Windows was unable to search the network for the printer error in Windows 10

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Philippe Gloaguen
@philippegloaguen
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support.microsoft.com

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Wireless printers connect to the system via WiFi, which makes it much easier to access than a cable. All you have to do is enter your WiFi password and your device will connect to the network. However, you need to make sure the printer settings match your network. So you can get an impression for anything, anywhere.

But sometimes you can find the "Windows was unable to search for printers on the network“On the Windows 10 PC when setting up the WiFi printer or after doing so. This can be frustrating, especially when you're in the middle of a print job for some important documents and Windows can't find the printer on the connected network. You cannot print a document.



However, there are ways around this problem. But, before proceeding with the fixes, make sure of some basic things as explained below.

Check out some basic things

Before proceeding with the troubleshooting methods, some basic things like if the printer is on and the green light is on at the back (the connection is up), if the network cable is disconnected, the WiFi connection is up, etc. Many times, the printer can hang and may need to be restarted. In an office environment, the computer must be connected to the internal office network for printers to be active, and so on.

Once you have verified all of this and the problem is still not resolved, move on to the next solutions.

Method 1: Enable Network Discovery

If the network cannot find other computers or devices, along with the printer, it is likely that the PC's network discovery settings have changed. If so, please follow the steps below to enable network discovery again:


Step 1: Navigate to Home on the desktop, click on it and select settings from the menu.


Step 2: A settings window, go to Network and internet.

Step 3: A Network and internet configuration window, takes you directly to the file State section. Go to the right side of the window, scroll down and down Advanced network settings, To select Networks and Shares.

Step 4: So in Core network and sharing, go to the left side of the panel and click Change advanced sharing settings.

Step 5: A Advanced sharing settings window, go to Guest or audience section. Now low Network detection to enable Enable network discovery And under Sharing files and printers, to enable Enable file and printer sharing.

Hit the Save the changes button at the bottom to save changes and exit.

* Note - If you are in an Private network, enable Turn in the discovery of the network for that section instead.

This should help you get rid of the error and you can now see the printer, but if the problem persists then try the second method.

Method 2: run the troubleshooter for the printer

You can troubleshoot the printer through the setup application or by using the Run command. Let's see how.

Solution 1: via the settings app

Step 1: Right-click on the file Home and select settings from the menu.



Step 2: A settings window, click devices.

Step 3: A devices panel, click Printers and scanners On the left side.

Now on the right side, go to Related settings section and click Run the troubleshooter.

After the troubleshooting process is complete, wait for the printer to be added. However, if you are used to this printer problem then you can try the alternative.

Solution 2: Using the Run command

Step 1: press the Windows + R keyboard keys together to open the file Run command.

Step 2: Type the following command in the Run box and press OK:

msdt.exe /id PrinterDiagnostic

This is the fastest way to open the same printer diagnostic message.

This should fix the printer problem, but if not, then follow the third method.

Method 3: Check if the printer and computer are on the same network

For the printer to be found on the network, the printer must be on the same network as the computer. This is especially the situation, when you have created several WiFi or names. Therefore, it is important to check if the WiFi printer is connected to the computer on the same network. This also applies to printers connected via Ethernet connections.


If so, connecting the printer to the correct network may solve the problem; however, if you are still encountering the error then try the fourth method.

Method 4: sharing the printer through the computer

This method is applicable to those who use non-network printers connected to a computer. For these types of printers, you will need to enable the sharing option so that others can use it. So, if you have a printer that doesn't connect via WiFi or Ethernet, you can only share the printer when you turn on the sharing option. Let's see how to enable printer sharing.


Step 1: press the Win + me keys together on the keyboard to open the file settings window.

Step 2: A settings window, go to devices.

Step 3: A devices window, select Printers and scanners on the left.

Now go to the right side of the panel, select the file Printer and press the button Manage button below it.

Step 4: In the next window, below Manage your device, To select Printer properties.

Step 5: A Printer properties window, go to sharing language. Check the box next to Share this printer and then create a file Share name.

press the To apply and then him ok to save changes and exit.

The printer will now be available to connect to all computers on the same network. However, if you still encounter the error then follow the fifth method.

Method 5: check your firewall settings

Step 1: Click on Shield icon bottom left you Application bar to open the file Windows Security settings.

Step 2: A Windows Security configuration page, click Network and firewall protection.

Step 3: So in Network and firewall protection window, select Advanced Settings.

Step 4: As the Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security the window opens, select Entry rules On the left side.

Now on the right side of the window, find the file Sharing files and printers group and check the file State (if something is blocked).

Step 5: Likewise, check out Exit rules. Click on Exit rules left and right, check if there is something blocked for the file Sharing files and printers group.

While either of these methods can fix the printer problem in Windows 10, it can also reset Windows Firewall to default settings. However, it is recommended to make sure that the printer or network is turned on and not turned off.

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