Why Your Printer Won’t Print XPS Files

It is perhaps not a file format you’re familiar with, but those that use them might understand the frustrations of trying to print an XPS file.

What is an XPS File.

XPS also stands for XML Paper Specification, which is Microsoft’s alternative to Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).  The XPS format was introduced in Windows Vista and though not widely used at that time it has continued to be the preferred format in the current versions of Windows. XPS, like PDF’s are often used when sending through documents which can be read from multiple programs. It is useful when sending information that does not need to be or want to be edited but formatted and presented for the end user.

You can create XPS documents (.xps files) by using any program that you can print from in Windows. Be aware that you can only view XPS documents by using an XPS Viewer, such as the one included in current versions of Windows.

Why Do XPS Files Not Print?

Due to the format and protection added to these files, often users are faced with issues in printing. Which in many cases, is not ideal. Often businesses send files over in XPS format, which might need to be printed by the other party.
So how do you fix this issue?

  1. Determine if you are using a class driver
  2. Check the installed printers, if there is one that is XPS, or a “Class Driver” uninstall or remove it.
  3. Once it is removed navigate to the support page for your machine and select the Drivers & Downloads tab and download the PS driver for your device.
  4. Make sure the driver is v3, not v4*
  5. Finally restart your computer and print. The job will not give that error unless the application in question is not using the driver at all.

Sometimes printing XPS is an optional feature on some photocopiers or multi format printers. This would therefore need to be purchased and installed.  However, both Windows 8 and Windows 10 use XPS as a default in their embedded drivers so you should have no problems there!


For more help and advice contact Managed Print Compare, and check out our other useful blogs.


*information correct as of 13/02/2019, for Xerox photocopiers and multi format printers.