How to Fix: 0x0000011b (Connect Network Printer)

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Stuart V. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

Both my wife (Suzanne) and I are running Windows 22H2 (version 10.0.19045) on a shared home network. Suzanne's printer is an older HP 4250 Laser Printer (circa 2015) which she has connected to her PC via USB connection, and is marked as a 'shared printer'. However, when I try to connect to her printer (via This PC -> Network -> Her Computer -> Right click HP 4250 -> Connect), it gives me an error 'Windows cannot connect to the printer. Operation failed 0x0000011b'. I have tried everything I can think of but can't fix this. Can you please help? "

My response:

I asked Stuart if he would be willing to hire me for remote desktop support, and he agreed.

Below I'll share my findings.

How to Fix 'Windows cannot connect to the printer. Operation failed 0x0000011b'

Unfortunately this is not a straight-forward fix as it involves home networking and this can be a bit of a rat's nest of issues on its own. Fortunately, I have provided the list of things I did before I applied the fix, because quite often it's not just the fix that needs fixing!

Here's what I did before applying the fix:

Disabled IPv6

First, I disabled TCP IPv6 on both machines since 99.99% of home networks don't use it, and (speaking from experience) because IPv6 can sometimes interfere with network connections that typically run on IPv4. This can make it extremely problematic when attempting to connect to a printer over the network. Of course, if you're 100% certain your network uses IPv6, then you should not disable it.

Set Static IPs

Next, I reviewed their network setup and placed both Stuart's PC and Suzanne's PC on a static IP address using for Stuart's PC and for Suzanne's PC via TCP IPv4. This ensures that printer will always be seen on Stuart's PC because Suzanne's IP address (which is connected directly to the printer via USB) will never change.

This is a very important step, because sometimes name resolution breaks under Windows.

For example, normally you can type in \\Suzanne-PC in File Explorer and Windows will resolve the IP to Suzanne's PC on the network, and then display Suzanne's attached devices. This is a very convenient especially if you're using multiple PC's on the same network and you can't remember which device belongs to which IP address.

The downside is that if name resolution breaks, then the ability to route pages to printer will also fail. Speaking from experience, name resolution breaks quite frequently and there isn't a rhyme or reason why it does.

Ping'd Each PC to Ensure Communication

Once that was complete, I tested the connections by pinging Suzanne's PC using a command line on Stuart's PC, and then pinging Stuart's PC from Suzanne's machine. This tells me that there should be no issues sending print requests to Suzanne's PC using Stuart's machine because the flow of traffic is pretty much guaranteed.

Tested Name Resolution

On Suzanne's PC, I was able to type in the UNC path \\Stuart-PC, and could see all of Stuart's shared devices, including his own printers he had connected to his machine. Unfortunately, name resolution on Stuart's PC still did not resolve \\Suzanne-PC. The only thing that would work to resolve Suzanne's shared devices was to use the IP \\ via File Explorer.

I also tried editing Stuart's host file via c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts which would force a manual resolution of Suzanne's PC - but, to my surprise, that did not work. Needless to say, name resolution isn't a critical component in this fix because I've already placed the machines on static IP addresses for reasons I mentioned above.

File Printer and Sharing Enabled, Private Network

Lastly, I ensured File Printer and Sharing was enabled on both PC's and that both machines were on a Private Network. The latter can cause major issues with the firewall if the network is mismatched.

Attempted to Connect to Network Printer - Failed again!

Now it was time to try and connect to the printer directly. I accessed Suzanne's HP 4250 via Stuart's PC -> Network -> Suzanne's PC -> Right click HP 4250 -> Connect) - but I still got the dreaded 'Windows cannot connect to the printer. Operation failed 0x0000011b'!

Applying a Registry Fix

After some research, I stumbled across some pages online that suggested various fixes in hopes of resolving the 0x0000011b error code.

Much to my surprise, the one that worked was a registry fix. Unfortunately the instructions on the page were so poorly written that (a) the .REG file did not work, and (b) the instructions were not complete, which means that majority of people that came across that page attempting to make the fix would have failed from the get-go.

Therefore, I've decided to write my own instructions with explicit, clear and concise detail:

  1. Go to the machine with the connected USB printer which you want to share. In Stuart's case, it was Suzanne's PC with the HP 4250. We'll refer to this moving forward as the "Target Machine" because it has the printer attached to it.
  2. On the Target Machine, click Start, then type in "CMD.EXE" (no quotes); wait for CMD.EXE or Command Prompt to appear in the list of menu options, then right click it and select "Run as Administrator".
  3. Highlight the text below using your mouse:

    reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print" /v "RpcAuthnLevelPrivacyEnabled" /t REG_DWORD /f /d 0
    echo this is a dummy line
  4. Right click over top of the above highlighted text, then select "Copy" from the dialogue menu. This will copy the text to your clipboard.
  5. Next, right click in the middle of the command prompt window you opened in Step #2 above, and select "Paste" from the dialogue menu. The text you copied in Step #3 should be output to the command line and the fix applied.
  6. Reboot the Target Machine by clicking Start -> Power button (located in far left bottom) -> Restart.
  7. After the Target Machine machine has been rebooted and the user logged back in, go back to the PC that you want to print from over the network. Access the printer via This PC -> Network -> Target Machine, then right click the printer you want to connect to and choose "Connect."

With any luck, Windows should automatically add the device and you should no longer see the "Operation failed 0x0000011b" error message.

I hope that helps.

Still Need Help?

The above instructions don't go into great detail the intricacies of how to properly set up a home network, but does solve the fundamental issue of resolving the 'Operation failed 0x0000011b' error code when attempting to print to a shared USB printer.

If you need a helping hand with your home network, PC, network printer, etc, I'm available for hire. Simply send me a message via the Contact Page, and I'll respond as soon as possible. You can also review my credential here.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the CEO and owner of Since 2001, Dennis has dedicated his entire professional career helping others with technology-related issues with his unique style of writing in the form of questions-and-answers; click here to read all 2,000+ of Dennis' articles online this site. In 2014, Dennis shifted his focus to cyber crime mitigation, including technical support fraud and in 2019, sextortion. Dennis has received many accolades during his tenure: click here to view Dennis' credentials online; click here to see Dennis' Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science (1999); click here to read an article written about Dennis by Alan Gardyne of Associate Programs (2003). And finally, click here to view a recommendation for Dennis' services from the University of Florida (dated 2006).

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DLStoehner's picture

I think that since these computers are in the same private network, I would set the HP with it's own IP Address. Then I would set both computers to print to the HP as a network printer.

Dennis Faas's picture

In this case, it's a printer assigned by USB attached to a PC. In this configuration, there is no option for giving it a network address.

I don't know the reason why they did not want the printer attached by Ethernet (rather than USB), but I understand what you're saying: a printer configured to run by Ethernet is superior to one attached by USB (connected to a PC through the network), as the latter requires the PC is turned on in order to use the printer, whereas an Ethernet attached printer runs independently.

Boots66's picture

Having just seen this post, I too would have said the same thing as DLS did, and in fact that is the way I have printing set up at home. Everyone has the universal print driver setup in their PC, it is tge default, but other printers are also available similarly.
However, I also setup a similar situation for a family member, but their Hp4050, required a relatively inexpensive adapter cable to again be set as a network printer
Happy New Year Dennis - Retiring very soon, so my e-mail address has been changed, so after all the years, I don’t lose track

buzzallnight's picture

Novelle CNE and 48 years of experience as a hardware tech

and in my opinion networking SUCKS!

It would have been cheaper and easier
to just buy another printer...