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Scanner and Printer won’t work at the same time


Printers and scanners are two devices that have impacted our lives on levels that we may not even know. They both offer conveniences and services that we wonder how we ever lived without them. Both scanners and printers are controlled by the computer through drivers and the Operating System. In some cases, you will find that the Scanner and Printer won’t work at the same time. This may be a problem for you if you need to multi-task with many documents.

Scanner and Printer won't work at the same time

We want things to work when we want them to and when they don’t we get concerned. Technology is expected to work to have all the answers and work on demand. If you have an all-in-one device with a printer and scanner in one device or two separate devices, they may have problems working at the same time. Printers and scanners may be connected using wireless or wired connections. They each have their own drivers and there may be conflicts.

Scanner and Printer won’t work at the same time

If the Printer and Scanner will not work simultaneously at the same time on your Windows 11/10 computer, follow these suggestions to resolve the issue:

  1. Update Printer and Scanner drivers
  2. Update or reinstall TWAIN driver
  3. Check Multi-function device limitations
  4. Run Printer Troubleshooter as well as Hardware Troubleshooter

1] Update Printer/Scanner drivers

The first thing you might want to do is to update your Printer drivers as well as your Scanner drivers. You should visit the official website of your OEM brand, and seek out the driver download section. There you should find the drivers for your particular

Your scanner and printer may be separate devices connected to your computer via cables. The scanner is an input device while the printer is an output device, this means the computer would need to work with both devices and their drivers at the same time. The computer would need to coordinate both processes at the same time. If the printer and the scanner are not able to work at the same time then you need to check if there is a conflict. Before you will know if there is a conflict, you will have to be sure that both devices are working on their own. This means using them separately while both are plugged in, to ensure that they each work. If they both work on their own but do not work at the same time it could mean that there is a conflict.

If the scanner won’t work while the printer is plugged in but works on its own, then there may be a conflict with the TWAIN driver. Unplug one of the devices to see if the other will work, if it works then you may need to reinstall the drivers for both devices. The drivers may have gotten corrupted and need reinstalling to fix the conflict.

Read: Scanner is not working on Windows

2] Update or reinstall TWAIN driver

Windows uses TWAIN drivers for all imaging devices and scanners are imaging devices. The TWAIN driver regulates communication between software and digital imaging devices. If the scanner and the printer are not able to work at the same time, it could mean that both are using a TWAIN driver in Windows.

ReadHow to install TWAIN driver.

When the Device manager is opened, click Imaging device, to see which imaging devices are installed. When all the imaging devices show up, right-click on each and choose Disable. Disable all imaging devices except the scanner.  When all the imaging devices are disabled except the scanner, try to scan again. The printer will be able to print without a TWAIN driver, however, it may still use one, especially in the case of a multi-function printer. When you are finished testing, remember to enable the imaging devices.

3] Check multi-function device limitations

Most multi-function devices regardless of the price, size, or industry that it was made for, may be able to scan, print, fax, photocopy, or anything else. These functions can only be done one at a time but not together. The device may be able to accept the requests for each of these functions to be performed, however, it will only do one at a time. The device will prioritize based on what job was sent first. Some manufacturers will state that the multi-function device cannot do all the functions simultaneously.

If you have a lot of jobs to do, prioritize the more important job. If you need to scan some documents and print other documents, you may want to scan first and then print the other documents after. This will facilitate edits to the scanned documents (if you need to) while you print other documents.  One reason to do documents one at a time is to keep the device from overworking or overheating. Too many jobs at one time can overload the device and it may cause it to malfunction and damage itself and the documents.

If you do large batches of scanning and printing, try as best to schedule jobs so that all scanning is done and then all printing.

4] Run Printer Troubleshooter as well as Hardware Troubleshooter

Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter missing in Windows 10

If the printer and scanner are still having problems, you may need to run the Printer Troubleshooter as well as the Hardware Troubleshooter and see if that will fix the problem. However, if the problem is a limitation of the hardware then these will not fix the problem.

Read: Printer printing only Small Fonts and not large

Why is my multi-function device’s scanner working but not the printer?

Multi-function devices may have a lot of functions, however, they usually cannot be done all at once. Even large expensive multi-function devices may be able to only do one function at a time. Even if the jobs are sent at the same time, the device will prioritize one job over another. The device may be limited due to the driver not being able to process more than one function at a time. The limitation may also be a physical limitation where the device can only handle one function at a time. Printing is the output and scamming is the input. The device or the driver may only be able to handle one of those functions at a time.

Why is my multi-function device’s printer working but not the scanner?

Even though the device is multi-function it may not be able to do both at the same time. Regardless of the size or cost, multi-function devices may be limited by the driver or physical capabilities and can only do one function at a time. You may have to diagnose both the painting and the scanning to make sure that both are working. To diagnose, print a document and then scan a document at different times. If both work separately then you know that the device is just not capable of doing both at the same time.

Scanner and Printer won't work at the same time

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