QuickBooks Printer Not Activated Error Code 20 – How to Fix?

quickbooks printer not activated error code 20

Some QB users have complained to us that they face the QuickBooks Error Code 20 or QuickBooks Printer Not Activated Error Code 20 quite regularly. If you are one of them, we can be of great help. We know, it can be really annoying to come across such errors if you are in the middle of something very important.  Don’t worry! We have got some easy solutions to this issue. Go through this blog. Implement the steps mentioned and get rid of this error once and for all!

What is the QuickBooks Printer Not Activated Error Code 20?

printer not activated error code 20
Activation Error – Printer not activated, error code 20

The QuickBooks Error Code 20 is one of the most common errors experienced by QuickBooks users. Users generally get the QuickBooks Printer Not Activated Error message after they try to install Windows or upgrade to a latest Windows version. When this error occurs, users can not send or publish pay slips or invoices. This may lead to major inconvenience for the users. 

Read More: How to Add a New Printer in QuickBooks Desktop?

Why does the QuickBooks Printer Not Activated Error occur?

There are multiple factors that are responsible for the occurrence of the QuickBooks Error Code 20 on Windows 10 computers. Some of these are given below:-

  • This error usually appears when a user eliminates or deletes the HKey_current_config\software’ key. QuickBooks programs or applications work on this registry key. If this key gets deleted, the print application or program fails to run properly.
  • The error message Printer not activated – Error Code 20 is displayed on the computer when printing QuickBooks check, invoices or while trying to save as PDF on Windows 10, 8.1 or 7.
  • This error may also occur when the user installs multiple versions of QuickBooks in the same computer and all these versions are kept in the same directory. The system is not harmed as such, but it may be a reason for occurrence of the Printer Error Code 20. However, if multiple versions of QB application are installed in different directories, no such problem would arise.
  • In case, the QuickBooks application installed in a computer is not compatible with the particular operating system or PDF driver installed in the same computer, the QuickBooks Printer Not Activated Error message may pop up on the screen.

Read More: How to fix when QuickBooks cannot print to PDF?

How to Fix the QuickBooks Printer Not Activated Error Code 20?

Here are some of the easiest methods to solve the QuickBooks Printer Not Activated Error:

  1. Reinstall the QuickBooks Application
  2. Go to Control Panel.
  3. Click Programs (Applications) and features.
  4. Search for QuickBooks and then click the Uninstall option.
  5. Now, download a new copy of the QuickBooks application.
  6. Install the application by following the instructions that appear on your screen.
  7. Restart the computer for the changes to take full effect.
  8. If the problem still persists, the issue may be with the PDF converter only. Delete the old driver and install a driver compatible with your operating system.
  • Update the Registry Key Manually

Option 1: Grant permission through Registry Editor

  • Click the Start keyon your keyboard
  • Type Regedit in the text field
  • The Regedit  icon will appear on your screen
  • Right-click on the icon & select Run as an administrator.
  • Open the Registry Editor
  • Right click on the Software folder
  • Choose Permission
  • Verify if the user has the complete control of the table.
  • Click OK
  • Close the window
  • Close the Registry Editor.

Read More: How to Print Pay Stubs in QuickBooks Desktop?

Option 2: Grant permission through PowerShell script (Available only for Windows 10 users)

  • Click the Start keyon your keyboard
  • Type cmd in the text field
  • Click on cmd
  • Choose Run as an Administrator
  • Type Powershell in the command prompt.
  • Click  Enter
  • Copy and paste the below-mentioned code in the text field:

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);”

powershell script
PowerShell Script
  • Try printing from the QB application now. The problem should get fixed.

Read More: How to Set Up Check Printing in QuickBooks Desktop?

3. Configure the Print Spooler Service

print spooler service
Print Spooler Service
  • Press Windows + R .
  • Type MSC in the Run Box.
  • Go to the Services list
  • Right click  on Print Spooler Service
  • Select  Properties
  • Click Stop the Print Spooler Service.
  • Select the  Automatic option
  • Click Start to launch the service again.
  • Try printing from QuickBooks after clicking Save as PDF

Read More: How to fix when component required for pdf print from QuickBooks is missing error occurred?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I manually backup my company file in QuickBooks Desktop?

Please follow the below-mentioned steps-

  • Go to the File menu
  • Select the option Switch to Single-user Mode.
  • Go back to the File menu again
  • Hover over the tab named Back up Company
  • Select Create Local Backup.
  • A window will appear on your screen. Select Local Backup
  •  Click Next.
  • In the Local Backup Only option,  Select Browse
  • Now move to the location where you want to keep your company backup file.
  • Decide how many backups you want to keep (optional).
  • Before you save, a test would run to make sure that your backup file is in good order.
  • Select OK when finished.
  • Select Save it now and then click Next.

What are the steps to perform if I Want to Manually update my QuickBooks software?

First, you need to download the latest QB updates. Then you should close your company files and the QuickBooks application as well. Then, carry out the below-mentioned steps-

  1. Open the Start menu in Windows
  2. Search for  QuickBooks Desktop and then right-click on the icon
  3. Select  Run as an Administrator
  4. Click the Help tab
  5. Go to the No Company Open screen
  6. Select Update QuickBooks Desktop  
  7. Now, click the Options tab
  8. Select Mark All  & then click Save
  9. Go to the Update Now tab
  10. Select the checkbox  named Reset Update
  11. To start the update, select the Get Updates tab.

After the updating finishes, close and open QuickBooks Desktop again. Click Yes to install the updates. After the installation gets over, restart your computer.

Few More Reads:

Print to PDF not Working with QuickBooks Desktop