Question

How do I fix the issue with my printer “Unable to install printer. Operation could not be completed”

Solved Answers

If you are getting this error while you are installing a printer manually. Then most probably this error is due to the driver conflicting. Means you are installing a wrong driver or an outdated driver. So this issue can be easily fixed by uninstalling the incompatible driver and installing a proper driver for the printer. Lets see how to do this.




Note:

Before doing any changes it is better to create a restore point of the system and take a backup of the registry. Though chances are less that it will harm in any way, but always be at the safer side.

Step to fix this error “Unable to install printer driver”

  1. Start your computer in safe mode with networking.
  2. Delete all the files and folder out of these two location.
    C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Printers &
    C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Drivers\w32x86
  3. Open the registry. Click Start, click Run, type regedit then press OK.
  4. Locate the following registry key.
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86
  5. Only these subkeys should be there, delete rest of them (if you found any)
    – Driver
    – Print Processors
  6. Expand the Version-x subkeys, and then delete all the printer driver entries.
  7. Locate the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Monitors
  8. You will see lot of subkey in this place, Delete rest of them. Only these subkeys should be there, delete rest of them (if you found any)
    – BJ Language Monitor
    – Local Port
    – PJL Language Monitor
    – Standard TCP/IP Port
    – USB Monitor
  9. Check the print spooler service, is it running or not. Start it if it is not running. click on Start and then click on run and type here services.msc and press OK or hit enter. find the Print Spooler service, and then click Start (if it is stopped).
  10. Please make sure printer spooler service has set as automatically mode, After made started the print spooler service.
  11. Restart the computer.
  12. Now try to install the printer with latest driver. It should be fixed now.

If you are still unable to install the printer driver, then try a automatic driver finder and updater software. Here is a list of best automatic driver software.

61 thoughts on “How do I fix “unable to install printer. operation could not be completed” Error”

  1. i cant do netword scan on my printer after windows update i guess. Im installing canon mf8380 printer
    and get

    Printers:
    operation could not be completed (error 0x0000007b)
    The filename, derictory name, orvolume label syntaxx is incorrect

    I even tried to downgrade to previous build 1511.

    1. Do uninstall all the printer drivers one by one from your computer and then re-install the latest drivers from official website.

  2. nEed urgent help tried ur all solution….
    previously it works for me many times….
    now getting error 0x00000002 printer drvr was not installed……

    1. For this particular issue, you just need to install printer manually again with the other port this time. Please try and let us know the result.

      1. Maybe be a possibility that you are using wrong system type driver package 32bit or 64bit. Make sure you are using the same system structure. Could you please provide the printer’s make and model number?

  3. Oh man, you saved my day! Was trying to get the printer to work for hours… I think the school network printer I installed last time messed up my home printer drivers big time… Uninstalling everything did not do the trick, but clearing the registry manually did. Thank you, whoever you are!

  4. i have hp m277 dw printer. installation fatal error coming while completing the installation. no error code. i followed the registry file deletion steps described by you and installed driver again. still i am getting the same error. please help.

    1. Fatal error occurs due to many reasons but in most of the cases, the causes are, install drivers without removing old drivers or driver conflicting. Anyway, we’ll help you with that.
      As you said you deleted the printer’s driver entries from computer registry but did you remove the drivers file manually?
      We recommend you following steps, please follow the steps and let us know the result.
      1. Remove printer drivers using its own removal tool which is inbuilt in the installer pack.
      2. Remove printer drivers from registry.
      3. Remove printer drivers files in driver’s folder.
      4. Remove printer drivers file in printers property page.
      5. Then reboot your computer and install printer driver again, but this time, make sure, do not connect printer’s USB cable without asking by installation wizard.

      Thanks

  5. SANDEEP REBELLO GOA INDIA

    NONE OF THE ABOVE TRICKS WORKED. FINALLY I RESOLVED IT. HERE IS THE SOLUTION WHICH SHOULD WORK DEFFINATELY.

    ON THE SYSTEM WHERE U GETTING ERROR IN INSTALLING THE PRINTER GO TO CONTROL PANNEL ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS\PRINT MANAGEMENT.
    IN PRINT MANAGEMENT SELECT ALL DRIVERS & DELETE THE PRINTER WHICH IS GIVING ERROR IN INSTALLATION.
    NEXT DOWNLOAD THE FULL PRINTER DRIVER & INSTALL THROUGH SETUP INSTALLATION. (DONT INSTALL PRINTER FROM ADD PRINTER WIZARD)

    ALL DONE…ENJOY..

    NO NEED TO FORMAT THE SYSTEM.

    SANDEEP

    1. Thank you for sharing your solution with us regarding “unable to install printer operation could not be completed” error, so that other peoples can get this solution.

    2. Did not work. My printer happens to be a shared printer.

      When I navigate to \\server\hp printer, I am not able to add it. It gives me the error message 00000×709 operation could not be completed. However, if I go to \\server.domain.com\hp printer, I am able to add it.

      I have 2 drivers showing in print management that are related to the hp printer I want to add. PCL 5 and PCL 5 (v5.1). The Driver Isolation is set to “Shared.” This is only happening in my profile. If I log on with another profile, it works. Also, when I attempt to delete either of them in Print Management, I get the message “Selected driver cannot be deleted. The driver is in use.”

      Thoughts?

      1. It gives you this message: “Selected driver cannot be deleted” because the printer you have selected was the default printer or your print spooler service have not stopped. So, please stop the print spooler service first and the try to delete the printer entry from print server OR change the default printer first.
        Thanks

  6. computer 1, win 7 64 and epson lq680 attached to it working , wanna share it to local homegroup. comp2 with win 7 32 reognize epson and work perfectly, comp 3 win xp when i try to install epson over network says that server for epson does not have corect driver and ask me if i want to search for another, when i download driver and try to install it it says “driver setup error. operation could not be completed”.
    I would like not to mess with registry but If i folow those steps will it work for me, or maybe is there any other solutions ?

  7. By following these steps, would I still have my currently installed printers or will they be deleted? I do have Lexmark and HP printers already installed.

    1. Yes, all the printer will be removed from windows registry if followed these steps. You have to re-install the drivers again.

  8. It is not working. still same error – 0x000003eb
    windows 10 pro 64 bit
    Printer – Brother DCP – J105
    Plzz help
    Performed all the steps

  9. How to fix this ” the printer driver and/or utilities cannot be installed for windows system” ? i am using windows 8 and my printer model is Epson L120.

      1. i downloaded the printer driver from official epson website according to my region and my printer model also my OS. After that, I installed it and that error came out `the printer driver and/or utilities cannot be installed for windows system’

        1. Did you installed this driver using windows driver installation wizard (Default option of windows / Manually) or through epson software wizard? Please let us know the complete error message here what you got. Then we can help you further.

    1. If you get this error message:- “Windows cannot connect to the printer. Operation could not be completed. (error 0x0000001f)” So, this article is sufficient to fix it. Make sure you followed all the steps in a right ways. Follow the steps again and do uninstall all the printer drivers & software from computer and system files, registry as well.

      Let us know if doesn’t help.

  10. Unable,install,printer,Operation,could,not,completed,error,0x000003eb,Unable to install printer. I am using Vista Home premium 32bit.

    1. Did you done above method to fix this error message? If no, so please do perform the steps on computer and then let us know if doesn’t work.

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