Microsoft Acknowledges, Will Fix USB Printer Flaw in Windows 10

Posted on June 13, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 23 Comments

In the wake of widespread reports of problems with Windows 10 PCs connected to USB printers, Microsoft said it would fix the issue.

“After installing KB4557957, certain printers may be unable to print,” a Microsoft support document explains. “Print spooler may error or close unexpectedly when attempting to print and no output will come from [the] affected printer. You might also encounter issues with the apps you are attempting to print from. You might receive an error from the app or the app may close unexpectedly … This issue might also affect software-based printers, for example[,] printing to PDF.”

KB4557957 is an update that Microsoft issued this past week as part of its monthly “Patch Tuesday” releases. Among its many fixes are “updates to improve security when using external devices … such as printers.” Since issuing this update, Microsoft has also updated its description to include the printing issues it causes. The problems appear to impact Windows 10 version 1903 or newer.

“Microsoft is working on a resolution and will provide an update when more information is available,” the support document adds.

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Comments (23)

23 responses to “Microsoft Acknowledges, Will Fix USB Printer Flaw in Windows 10”

  1. Username

    What % of all printers are these “certain printers”?

  2. red77star

    I jumped to Linux. Microsoft lost me as a customer when they started treating me as a consumer. This new Microsoft culture which says release it even if it's broken, we will fix it later is unacceptable to me. I moved on and ditch all Microsoft products all together and I am in the process of ditching outlook mail account.

    My plex server is running on Ubuntu, my main machine is on Linux Mint and two phones and tablet are running iOS. Could not be happier and printer works.

    And as far as gaming goes, welcome PS5 :)

  3. straker135

    Wasn't part of the idea of having 'millions' of Insiders testing the OS on almost every conceivable combination of hardware, and software, to catch this sort of show stopper? Clearly not enough Insiders or telemetry is not being reviewed properly ;-) ...

  4. eric_rasmussen

    It's not just USB. My Canon printer is connected via WiFi and I can no longer print. I've been on 2004 for months and the printer has been working fine. When I read about this I tried printing a test page and it failed. I also have the printer connected to a Linux box and it can print just fine so at least I know the printer still works.

  5. robinwilson16

    My printer looks exactly like the one on the right of the photo above (is an HP Color LaserJet MFP M477 - PCL 6) and is connected via the network and still prints ok but I am on the insider fast version of Windows 10. Personally I have never had an issue with it.

    It looks like it may be only occurring with older PCL 5 printer drivers so that may be why mine is ok.

    Maybe updating printer drivers would help solve it for anyone getting the issue.

  6. nobody here

    Was running fine with 1909, did the 'upgrade' to 2004 and voila, all three canon printers (two lasers and one inkjet) stopped working (all three connected via LAN through router - it is not only USB printers affected, I'm here to testify to that). Troubleshooter tried restarting spooler service, then got error dialog that spooler stopped due to an error. Tried reloading drivers, no joy.

    Gave up and downgraded back to 1909. Now, we see that printers are no longer supported in Win10 v2004!

  7. Piras

    Unbelievable how the quality of Windows has gone downhill...2020 and printer drivers are still an issue.

  8. dftf

    Does this only affect USB-connected printers, but not Wi-Fi, LAN or those hosted on a Print Server?

    I've not seen any-other source say it's only USB, but they do say specifically it seems to mostly affect PCL5 drivers. Usually this would refer to print-servers or connecting directly to a printer over a LAN via IP as in those instances you'd install the driver manually. With USB or Wi-Fi, most are installed using the vendor's setup program.

  9. dftf

    As a update for people: reading other news-sites covering this, it does appear only USB-connected printers are affected, with users saying if they shutdown or restart their PC with their USB printer connected and powered-on, the PC will not see the printer next boot-up, or it will see it, but prints silently fail, or error. As a workaround, unplug the printer (or at-least power it down) so the computer can't see it, before doing a restart or shutdown, then only plug it back in (or power it on) after you're logged back in. Some users report their printer then works fine.

    If you find on your own PC that the printer works after a restart, but not after a shutdown, then try turning "Fast startup" off. Search the Start Menu for Control Panel and go into it, then go into "Power Options". In there click "Choose what the power buttons do" and under Shutdown settings, remove the tick from "Turn on fast startup" then click the Save Changes button. Restart after and see if this helps (if not, you can always turn it back on, and reboot again).

  10. Winner

    You would think that if software had well-defined and architected interfaces, this sort of thing should not happen.

    So is this vendors writing drivers that don't use a standard properly, or Microsoft not following their standard, or not having one in the first place?

    Seems really poor that after decades of this OS, errors like this occur.

    • lwetzel

      In reply to Winner:

      I've run into this same problem for years with trying to implement Linux installs. It is not the fault of the OS it is the Drivers that are not written correctly or updated when the OS is updated. I have a Wacom Intuos4 M that still works with Windows and I got it in 2009. Wacom maintains their drivers and printer manufacturers should also.

  11. glenn8878

    I’ve been having problems printing from network. May be inadvertently related.

    • dftf

      In reply to glenn8878:

      If a USB printer is attached to a server and that server PC is running Windows Server 2016 with the latest patches then this would cause the issue, yes, same as for Windows 10 clients.

      Alternatively, there are some printers that, when you install them, create a virtual printer port that treats the printer like a USB one (I've seen many HP ones do this). Go into "Devices and Printers" in Control Panel, select any printer then click "Print Server Properties" on the toolbar and then check the "Ports" tab to see how your printer is listed there.

  12. aaaabbb

    I had my first BSOD in over five years with 2004 last week. kernel security check failure which in this case had something to do with Edge chromium misbehaving if you can believe that.

    For a system image that supposedly has been testing since december 2019 this is totally unacceptable.

  13. bart

    No printing, no paper. I thought this was Microsoft doing its bit for the environment :)

  14. Matt Kelly

    Yes, seen this first hand. I run a mobile tech support business in Australia. Performed a clean install on a brand new lenovo laptop, connected an older USB only Brother printer, setup software sees said printer, however, spooler times out and nothing can be printed. HOWEVER, same printer works as a networked device over wifi.

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