Thursday, May 10, 2018

Broken Printers? How to Block the Windows Update that Caused this

If multiple printers on the same device suddenly stop printing, and nothing else has changed, a recent Windows update may be causing the issue. An update released weeks ago, KB4093112, has had some unexpected results causing installed printers to stop working on some devices. To find out if this update is causing printers to fail on a device, try accessing the printer properties. If you get an error stating that the printer driver is not installed, when it was previously working fine, the update may be the cause.

To fix the broken printer issue, uninstall the Windows update. However, you are not done there because if that is all you do, the update will simply install itself again. To prevent the issue from coming back, you must block that update from installing again.

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Broken Printers? How to Block the Windows Update that Caused this

Uninstall the offending update
  • Open Control Panel, and select "Programs & Features".
  • In the left panel, click "View installed updates" to access all installed Windows updates.

  • Scroll down to the offending update. Click on the update and click the "Uninstall" button listed above the updates.

  • If necessary, reboot the device to finish the install.
Once the update has been removed, block the update from reinstalling.

Blocking the update from re-installing

This is one of the most important steps in this process. If you skip this step, the update is likely to re-install itself and break the printers once again. 

  • Visit Microsoft's website at (link shortened for easier use).
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the link to "Download the 'Show or hide updates' troubleshooter package now".

  • Save the troubleshooter to the desktop so it is easy to find.
  • Double click the troubleshooter to start it. 
  • In the troubleshooter window, click "Next" to begin the troubleshooter.

  • The troubleshooter will gather information about the installed updates.

  • When prompted to hide updates or show hidden updates, select "Hide updates".

  • In the next window, select the update to hide by placing a checkbox next to the update.

  • In the last window, verify the issue is in a "fixed" state and then close the troubleshooter.

Once the update has been blocked from being installed, verify the printers are working again.

Verify the printers are working again
  • Open a document and test printing to one of the printers that was not printing.
  • If the document still does not print:
    • Reboot the device and try again.
    • Uninstall then reinstall the printer. In our experience this was only necessary in some situations.
  • Optional: try accessing the printer properties, these should come up without any errors about the drivers not being installed.

Having printers work fine one day and not the next, when nothing is known to have changed is frustrating. Luckily, there is a way to fix this issue. Uninstalling the update, and blocking it from re-installing, will fix this printer driver issue and it will remain fixed. While the process looks very involved, it can be accomplished in about 15 minutes and is well worth the effort to be able to successfully print again.

As always, sometimes we might not know what caused an issue, but knowing how to work around them is key!

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