GDI Objects Leak in Explorer When Printing

Applies to: Windows Vista Home BasicWindows Vista Home Basic 64-bit EditionWindows Vista Home Premium


On a computer that is running Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008, a user may experience graphics corruption and artefacts after printing many times. Using Task Manager to view the GDI Objects may show that the value has reached 10,000 objects.


This issue occurs because of a GDI object leak in the print notification DLL (prnntfy.dll) for the Explorer. Each print job causes a print notification icon to be displayed in explorer’s notification bar. When prnntfy.dll creates this icon it leaks a GDI icon object. Eventually, the maximum number of GDI objects are created, and the explorer is not able to perform normal graphics operations.


To work around this issue, disable the print notification icon by editing the Windows registry.

Important This section contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure that you back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

To disable the print notification icon, follow the below mentioned steps:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Locate the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Print
  3. On the Edit menu, point to
    New, and then click DWORD Value.
  4. In the New Value #1 box, type
    DisableTrayNotification, and then press ENTER.
  5. Right-click DisableTrayNotification, and then click Modify.
  6. In the Value data box, type
    1 to disable the print notification, and then click OK.
  7. Quit Registry Editor.