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How to fix printer sharing not working on Windows 11


Although modern printers can come with a built-in print server to make it easy to share the device with computers in the network, you may still use Windows 11 to share a printer with other users if it doesn’t have that functionality.

However, if the printer sharing isn’t working, you’re unable to find the printer in the network, or for whatever other reason, you can use several troubleshooting steps to resolve this problem on Windows 11.

This guide will teach you the different ways to troubleshoot and fix problems when sharing a printer on the network.

Fix printer sharing by updating driver

To fix a shared printer on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on Windows Update.

  3. Click the Advanced options tab.

    Advanced options

  4. Under the “Additional options” section, click the Optional updates setting.

    Optional updates

  5. Select the printer driver update.

  6. Click the “Download and install” button.

Once you complete the steps, try to send a print job to confirm the printer is working.

Fix printer sharing by removing recent update

To remove a problematic update conflicting with the printer driver or networking settings, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Windows Update.

  3. Click the Update history tab.

    Update history

  4. Under the “Related settings” section, click the Uninstall updates option.

    Uninstall updates

  5. Click the Uninstall button for the most recent update.

    Windows 11 uninstall update

After you complete the steps, you may need to restart the computer, and upon restart, send a new print job to confirm the printer is working.

Fix printer sharing with Troubleshooter

To run the printer troubleshooter to resolve common sharing problems, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Bluetooth & devices.

  3. Click the Printers & scanners tab.

    Printers & scanners

  4. Under the “Related settings” section, click the Troubleshoot option.

    Troubleshoot

  5. Select the shared printer with the problem.

    Shared printer troubleshoot

  6. Click the Next button.

  7. Continue with the on-screen directions (if necessary).

Once you complete the steps, the Troubleshooter should be able to detect and resolve the sharing or any other problem affecting the printer.

Fix printer sharing with firewall troubleshooting

To resolve firewall problems sharing a printer on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Windows Security.

  2. Click on Firewall & network protection.

  3. Click the active network – for example, “Private network.”

    Network firewall

  4. Turn off the “Microsoft Defender Firewall” toggle switch.

    Disable firewall to fix printer sharing

  5. Clear the “Blocks all incoming connections, including those in the list of allowed apps” option.

Once you complete the steps, try to print one more time, and if the print job is sent successfully, then the problem may be related to the firewall configuration.

Allow printer over firewall

To allow a printer over the firewall on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Windows Security.

  2. Click on Firewall & network protection.

  3. Click the “Allow an app through firewall” setting.

    Allow an app through firewall

  4. Click the Change settings button.

  5. Check the “Network Discovery” option with the Private option (and select the Public option if you are in a public network).

  6. Check the “File and Printer Sharing” option with the Private option (and choose the “Public” option if you’re in a public network).

    Allow printer through firewall

If you’re troubleshooting devices that use the SMB protocol, refer to this Microsoft documentation page.

Fix printer sharing with reshare configuration

To reshare a printer, you must first stop the current configuration and reconfigure the share settings.

Stop printer share

To stop sharing a printer on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Bluetooth & devices.

  3. Click the Printers & scanners tab.

    Printers & scanners

  4. Select the shared printer in the network.

    Shared printer

  5. Click the Printer settings tab.

  6. Click the Printer properties setting.

    Printer properties

  7. Click the Sharing tab.

  8. Clear the “Share this printer” option.

    Stop printer sharing

  9. Click the Apply button.

  10. Click the OK button.

After completing the steps, confirm you can print to the printer locally and then share the printer again.

Start printer share

To share a printer in the network on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Bluetooth & devices.

  3. Click the Printers & scanners tab.

    Printers & scanners

  4. Select the shared printer in the network.

    Shared printer

  5. Click the Printer settings tab.

  6. Click the Printer properties setting.

    Printer properties

  7. Click the Sharing tab.

  8. Check the “Share this printer” option.

    Enable printer share

  9. Click the Apply button.

  10. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, you should be able to print again to the shared printer.

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