Unleash the quick fixes to QuickBooks Printer Not Activated Error Code 20

Have you ever heard about QuickBooks error code 20: Printer not activated? Well, this is something that the user might experience, while upgrading from Windows XP or Vista to Windows 7 or later versions. This is because the new operating system eliminates the use of the software key in the registry settings, which ultimately leads to error code 20. In case the user is trying to print from QuickBooks 2009 installed on Windows 10 system, then it is most probable to encounter this error. This error code can also appear on the screen when the user tries to print a pay slip, form or a PDF using QuickBooks desktop. There are numerous facts associated with this error code that will be discussed later in this article, along with the tips and tricks to get rid of this error. Thus, make sure to read this article carefully till the end.

If you want to unleash the wider known facts about QuickBooks error code 20: printer not activated, then you can consult our QuickBooks error support team. Our team of experts will not only fix the error for you, but also it will hardly take anytime to the professionals to fix this issue for you.

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What is Printer Not Activated (Error Code -20) on QuickBooks?

QuickBooks error code 20: Printer not activated is one of the most commonly encountered errors that are most probable to occur when the new operating system puts the Hkey_Current-config\software key in the registry settings. As a result of QuickBooks error 20, the user might not be able to print or send invoices and payslips that lead to further nuisance. This error is a common error that is caused by many other software’s apart from the QuickBooks software but there is significance on QuickBooks is more than any other software. The error code comes up with an error message stating as:

“You cannot print directly to the QuickBooks PDF converter. Try using QuickBooks Save as PDF menu option”.

Continue reading to explore the causes and symptoms of the error code.

You may see following error on your desktop screen when you are trying to print a file:

QuickBooks Error Code 20 - Printer Not Activated (Screenshot)

What triggers QuickBooks error code 20?

Now that you have learnt what is meant by this error, it is time for you to find out what triggers this error code. This error code can be seen, if:

  • QuickBooks 2009 compatibility issues with Windows 10
  • You are still using QuickBooks 2009
  • QuickBooks windows registry file issues
  • Unsupported printer drivers
  • Outdated application key
  • The PDF converter not configured properly
  • Outdated windows operating system

Important Points

Important Points to remember before rectifying printer not activated error. Before beginning with the rectification process of QuickBooks error 20: Printer not activated error, it is recommended to read the pointers below:

1. Making/Creating a registry backup

  • The user is recommended to take the registry backup, before jumping on to any process. For this, the user can visit the Registry Editor and then click on the Computer, which can be seen in the folder tree in the left side.
  • Once done with that, the user needs to select the file option and then hit Export option.
Backup and Restore Registry Screenshot
  • To end the process, the user needs to click on Save and you good to go.

2. Making a system restore point

Create restore point Windows-10 - Screenshot

It should be noted that the restore guide is not only labeled for Windows 10, but also they work on Windows Vista/Seven as well as Windows 8.

  • The user is also required to ensure that he/she is not using a discontinued version of QuickBooks. This is because every QuickBooks version is only good for 3 years from the year in which it was launched.
  • Another point to be kept in mind is to update QuickBooks software, along with the windows drivers.
  • The user is also required to login as admin on windows and not as a guest user.
  • In case the user is having two different versions of QuickBooks installed on the windows operating system, then it is recommended to ensure that both of versions have varied installation directories.
  • Not only this, but also make an attempt to install 32-bit version of Windows, in case of Windows XP or Vista.

3. Change the Directory

The user can take the below points into consideration before changing the directory:

  • The user can generate backup, when making any changes to the current registry. In case the user is unable to solve issues with modified registry, then it is recommended to use old registry.
  • In order to handle further complications, it is recommended to create a system recovery point

4. Closing the final draft on the system

In order to close the final draft on the system, the user can simply carry out the steps below:

  • For Windows 8 or later:
    • The user needs to first move to the start or windows icon on the screen
    • And then, right click the final draft9/8 tile
    • The user is then required to click on the run as admin tab
  • For Windows 7/Vista:
    • If you are a windows 7 or vista user, then click on the start menu and also click on the programs tab
    • Also, right click on the final draft 9/8′ and click on the run as administrator tab
    • The last step is to try to save the documents in PDF format. The user will be able to save the script in PDF format without any issue

Read this also: How to fix abort error in QuickBooks desktop?

Quick Methods to Fix QuickBooks Error 20: Printer not Activated

Once you have explored the symptoms, causes, as well as precautions, you are all set to carry out the steps to rectify QuickBooks Printer Not Activated Error 20. Well, the list of solutions to this error code is huge, but not all methods work in all cases. Thus, we have enumerated below some of the most effective and recommended methods, which will help you in fixing the issue. So, without wasting much time, let us begin with the processes.

Technique 1: Mend QuickBooks PDF component QBprint.qbp file

The very first technique that can be adopted by users can be to mend QuickBooks PDF component QBprint.qbp file.

Mend QuickBooks PDF component QBprint.qbp file - Screenshot

The steps involved in this process are as follows:

  • The first step in the process is to open the Windows Control Panel and then visit the Programs and Features tab.
Programs and Features option - Screenshot
  • After that, the user needs to select the QuickBooks software from the list of installed program.
  • The next step in the process is to click on change and then begin with the repair process, along with that follow the instruction till the end.
Repair QuickBooks Desktop - Screenshot
  • Once done with that, make sure to reboot the system, when the QuickBooks repair process comes to an end.
  • Now, make an attempt to print something, and find out whether the error continues or not.

Technique 2: Reinstalling QuickBooks desktop

  • In this process, the user is recommended to enter the Control Panel and then click on the Programs and features option. After that locate the software.
Programs and Features option - Screenshot
  • Followed by clicking on uninstall option. After that download the proper version of the software ensuring its compatibility with the operating system.
Uninstall and Reinstall QuickBooks on your server computer - Screenshot
  • Now, make sure that the printer and the program is working fine.
  • In case the user encountered certain issue regarding the un-installation, the user is recommended to use the system security application, just like Reimage or RegCure Pro, in order to clean the system from corrupted files.

You may also read: What is QuickBooks payroll error 2000?

Technique 3: Stop User Account control from keeping an eye on application on windows

  • The very first step is to hit Windows + R keys, and after that type in Control Panel inside the Run window.
  • After that, the user needs to hit OK button.
  • Hit a click on the User Accounts that can be found under the Control Panel
Click User Accounts in Control Panel - Screenshot
  • Once done with that, the user needs to click on Change user access control settings and then move the slider to never to notify.
Change user access control settings and Set it to never to notify - Screenshot
  • The last step is to hit OK and restart the system.

Technique 4: Setting Full Control Access for software folder in Windows Registry

If none of the above methods worked, then try to set full control access for software folder in windows registry. As this methods can help you to get rid of QuickBooks error code 20. The steps involved in this method are as follows:

  • To begin with, the user needs to hit the Start tab and then type in Regedit.
  • Once done with that, the user needs to right click the regedit icon and then click on the run as admin option
Open Regedit as System Admin - Screenshot
  • The next step is to move to the HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG folder and then hit a click on the software folder
  • Now, click on permissions.
Click on Permissions - Screenshot
  • After then check Full control for the users
  • Moving ahead, the user is required to hit OK and then close the registry editor.
Modify registry permissions - Screenshot
  • After that, end the process by opening QuickBooks and then try to print a pdf to check if the error persists.

Read it Also: How to Fix QuickBooks Error TD500?

Technique 5: Checking default email program in windows registry

  • In this process, the user is required to press Windows + R keys initially, and then type in command as Regedit, followed by clicking on OK tab.
  • The next step is to move to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER-> Software -> Clients -> Mail.
Checking default email program in windows registry - Screenshot
  • Now, verify the default email name, in case it is not the default program, the user needs to click Default section and then type in the name of the email program.
  • The last step in the process is to hit OK button and then reboot the windows.

Technique 6: Permitting the usage of Powershell script

Well, it should be noted that this option is only for the Windows 10 users. The user can update the registry key editor manually by offering authority to use Powershell script. The steps involved in granting permission are as follows:

  • First of all, the user needs to click on Start tab.
  • And then type in cmd.
  • Once done with that, the user is recommended to select the Run as admin option, by clicking cmd.
Run as System Admin - Screenshot
  • Now, type in powershell in the command prompt and then hit the Enter key
  • To end the process, make sure to copy and paste the following code in the command prompt.

PowerShell.exe -NoProfile -NoLogo -NonInteractive -Command “$key = [Microsoft.Win32.Registry]::CurrentConfig.OpenSubKey(‘Software’,[Microsoft.Win32.RegistryKeyPermissionCheck]::ReadWriteSubTree,[System.Security.AccessControl.RegistryRights]::ChangePermissions); $acl =$key.GetAccessControl(); $rule = New-Object System.Security.AccessControl.RegistryAccessRule (‘Users’,’FullControl’,’ObjectInherit,ContainerInherit’,’None’,’Allow’); $acl.SetAccessRule($rule); $key.SetAccessControl($acl);”

Type Powershell and Hit Enter - Screenshot

This will update the registry and fix the error.

See also: Steps to fix QuickBooks error code 80070057

Technique 7: Activate Printer Spooler Service

When none of the methods helped, make sure to activate the print spooler service. The steps to be carried out in this process are as follows:

  • First of all, hold down the Windows logo and then Press R keys together.
  • The next step is to type in services.msc and Hit Enter key.
Type services.msc in Run Box - Screenshot
  • Choose Print spooler option and then, choose the Stop option
Stop Print Spooler tool - Screenshot
  • Once done with that, the user needs to right click and then press Start option
Start Print Spooler tool - Screenshot
  • Now check if the error is resolved or not

Technique 8: Fixing Microsoft Document Writer windows component

The Microsoft document writer is preinstalled windows component and it helps in printing file. The component enables the windows to assist QuickBooks application to save the information in PDF. The steps involved are as follows:

  • To begin with, the user needs to right click the QuickBooks icon and then choose the open file location tab
  • And then, move to the temp folder
  • Also, locate and double click the exe file, and complete the installation
  • Followed by, opening QuickBooks once to register the license
  • The next step is, in case the user is facing issue in installing ABS PDF driver, or it stops responding, then the user needs to try reinstalling them again
  • The last step is to print again and then verify the QuickBooks error code, once the installation process completes

Technique 9: Using QuickBooks Print repair tool

PDF Print repair tool from the QuickBooks tool hub - Screenshot

If none of the methods worked in your favor, then you can make use of the QuickBooks print repair tool. The steps to be followed are:

  • The user can download the QuickBooks PDF and Print repair tool from the QuickBooks tool hub program
  • And then, run the tool in administrator mode
  • After that, the application will run with a red background and will let the user find the solution
  • The next step is to ensure that the QuickBooks version is updated
  • Followed by ensuring that the printer is printing out of your QuickBooks
  • Now, the user will be prompted to restart after running the tool
  • And lastly, while running the tool, the user will have to keep in mind that all other running applications are closed

Also Read: How to customize reports in QuickBooks Desktop for Mac?

Tackling QuickBooks printer not activate error 20 can be a daunting task for many users, but carrying out the above listed methods can assist in fixing the issue. However, for any kind of technical assistance, or if the same error still persists, do not hesitate in ringing up at our dedicated helpline i.e. 1-800-761-1787.

Our QuickBooks enterprise support team and U.S based accounting professionals will ensure to provide instant support. We will be more happy to help you!


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