Brother HL-3170CDW series Printer Won’t Duplex

Normally, I don’t get this specific on my posts but I hate printers. If mankind gets destroyed by the machines, you can trust it will be printers that started the revolution. On the best of days, printers are annoying. They are loud and always out of something. All that aside, this problem was perplexing because my Brother Printer wouldn’t duplex.

When I say it won’t duplex, I don’t mean the printer can’t do it. I confirmed it would on the the Brother website and checked the back door was close, a common issue with failed duplex prints. What was perplexing was when I opened Word, and typed on two pages. I could duplex from Word. My PDF reader, not so much.

Solution to Unexplainable Brother Printer not being able to duplex.

With the Word test, I knew the machine could duplex. It had to be a configuration issue. Turns out it was. I really hate printers because they have settings strewn all over the place. The setting in question was in the system’s Printer Properties.

First open Setting. If you don’t know how to get there in the Windows 10 search bar type Settings. It should pop up.

Select Devices from the menu.

On the left hand side, select Printers & Scanner then select the Brother HL-3170CDW and press the Manage button.

Select the Printer Properties link.

Select the Device Settings tab.

Under Installable Options make sure the Duplex Unit is Installed. If it says Not Installed then select the drop down and hit install. Press the Apply and OK buttons and now your PDF should be available to duplex.

Don’t ask me how Word could get my Brother printer to duplex. I have no idea but I killed at least an hour and half diagnosing why this thing was not working on my coworkers computer. It turned out to be a setting was not installed and she was not a local administrator. As a result, it was not available to install or see that it was not installed.

I had to go back to my machine to figure out why it did not work. Normally I would not do a post about a Brother printer refusing to duplex but this one really hurt in terms of time and hair follicles. Besides, it will come up again here so I might as well document it for me and every other poor SOB doing battle with the printer.

Anyway, let me know if you like this kind of post in the comments below and would like to see more posts like this in the future.

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