How To Fix Printer Not Activated Error Code 20 in Windows


Printer unavailability or technical glitches generally tend to cause a hindrance to an ongoing work-project, leading to unnecessary apprehensions and chaos.


If your printer has suddenly stopped functioning and is giving the error ‘PRINTER NOT ACTIVATED ERROR CODE 20’, it needs serious working upon, maybe hardware, maybe software. Relax; take a deep breath and lookout for these major areas of printer malfunctioning:

• DEFAULT PRINTER: Any other printer than at hand has been installed and set as the default computer printer.
• PRINTER DRIVER: Your printer driver may have completely gone missing or have had a malfunction.
• DEVICE MANAGER: The device manager of your computer that in turn manages the connected hardware may have malfunctioned.
• VERSION ISSUE: In case of a Windows Operating System in the backdrop, issue may also be caused by an update.

Though, completely solvable, these issues require in-depth analyzing and solution-finding.


Good news is that all these issues can be easily looked-into and resolved. The solution steps involve:

  1. First and foremost, check for the hardware involved. Ensure that the cable connecting your laptop or PC to the printer is connected properly.
  2. Now, do a self-print check. Try printing a blank sheet of paper within the printer itself by pushing the print button, without an external printing command from a PC or a Laptop. This ensures that the printer in itself is working fine.
  3. Ensure that your printer exactly is the one set as the default printer in your Computer’s printer settings. For this, go to the ‘START ’ menu option and click ‘PRINTERS AND FAXES’ to open the printers folder. In a Windows Computer, you could also select the ‘CONTROL PANEL’ option from the DESKTOP folder and select ‘HARDWARE AND SOUND’. Now, select ‘DEVICES AND PRINTERS’ to open the requisite folder. Ensure that the printer you are printing from has been chosen as the default printer with the requisite tick mark. In case it is not, right click on your choice of printer and select the third option of ‘Set as Default Printer’. Your choice of printer shall now bear the tick mark. You can go on to check the printing functionalities with a test-page.
  4. In case your printer still does not work, you could also look out for the ‘Printer Troubleshooter’ from the same folder. Select the desired printer from the ‘DEVICES AND PRINTERS’ folder and right click to open the drop-down menu. Chose the ‘TROUBLESHOOT’ option. It shall help detecting and sorting out any malfunction in the existing software.
  5. After all this does not work to provide the requisite results, try re-installing your USB composite device from your Device Manager. This device helps your computer to manage its external USB connected devices including your printers. Your printer may not be actually receiving the command from the computer itself. To rectify this issue:
  • Open the Command Prompt screen by clicking on ‘START’, and then clicking on ‘RUN’.
  • A black colored screen with some words shall open up. It is the Command Prompt screen. In the next command type ‘devmgmt.msc’ and press enter.
  • The device manager shall open up. Now, click on the (+) plus sign. In the drop down menu, click on the ‘USB COMPOSITE DEVICE’ and select it for UNINSTALL. Follow the module and click OK.
  • Remove the printer connecting cable from your PC or Laptop.
  • Now reconnect the cable into the USB socket of your computer. It shall initiate the ‘NEW HARDWARE FOUND’ functionality and lead you to your USB device re-installation module.
  • Follow the steps involved in the module. It shall also install your new drivers.
  • Once done, exit all unnecessary widows and try printing a test-page again. We hope it resolves your issue.
  1. Printer not activated error code 20’ may also be displayed as a result of updating a Windows version to the next level. In cases where this transition does not occur smoothly, these issues do arise. The major reason behind them is that the ‘HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG/Software’ key may not have been updated in regard to the new operating system update, wherein it has been deleted. But, this key is still utilized by applications like Quickbooks, who tend to pick it up as it is of the older version, leading to the error. If you think this is the issue at hand:
  • Firstly, create a registry backup file by going to the registry editor. Click on ‘FILE’, select ‘EXPORT ’ and then save it to the destination.
  • Now, create a system restore point by looking up the ’SYSTEM RESTORE’ option in the control panel. A window shall pop up defining system requirements to create restore point for the system. Ensure that the ‘PROTECTION’ is enabled in the ‘PROTECTION SETTINGS’ menu for your C drive. Manually create a restore point by selecting the ‘CREATE ’ button. Now, key in the required date of restoration and start the process. The module shall itself create your C-drive restore points.
  • You could now easily re-install the applications like Quickbooks causing the concern altogether. We hope your printer shall work fine now.

This is a general troubleshoot for all printer-connection related queries.

In case the error reappears, you could always call our talented pool of experts at our Toll Free Number  ✆+1-800-828-6304 who are available 24/7 to keep you worry-free regarding the use of these products.

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