You may experience delays when you try to install a printer in Windows 8 or Windows 8.1

Applies to: Windows 8.1 EnterpriseWindows 8.1 ProWindows 8.1 More

Symptoms


Consider the following scenario:
  • You have a system that is running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.
  • The network that this system is in requires a proxy server to access the Internet.
  • The proxy server does not require authentication.
  • You try to install a printer.
In this scenario, you may notice that the printer icon takes up to 30 minutes to appear in the Devices and Printers folder. Additionally, if the device metadata package for the printer specifies a device companion app from the Microsoft Store, that application may not be installed in this environment. Also, if the device metadata package contains a customized printer icon, the default generic Windows printer icon may appear instead of the customized icon.

Cause


Installing print drivers involves using services and user impersonation. This feature is not available in Windows Internet (WinINet). Therefore, Windows HTTP Services (WinHTTP) is used instead. 

WinINet uses a proxy that is configured through the GPO and Internet Explorer, and the proxy can be changed by a standard user. Winhttp uses a proxy that is configured through netsh commands, and the proxy can be changed only by a user who has administrative rights.

Because of the way that this this process is designed, the process may freeze when the printer installation tries to retrieve the metadata package that is needed for the printer icon and device companion app association. Windows has to retrieve the device metadata in order to determine whether a customized printer icon or device companion app is available. Because of the proxy access issue, Windows cannot download the device metadata that is required.

Resolution


To work around this issue, use one of the following methods.

Method 1

Use the Web Proxy Automatic Discovery (WPAD) protocol in your environment.

For more information about how to use WPAD, go to the following Microsoft websites:



Method 2

Note This method requires Administrative rights.

Use the netsh winhttp command to set proxy settings. For example, use the following command:
o netsh winhttp import proxy source=ie

Using this netsh command enables the proxy settings to be set at a system level instead of a user level. This enables the installation of the printer and the Microsoft Store app without delay.

More Information


For more information about proxy server settings in Windows 8, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
2777643 How to configure proxy server settings in Windows 8