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Solving Error 0x00000709 – Can’t Set Default Printer Problem

I recently had a troubleshooting appointment for an Epson all-in-one printer that could not be set as the default printer. When I tried to make it the default, a message box came up saying “operation could not be completed error (0x00000709)”.

Other than that, it seemed to work fine. I even removed all the printer software through “Programs And Features” in the Windows control panel followed up by a Windows system registry scan.I then performed a clean install of the Epson printer software – still no joy.

Next, I began to research the “operation could not be completed error (0x00000709)” error message on the internet. I came across a variety of solutions, which I tried in succession with no luck.

I finally discovered the one that worked. It was a simple fix to the Windows system registry. This is what I did to solve the annoying little problem:

I. Type “regedit” followed by the enter key in the “search program and files” text box in the pop up menu that appears after clicking the Windows “start button” in the lower left hand corner of the Windows desktop screen.

II. Next, click “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” in the left hand pane of the Windows registry editor.

III. Then click “Software” followed by “Microsoft” and next “Windows NT”.

IV. While under the “Windows NT” entry, click “CurrentVersion” and then “Windows”.

V. Now, one of the entries you should see in the right hand pane is “Device”. If the value for “Device” as noted under the “Data” area is anything other than the printer you are using, then highlight “Device” in the right hand pane with the mouse and press the delete key to remove it.

VI. Restart the computer so it starts with the altered Windows system registry.

After the Windows desktop appears again, you should be able to go into the “Printers” area and designate your printer as the default without receiving the “operation could not be completed error (0x00000709)” message.

Being able to designate the default printer can save you a fair amount of work over the long run. This is because you won’t have to specify your destination printer in the printer dialog box – it is already selected since it has been set to be the default.

Personally, I think these printer software vendors should be doing a more thorough job of removing these erroneous entries in the Windows system registry when their software is being uninstalled.

They can’t seriously expect people without IT or computer repair backgrounds to be able to interpret arcane error messages and know how to proceed to a solution.

Even most IT professionals would have to go online and research the solution so they could solve it themselves.

That said, this remedy is still fairly simple as long as you are careful not to change anything else that could potentially cause other serious problems with the Windows operating system.


This is a guest post written by Douglas Miller.

Douglas B. Miller has offered custom software design services as well as computer repair in the Cleveland, Ohio USA area since 1990.


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  1. Aanantha Krishnan

    Thank you sir thank you very much…

  2. How do I set up a printer shared via Samba in the default profile of a Windows 10 machine?

  3. I can’t delete please help

  4. i also have the same problem and not able to delete Device from regedit.

    help me out..

  5. Deleting the existing default printer as indicated its own “microsoft XPS document writer, winspool, Nee00: under data after the step of clicking device not successful. It replies as unable to delete all specified value. Please guide further.

  6. Thanks !!!!
    It was so easy, but i spent days asking different people for hlep 🙁

  7. thank youuuuuuuuuu

  8. thank you very much though i am beginner in using computer,you really help me a lot.thank you for sharing your gifts to us God bless

  9. how resolve printer default set . ( Error 0x00000709) error message

  10. liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike

  11. I am having the same issue but as per your comments i am not able to delete the device name in the registry


  12. Thank You Doug..
    Your post worked like a wonder. Wasted a lot of time reinstalling the drivers.
    This one worked perfectly.

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