While the Windows 11 22H2 update contained many visible new and improved features, it also contained several less obvious features relating to security and network protocols.
For example, the 22H2 update contains a new transport protocol for network and shared printers. Unfortunately, for some printers, this new protocol does not get implemented correctly when the operating system is upgraded to 22H2, and many Windows 11 users have mysteriously lost access to their network printers.
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After some considerable troubleshooting, a fix for this tricky problem has been found by a man with the Twitter handle @thomas_forde. The procedure requires users to edit the Windows 11 Registry file either through the Group Policy Editor or Regedit. It is likely that Microsoft will correct this bug in the future, but until then users must resort to their own work-around solution.
Fix network printer connection issues in Windows 11 22H2
Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise users will use the Group Policy Editor to reach the new network printer protocol known as Configure RPC Connection settings.
Type “edit group policy” into the Windows 11 desktop search box and select the appropriate application. Navigate to this key, as shown in Figure A: Administrative Templates | Printers | Configure RPC connection settings.
Double-click the Configure RPC connection settings item to reach the screen shown in Figure B.
Enable the setting and change the options to read: RPC over named pipes. Click Apply and OK when you are finished and then exit Group Policy Editor.
Your network printer should now be recognized and available. However, Microsoft does warn that heavy use of this protocol in an office environment could cause network performance issues.
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For Windows 11 22H2 Home users, the settings change must be performed with a Registry file edit.
Disclaimer: Editing the Windows Registry file is a serious undertaking. A corrupted Windows Registry file could render your computer inoperable, requiring a reinstallation of the Windows operating system and potential loss of data. Back up the Windows Registry file and create a valid restore point before you proceed.
To make our edits in the Windows 11 Registry File, we will type “regedit” into the Windows 11 search tool. From the results, choose the Regedit app and then use the left-hand window to navigate to this key, as shown in Figure C: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Printers\RPC.
Double-click the RpcOverTCP key and change the Value Data to zero (0) and then click OK. Double-click the RpcOverNamedPipes key and change the Value Data to 1. Click OK.
Troubleshooting printer problems is a common frustration for all personal computer users but it is particularly unfortunate that the Windows 11 22H2 update unwittingly added to that frustration. If you have a network printer that fails to work after the most recent Windows 11 patch, this subtle change in network transport protocol may be the culprit.