Windows 10 is suffering from yet more printer issues. Many people will have been eager to install the KB5006670 update from 12 October – it fixed a total of 74 vulnerabilities, including one that had already been exploited.
However, a new problem has arrived alongside it. This bug affects network printers, preventing users from printing wirelessly using this method. Despite following the usual steps, ‘0x00000709’ or ‘Element not found’ error messages have often been appearing. It’s important to note that not all Windows 10 devices are affected, but it does seem widespread.
Printer-related issues have plagued Windows 10 in recent months. They primarily relate to the ‘PrintNightmare’ vulnerability, but there have been other problems concerning the printer spooler - both can be used to gain remote access to affected devices without the user’s permission.
Windows 11 isn’t immune, either. The first printer bugs on the new OS prevent some users from installing printers properly, while some Brother printers aren’t working via a USB connection.
While we wait for Microsoft to fix the latest Windows 10 issue, here’s what you can try.
How to fix the Windows 10 KB5006670 network printer bug
Despite Microsoft being aware of the issue, we don’t know how soon a patch for the bug will be available on affected devices. In the meantime, here are four potential solutions if you rely on network printing:
Uninstall the update
This is the obvious one, although it will also remove those vulnerability fixes mentioned earlier:
- In the search bar next to the Start menu, type cmd
- Command Prompt will appear as the ‘Best Match’. From the options on the right side, choose ‘Run as Administrator’
- A pop-up will appear, asking if you want to allow changes to be made. Click ‘Yes’
- The Command Prompt window should now be on screen. Copy and paste ‘wusa /uninstall /kb:5006670’ exact how you see it here and hit enter
- Restart your device to apply the changes
The same method can also be used to uninstall any recent update, provided you know the build number.
Remove affected printers and reinstall them
This is another common solution when things go wrong, but reinstalling the printers with admin rights could help the printer work again:
- Head to Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners
- Locate the faulty printer from the list, then click it and choose ‘Remove device’
- To reinstall, just click ‘Add a printer or scanner’ from the same screen, or follow the instructions related to your specific printer
It’s definitely worth trying this method, but it can mean workstations need to be reconfigured on a device-by-device basis. In business environments, this may prove extremely time-consuming.
Enable CopyFiles (HP printers only)
Microsoft disabled the CopyFiles feature by default in September 2021, but some HP printers still rely on it. However, there’s a way to manually enable it again:
- In the search bar next to the Start menu, type ‘reg’ and open the Registry Editor
- Click ‘Yes’ to confirm you allow changes to be made to your device
- In the address bar at the top of the window that appears, navigate to ‘HK_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Printers’
- Right-click anywhere on the white screen and choose New > Key
- Name this key ‘CopyFilesPolicy’
- Double-click the file named ‘Default’ here and set its ‘Value data’ to 1
- Click ‘OK’ to confirm, then restart your device to apply the changes