How to Fix 'Active Directory Domain Services' Error In Windows

Troubleshoot this common printer error using these tips

Some of the many benefits of modern technology include the ability to compose or download documents and be able to print them from the comfort of your own home. However, you may find that when you go to collect your document, you receive a printer error that states, “The Active Directory Domain Services Is Currently Unavailable.”

Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

Causes of the Windows Active Directory Domain Error in Windows

A person breaking a printer with a sledgehammer.
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The “The Active Directory Domain Services Is Currently Unavailable" error means that your computer system is unable to find or connect to your printer, halting the printing process in its path and not allowing the command to go through.

The Active Directory Domain Services are the core functions that allow your computer to authorize and authenticate commands and directions. For example, the Active Directory is what allows your computer to confirm that the password you entered to access it is correct and determine if the user has administrative privileges. It also allows your computer to store and manage data, as well as connect with external devices such as wireless routers or printers.

How to Fix the Windows Active Directory Domain Error

When you experience a printer error that states, “The Active Directory Domain Services Is Currently Unavailable,” this usually indicates an issue with the device’s drivers or a problem with permissions. Let's start with the easiest and most likely fixes first and then move onto in-depth ideas to try.

  1. Restarting your computer or wireless router is your first (and easiest) option to try. If you have already properly restarted your computer and there are still issues, it's possible there could be an issue with your wireless router. Reboot your wireless router to reset the connection to see if that might be the fix.

  2. If your version of Windows is out of date, it could cause printing issues. Try installing the latest Windows updates, then see if the problem persists. If this clears the matter up and you haven't already, change your Windows Update settings to turn on Windows automatic updates, which may prevent this issue from happening again in the future.

  3. Likewise, Microsoft Office programs need to be regularly updated to avoid printing errors. Make sure your version of Microsoft Word, Outlook, or other Office applications are updated and set up automatic updates for the future.

  4. Not all users have the same level of security access to devices like printers. If a lack of access is your issue, you can enable file and printer sharing to ensure that you have access to the device. Once printer sharing is enabled, try again to see if the error clears.

  5. Restart the print spooler. The spooler is a built-in software program that allows Windows users to control and manage all print jobs sent to the printer. This program is typically visible to users in the Windows Taskbar and also gives users the ability to cancel or reset print jobs that are processing. Restarting the spooler can usually help resolve any Active Domain Directory Services issues.

  6. Should resetting the spooler not fix the issue, you can try to add the printer to the computer manually. Since most printers connect and update themselves automatically, taking a manual approach can help ensure that everything is installed correctly.