Are you trying to print a webpage or PDF only to get the error message “Cannot connect to printer” on Windows 11? The situation can be confusing when Windows doesn’t give the reason and only shows an unusual error code like 0x00000c1. If you often encounter the same thing, read on to learn how to fix “Cannot connect to printer” error on Windows 11.
There is no way to determine a specific reason for the printer error. This can be due to a faulty printer, corrupted drivers, or problems with the installed Windows 11 build. We’ll start with the basics and move on to advanced options to fix printer errors on Windows 11.
1. Check cable and power source
Before moving on to the advanced troubleshooting tricks to solve the printer problem, let’s go through some basics. You need to double check the printer cable connection. If the cable is loose or has cuts on either end, you should go to the printer manufacturer’s website or Amazon to get a replacement.
Also check the power source to which the printer is connected. The printer does not function as expected when there are power fluctuations.
2. Restart the printer
You can reset your printer’s power cycle to troubleshoot unusual errors. You can turn off your printer, unplug it, wait a minute or two, and plug the printer back in. Turn on the printer and try to print a document from the PC.
3. Disconnect the printer from the computer and add it again
You can remove the saved printer from the computer and add it again. The trick worked when our HP printer stopped responding on the connected PC.
Step 1: Open the Settings menu on Windows 11 (use Windows + I keys).
Step 2: From the left sidebar, select Bluetooth & devices. In the right pane, select Printers and Scanners.
Step 3: Open the saved printer.
Step 4: Select “Remove” in the following menu.
Step 5: Go to the “Printers & Scanners” menu and select “Add a device”.
4. Restart the print spooler service
If the printer is still throwing random error codes, you can use the following steps to restart the print spooler service.
Step 1: Press Windows + R keys to open the Run menu.
Step 2: Type services.msc and press Enter.
Step 3: It opens the Services menu. Scroll down to Print Spooler.
Step 4: Right-click on it and open Properties from the context menu.
Step 5: Choose Automatic from the Startup Type menu and make sure the service status shows Running.
5. Manually copy the mscms.dll file
When Windows 11 mistakenly searches for the mscms.dll file in a different subfolder, you will get a “cannot connect to printer” error on your computer. You must copy the mscms.dll file to the appropriate driver installation folder.
Step 1: Press Windows + E keys to open File Explorer.
Step 2: Go to the following path.
Step 3: Locate and copy the mscms.dll file.
Step 4: In File Explorer, navigate to the following path.
Step 5: Paste the file.
Restart your PC and try your luck with the printer again.
6. Troubleshoot the printer
Windows 11 has a built-in troubleshooter to fix printer glitches on the go. Follow the steps below to use it.
Step 1: Open the Windows 11 settings menu and select System from the sidebar.
Step 2: Select Troubleshoot.
Step 3: Open other troubleshooters.
Step 4: Run the printer troubleshooter from the following menu.
7. Reinstall printer driver
Damaged printer drivers can cause connection errors on your computer. It’s time to reinstall the printer drivers from the Device Manager menu.
Step 1: Right-click the Windows key to open Device Manager.
Step 2: Expand “Print Queues”.
Step 3: Right-click your printer in the list.
Step 4: Select “Uninstall device” in the context menu.
Step 5: Close the Device Manager menu and restart the PC.
Your computer will install the necessary printer drivers during the restart process.
8. Manually add a printer with an IP address
If Windows 11 doesn’t recognize your printer, you can add it manually using an IP address. Here’s how.
Step 1: Open the Printers & Scanners menu (see steps above).
Step 2: Select the down arrow next to the Add Printer or Scanner menu.
Step 3: Select “Add manually”.
Step 4: Click the radio button next to Add a printer using an IP address or hostname. Click on Continue.
Step 5: From the Device Type menu, choose Auto Detect. WSD and TCP/IP printers are automatically detected.
Step 6: Enter your computer’s IP address and port name.
You can find your computer’s IP address in the Windows Settings > Network & Internet > Properties menu. The port name is \\IP address\printer name. Example: \\192.168.29.1\HP Deskjet or something similar.
Follow the on-screen instructions and complete the process.
Fix printer problems in no time
Switching to another office printer to get a few prints isn’t the most convenient solution. Instead, you can go through the above tricks to fix the unable to connect to printer issue.