Simple Troubleshooting to Fix ‘Unable to Install Printer’ Error

The error ‘Unable to install a printer. The operation could not be completed’ mostly occur while installing the printer mainly after you upgrade or reinstall your Windows. It may happen that the selected printer could not be found but that’s normal and there are ways to fix it. 

So if you are getting glitches while installing the printer or its driver on your PC, you must give a try to the following solutions:

  1. Start the Printer Spooler Service
  2. If the Print Spooler service is not working properly, you will face a problem in installing the printer. So you need to make sure that the spooler service is working fine and if it has stopped working, you need to start it again by following these steps:

  • Press Win+R simultaneously to launch the ‘Run’ box.
  • Then in the run box, type services.msc and hit ‘Ok’.
  • In the list you see, double-click on ‘Print Spooler’ and it will open the Properties dialog box.
  • If the ‘Service Status’ shows as stopped, click on the ‘Start’ button. Also, ensure that the ‘Startup type’ is set as ‘Automatic’ and click on ‘Ok’ to save the changes.
  • After that reboot your device to let the changes and check if the issue got fixed. If not, move on to the next solution.

  • Update the Printer Driver
  • Whenever you face the error, ‘printer driver was not installed. operation could not be completed’, remember that the faulty, corrupt or missing driver might be the culprit. For this, you need to get the latest driver for your printer. To download and install the updated driver for your printer, you can visit the manufacturer’s website and look for your printer’s model. So if printer installation failed on Windows 10, you need to upgrade the printer driver. 

  • Delete the Printer Keys
  • If you still can’t install the printer driver, it may be due to conflicting drivers. To fix it, you can try deleting certain registry entries. 

    Also, remember that modifying registries incorrectly can lead to serious issues. So make sure to back up the registry first before proceeding.

    Here are the steps you need to follow to delete the printer keys:

    • Begin with stopping the print spooler service.
    • Then, delete the entire content of the following folders:



    • Next, Press Win+R together at the same time to start the Run dialog box.
    • In the run box, type Regedit and hit ‘Ok’ to launch the Registry Editor dialog box.
    • Look for the registry key as per the system installed on your device.

    For 32-bit:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers\Version

    For 64-bit:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Drivers\Version

    • When you select this folder, you will see all the printer registry entries in the right pane. Right-click on the entry and click on ‘Delete’ from the menu.
    • This will delete all the registry entries and after that, start the ‘Print Spooler’ service.
    • Thereafter, reboot your device and check if the error persists.

  • Check the Print Process Files
  • If you can’t add a printer on Windows 10, the chances are some files are missing from your system. To fix this, just copy the required files from another system that is working and has those files, as explained here:

    • Open the start menu and in the search box, type services to launch ‘Services.msc’.
    • In the Services section, look for Print Spooler service to stop it.
    • Now, copy all the files from the following location to the same location of the PC that is facing issues while installing the printer:


    Create a registry entry for the copied print process file as follows:

    • Open the ‘working’ computer, open Search box and type Regedit to open Registry Editor
    • Then, go to the following path:


    • Next, right-click the on Print Processors folder to go to Export.
    • After saving it on an external drive, open Registry Editor on ‘other’ system.
    • Again, go to the same path as above
    • Finally, go to File, select the Import option and import the registry file that you have saved previously.

  • Run the Printer Troubleshooter
  • Windows 10 offers the in-built troubleshooter to fix all the printing related issues instantly. You just need to run the ‘Troubleshooter’ from the ‘Settings’ under the ‘Update and Security’ section.

    Once you are done running the troubleshooter, check if the problem is there. All the above solutions can be undertaken to fix the ‘operation could not be completed error 0x00000bc4’ that may arise while trying to add a network printer in Windows.

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