Why can’t I print when I boot Windows into audit mode?

Raymond Chen

A customer found that when they deployed Windows and booted into audit mode, they were unable to print anything.

If they were not in audit mode, then everything printed fine. It was just audit mode that was broken. They wanted to know how to print in audit mode.

Don’t print in audit mode.

Audit mode is for you to configure your system in preparation for resealing it, so that the next boot will run through the Out of Box Experience, commonly abbreviated OOBE and pronounced /oo-bee/. You aren’t expected to be using the system as a normal user. Install the apps, make your final tweaks, and reseal that puppy.

Specifically, a number of services are disabled in audit mode. It’s not surprising that printing wouldn’t work.


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  • Jason Freeman 0

    Raymond, I will pay you good money to update the version of the Sysprep Tool from 3.14.

  • Mystery Man 0

    Typo alert: OOBE is short for “out-of-box experience.” This is an industry-standard term. I’d gladly give you a dictionary definition link, but all my past comments with a hyperlink in them are awaiting moderator approval!

    • chrisok 1

      Well, if you bother to follow the link in the article, you will find out that in this (Microsoft) context Out of Box Experience is the “correct” term.

      If you disagree, then you should file an issue over here https://github.com/MicrosoftDocs. (I’m not sure that this part of the docs has a repo there. You’d have to check)

      • Mystery Man 0

        You should get your eyes examined. The linked article (“Boot Windows to Audit mode or OOBE”) correctly spells the phrase in question as “Out-Of-Box Experience,” with appropriate hyphens.

        Bonus reading: There has been a war called the hyphen war in 1989.

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