QuickBooks Error Code 20 Printer not activated is just one of the most common error messages encountered by QuickBooks users. This error generally takes place when a user tries to install or upgrade to a newer Windows version. Usually, the major cause of this issue is the deleted KEY_CURRENT_CONFIG\Software key.

QuickBooks Error Code 20 - Printer Not Activated (Screenshot)

when this error appears on your screen, you can’t publish or send the invoices and pay slips which leads to further inconvenience for business owners. This is a common error that may cause by lots of other applications besides QuickBooks, but its significance on QuickBooks is greater than any other software.

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What causes QuickBooks Error Code 20 – Printer not activated problem?

Here are some of the possible reasons are given below:-

  • The elimination/deletion of the ‘HKey_current_config\software’ key can lead to this error. QuickBooks program works on the same registry key as well. This situation leads to the condition where the outdated key restricts the application and printer from working properly. It tends to cause malfunctioning of the software and other software as well.
  • The installation of more than one version of QuickBooks on the same system might give rise to this error. This arrangement doesn’t harm the system if you install multiple QuickBooks versions with different directories.
  • When the QuickBooks application isn’t compatible with the PDF driver & operating system.

How to Fix Printer Not Activated – QuickBooks Error Code 20 on Windows 7 or later versions?

If the problem is associated with the problem, “QuickBooks Error Code 20 – Printer not activated? ” on Windows 7, Windows 8, or later versions. In such a scenario, you need to perform the solution steps given below:-

Solution 1: Terminate the Final Draft

For Windows 8 or later:

  • First of all, you have to press the Window button on your keyboard.
  • Thereafter make a right-click on the ‘Final Draft9/8 tile’.
  • Now, you have to select the ‘Run as Administrator’ tab.

For Window 7/Vista:

  • Firstly, press the Window button and then move to the Program tab.
  • After that, you have to Select the ‘Final Draft 9/8’.
  • Then, you are required to select the ‘Run as Administrator’ tab.
  • At last, you are highly recommended to save the documents In PDF format again.

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2. Edit the Directory:

Generate the Backup: Before making any changes in the current registry, you are suggested to create a backup. you can use the old registry if in case you are unable to solve the issues with the modified registry.

3. Create the Backup Registry:

  • First of all, you have to click on the Registry Editor tab.
  • Thereafter, move to the folder tree in the left bar and then hit the Computer icon.
  • After that, you are required to click on the File icon and then on the Export tab
  • At last, end this process by hitting the Save tab. 

4. Create the System Restore Point

  • Firstly, you have to hit the Window button given on the keyboard.
  • Thereafter, you are needed to search for the System Restore option and then click on the Create a New Restore Point tab.
  • Now, move to the System Properties screen and enable the protection settings
  • If the function is disabled, you are recommended to click on the Configure option and set the protection.
  • Complete the procedure by hitting the apply and OK tabs.
  • These settings will automatically create a system restore point.

Note: Before you make modifications to the Registry, ensure you take a back-up of your computer registry files and create a system restore point in case something else fails whilst you’re doing the actions you should have the ability to restore the system.

How to Resolve QuickBooks Error code 20?

We have mentioned two possible ways for fixing the printer not activated QuickBooks error code 20.

Solution 1: Re-installation of QuickBooks

This method will help you out in repairing all your QuickBooks programs. Uninstalling and then reinstalling QuickBooks software is an effective way to clean all the damaged or corrupted files. you are still highly recommended to use the system security app and perform a clean-up before you re-installing QuickBooks.

  • First of all, terminate your QuickBooks desktop and all the programs running on your systems.
  • Thereafter, move to the control panel and find the Programs and Features option and then click on it.
  • After that, you are required to locate QuickBooks and hit the Uninstall option.
Uninstall and Reinstall QuickBooks on your server computer - Screenshot
  • Now, you have to download a fresh copy of the QuickBooks version that is compatible with your system.
  • As the reinstallation process gets completed, the program along with the printer will work again.
  • At last, you are recommended to restart your computer system to let the changes take place.

Note: If the problem is with PDF converter only, then you are advised to uninstall the old driver and install a compatible driver with your operating system.

Solution 2: Manually Edit or Update the Registry key

the registry key can be updated manually in two ways.

Method 1: Grant permission by using Registry Editor

this method will help QuickBooks to get access to all keys and printers for functioning in a proper way.

Grant permission by using Registry Editor - Screenshot
  • first of all, Open your registry editor.
  • Thereafter, press the Windows + R keys together to open the Run command and then type regedit in the search field.
  • After that, you have to right-click on the Regedit & then select the Run as Administrator tab.
  • Now, Search for HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG to get access to the registry editor.
  • Next, you are required to select the permission after right-clicking the software folder name.
  • Now, you are recommended to check if the user has full access control of the table.
  • At last, hit the OK button and close the window and the registry editor option as well.

Method 2: Grant permission using the Powershell script

for window 10 only

Note: The user account control who is looking for permission should be logged in. A user account also has access by using the command prompt.

  • first of all, press the window + R keys simultaneously to open the Run command and then type cmd in the search field.
  • After that, you have to make right-click on cmd and select Run as an administrator tab.
  • Thereafter, you are required to type Power shell in the command prompt and then press Enter key.
  • At last, copy and paste the following code as shown on the command prompt.

PowerShell.exe -NoProfile -NoLogo -NonInteractive -Command “$key = [Microsoft.Win32.Registry]::CurrentConfig.OpenSubKey(‘Software’,[Microsoft.Win32.RegistryKeyPermissionCheck]::ReadWriteSubTree,[System.Security.AccessControl.RegistryRights]::ChangePermissions); $acl =$key.GetAccessControl(); $rule = New-Object System.Security.AccessControl.RegistryAccessRule (‘Users’,’FullControl’,’ObjectInherit,ContainerInherit’,’None’,’Allow’); $acl.SetAccessRule($rule); $key.SetAccessControl($acl);”

  • This will stop the error from reappearing.
Ms Command Prompt
Grant permission using Powershell script – Screenshot

Read Also: How to Resolve QuickBooks Printing Problems?


We hopefully think the above-given methods resolve your QuickBooks error code 20 printer not activated and now you are able to print your files using QuickBooks. However, if you are still troubled with this error and want any help regarding this issue, you can Chat with our QuickBooks error support team to get immediate help from the experts. We provide extreme services and quality assistance with effective solutions.


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