Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

Windows always ensure the security of the computers and their users. Regular updates are released frequently to keep your PC away from threats and bugs. Thus, your device is maintained up to date when you follow the prompts to update it. Yet, sometimes several updates are not installed completely, leading to errors. One of the common errors is unable to install printer the handle is invalid. In this article, you will know what is the handle is invalid error, and troubleshooting methods to resolve the handle is invalid Windows 10 issue.

Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

How to Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

INVALID_HANDLE error occurs on the login or sign-up screen, and this error does not let you print a job or run any script. This error occurs due to incompatible Windows update files or any misconfigured system files in your PC. You may face the error under several circumstances, but being unable to install a printer prevents you from adding any printers or using an existing printer. You may face this install printer the handle is invalid error in all older versions of Windows, and you cannot proceed with any pending updates or software updates. Other reasons are listed below.

  • Malware or virus attack
  • Problematic registry file
  • Incorrect log in credentials
  • Windows unable to duplicate non-pseudo handles from PEB32 processes

In this section, we have compiled a list of methods that will help you fix this INVALID_HANDLE error. The methods are arranged according to the severity and effectiveness so that you can solve the problem at the earliest. Follow them in the same order to attain perfect results.

Method 1: Reboot PC

A simple restart will help you resolve any temporary errors, and thus you can easily fix this error. So, try to reboot your PC by following the below-mentioned steps and check if you face the problem again. Alternatively, you can fully shut down the system using the Power options and turn it on again.

1. Navigate to the Desktop by pressing Windows + D keys simultaneously.

2. Now, press Alt + F4 keys simultaneously. You will see a pop-up window as shown below.

Now, press Alt and F4 keys simultaneously. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

3. Now, click on the drop-down box and select the Restart option.

click on the drop down box and select the Restart option

4. Finally, hit Enter to reboot your system.

Check if this error is resolved now.

Method 2: Run Printer Troubleshooter

Running the Windows Printer Troubleshooter is the simplest way to resolve this error in your PC. All the corrupt and damaged files in your computer will be eliminated when you proceed with this process. Here are a few simple steps to run the Windows Printer Troubleshooter.

1. Press Windows + I keys simultaneously to open Settings.

2. Click pn Update & Security.

Click Update and Security. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

3. Click Troubleshoot. Then, select Printer and click on Run the troubleshooter.

run the troubleshooter for Printer. Fix unable to install printer The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

4. Your system will undergo a screening process. Wait for the process to be complete, and if any issue is found in your system, click Apply this fix and follow the instructions given in the successive prompts.

click on Apply this fix

5. Finally, restart your PC once all the issues are applied and fixed in your system.

Also Read: How to Fix Printer Not Responding in Windows 10

Method 3: Download HP Universal Print Driver ( For HP Systems)

Many users have reported that downloading HP Universal Print Driver has fixed this issue as it will automatically detect and configure both HP and non-HP drivers. You can also try downloading the HP Universal Print Driver from the HP website.

hp printer driver download page

Method 4: Modify Local Security Policy

Many users have reported that modifying Network security policies has helped them resolve this error. There are certain parameters when changed, and they could be a great hand when you face such errors. Here are a few instructions to tweak Local Security Policies.

Note: You can access Local Security Policy only if you use Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

1. Launch the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows + R keys together.

2. Now, type secpol.msc in the box and hit Enter key.

Note: You can also type Local Security Policy in the Search box to open the window.

Now, type secpol.msc in the box and hit Enter. Fix unable to install printer The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

3. Then, click on Local Policies in the left pane, followed by Security Options as shown.

Then, click on Local Policies in the left pane, followed by Security Options. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

4. Now, in the right pane, double-click on Network security: LAN Manager authentication level to open it.

Now, in the right pane, double click on Network security LAN Manager authentication level to open it to fix unable to install printer the handle is invalid

5. Now, in the Local Security Setting tab, select the Send LM & NTLM – use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated option from the drop-down menu as shown.

Now, in the Local Security Setting tab, select the Send LM NTLM use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated option. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

6. Now, click on Apply > OK to save the changes and return to the Local Security Policy window.

7. Then, double-click on Network Security: Minimum session security for NTLM SSP based (including secure RPC) clients to open it.

8. Now, uncheck the Require 128-bit encryption option as shown below.

Now, uncheck Require 128 bit encryption option to fix unable to install printer the handle is invalid  

9. Finally, click on Apply > OK to save the changes and reboot your PC.

Check if the issue is resolved now.

Also Read: Windows Cannot Connect to the Printer [SOLVED]

Method 5: Update or Roll Back Drivers

Follow these steps to update driver or rollback printer driver updates to fix unable to install printer the handle is invalid error.

Option I: Update Drivers

If the current drivers in your system are incompatible or outdated with the program files, then you will face the handle is invalid issue, especially with printers. Therefore, you are advised to update the printer drivers to prevent the said problem.

1. Type Device Manager in the Windows 10 search menu.

Click on Start and type Device Manager. Click on Open

2. Double-click on Print queues to expand it.

Locate the printer. Fix unable to install printer The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

3. Right-click the name of the printer and select Update driver.

Note: Here the Microsoft XPS Document Writer is shown as example.

Right click on the problematic printer and select Update Driver

4. Next, click on Search automatically for drivers to automatically download and install the best available driver.

Next, click on Search automatically for drivers to locate and install the best available driver

5A. Now, the drivers will update and install to the latest version, if they are not updated.

5B. If they are already in an updated stage, the message saying The best drivers for your device are already installed will be shown.

The best driver for your device are already installed. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

Restart the computer, and check if you have fixed this issue in your system.

Option II: Roll back Driver Updates

If your system had been working correctly and began to malfunction after an update, rolling back the drivers might help. The rollback of the driver will delete the current driver installed in the system and replace it with its previous version. This process should eliminate any bugs in the drivers and potentially fix the said problem.

1. Type Device Manager in the Windows search bar and open it from the search results.

2. Double-click on the Printers from the panel on the left and expand it.

Locate the printer

3. Right-click on the printer driver and click on Properties, as depicted.

right click on Microsoft XPS Document Writer and select Properties in Device Manager Print queues. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

4. Switch to the Driver tab and select Roll Back Driver, as shown highlighted.

Switch to the Driver tab and select Roll Back Driver to fix the handle is invalid error

5. Provide your reason for Why are you rolling back? in Driver Package rollback. Then, click on Yes, as illustrated below.

give reason to roll back drivers and click Yes in driver package rollback window. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

6. Then, click on OK to apply this change. Finally, restart your PC.

Method 6: Update Windows

Ensure that you use an updated version of Windows. Otherwise, the files in the system will not be compatible with the program files leading to the handle being an invalid issue. Follow the below-mentioned steps to update your Windows OS.

1. Press Windows + I keys simultaneously to launch Settings.

2. Click on the Update & Security tile, as shown.

Update and Security

3. In the Windows Update tab, click on Check for updates button.

Click on Check for updates button. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

4A. If a new update is available, then click Install Now and follow the instructions to update.

Click on install now to download the available updates

4B. Otherwise, if the Windows is up-to-date, then it will show You’re up to date message.

windows update you're up to date message. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

Also Read: Fix Printer Driver is unavailable on Windows 10

Method 7: Reinstall Printer

Suppose you face this error after running the Printer troubleshooter. In that case, you can try reinstalling any particular printers where you face the error as instructed below.

Note: Here, the Microsoft Print to PDF device is taken as an example

1. Open Control Panel and click on Devices and Printers as shown.

Open Control Panel and click on Devices and Printers to fix the handle is invalid

2. Then, right-click on the printer and select the Remove device option as shown below.

Then, right click on the printer and select the Remove device option to fix the handle is invalid

3. Click Yes in the Remove Decice prompt.

Click Yes in the prompt. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

4. Later, click on Add a printer as shown below.

click on Add a printer to fix the handle is invalid error

5. Now, select The printer that I want isn’t listed option as highlighted below.

Now, select The printer that I want isn’t listed option to fix the handle is invalid error

6. Then, click on Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings as shown and click on Next.

Then, click on Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings as shown and click on Next. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

7. In the next window, click on PORTPROMPT: (Local Port) in the drop-down menu of Use an existing port and click on Next.

In the next window, click on PORTPROMPT Local Port in the drop down menu of Use an existing port and click on Next. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

8. Now, choose the Manufacturer and Printers as shown below and click on Next as highlighted.

Now, choose the Manufacturer and Printers as shown below to fix the handle is invalid error

9. Rename the printer if needed and click on Next.

Rename the printer if needed and click on Next. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

10. Finally, wait for Windows to install the Printer and check if you face this error again.

Method 8: Repair System Files

You can automatically scan and repair system files by running System File Checker (SFC) and DISM scans. Follow the below-mentioned steps to implement the same.

1. Hit the Windows key, type Command Prompt and click on Run as administrator.

Open Start menu, type Command Prompt and click on Run as administrator on the right pane

2. Click on Yes in the User Account Control prompt.

3. Type chkdsk C: /f /r /x command and hit Enter key.

 chkdsk command. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

4. If you are prompted with a message, Chkdsk cannot run…the volume is… in use process, then, type Y and hit the Enter key.

5. Again, type the command: sfc /scannow and press Enter key to run the System File Checker scan.

Type the below command line and hit Enter to execute it

Note: A system scan will be initiated and it will take a couple of minutes to finish. Meanwhile, you can continue performing other activities but be mindful of not accidentally closing the window.

After completing the scan, it will show either of these messages:

  • Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.
  • Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation.
  • Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them.
  • Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them.

6. Once the scan is finished, restart your PC.

7. Again, launch Command Prompt as administrator and execute the given commands one after the other:

dism.exe /Online /cleanup-image /scanhealth
dism.exe /Online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
dism.exe /Online /cleanup-image /startcomponentcleanup

Note: You must have a working internet connection to execute DISM commands properly.

scan health command in Command Prompt

Also Read: How to Get Your Printer Back Online in Windows 10

Method 9: Run Malware Scan

Follow these steps to run a malware scan and fix unable to install printer the handle is invalid error.

1. Hit Windows + I keys simultaneously to launch Settings.

2. Here, click on Update & Security settings as shown.

click on Update and security in Settings. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

3. Go to Windows Security in the left pane.

Go to Windows Security on the left pane. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

4. Click on the Virus & threat protection option in the right pane.

Click on the Virus and threat protection option

5. Click on the Quick Scan button to search for malware.

Click on the Quick Scan button. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

6A. Once the scan is done, all the threats will be displayed. Click on Start Actions under Current threats.

Click on Start Actions under Current threats

6B. If there is no threat in your device, the device will show the No current threats alert.

show the No current threats alert. Fix unable to install printer The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

Method 10: Run Startup Repair

Running Startup repair will help you to fix unable to install printer the handle is invalid error. Follow the below-mentioned instructions to implement the same.

1. Navigate to the Start menu.

2. Now, select the Power icon and click on Restart while holding the Shift key.

Now, select the Power icon and click on Restart while holding the Shift key to fix the handle is invalid error

3. Here, click on Troubleshoot. Refer to the Pic.

Here, click on Troubleshoot. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

4. Now, click on Advanced options followed by Startup Repair.

Now, click on Advanced options followed by Startup Repair to fix unable to install printer the handle is invalid error

5. Now, click on Continue to proceed. If your account is password-protected, choose your account and type the password to proceed.

Now, the Startup repair tool will scan your PC and fix the issue.

Also Read: How to Print When You Don’t Have a Printer

Method 11: Uninstall Corrupt Updates in Safe Mode

Some other users facing unable to install printer the handle is an invalid error have managed to resolve it in safe mode. Boot your PC in safe mode and try uninstalling the recent update causing the error. Here are a few instructions to install the update in Safe Mode.

Note: To boot your PC in safe mode, you may be prompted with a screen to enter your BitLocker key (if you have an encrypted device).

To boot PC in safe mode, you have to enter into Windows Recovery Environment, which can be done by turning your device off and on repeatedly.

1. Press Windows + I keys together to open Settings in your system.

2. Now, select Update & Security.

Update and Security

3. Now, click on Recovery in the left pane and select the Restart now option under Advanced startup.

Restart Now from the Advanced Startup menu. Fix unable to install printer The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

4. Now, allow your PC to restart completely this time. You will enter into Windows Recovery Environment now.

5. Here, click on Troubleshoot.

Here, click on Troubleshoot

6. Now, click on Advanced options as shown.

Now, click on Advanced options

7. Now, select Advanced options followed by Startup Settings.

Now, click on Advanced options followed by Startup Settings. Fix unable to install printer The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

8. Click on Restart and wait for the Startup Settings screen to appear.

9. Press the (number) 4 key to enter Safe Mode.

Note: To enable Safe Mode with network access, hit number 5.

Finally, hit the number key 4 to get into Safe Mode without a network.

Now, you will be able to follow and fix this by manually uninstalling the recent updates after booting the PC in safe mode.

10. Press the Windows key. Type Control Panel and launch it.

Open Control Panel

11. Set View by as Large icons and select Programs and Features.

Set View by as Large icons and select Programs and Features. Fix The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

12. Now, click on View installed updates in the left pane as shown here.

View installed updates to fix unable to install printer the handle is invalid

13. Now, select the most recent update and click on the Uninstall option, as shown below.

select the most recent update and click on the Uninstall option

14. Then, confirm the prompt, if any, and reboot your PC.

Check if you have fixed the problem.

Note: If you face any errors in Safe Mode, uninstall or reinstall problematic applications causing this error.

Also Read: Fix Printer Installation Error 0x000003eb

Method 12: Perform System Restore

More often, you could face unable to install printer the handle is an invalid error after a Windows update. If you encounter this issue, then you could restore the system to its previous version.

Note: It is recommended to Boot Windows 10 PC into Safe Mode before proceeding with System Restore.

1. Hit the Windows key, type Command Prompt and click on Run as administrator.

Open Start menu, type Command Prompt and click on Run as administrator on the right pane

2. Type rstrui.exe command and press the Enter key.

Enter the following command and hit Enter the command rstrui.exe. Fix unable to install printer The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

3. Now, click on Next in the System Restore window, as shown.

Now, the System Restore window will be popped up on the screen. Here, click on Next

4. Finally, confirm the restore point by clicking on the Finish button.

Finally, confirm the restore point by clicking on the Finish button. Fix unable to install printer The Handle is Invalid Error in Windows 10

Now, the system will be restored to its previous state, and now check if the issue is resolved.

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We hope that this guide was helpful and you could fix unable to install printer the handle is invalid error in Windows 10. Let us know which method worked for you the best. Also, if you have any queries/suggestions regarding this article, then feel free to drop them in the comments section.

Posted by

Pete Mitchell

Pete is a Senior staff writer at TechCult. Pete loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has a decade of experience writing how-tos, features, and technology guides on the internet.

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