Fixed – Printer not Activated, Error Code – 20


Coming across the Printer not activated error code- 20 can be frustrating especially because there is no information about the cause of the error. Usually, it appears when you print a PDF document and have given the command for the same. Several users have mentioned that outdated drivers, software conflicts, or issues with the print service cause the error. Not only this, but some even mention that they have experienced a similar issue when the prompt says the Printer has not activated error code 30 or error code 41. The error code differs from OS to OS, so different users get different error codes.

For instance, the error code -20 comes up when you have upgraded to Windows 7( a clean installation would not cause the error. However, an upgrade would).

While all these factors do cause the activation error on your PC, there are ways that you can overcome this issue. In this post, let’s look at some fixes related to the Printer not activated, error code -20. 

How to Fix Printer Not Activated, Error Code -20

You must identify the pain points to fix the printer not activated error. For any printer that stops working, its drivers, connection, and compatibility are core reasons. Fortunately, you can use ways to fix the error code 20. 

Fix 1 – Check the Printer Connection

Multiple issues may appear in the connection of your PC with the printer. Sometimes the cables are loose, and sometimes, the issue is related to the port. Make sure that the connection is sorted so there are no errors when trying to print a document. Here are some things to check – 

1 – Ensure the cables are working and have no cuts or tears.
2 – Use a proper adapter to power the printer.
3 – Ensure that the port you have connected the printer to is working properly
4 – Check if the cable you are using is original or not.
5 – Restart the computer once you have reset the connection, as it will help the PC function better. 

All in all, the connectivity of your printer matters the most. If you are using a Wi-Fi-enabled printer, ensure your system is connected to the same network as the printer. 

Read Also : HP Printer Not Connecting to Wi-Fi – Problem & Its Solution

Fix 2 – Run the Printer Troubleshooter

The Printer troubleshooter works perfectly on Windows and helps resolve issues like the printer not activating errors. You can find the troubleshooting option in all the Windows versions. If you are on Windows 11 – here are the steps you can use – 

Step 1 – Press Win+I to open system settings.
Step 2 – In System Settings, scroll down to find Troubleshoot settings.
Step 3 – Click on Other Troubleshooters from the Troubleshoot settings menu.

system troubleshoot
Step 4 – Open the Printer from the available troubleshooters and follow the instructions on screen.

printer troubleshooter
Step 5 – Give the consent to run the troubleshooter. Once initiated, you can wait for the results to discover the error. 

Similarly, if you are using Windows 10 or lower, you can find the troubleshooter in the update and security settings in your System settings. Press Win+I to open the system settings and then click on Update and Security settings to find the troubleshooter. 

Use this fix, and you may get your printer not activated error automatically resolved. 

Fix 3 – Update Printer Drivers

If the troubleshooter fails to identify the issue that is causing the error or is unable to rectify the issue, there are chances that the issue is related to drivers. Printer drivers enable proper communication between your system and the printer. If these are outdated, issues like the printer not being activated, error codes -20, 30, 41, etc. may appear out of nowhere. 

The problem is that not every user is well acquainted with updating the drivers on Windows. Only a handful of users know how to update the printer’s drivers. Which is why we recommend an easy way out! Advanced Driver Updater is a tool that scans your PC for outdated drivers and fetches the updates. 

It works in 3 easy steps –

Step 1 – Download and install the app from the link below.

Step 2 – Run a scan to identify the outdated drivers on your PC.

start scan using advanced driver updater

Step 3 – After you have got the scan results, simply click on Update All, and you are good to go.

The tool will automatically update the drivers and then restart your PC for the changes to take effect. After it is done, go to the PDF again and retry printing it. Only this time, your printer should work fine.

Other than these fixes, select the correct printer (the one you are connected to) and set it as the default device for printing. If you use multiple printers on your device, this confusion may cause unnecessary errors. 

With these fixes, you can resolve your PC’s printer not activated error code -20. If you have any other doubts, feel free to contact us via the comments section. Thanks for reading, good luck!

Recommended :

How To Fix Printer’s “Driver is Unavailable,” Error
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About The Author

Dishank Sharma
Dishank Sharma

A creative tech-writer who loves to explore latest tech-trends & convey them to his readers in the simplest way possible. He loves to blend the crispness of technology with a pinch of creativity while curating best practices for the readers. In his free time, he likes to scribble poetry, listen to rap & travel.

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