How to fix "can't find the printer" error 1801 in Windows?

Issue: Hello. I tried to add my printer on Windows but I got the “We can't find the printer you're trying to install. Check to see if the printer was renamed and try to install it again or contact your network administrator for help. Error: #1801” message. Is there anything I can do?

Solved Answer

When users try to add a printer to Windows, the “can't find the printer” problem 1801 appears because the system cannot discover the requested printer. The error notice tells users to try installing the printer again or contact their network administrator for help, and it also suggests that they examine whether the printer has been renamed. The particular error code that corresponds to this problem is #1801.

Users may be greatly impacted by this problem, particularly those who operate in networked environments where printers are shared resources. For those who depend on printer access for their work, the inability to install a printer can cause annoyance, impede printing operations, and disrupt productivity. Workflows in shared office spaces or collaborative environments may be delayed or interrupted as a result of this problem.

When this issue arises, users can have trouble producing hard copies, accessing important information, or meeting printing deadlines. Furthermore, depending on a network administrator to resolve issues could cause delays that lower an organization's printing infrastructure's overall effectiveness.

There are troubleshooting actions that can be taken to address the “can't find the printer” issue 1801, such as making sure all required drivers[1] are installed correctly, testing network connectivity, and confirming printer names. It may be necessary for users to verify that the printer is turned on and reachable across the network. By reestablishing the connection between the user's computer and the preferred printer, these solutions hope to facilitate installation and enable the user to resume routine printing tasks.

In this guide, you will find 6 steps that should help you fix “can't find the printer” error 1801 in Windows. You can also run a maintenance tool like FortectMac Washing Machine X9 that can fix most system errors, BSODs,[2] corrupted files, and registry[3] issues. Otherwise, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

How to fix cant find the printer error 1801 in Windows

Solution 1. Run the Printer Troubleshooter

  • Navigate to Settings.
  • Open the System.
  • Select Troubleshooters.
  • Select Other troubleshooter.
  • Run the Printer troubleshooter from the following menu and follow the on-screen instructions.

Run the Printer Troubleshooter

Solution 2. Add the Printer as an Administrator

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  • Press the Windows key + R to open Run.
  • Type control and click OK to open the Control Panel.
  • Right-click on Add Printer.
  • Select Run as Administrator.

Add the Printer as an Administrator

Solution 3. Turn off Windows Firewall

  • Click on Start and select Settings.
  • Go to Updates and Security.
  • Click on the Windows Security tab from the left pane.
  • Open Firewall and Network Protection.
  • In the new window, click on your currently active network. You should see (active) text beside the network.
  • Scroll down to the Windows Defender Firewall section.
  • Toggle the switch to turn off Windows Defender Firewall.

Turn off Windows Firewall

Solution 4. Update Printer Driver

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  • Click Start and type Device.
  • Click on Device Manager.
  • Expand the Printer queues section.
  • Right-click on your printer and select Update driver.
  • Select Search automatically for updated driver software.
  • Windows will scan and download any pending driver update.
  • Once installed, reboot the computer and check for any improvements.

Update Printer Driver

You can also use a dedicated utility like DriverFix that can find the best drivers for your machine and install them automatically.

Solution 5. Modify Windows Registry

  • Press the Windows key + R to open Run.
  • Type regedit and click OK to open the Registry Editor.
  • In the Registry Editor, click File > Export.
  • Enter a name for the file and save it in a safe location. This will save a copy of your registry files as a backup.
  • In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following location: HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments<PLATFORM>\Drivers

Modify Windows Registry

  • Now look for a key that matches your printer description.
  • Right-click on the key and select Delete.
  • Close the registry editor.
  • Now try to add the printer and check for any improvements.

Solution 6. Perform an In-place Upgrade

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  • Download the Media Creation Tool from the official Microsoft website.
  • Open the Windows 11 image file download location in File Explorer.
  • Right-click on the file and select the Mount option from the context menu.
  • Go to the navigation pane in File Explorer and click on the ISO drive.
  • Click on the setup.exe file to launch the Windows setup. UAC will pop up. Click on Yes to continue.
  • In the Windows 11 setup window, click on the Change how Setup downloads updates option. Select the Not right now radio button and click on the Next button.

Perform an In-place Upgrade

  • Read the EULA page and click on the Accept button.
  • On the Choose what to keep page, select the Keep personal files and apps option. Click on the Next button. Then click on the Install button.
  • If you have an SSD, the installation won’t take more than 15 minutes. Your system will restart multiple times during this process.
  • After the setup finishes installing updates, it will redirect you to the login screen. Input your password and press the Enter key to continue.
  • Wait for the setup to prepare your system for the first boot. You will automatically enter the desktop.
  • Check your installed apps list, personal files, and settings. Everything will pretty much be the same.

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About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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