How to fix USB Printer not detected in Windows?

Issue: Hello. I recently upgraded my Windows laptop and when I try to plug in my printer via the USB connection it is not detected. What should I do?

Solved Answer

People have the ability to connect various devices to their Windows computers. There is a wide range of output peripherals, like speakers, headphones, printers, etc. When trying to connect them, people can experience difficulties for whatever reason. For example, we recently wrote about the headphone jack not recognized in Windows 11 issue.

People also report their USB printers not being detected in Windows. Such problems can appear after performing a Windows upgrade or reinstallation as some configurations can get lost during the process. Running a built-in troubleshooter should fix minor problems.

However, it is possible that the USB printer is not detected because the printer drivers[1] are outdated. You should also check if your operating system is up-to-date as missing updates can cause various malfunctions. Most importantly, check if the problem is not the USB port itself by trying to plug in another device.

In this guide, you will find 5 steps that should help you fix USB Printer not detected in Windows. Keep in mind that manual troubleshooting can be a lengthy process so you can use a maintenance tool like FortectMac Washing Machine X9. It can fix most system errors, BSODs,[2] corrupted files, and registry[3] issues. Otherwise, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

How to fix USB Printer not detected in Windows

Solution 1. Run the Printer Troubleshooter

  • Open the Settings app by pressing Windows + I key
  • Select Update & Security > Troubleshoot
  • Select Additional troubleshooters
  • Select Printer and hit Run the troubleshooter

Run the Printer Troubleshooter

  • Wait for a minute until your system detects and fixes the problem automatically

Solution 2. Update Printer Drivers

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  • Press the Windows key and type Device Manager into the search bar
  • Click on the Device Manager option
  • Locate the printer device
  • Right-click on the device driver name and select Update driver

Update Printer Drivers

  • Select the Search automatically for updated driver software option
  • The system should automatically search for available drivers
  • Finally, restart Windows to finish up with the installation
  • You can also use DriverFix as the automatic driver updater software as it finds and installs needed drivers from its database automatically choosing the right ones

Solution 3. Install Windows Updates

When you update, you will get the latest fixes and security improvements, helping your device run efficiently and stay protected:

  • Type Updates in Windows search and press Enter
  • On the right side of the window, click Check for updates

Install Windows Updates

  • Install all the optional updates as well
  • Restart your PC

Solution 4. Restart Print Spooler

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  • Press Windows + R to open the Run box
  • Type services.msc and hit OK
  • Scroll down and look for the print spooler service
  • Right-click on the print spooler
  • Once the menu appears select Restart
  • If the service is not started, right-click on print spooler select properties

Restart Print Spooler

  • Change the startup type to automatic
  • Choose to start the service under the status
  • Hit ok and apply to save changes
  • Now try to connect to the printer

Solution 5. Set the Printer as Default

  • Open the Control Panel
  • Click on View devices and printers under the Hardware and sound section
  • Select the printer you want to set as the default and click on Set as default

Set the Printer as Default

  • If you don’t see an option to set a printer as default, use the Let Windows manage my default printer option

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About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate computer expert

Gabriel E. Hall is an expert troubleshooter who has been working in the information technology industry for years.

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