Error message: "Word cannot bring up the Properties dialog box because the printer returned an error"


Error Message


When you click Properties in the Print dialog box, you may receive the following error message:


Word cannot bring up the properties dialog box because the printer returned an error.

What To Try


Files that the printer driver uses are damaged

To complete this procedure, you must have your Microsoft Windows CD-ROM, or the printer driver disk or CD-ROM from the printer manufacturer.

Note Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.
  1. Click Start, and then click Printers and Faxes.
  2. Right-click your default printer, and then click Delete. If you are prompted to remove extra files that remain on the system, click Yes.
  3. Under Printer Tasks, click Add a printer, and then follow the instructions on the screen to reinstall your printer driver.
NOTE: If your printer model is not listed in the Manufacturers and Printers boxes, see the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) for an updated driver. To do so, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

If your printer is not on the HCL, contact the printer manufacturer for drivers and instructions.

If you are on a network, you may have to install the correct printer driver from a network printer share. Contact your network administrator for instructions about how to do so.

Regional settings for your computer may be damaged

Reset the regional settings for your computer:

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. If the Control Panel icons are not displayed, click Switch to Classic View under Control Panel.
  3. Double-click Regional and Language Options.
  4. On the Regional Options tab, note your regional setting so you can restore it later. Click a different English setting, and then click OK.
  5. Restart your computer.
  6. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  7. Double-click Regional and Language Options.
  8. On the Regional Options tab, click your original regional setting that you noted in step 3.
  9. Click OK, and then restart your computer.

A network printer may have an invalid network name

Before you start this procedure, contact your network administrator to make sure that you have the correct name and path for the network printer.

  1. Click Start, and then click Printers and Faxes.
  2. Right-click the icon for your printer, and then click Properties.
  3. On the Ports tab, click Delete Port.
  4. In the Delete Port dialog box, click the printer that you want to remove, and then click OK.
  5. On the Ports tab, click Add Port.
  6. In the Add Port dialog box, click Network, type the network path to the printer, and then click OK.
  7. In the Print to the following port box, click the port that you selected in step 6, and then click OK.

The printer driver may require a captured printer port

Before you start this procedure, contact your network administrator to make sure that you have the correct path for the network printer.

Use the Net.exe command to establish a persistent network connection. To do this, type net use lptx \\print server\share name /persistent:yes at a command prompt, and then press ENTER, where x is the number of the printer port that you want to map, and print server\share name is the print server and share name.

For example, to map LPT2 to a printer that is shared as Laser1 on a print server that is named Pserver:

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type cmd, and then click OK.
  3. Type net use lpt2 \\pserver\laser1 /persistent:yes, and then press ENTER.
  4. To quit the command prompt, type exit, and then press ENTER.
NOTE: With Microsoft Windows XP, non-administrative users cannot map an LPT port to a network printer path when the LPT port exists on the computer as a physical parallel port.

There is a problem with your fax configuration

If you receive this error message when you try to send a fax, there may be a problem with the way that your fax software is configured. If your fax software is provided by a third-party, view the documentation that is included with the software for information about how to resolve this issue.

More Information


For more information about printing problems, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

321611 How to troubleshoot print failures in Word 2002

304433 How to troubleshoot printer output issues in Word 2000

128345 How to troubleshoot printing problems in Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Millennium Edition

243075 How to troubleshoot network printing problems

163551 Troubleshooting printing problems in Windows

291336 How to troubleshoot printing problems in Word 2002 (Part 1)

291344 How to troubleshoot printing problems in Word 2002 (Part 2)

191516 Cannot print in Windows