Solution for Outlook 2010 “There was an error when printing started” Problem

I’m beginning to lose track of how many different multifunction printers I’ve tried in my effort to find one that works. So, far, I’ve tried at least the following printers, and gave up after heroic efforts:

  • Canon MX870 (could get scanning to work)
  • Canon MP980 (couldn’t get it to recognize the print head… nor the replacements Canon sent)
  • Hewlett Packard HP8500 (froze during printing)
  • Hewlett Packard HP6500 (scanning didn’t work correctly; and it froze during printing)
  • Hewlett Packard HP4500 (froze during printing; automatically reprinted same section repeatedly)

So, I decided to switch horses and try my first Lexmark. I ordered an Interact S605 from Costco. I buy all of my major computer items from Costco because of their 90 day if-it’s-a-piece-of-crap-bring-it-back policy. All five of the preceding, and maybe a few more, have taken their place on my printer pedestal, and perished.

The Lexmark arrived yesterday. I waited 24 hours to install it, however, just to make sure it wouldn’t dissolve all by itself. This afternoon, the box was still there, so I decided to go for it.

About 20 minutes after I began the unpacking process, it was installed and ready to print a test page. Right out of the gate, however, I encountered two problems. First, the test print page didn’t finish. Strike one. I don’t have a solution for this problem, but I haven’t encountered another hang yet, either.

So, I canceled and tried to print a test page from Outlook. There, I received the annoying message “There was an error when printing started. To check the printer setup…”. Strike two.

I recalled having seen the message before, however, and knew something I could try. And it worked. I closed Outlook, and deleted the following file:


Long story short… it worked. Note: this is Outlook 2010 running in Windows 7.

So, as of right now the Lexmark 605 is working—scanning, copying, and printing. One thing I overlooked when I ordered this printer is that it doesn’t have an automatic document feeder for copying/scanning. So, when I need a copy or a scan, it’s just one page at a time. Since I seldom need copies of multi-page documents, this probably won’t be a problem. But, I have 90 days to find out.


I took the 605 back to Costco after ordering the Lexmark Pro901 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One. So far, the 901 has been working flawlessly, and it has an automatic document feeder (up to 35 pages). Fingers crossed.

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7 Responses to Solution for Outlook 2010 “There was an error when printing started” Problem

  1. Max says:

    Well, hopefully, you’re about to save me a hell of a lot of time. I have a customer with W7 x64 and Outlook 2010 having spectacular printing issues because of this “There was a problem when printing started”. Every other search result has come back with “Just remove and re-add the printer! Fixed!” which of course, it is not.

    Thanks, Herb! Great blog, by the way. Definitely a keeper for someone like me.

  2. Jon C says:

    This worked great for me, Herb. This saved me a big headache!

  3. Bob W says:

    This worked great for me.

  4. paul says:

    as a double bonus, deleting “outlprnt” fixed another issue where hyperlinks in emails wouldn’t open for me. thanks so much for posting this fix

  5. Mike says:

    I had to close Outlook before deleting the file, but after restarting Outlook, it worked! Thanks for the post and solution!

  6. Gino says:

    this helpde, but only lasted for few prints..problem came back again 🙁

  7. herbt3 says:

    Check to see if Outlook is completely up to date. If not, then download/install any updates (this should happen automatically via Windows Update, but some users choose not to enable automatic updates). I would then delete the outlprnt file again (with Outlook closed), reboot, and see if the fix holds this time. Even if Outlook is fully up to date, I would try rebooting after deleting outlprnt, and see (without restarting Outlook) if outlprnt is back again immediately after rebooting. If it is, then delete it again, then start Outlook and see if the issue is resolved, and stays fixed. If it doesn’t stay fixed, then I would try alternately disabling add-ins and deleting outlprnt, to see if an add-in might be causing the file to become re-corrupted.

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