Resolving the “Unable to Install Printer” Message on Windows 10

Printer Driver Unavailable Windows 10

Common Printer Issues

So you have been trying to set up a printer in your Win10 OS, and have already installed all the newest drivers for it. For some reason, the system fails to accept the printer as a usable device and instead gives you the printer driver error code 0x00000c1, or an error message that reads “Unable to install Printer". You want to call a printer support technician and get them to fix this, but you also want to make sure you have exhausted all alternatives before you do that. Following are some things you can try out.

First off, the error message you are seeing is courtesy of wrong installation, just like it says. In all likelihood, there is something wrong with the associated driver, and that is what you need to fix in order to get the thing working properly again. It may be that you downloaded the newest Windows OS upgrade and that brought in some issues, in which case you would need to wait for a newer bug-free version to come out, or just do a system restore and effectively downgrade.

Even other OS versions such as Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 can serve up the same issue, with it being rooted in a hitch in the working of the printer spooler service. Sometimes the OS does not let you install a printer properly because of a registry key error, or due to damaged system files. It often helps users when they clean the system of cyber intrusions which may have damaged said files, before moving on to fixing the corrupt data.

Enabling Print Spooler Service

A Windows 10 update you did recently may be stopping the Print Spooler service from initiating. If that is the case, then you know at least one thing that is keeping you from installing the printer in your PC. If you think this is the main reason you are seeing the “Unable to install Printer. The operation could not be completed” message, then you can do the following things to resolve it.

  • Press the Win + R key combo to bring up the Run dialog box, and type in msc and hit Enter.

Windows Run

  • Form the list of names services, find and double click Print Spooler.
  • When you see the Properties window has opened up, see what the status of the service is.
  • If it shows as stopped, then hit the Start
  • Check Startup type and make sure it is set to Automatic.
  • Save changes by hitting OK, and then close all windows and boxes.
  • Reboot the system, so the changes can take effect and fix the problem.

Modifying the Registries and Updating the Printer Driver

This method calls for removing some of the entries found in Windows registry, which is tricky business at even the best of times. Make sure you make backups beforehand so that the whole thing can be rolled back if things do go south. To start, you will need to first disable the Print Spooler service.

  • Press the Win + R key combo to bring up the Run dialog box, and type in Services.msc and hit Enter.
  • Form the list of names services, find and double click Print Spooler.

Print Spooler

  • When you see the Properties window has opened up, see what the status of the service is.
  • If it shows as running, then hit the Stop
  • Navigate to C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Printers, and delete all content you find there.
  • Do the same in C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Drivers\w32x86.
  • Bring up the registry editor by typing in regedit in the Run dialog box and hitting Enter.
  • In the left pane, find HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers\Version-x for a 32-bit system, or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Drivers\Version-x for a 64-bit system (The “x” in those differs with PC).
  • Select each of the registry entries in the directory, and then right-click and choose Delete.
  • Start the Print Spooler service back up by hitting the Start button in its Properties
  • Bring up Device Manager by right-clicking the Windows button on the bottom left of the screen.
  • Locate and right-click Printer Driver, and then choose the Update Driver Software option from the drop-down menu.
  • Reboot the system for the changes to take effect.

Another way forward is to reinstall the printer once more, following instructions provided by the manufacturer. That might involve installing the software and updating it so that you have the latest version meant for the hardware, because with the right printer driver unavailable windows 10 might not let you use the hardware the way it was intended to be used. Some of the previously mentioned steps might need repeating if you pick this approach, and things may get a bit confusing. Just make sure to call a support technician if the going gets too rough, and it looks like you will have to do without a printer until the problem is resolved.

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