[Fix] Microsoft Print to PDF Prints to .PRN file or Does Nothing

When you use the Microsoft Print to PDF to print to PDF file, nothing may happen after issuing the Print command. Or, Microsoft Print to PDF may only print to a .PRN file even if the “Print to File” option is unchecked on the Printer Properties page. This post tells you why this happens and how to fix it.

Cause

Microsoft Print to PDF may print to a .PRN file (or do nothing) if you had removed Microsoft Print to PDF and later installed it manually using the Add a Printer wizard, specifying an incorrect port. Microsoft Print to PDF wouldn’t work if you chose LPT1 (as the default Port in the “Add Printer” wizard) or FILE: (Print to File) option in the Ports list box. For Microsoft Print to PDF, PORTPROMPT: is the correct port setting.

The Port details can be checked via Printer properties, Ports tab. Alternately, running the following command (from the Run dialog) would show the Printer configuration.

RUNDLL32.EXE PRINTUI.DLL,PrintUIEntry /Xg /n "Microsoft Print to PDF"

The above dialog shows that a wrong port (LPT1) had been selected when adding MS Print to PDF.

Getting an error?

Are you seeing one of the following errors when launching the Printer UI dialog above?

Operation could not be completed (error 0x00000709).

Double check the printer name and make sure that the printer is connected to the network.

(or)

The arguments are invalid.

The above can happen if you type the command-line arguments incorrectly or accidentally leave a space after the forward-slash — e.g., / Xg instead of /Xg



Also, enclose the printer name in normal double-quotes (""). Using the curly or typographic quotes symbol (“”) would case the former error message.

It should look like the one below, which is the default setting.

PrinterName: Microsoft Print to PDF
ShareName: (null)
PortName: PORTPROMPT:
DriverName: Microsoft Print To PDF
Comment: (null)
Location: (null)
SepFile: (null)
PrintProcessor: winprint
Datatype: RAW
Parameters: (null)
Attributes: <Local|DoCompleteFirst|>
Priority: 1
DefaultPriority: 0
StartTime: 0
UntilTime: 0
Status: <>
ClientSideRender: Enabled

Solution

Method 1: Reinstall Microsoft Print to PDF

To fix the problem, use one of the methods in the article Restore Microsoft Print to PDF After Deleting it Accidentally to reinstall Microsoft Print to PDF.

Method 2: Set the Correct Port in Printer Properties

  1. Right-click Start, click Control Panel.
  2. Select Devices and Printers in the list view.
  3. Right-click Microsoft Print to PDF, and click Printer Properties
  4. Click the Ports tab.
    If it says LPT1, Microsoft Print to PDF will do nothing if you issue the Print command. And if FILE: (Print to File) is chosen, it would only print to a .PRN file instead.
  5. Scroll down until you see PORTPROMPT: Local Port, and enable the checkmark. (See what is PORTPROMPT)
  6. Click OK. See if you’re able to print using Microsoft Print to PDF.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

7 thoughts on “[Fix] Microsoft Print to PDF Prints to .PRN file or Does Nothing”

    • Problemet: Det går inte att öppna filen: _BINARY_11445.pdf (eller skriva ut den).

      Svarsfönster på komandot:
      RUNDLL32.EXE PRINTUI.DLL, PrintUIEntry / Xg / n “Microsoft Print to PDF”
      ______________________________________________________________________________

      X Skrivare

      X Argumenten är felaktiga.

      (OK)

    • Note #1: There is no space after the slash “/”
      Note #2: Please avoid curly quotes around the printer name.

      Use the command below, exactly:

      RUNDLL32.EXE PRINTUI.DLL,PrintUIEntry /Xg /n "Microsoft Print to PDF"

  1. THANK YOU!!!!!!! I’ve been working on this problem off and on for months. I guess I just didn’t have the right port when I tried to reinstall it. The problem started after a Windows update last year. Thank you SO very much for solving this problem!!!!

    Reply
  2. Hi, trying to add the “Microsoft Print to PDF” using “Turn Windows feature on/off” fails.
    Using “printui.exe /s” there is no “Microsoft Print to PDF” listed, and attempt to add it as a new printers also fails because the driver isn’t listed among the other Microsoft printer drivers.
    I’m on the lates Windows 10 2H20 with all updates applied.
    What then?

    Reply

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