“The printer driver cannot connect to the network print server” – Windows Error Message

Target Audience: IT Manager


This Error Message Article explains the Windows error message The printer driver cannot connect to the network print server” and details how to fix the underlying problem that caused it to appear.


This error message appears when the user tries to access printer settings for a printer connected to another workstation via the Windows “Printing preferences” screen. Here are the conditions that trigger this error message:

  • Windows 10 Operating system on workstations
  • Printer on Workstation1 shares printer (e.g. printer connected via USB)
  • Workstation2 connects to the shared printer on Workstation1
  • User on Workstation1 tries to change a setting in “Printing preferences” for the printer on Workstation1

The error message indicates that a permission issue is preventing access to “Printing preferences” on the shared printer.

Windows Printing Preferences Screen


Most users will find resolving issues like this difficult and time consuming. We recommend that the user moves the printer from a peer-to-peer setup to being directly connected to network.

Industrial thermal printers typically come with an on-board Ethernet connection. If not, the user can purchase a print server. Ideally, purchasing the print server from the same manufacturer will allow the user to access printer settings as well. However, if the printer manufacturer fails to provide that option, a generic print server will still resolve the permissions issue.

When a workstation is connected to a built-in print server via Ethernet, the printer will act as a local printer. The users will then retain full capabilities to change printer properties and printing preferences.

Article# 8525


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