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Windows 11 won't connect to some printers through a USB cable

Man holding phone at printer
Man holding phone at printer (Image credit: Brother)

What you need to know

  • Some Brother printers run into issues with Windows 11.
  • Affected Brother printers have difficulty connecting to Windows 11 PCs through a USB cable.
  • Another issue prevents Windows 11 PCs from changing the settings of Brother devices.

Windows 11 and certain Brother printers don't appear to get along right now. The printer maker confirmed that several models of its printers have issues with Microsoft's new operating system. Specifically, some Brother printers won't detect PCs when connected through a USB cable. Issues have also been spotted when trying to change a Brother printer's settings from a Windows 11 PC.

A support page from Brother states:

  • Updating your operating system to Windows 11 may prevent your computer from:
  • Detecting your Brother machine when it is connected to your computer using a USB cable.
  • Changing your Brother machine's settings.
  • Connecting more than one Brother machine via USB.

A separate page from Brother lists applications and tools that may struggle to work with Windows 11 PCs through a USB cable:

  • Device Settings Tool
  • Paper Size Setup Tool
  • Distributed Print Tool
  • Special ID Setting Tool
  • Wireless Setup Wizard
  • P-Touch Editor 5.4
  • Update Software
  • Transfer Manager
  • Transfer Express
  • Template Settings
  • Printer Setting Tool

That page also includes a list of all potentially affected models. The best inkjet printers and the best laser printers are both affected by these issues.

Brother suggests that people affected by these issues use a different connection type, such as a wired or wireless connection.

Microsoft has had to deal with a long string of printer issues with its Windows operating systems. It appears that those types of issues persist even with the rollout of Windows 11.

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

3 Comments
  • Bruhh, not again
  • This reminds me of the HP USB device on Dell system issue we used to encounter in the very early 2000's. HP USB devices (Printers, scanners, cameras) would just not work correctly on the Dell optiplex units we had at the time.
  • My issue was with a Samsung 2250 laser printer. It worked fine with Windows 11 (Dev 22471) on my LT4, but not on my new SLS which is hooked up through my SD2 - the same SD2 that I used for the LT4. I went to the Samsung site and it was not particularly helpful in locating new drivers if that was indeed the problem. And no printer other than One Note, Fax, XPS, etc showed anywhere on my system. I use the printer so infrequently these days (except for PDF articles and research to OneNote for a doctoral program) I decided to wait until articles like yours show up and MSFT figures out an update and the world is back to normal. But dumb me, I forgot to look at the MSFT Store, and damn if an update to the drivers was awaiting update. So I did and it did, and voila the world is back to spinning at about one revolution per day.