When you open Devices and Printers applet, it may show up as an empty folder although the devices are correctly connected and their drivers are intact. This can be due to several reasons, and the possible causes (with appropriate fixes) are discussed in this post.

We’ve observed that Devices and Printers folder can appear blank if one of these is true:

  • Print Spooler Service is not running
  • Bluetooth Support Service is not running
  • Missing DLL registrations.

Use these steps to resolve the problem.

Step 1: Enable the Print Spooler and Bluetooth Support Service

  1. Click Start, type services.msc and press {ENTER}
  2. Double-click Print Spooler and set its start type to Automatic
  3. Click Start to start the service, and click OK.
  4. Double-click Bluetooth Support Service and set its start type to Manual
  5. Click Start to start the service, and click OK.
  6. Exit the Services MMC.

Did you get any error messages when enabling the above services? Post it in Comments section of this article.

Open Devices and Printers page to check if the problem persists. You may even try restarting Windows and checking it again.

If the issue continues to occur, proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Registering the DLLs

Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

Type the following command, and press {ENTER}

regsvr32  "%ProgramFiles%\Internet Explorer\ieproxy.dll"

You should see this message now.

Step 3: Fixing the XML Registration

Download msxml6.zip, unzip the archive and run the enclosed REG file. This should restore the missing MSXML6 DLL registration entries.

Restart Windows and check if Devices and Printers opens correctly.

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  1. Graham Ansell
    said this on Saturday, August 22nd 2015 4:32 am

    I know of the Bluetooth Service fix, but none of the above fixed it for me. This is how I fixed my issue with an empty ‘Devices and Printers’ Window, also when I clicked the ‘Safe Removal’ icon, no drive letters were shown for removable devices.

    What I did:
    * I used ‘ProcessMonitor’ by Sysinternals to monitor the activity of Explorer.exe during the opening of ‘Devices and Printers’, after lots of sifting up and down through 1000’s of lines of data I found the entries ‘ACCESS DENIED’ in the result column. So I ‘included’ only this result, and behold I found 2 files that were showing as ACCESS DENIED. They were C:\windows\System32\ieframe.dll and C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\ieproxy.dll (as above)

    * Fix: I opened an elevated command prompt in C:\windows\System32, I ran icacls.exe against ieframe.dll and it it said only BUILTIN\Administrators and SYSTEM had permission to the file. The same for all ie*.dll files in System32 and in ‘Internet Explorer’ so I ran ICACLS.exe ie*.dll /grant users:rx under System32 and ‘Internet Explorer’, I then opened Devices and Printers and boom there were all my devices and printers again. I hope this helps other.

  2. Milly
    said this on Saturday, March 21st 2015 2:25 am

    I had turned off bluetooth. Thanks! So much garbage to sort through on the Net until there is the gem amongst all the trash. So grateful to you.

  3. Striker
    said this on Tuesday, February 24th 2015 8:46 pm

    Hard to find post, but it worked.

  4. Andy
    said this on Tuesday, January 27th 2015 8:15 am

    Step 2 fixed mine.

  5. jeferson
    said this on Tuesday, January 20th 2015 6:25 am

    Thanks so much, works fine.

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