When multiple computers use a printer, it is possible that it could get locked for a while. You get to know this when you try to print a file, and you receive an error message saying — Another computer is using the printer. It means the previous process has not released the lock. In this post, we will share how you can fix this error.
Another computer is using the printer
Another computer is using the printer error message can occur when multiple computers access the same printer or driver is corrupt or anything that makes the printer unavailable. Here are the solutions we suggest you try to fix the issue:
- Hard Power recycle printer
- Restart Print Spooler Service
- Update Printer Driver
- Delete everything in the Spool folder
One of the solutions will surely help you get rid of the error.
1] Hard Power Recycle Printer
At times Printer is just stuck in one of the earlier requests. So every time another computer tries to connect, it gives this error. One of the best ways is to hard-power-recycle the printer.
Turn off the printer, and keep it turned off for more than a minute or so. Then turn it back on, and connect to the network or computer. Try printing a document now. The power-recycle will make sure the printer is out of the busy status and available.
2] Restart Print Spooler Service
The Print Spooler Service keeps a queue of print jobs and handles interaction with the printer. If you turn off this service, you won’t be able to print or see your printers.
- Type services.msc in the Run prompt and hit the Enter key to open the Services Manager
- This will open the list of all Services in Windows.
- Use the P key on the keyboard to jump to services which start with alphabet P, and then locate Print Spooler Service.
- Right-click on the Print Spool service, and choose to Restart from the context menu.
- Try printing again to check if the error message is gone.
Restarting clears everything and makes the printer available for everyone.
3] Update Printer Driver
Another solution is to update the printer driver or reinstall it. It will refresh everything, including a corrupt driver or a stuck queue.
- Right-click on the Start button, and choose Device Manager
- Expand the Print Queues section, and right-click on the printer, causing the problem.
- Select Update driver from the menu option, and update the driver.
There are two ways to upgrade the driver. You can either let Windows look for a driver from the Windows update service – or if you have downloaded a new driver from OEM website, you can use it here.
4] Delete everything in the Spool folder
- All printer jobs are kept at C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS
- Navigate to the folder and open it.
- Delete everything inside it, and check with printer again.
We hope these tips help you to resolve the error — Another computer is using the printer.
Read next: How to cancel stuck Print Job queue.