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How to Fix Printer “Port in Use” Error on Windows 10

Printers connect over a USB port. They require special drivers to work i.e., the USB drivers on your system alone won’t do the job. Sending a print job to a printer is tricky and often you’ll find that they stall or when a print job completes, the printer is unable to receive another print job.

Error port in use

“Printer port in use, please wait”

The Printer port in use, please wait error message appears when Windows 10 detects that the printer isn’t ready to receive another print request. Normally, it should be able to queue a print job but problems with the port, or the printer, or one of its services prevents the job being sent.

Make sure you check the printer for paper jams and that it appears online. If it appears offline, try these fixes.

(SOLVED) Error Port in Use

Here’s how to fix it.

1. Restart Windows 10 & the printer

The easiest and quickest fix to most printer problems is to restart the system and the printer. It will restart services, clear the print queue, and fix any other problems that may be preventing you from printing.

  1. Turn the printer off and unplug it.
  2. Shut down Windows 10.
  3. Leave the printer unplugged for five minutes.
  4. Turn the system back on.
  5. Plug the printer in and turn it on.
  6. Connect the printer and print something.

2. Uninstall and reinstall printer

If restarting the system and the printer doesn’t work, uninstall and reinstall the printer.

  1. Open the Settings app with the Win+I keyboard shortcut.
  2. Go to Devices. 
  3. Select the Printers & scanners tab.
  4. Select the printer and click Remove device.
  5. Disconnect the printer and unplug it.
  6. Leave the printer unplugged for a few minutes.
  7. Plug in the printer again and connect it to your system.
  8. Windows 10 will automatically install the printer again.
  9. Try printing again.

3. Update USB drivers

A printer needs its own drivers to work but that doesn’t mean the USB drivers are meaningless. Try updating the drivers for the USB ports.

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Expand USB Serial Bus controllers.
  3. Right-click the USB port and select Update Driver from the context menu.
  4. Search online for driver updates.
  5. Install the updates that are available.
  6. Restart the system and the printer.

4. Run the printer troubleshooter

Windows 10 has a built-in troubleshooter for printer problems and it may be able to resolve the Printer port in use, please wait error.

  1. Open the Settings app with the Win+I keyboard shortcut.
  2. Go to Update & security.
  3. Select the Troubleshoot tab.
  4. Click Additional troubleshooters.
  5. Select and run the printer troubleshooter.
  6. Apply all fixes that it recommends.
  7. Restart the system.

Conclusion

A printer can cause all sorts of problems. This can happen even if it was working just fine moments before. The older the printer is, the more likely it is to not work with Windows 10 that’s running on newer hardware. If the issue persists, check if the printer is still compatible with the latest Windows 10 builds. If it isn’t, you will either have to go back to a compatible Windows 10 build or buy a new printer.

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