Solution: Very slow printer dialog boxes in Windows (network printers)

Solution: Very slow printer dialog boxes in Windows (network printers)

UPDATED 13th July 2010: This works for Windows 7 as well..

For sometime now I’ve had a problem printing over our small network, every time I would bring up the printer dialog box it would take an eternity to load up.   It became so bad I had almost given up on printing!

So after some looking around I came across the following solution, I know this works in Windows Vista 64bit and 32bit as well as XP (UPDATED: This works for Windows 7 64bit as well).   Apparently Windows doesn’t like it if you setup your printer by connecting to the printer and installing the driver whilst browsing your network…. (I don’t know why).   Anyway the solution is to add the printer as a local printer.

  1. Load up your printer browser in the control panel, in Vista
  2. I recommend deleting all your network printers and restarting your PC, it seems that windows holds on to some information until you restart.
  3. Click “Add a Printer”.
  4. Now select add local printer.
  5. Create new port.
  6. When it asks for Enter a port name use the following format “\\networklocation\yourprinter”, essentially it’s address on the network.
  7. Follow the steps to install the printer driver again, if you have installed the printer before windows should still retain that printer driver you used.
  8. Now repeat for any of the other printers you have.

This technique worked for me and my computer is now a dream to print from!  If you have any trouble with these instructions just let me know.

34 thoughts on “Solution: Very slow printer dialog boxes in Windows (network printers)

  1. Thank you very much for sharing this. No idea why Windows 7 starting taking a lifetime just to show the print dialogue, strangely though it only seemed to affect Firefox and Internet Explorer.

    I followed your guide, steps which i’ve used for other support scenarios, and it worked perfectly.

    I now have an instant print dialogue as before!

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  2. Thanks a million, it works.. the problem affect every application in XP. after delete all printers and recreate it, work like a charm. I been scratching my head on this problem for weeks.
    Thank you.

  3. You are so awesome. This finally fixed my OKI B6300 laser. Dialogs and prints took forever. Now they’re instantaneous. The entire internet is useless except for you good sir πŸ˜‰

  4. Well, what do I say but a big THANK YOU for this. I was having a huge problem since I had 2 printers being used as network printers. An Epson and a Laser. The laser had no problem but while using Epson, that is when I was rely waiting for the dialog box to appear. When using Epson as the default, the delay was not that much, but problem was arising when changing from Laser to Epson.

    Thanks again, I appreciate what you have done.

  5. Thanks very much for publishing this. It worked perfectly on my Win7 64bit pro system. My printing had become very slow.

  6. Hi, I have win 7 64 bit and have loaded the HP designjet 500 driver as suggested. All looks good and a test page comes out but once I try to print, from any software, I get the blue screen of death….can you offer any help on this please?

    1. @Poalo

      When you get the blue screen you may need to take a quick picture of the screen to get the error code it displays. And then you can google the code and it will tell you whether it’s a hardware or software problem.

  7. @Poalo

    When you get the blue screen you may need to take a quick picture of the screen to get the error code it displays. And then you can google the code and it will tell you whether it’s a hardware or software problem.

  8. This solution works for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 as well. My entire company was plagued by slow print dialogues until I stumbled upon this solution. Thank you for your time and effort!

  9. May God proliferate ur success the more. I’ve stressed myself over this before stumbling on your website. U re blessed beyond imaginings.

    Thanks.

  10. THANK YOU Elliot for this solution!!! It works perfectly! I was having similar print-problems in Windows since years. THIS is the solution in many cases. I just can’t understand WHY is Microsoft so stupid to include such buggy and low quality modules in Windows and not to make any effords to improve this OS since years. This is a very offending behaviour Microsoft ! Thank GOD there are people like Elliot Hartley who find solutions and save our day !!!

  11. Hi, I’m trying to use this solution but when entering the port name I keep getting an error message ‘network name cannot be found’. Does anyone know what the ‘yourprinter’ section of the format is for a brother printer?
    Thanks!

  12. But it din’t work for me i have windows ultimate 64 bi machine recently upgraded from XP
    with brother HL L2321D i followed the steps it could not be worked out then again i had to configure as network printer only

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