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.
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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.
3. Now, 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.
3. Click Troubleshoot. Then, select Printer and click on Run the troubleshooter.
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.
5. Finally, restart your PC once all the issues are applied and fixed in your system.
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.
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.
3. Then, click on Local Policies in the left pane, followed by Security Options as shown.
4. Now, in the right pane, double-click on Network security: LAN Manager authentication level to open it.
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.
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.
9. Finally, click on Apply > OK to save the changes and reboot your PC.
Check if the issue is resolved now.
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.
2. Double-click on Print queues to expand it.
3. Right-click the name of the printer and select Update driver.
Note: Here the Microsoft XPS Document Writer is shown as example.
4. Next, click on Search automatically for drivers to automatically download 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.
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.
3. Right-click on the printer driver and click on Properties, as depicted.
4. Switch to the Driver tab and select Roll Back Driver, as shown highlighted.
5. Provide your reason for Why are you rolling back? in Driver Package rollback. Then, click on Yes, as illustrated below.
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.
3. In the Windows Update tab, click on Check for updates button.
4A. If a new update is available, then click Install Now and follow the instructions to update.
4B. Otherwise, if the Windows is up-to-date, then it will show You’re up to date message.
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.
2. Then, right-click on the printer and select the Remove device option as shown below.
3. Click Yes in the Remove Decice prompt.
4. Later, click on Add a printer as shown below.
5. Now, select The printer that I want isn’t listed option as highlighted below.
6. Then, click on Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings as shown and click on Next.
7. In the next window, click on PORTPROMPT: (Local Port) in the drop-down menu of Use an existing port and click on Next.
8. Now, choose the Manufacturer and Printers as shown below and click on Next as highlighted.
9. Rename the printer if needed and click on Next.
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.
2. Click on Yes in the User Account Control prompt.
3. Type chkdsk C: /f /r /x command and hit Enter key.
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.
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.
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.
3. Go to Windows Security in the left pane.
4. Click on the Virus & threat protection option in the right pane.
5. Click on the Quick Scan button to search for malware.
6A. Once the scan is done, all the threats will be displayed. 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.
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.
3. Here, click on Troubleshoot. Refer to the Pic.
4. Now, click on Advanced options followed by Startup Repair.
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.
3. Now, click on Recovery in the left pane and select the Restart now option under Advanced startup.
4. Now, allow your PC to restart completely this time. You will enter into Windows Recovery Environment now.
5. Here, click on Troubleshoot.
6. Now, click on Advanced options as shown.
7. Now, select Advanced options followed by Startup Settings.
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.
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.
11. Set View by as Large icons and select Programs and Features.
12. Now, click on View installed updates in the left pane as shown here.
13. Now, select the most recent update and click on the Uninstall option, as shown below.
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.
2. Type rstrui.exe command and press the Enter key.
3. Now, click on Next in the System Restore window, as shown.
4. Finally, confirm the restore point by clicking on the Finish button.
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.