Wondering how to fix “Another computer is using the printer” error on your PC? It is a fact that pretty much every household with a computer has a printer these days.
Being able to print whatever you like from text to photos is certainly very handy.
Sadly, it is also a fact that printer errors happen frequently and can be infuriating! One such issue is when you are trying to print something from your PC but you get an error staying the printer is already in use.
If the printer is printing something received from another computer, that is fair enough, but if you are the only user then something else must be wrong.
5 Ways To Fix Another Computer is Using the Printer Error
Let’s take a look at some of the issues and solutions which can help if you are having this printer issue.
Fix #1: Reset the Print Spooler Service
The print spooler service manages print jobs sent from the PC to the printer. This software program is normally visible so users can cancel upcoming print jobs if they so want, and also manage jobs in the queue.
The first possible solution to the printer error might be to restart the print spooler service and see if that helps.
- Press the Windows key and R (this launches the Run application) and type: “services.msc“
- Find the “Print Service” and double click on it.
- Click the stop button then press OK.
- After that press the Windows key and E.
- Click on This PC on the left.
- Navigate to: C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS
- Press “continue” if permission is required for opening this folder and delete all files in there.
- Close the window and restart your PC to check if the printer is working.
If this works but you keep experiencing the same issue, you might need to create a batch file so you can perform the above steps using just one click.
This is how to do that:
- Press the Windows key and E.
- This opens File Explorer.
- Press “options” then choose “change folder” and “search options“.
- Uncheck ‘hide extensions for known file types’.
- Make a new text file on the desktop and type:
net stop spooler net start spooler exit
- Rename the file, and replace “.txt” with “.bat“.
- If you get a popup here, click on “yes“.
In the future, you can simply double click this icon to execute the spooler service automatically.
Fix #2: Run a Full Power Cycle
Power cycling your PC, Wi-Fi and printer can also solve printer issues. This is basically just switching them off and then back on.
Power cycling can be used to recover an unresponsive device or to reinitialize a set of configuration parameters.
In addition, it can reset network configurations.
Switch off your PC, Wi-Fi and printer, then unplug them from the sockets. Wait for 5 minutes, then plug everything back in and switch it on.
See if the printer works now.
Fix #3: Connect to Your Printer without -WS
Are you using a Canon printer? This is a popular brand, but is different from others in that it lists two printers rather than one.
You will see the name of the printer and then the same printer name with WS at the end.
WS is an abbreviation of web services, and if you connect to that instead of the main printer you might be experiencing issues.
Your printer might be listed as something like this:
- Canon PIXMA MG5700 Series Printer
- Canon PIXMA MG5700 Series Printer WS
- Canon PIXMA MG5700 Series Printer XPS
XPS refers to the advanced color and graphics features. Cancel any pending printing jobs then restart the spooler service. Select the printer (the one without the WS or XPS after the name). Try to print something to see if the error was fixed.
Fix #4: Install the Newest Printer Drivers
If nothing above has worked, another possible fix is to check your printer’s drivers. Ideally you should be using the latest drivers released for the printer.
An outdated driver can cause compatibility problems.
Go to the manufacturer’s website so you can download the latest driver for your printer. Check for your printer’s model number, either on the box or on the device itself, to make sure you are downloading the correct driver.
It can happen when a newer driver will not work. If this happens, download an older version instead and then install it. This is how to install a driver:
- Press the Windows key with R and type this in the dialogue box: “devmgmt.msc” (this launches the device manager).
- Open print queues in the menu and right click on the printer hardware.
- Click on “update driver” (after that you will see a popup box).
- Choose ‘browse my computer for driver software’ and “continue“.
- Choose the driver file you have downloaded, then update it.
- Restart the PC and see whether the printer is working now.
Fix #5: Change the WSD Timeout Setting
This solution is for advanced users, although you could try it if nothing above has worked. WSD is an abbreviation of web services for devices.
It is a control mechanism for discovery, setup and control of devices, and can be problematic at times. Extending these settings might help with the printer problem.
You can do this via the IP of your printer. First make sure you cancel all pending print jobs. Change the setting to 10 minutes instead of whatever it is currently at. Save and exit.
Some printers have their configuration in their modules. If yours does, you can access the settings as shown below.
Note that some printers are slightly different according to their model:
Menu -> Set up -> Device Setting -> LAN Settings -> Other Settings -> WSD Settings -> Timeout Setting -> 10 Minutes
Now save your changes, power cycle the computer, Wi-Fi and printer, and try to print again.
These are five easiest ways to get rid of “Another computer is using the printer” error on Windows 10.
Also keep in mind this error can also pop up if you don’t activate Windows 10 properly. You can also check video guide below.