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Registry editor to fix printer sharing

There are instances where you should change the registry value to fix printer sharing in Windows. The default registry value can be modified to relax and allow print sharing.

Microsoft often installs updates to enhance security and fix system errors. However, some of the updates could also keep your shared printer from allowing other users to access it.

By changing the registry value, we can fix the shared and network printer issue. We just need to use the registry editor to make changes in the registry values.

In this post, we will show you how to change the registry value to fix the printer sharing issue. Two of the most common registry values that need modification are AllowInsecureGuestAuth and RpcAuthnLevelPrivacyEnabled.

But before that, let’s check how registry value affect printer sharing and what really the windows registry editor is.

How registry value may affect printer sharing

Registry values can affect printer sharing in several ways. A Windows computer’s operating system and installed programs’ configuration settings and options are kept in a database called the registry.

The first is network sharing registry value. It can affect whether a printer is visible on the network or not. NetBIOSOptions registry must be enabled to make the printer available on the network.

Another is the Security permissions registry value; this registry value controls the user or group access permission to the printer. For example, If SecurityDescriptor is not set correctly, users may not be able to print.

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Print Spooler registry value can affect the behavior of print spooler service. The “print spooler” is responsible for managing print jobs. For example, the registry value “MaxSpoolSize” determines the maximum size of the “print spooler” queue. If the queue is too small, print jobs may fail or be delayed.

Printer sharing can be impacted by registry values relating to network sharing, security permissions, and the print spooler because they control how print jobs are handled, who has access to the printer (individuals or groups), and whether the printer is visible on the network.

What is registry editor in Windows

The Registry Editor is a tool that allows users to view and edit the system registry. The registry is a hierarchical database that stores configuration settings and options for the operating system and applications.

It allows advanced users and system administrators to make changes to the registry, which can affect the behavior and performance of the computer. The editor displays the registry in a tree-like structure, with each branch representing a different aspect of the system, such as user settings, hardware configuration, and software settings.

Registry Editor provides a powerful and flexible way to customize the Windows operating system and installed applications, but making incorrect changes to the registry can cause serious problems, including system instability, data loss, and even failure to boot.

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How to edit registry values in order to fix printer issues

  1. Let’s start by adding the AllowInsecureGuestAuth registry. It enables insecure guest logon, but by default, it is disabled.
  2. Open the Registry Editor by pressing the Windows key + R on the keyboard, type “regedit” in the Run dialog box, and pressing Enter.
  3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanWorkstation\Parameters AllowInsecureGuestAuth
  4. Set the following DWORD registry value AllowInsecureGuestAuth to 1 (insecure guest auth enabled)
  5. If it is not present under Parameters, copy AllowInsecureGuestAuth then right click > new > DWORD (32-bit) value, paste the name, then double click to change value data to 1.
  6. Close the Registry Editor now.
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The second is RpcAuthnLevelPrivacyEnabled registry. This registry allows to fix shared printer that caused by Windows Update.

  1. Open Registry Editor and Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print RpcAuthnLevelPrivacyEnabled
  2. Set the RpcAuthnLevelPrivacyEnabled registry value to 0 to disable.
  3. If not found, Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print
  4. Add the following DWORD (32-bit) value with name RpcAuthnLevelPrivacyEnabled
  5. Set the value to 0 to disable.
  6. Click close to exit registry editor.

Incorrect changes to the registry can cause serious problems with the computer’s operation, including system instability, data loss, and even failure to boot. Therefore, it’s important to use caution when making changes to the registry, to create backups before making any changes, and to have a good understanding of the purpose and consequences of the changes being made.


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