Can't select printer


  • This is a weird problem.

    I've seen this now at work and at home on differently setup and connected systems.

    1. I open Excel
    2. Go to backstage
    3. Go to Print
    4. Then from the Printer dropdown I select a different printer.


    It won't work.  It will not allow me to select a different printer?  Even though I have 10 listed, I can only select the default printer?


    Am I doing something wrong? Is there a fix for this?




    Saturday, January 07, 2012 6:49 PM


All replies

  • HI!

    No, you can use the printer of your choice, as long they are operational, no restrictions, and I belive you're doing nothing wrong, let's see if we can fix this situation.

    Some more information would help to solve this problem.

    You said you can see the other printers but can't choose them to print, ok, would it be possible to change the defaut printer in Windows to the one you want to select? This is needed to know, just to make sure the printer you want is operational.

    Does it happens with Word also, or just Excel?

    What is your version of Office? 2003,2007 or 2010?

    Are there any other tasks you can't do with this instalation of Office?

    Does it happens with all Excel files or just with some of them?

    Are you on a Network? What kind? Do you have permitions for the other printers?

    Hope to hear from you soom.



    • Edited by renatoabc Sunday, January 08, 2012 12:42 PM
    Sunday, January 08, 2012 12:17 PM
  • I appreciate the questions, it's what I did the first time I saw this too and thought it must be just that system.  that's when I went home and saw it too.  So my question is am I crazy or do other people see this too?  Can you select more than just the default printer in Excel 2010 in the backstage view?


    On to the questions:

    Office 2010

    Just Excel, Word works how it should, allowing one to select any printer they want not just the default one.

    Yes if I select a different default printer then I can select only that within Excel

    All other things in Excel to work just fine

    Work PCs are on network, home is on different network, printers and printer connections are fine.



    Sunday, January 08, 2012 5:18 PM
  • Hi, Thanks for the replay

    By your answers I think it would be worth to reset the Excel settings at the user level in the Windows Registry in one computer that you are sure the problem exists.

    Close all the Excel files that were opened at the time, and:

    1) Press the "Windows" and the "R" Key at the same time, and next type REGEDIT and press Enter, to open the Registry Editor.

    2) Open the following hives (folders) in this sequence:


    3) Inside 14.0 right click Excel and rename it to Excel.old

    4) Close Regedit, open a new Excel file and see if it's fixed.

    Note: The changes with the Excel hive renamed to .old are necessary to make Office create a brand new Excel  hive with the default settings when you start Excel next time after Regedit.

    If you do the changes at the user level, nothing will harm your computer, just make sure the changes will be done under HKEY_CURRENT_USER...


    Sunday, January 08, 2012 9:23 PM
  • I'll give it a try, however, can you confirm you don't see this behavior on your machine?




    Sunday, January 08, 2012 9:36 PM
  • ok, I tried the registry change, same behavior though.







    Sunday, January 08, 2012 9:43 PM
  • Sorry for the late replay!

    In my machine I can choose any printer I want.

    My system is Win 7 x32 / Office 2010 Professional.



    Monday, January 09, 2012 12:59 AM
  • Ok Terry,

    It has not fixed the issue, I'll see what will be the next step and post here.

    Take care

    • Edited by renatoabc Monday, January 09, 2012 1:01 AM
    Monday, January 09, 2012 1:01 AM
  • The confusing part are these are two entirely different systems.

    But you are right I just tried another system and it works fine...

    Now I'm trying to figure out similarities and so far I don't have ANY besides both are Office 2010 x32.



    Monday, January 09, 2012 4:43 AM
  • Hi Terry,

    Just to make it clear: Did you say the registry fix worked for one machine and didn't work for the other?

    If so, try to look for viruses in the machine the fix didn't work, but please post here is this is the situation, I'll see what else can be done anyway.



    Monday, January 09, 2012 8:51 AM
  • I'm experiencing the exact same problem.  I've tried the registry fix, and that did not work.
    Monday, January 09, 2012 10:42 PM
  • I found the answer.

    Microsoft Office labs makes a add-on called "Search Commands". 

    When this is installed on a system it causes this problem where you can only select the default printer in Excel.

    You have to disable this com addon to get the printer selection to work again... Weird.

    Here's a link to another forum post.



    • Marked as answer by mattw112 Tuesday, January 10, 2012 12:55 AM
    Tuesday, January 10, 2012 12:55 AM
  • I am having the exact same problem. I can print in all other applications, including Word, but not in Excel. My printer shows, but I cannot click on it. I tried the registry edit, but it did not work. I tried to look for the Add-In, but I do not have the "Search Commands" Add-in installed. I tried to uninstall and reinstall my printer, but that still does not work. Any other suggestions?
    Monday, January 16, 2012 7:13 PM
  • Not sure if it is the same problem  you say "I can print in all other applications, including word, but not in Excel".


    I never had problems printing.  I had problems selecting printers to print from.  Excel would only let me select teh default printer with search commands installed.



    Monday, January 16, 2012 11:47 PM
  • I too am having this same exact problem and here is the fun part. All printers have been installed via print server using a policy and the only "local" printer installs on my machines in question are "One Note" and "XPS writer". I have checked for the search commands add-in but have not seen in any of the machines in question. In total there are 60 machines and the problem will happen on one for one day and not for the same machine the next day. IE...if machines 1, 5, and 8 have the printing issue where any printer besides the default is selected it reverts back to the default is present then the next day those same machines will be able to select any printer but machines 2 and 9 will not be able to. I am in a school district and we have student accounts deleted after they log off so it can't be a profile issue as they are created new each login. I'm extremely puzzled on this one!


    And like the others, all other office apps can select whichever printer and print to them without issue. Office 2010 Pro 32 bit...



    Wednesday, January 18, 2012 4:43 PM
  • Same issue.

    • Office 2010 32 bit.
    • No add ons.

    Just doing a little poll... is it affecting Office 2010 non-SP1 or SP1 for you?
    Does it affect anything else than office? PDF...

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012 9:28 AM
  • I am also experiencing this problem. I have window 7 64bit windows 2010. I can only print with excel the first selected printed. If you select other printer it will default to the first selected printer. Any new printer installed can't be selected and hard time connecting. Please help if you find a solution.
    Thursday, November 29, 2012 5:18 PM
  • Had the same issue in Word 2013 but no other Office program. I opened Task Manager with Word open and ended the Explorer.exe process. After that I clicked File>New Task and then typed in Explorer.exe and once explorer started back up I went to Word and I was able to select a different printer. I was also not able to select certain drop down menu items like the Disable Add-ins at the Addins menu. Everything is good for now though!
    Thursday, August 14, 2014 9:33 PM
  • I tried the proposed solution above and it worked like a charm.  My issue was on a work computer that is connected to our company network.  I am running MS Office 2013.  The program would not connect to any of my printers (and I have about 12 at my disposal...including Adobe PDF print driver).  However, I only had this issue on 1 of thousands of Excel files on our network.  Everything else printed from any other program just fine.  Once I made the changes noted above in the Registry Edit (REGEDIT) menu, everything works great in all files, even the one that was giving me the problems.

    Thank you for your help, Renatoabc!

    Tuesday, January 13, 2015 5:18 PM
  • Dear
    You have to change your default printer.
    if you cannot change it, and see this messages”Operation Could Not be Completed Error 0×00000709 – Fix”
    In this video, learn to you how change it, and after that your Excel problem solved.
    Monday, February 08, 2016 12:13 PM