDF feature sometimes fails to work as it is designed to, and it might be difficult to figure out why. For one, the functionality’s components might have become corrupted, or its processes might be stuck.

In any case, you are probably here to find out how to resolve the MS print to PDF not working issue or a related problem.

The guide below will be focused on troubleshooting Print to PDF failures and providing appropriate fixes where applicable. You are likely to get what you need.

How to fix Microsoft print to PDF not working on Windows 10?

It is important that you go through the solutions in the order they appear.

  1. Check that no comma or disallowed character appears in the name of the file and output folder involved:

A reasonable number of reports from certain users confirmed that the operation involving the Print to PDF feature ended up being a failure because a comma (or disallowed character) appeared in the name of their files or the output directories (that they intended to save the files to).

To this end, you will do well to go through the name of the file carefully and check the destination folder too. If you notice a comma or disallowed character, you must remove it. Once you are done with the editing and renaming operation, you must move on to reperform the failed task (using the Print to PDF feature again) and see how things go this time.

In general, you are better off ensuring that the name of your file is made up of simple or widely-used characters – alphabets and numbers, basically. You might want to avoid special characters for the time being to reduce the chances of complications coming up during the storage operation for the file.

  1. Disable the Print to PDF feature and then re-enable it:

Here, by disabling the troubled feature and then re-enabling it, you should manage to force Windows to restart the broken components or processes. This way, given the nature of the operations involved, faults or similar shortcomings are likely to be eliminated.

Users resolve the vast majority of problems affecting the Print to PDF feature by disabling and reenabling the feature, anyway. Do this:

  • Press the Windows logo button on your PC’s keyboard to see the programs and options that make up the Windows Start menu screen.

Type Windows features into the text field (that comes up once you start to type). Turn Windows Features on or off (Control Panel) should be the main item on the result list.

Click on it (or tap the enter key to select it).

Your system will bring up the Windows Features window now.

  • Go through the list of features displayed and locate Microsoft Print to PDF. Click on the box for this functionality to deselect it, and then click on the OK button to save the change you just made.
  • Here, you have to restart your computer.
  • After the recommended reboot, you must allow your PC to settle down. Now, you must repeat the steps above to bring up the Windows Features window again.
  • This time, once you see the Microsoft Print to PDF feature, you must click on its box to select it. This way, it becomes re-enabled.
  • Click on the OK button to save the change.
  • Reattempt the Microsoft Print to PDF feature operation you struggled with earlier and see if it goes through without issues this time.
  1. Set the Print to PDF feature as your default printer:

If the Print to PDF feature is refusing to convert your files into the expected format, you might be able to push the operation through by getting your computer to recognize it as your default printer.

You should find it relatively easy to carry out this operation. Do this:

  • Press (and hold) the Windows logo button on your device’s keyboard, and then tap the letter S key. The Search screen for Windows Start menu will be displayed now.

Type Printer into the text field you see to do a quick search using this keyword. Devices and Printers (Control Panel) should appear as the main or second item on the results list. Click on it.

Your computer will bring up the Devices and Printers screen in a Control Panel program window now.

If Devices and Printers is missing from the search result list, you have to do this:

Search for Control Panel instead in the Windows Start menu screen. After the program launches, you must type Printers into the text field present at the top-right corner of the application window displayed, and then click on the View Devices and Printers link.

  • Assuming you are currently on the Devices and Printers screen, you have to navigate to the Printers section (if you do not end up there by default). Go through the available printing devices and locate Print to PDF.
  • Right-click on Print to PDF to see some options, and then select Set as default printer.

If everything goes well or if your system is successful in making the Print to PDF feature your default printer, you should see a green mark close to Print to PDF. This change confirms your success.

Reattempt the operation involving the Print to PDF feature and see if the job gets done this time.

  1. Remove the Microsoft Print to PDF device and replace it:

Some users confirmed that they had managed to fix the problems affecting the Print to PDF functionality on their computer by removing the device for the troubled feature and replacing it correctly. Here, we will walk you through the device removal and replacement operations.

Follow these instructions carefully:

  • First, you have to bring up the Devices and Printer screen accessed through the Control Panel program.

We walked you through this very task in the first step for the previous procedure. You can scroll up (if you need to).

This time, after you locate Microsoft Print to PDF, you must right-click on it, and then select the Remove device option.

Windows will now act to uninstall the device in view.

  • Assuming you are done with the device removal operation, you must click on the Add a printer button (situated close to the top of the window).

The Add a device window will come up now.

  • Click on The printer that I want isn’t listed.

The Add Printer window will appear now.

  • There, you must click on Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings. Click on the Next button.

On the following screen, you must click on the radio button for Use an existing port to select it (if this parameter has not been selected by default).

  • Click on the drop-menu to view the available options. Choose PORTPROMPT: (Local Port), and then click on the Next button to continue.
  • On the Install the printer driver screen, you have to select Microsoft and Microsoft Print to PDF, and then click on the Next button.
  • On the next screen (Which version of the driver do you want to use?), you must click on the Replace the current driver to use this option.
  • At this point, you have to type in a name for the newly-introduced driver and allow Windows to install it.
  • Once your system finishes installing the driver, you must reattempt the Print to PDF task you struggled to complete earlier on Windows.

If the same issues persist, you have to restart your computer, and then reattempt to use the Print to PDF feature to perform the task.

  1. Fix problems affecting the Print to PDF driver by updating it:

If the previous operation involving the driver employed by the Print to PDF functionality failed to get the feature back up and running, then you must consider installing a new driver. Hopefully, a fresh driver version has become available for your computer to download and install. You are about to find out.

Follow these instructions to update the driver in view:

  • Bring up the applications and options that make up the Power User menu by pressing (and holding) the Windows logo button and then tapping the letter X key.

You should see Device Manager as one of the items on the list. Click on it.

  • Assuming the Device Manager window has appeared on your screen, you should see the Print Queues category. You must expand this category (to view what it contains) by double-clicking on it.
  • The Microsoft Print to PDF device should be visible by now. You have to right-click on it to view the available options, and then select Update driver.

Windows will act now to contact Microsoft to check if there are any recently-released Print to PDF drivers for your computer. If your system finds something new, you will know about it. All you have to do is follow the on-screen instructions, choose the appropriate options or parameters, and use your intuition (if the need ever arises) to ensure everything goes well. Windows is supposed to walk you through the installation operations for the driver, anyway.

If things do not go smoothly, then you must consider an alternative means of getting the same job done. Here, Auslogics Driver Updater should provide you with top-level assistance for the most tedious driver-updating tasks.

You have to allow that app to scan your PC so that it can detect or identify the problematic drivers (the missing, corrupted, or outdated drivers). After it completes the identification phase, you can instruct it to move on and download the newest manufacturer-recommended versions of the drivers. You will end up having to reboot your computer to round up all the operations.

After you get your PC to run the newest drivers – especially the one for the Print to PDF functionality on your system – you must verify that you can now use the feature without issues or complications.

Other things you can try to resolve Microsoft Print to PDF failures and similar problems

All the previous recommendations apply here too:

  1. Check other locations for the PDF files:

If your problem is down to your inability to find out where the Print to PDF feature has been saving your files, then the suggestions here might help. For example, Microsoft Edge is programmed to save the web pages you convert to PDF to the document folder by default, but we know too well that such a setup can fail.

We recommend you check directories along this path for the PDF file you tried to create: C:Users%username% . Some users reported that they had found their converted files in the UserDcouments folder, so you will do well to check that place too.

  1. Alter the output directory for the PDF files:

The proposed procedure is a specific fix for people who encountered issues with the Print to PDF feature when they attempted to save web pages viewed on their browsers. Some users noticed that problems came up when they tried to save the PDF files to their Documents folder (which is a popular location for items on Windows), but the issues did not manifest themselves again once they instructed the Print to PDF feature to use a different output location.

Perhaps, the Print to PDF feature is set up to save stuff to a directory that is currently inaccessible or a folder to which Windows is not allowed to store files. A change to a new location might do you some good.

  1. Download and install Windows updates:

Print to PDF is a built-in functionality on Windows, so there is a good chance that improvements to its setup, components or operations have been embedded in a specific Windows Update. Similarly, a Windows update might provide fixes to bugs affecting the feature.

To this end, you must download and install all the Windows updates available for your computer. You must ensure that your PC is running the latest Windows build.

  1. Use a different browser:

If you got to this point (with the same problem still in play), then there is a reasonable chance that the problem affecting the Print to PDF feature is exclusive to the browser you are using currently. We recommend you perform the conversion to PDF operation using a different browser to test things and find out the truth.

For example, if you encountered the problem on Microsoft Edge, you will do well to try out things on Internet Explorer and vice-versa.

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