Quickbooks 2011 Save as PDF on Windows 7 64-bit – Missing Component Error

I’m usually a pretty level-headed fella. I like challenges and I usually enjoy the process it takes to get to the bottom of a problem. But then there’s Intuit with their piece of crap software, Quickbooks. Quickbooks is the root of all evil. If I had a choice of dealing with a brain tumor or Quickbooks… I’d choose the brain tumor. (And yes, I had a giant brain tumor so I know the difference.)

The┬álast run-in with my arch nemesis revolved around creating PDFs from Quickbooks 2011 on our Windows 7 64-bit accounting workstation. Though we have a full version of Acrobat installed on the machine, I prefer to use the Quickbooks PDF converter because I like to use the quick “Save as PDF” option in the FILE menu.

The problems started a few weeks ago when we reinstalled Windows 7 on a new hard drive. Quickbooks installed just fine and ran like normal. However, whenever I tried to use the “Save as PDF” option, I received an error that mentioned something about “…a component is missing…”. After clicking the “help” option all I got was a useless screen in the Quickbooks help system. Ugh. Freakin Quickbooks.

Then I went to the Quickbooks Community forum. Talk about a waste of time. There was one main article I kept getting referred to for fixing Quickbooks PDF issues, but after following each step numerous times I discovered it didn’t make a lick of difference. Way to go Intuit – your absolute minimum level of service and support has struck again.

The one common thread in most articles I found was that Quickbooks 2011 relied on a new version of the Quickbooks PDF Converter that in turn relied solely on the Microsoft XPS Document Writer to produce a PDF. So I first started by looking at the XPS printer driver. Whenever I tried to print to the Microsoft XPS Document Writer Printer, from any program, I received an error. I then deleted the XPS printer driver and reinstalled the printer. Same issues.

The fix…┬áthe first time I reinstalled the XPS Document Writer printer driver, I used the existing printer driver. But on the second time, I replaced the driver with the driver displayed in the printer installation dialogue and everything started working perfectly again. So somehow a bad XPS printer driver was installed or configured. Here’s a quick summary of how to reinstall the Microsoft XPS Document Writer printer driver on Windows 7 to fix the Quickbooks 2011 Save as PDF missing components error -20:

  1. Open the “Devices and Printers” and delete the “Microsoft XPS Document Writer”.
  2. Click the “Add a printer” button in the window.
  3. Select “Add a local printer”
  4. Since we already had the XPS printer installed previously, you can select “Use and existing port” on the next step and select “XPSPort: (Local Port)”.
  5. In the next step select “Microsoft” from the “Manufacturer” list and then in the “Printers” list you should see an option or two for “Microsoft XPS Document Writer”. On our computer we have two driver versions listed: 6.1.7600.16385 and 6.1.7601.17514. Both of these drivers worked on our system, but we opted for the newer (6.1.7601.17514).
  6. Next you’ll be asked if you want to use the existing driver or replace with the one you just selected. This is the key step… make sure you opt to replace the existing driver with the new one.

That’s it. Once you finish the new printer wizard you should be able to print again using the Windows XPS Document Writer and use the Save as PDF option within Quickbooks to save to PDF using the Quickbooks PDF converter.

37 thoughts on “Quickbooks 2011 Save as PDF on Windows 7 64-bit – Missing Component Error

  1. Kathy

    What happens if you download and install the Microsoft XPS Document Writer and it never shows under printers? I have Windows XP Professional and trying to get QuickBooks 2011 to send invoices and they said this was the missing component.

    Thank you!


    1. Ken Post author

      I’m using Windows 7 and not Windows XP, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to help you. But here’s what I would do if I were in your shoes… with Windows XP you must have the .NET 3.0 Framework or XPS Essentials Pack installed on your computer.

      Do you have either of those installed? If so, then you’ll probably need to manually add the printer to the computer, much like my instructions above for Windows 7. The steps will be a little different in Windows XP, but the concept is the same… Go to printers and then add a new printer. Install a local printer using the “XPSPort” and when it asks you for a driver select “Microsoft” as the manufacturer and “XPS Document” as the printer.

      You may also want to check out this link: http://benosullivan.co.uk/windows/how-to-reinstall-microsoft-xps-docment-writer-printer-in-xp/

      1. Kathy

        Thank you for your reply Ken. I have installed both the .NET 3.0 Framework or XPS Essentials Pack. The problem is that Microsoft or the XPS is never showing up under Manufacturers or setting it up initially as a Generic and then going to properties and Advanced as you state above. I’m downloading and installing, but never can see Microsoft or the XPS driver anywhere…even in the Printers and fax window. Thank you for the link. I also posted a comment to Ben. Please let me know if you have any additional leads.

        Thank you again,


        1. Ken Post author

          Hmmm. Ok, here’s a weird and completely inefficient workaround that may work… Why don’t you try installing Office and if you need to you can immediately uninstall it. The hope would be that the Office install would get the XPS driver configured properly. You may need to manually add the printer again after you remove Office, but in theory this should work. I think : )

          FYI, if you don’t have a copy of Office laying around you could get a free trial: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/try/

          1. Kathy


            I deeply appreciate your quick reply. This has caused havoc on my business. My invoices in QuickBooks Pro was supposed to be e-mailed on the 1st. I have been working on this since 4/27/11 without results. I have Microsoft Office already on my PC and have already tried what you suggested. Any other ideas?

            Thanks again!


        2. Ken Post author

          Well, there are a bunch of other things you could try to troubleshoot this, but if you’re late on billing, just go install a free PDF writer like CutePDF. You won’t be able to use the “Save as PDF” feature from within QB, but you can ‘print’ your invoices to PDF just like you were printing to any other printer. CutePDF will show up as a printer. I used this on my computer while I figured out the problem and it worked fine.

          Once this puts out the immediate fire, you could try a couple more things…

          1. If you have Office 2007 on the computer, maybe the XPS Essentials pack won’t work. Maybe you need to use this instead: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyId=4D951911-3E7E-4AE6-B059-A2E79ED87041&displaylang=en

          2. Do you have SP3 on your XP computer? Windows SP3 for XP is a requirement for XPS essentials.

          3. Try logging in as a different user on the computer and try installing the XPS stuff. Make sure the new user has admin rights. There’s a chance your current user profile data is conflicting with the driver install. This one is a stretch, but it’s a thought.

          4. What version of Office do you have on the computer? You say you already have Office on the computer, but if you’re running XP still I’m assuming it’s not the latest version of Office, yeah? If not, I would uninstall the version of Office you have and try installing the trial of the newest version. Again – a bit of a long shot, but worth a shot if everything else fails.

  2. Jean

    Thank you so much for this info! Two brand new computers and only 1 would not print correctly. You saved me from trying all kinds of ridiculous uninstalls and reinstalls of various printers, software, etc.

  3. Kathy


    You are the best to stick through this with me. Here’s my update.
    1. I tried CutePDF to no avail. Still wouldn’t send the invoices due to a missing component.
    2. I tried the Office 2007 download without luck.
    3. I have Windows SP3 and updated it with the patch today. No luck.
    4. I logged in as another user with Admin right. No luck.
    5. I didn’t uninstall office, but did make a little headway… I am able to save a document as an XPS document and open it with the XPS view that was downloaded.

    My problem still remains. I am unable to see Microsoft under Manufacturers, both with adding a new printer and when trying to send invoices with Quickbooks. It makes no sense since Office is willing to let me see it.

    I hope your not getting worn out with me, but I understand. Your help has gone beyond my expectations. I called QBooks tech support and they didn’t put that much effort into helping me even though I just purchased their upgrade to 2001. QB 2008 worked fine with sending invoices. I received a letter that they are discontinued BillPay and sending invoices, which is why I purchased the 2011.



    1. Ken Post author

      Kathy- In order to use the CutePDF you won’t be able to use any of the built-in Save as PDF or Export to PDF functionality. Instead you MUST use the normal print function and select CutePDF as the printer – just like you were printing an invoice to your laser or inkjet printer. Is this what you did?

      I’m shocked nothing else has really made a dent in your stubborn computer. I don’t know enough about XPS to really troubleshoot it further. Though if I were you, I’d try uninstalling Office 2007 and installing Office 2010. In theory that install should get the printer driver configured. If not – install Windows 7. : ) I wish I could’ve figured it out for you. Good luck.

      1. Kathy

        I tried Office 2010 and it does allow me to save as a xps file and allows me to view it with the XPS viewer, but I still don’t have Microsoft XPS viewer in printers and it doesn’t have Microsoft under manufacturers when I try to add the printer. Thank you Ken for all your help.

        1. Ken Post author

          I think I’ve exhausted my options for you. : (

          Clearly there is something wonky with your Windows XP and the XPS printer driver. If I were you, I would probably just upgrade to Win 7 and hope this fixes the problem. You could try paying for Microsoft support to get the XPS printer driver working in XP, but that could be incredibly painful and time consuming. If you ever find a solution, please be sure to post it for everyone else. Good luck! : )

  4. Roveman

    Ken thank you for sharing your fix and your clear English explanation. It worked fine on my machine, same as yours. These are the type of Quickbooks or Microsoft problems I spend half of days-maybe resolve- maybe not. If not it ruins the rest of my day.

    I fine Quickbooks to be Excellent product on the front-side, the application. But when I go under the hood, I refer to your first paragraph.

  5. Michael

    Hi Ken;
    Thanks for your post. I have similar opinions about QB.

    I have the same problem you describe. I tried the fix, but now am getting an error that the XPS Viewer cannot find this document. I have the XPS Document writer specified as the Printer in QB and I tried both drivers. No luck.

    Any clues you might be able to offer would be greatly appreciated.



    1. Ken Post author

      Hey Michael- First thing… are you able to print to the XPS writer directly, say from Microsoft Word or Internet Explorer?

  6. Tracey

    Thank you for this. I did everything exactly the way you specified and it still won’t work. When I go to send a paystub it gets stuck and stops responding.
    What could I be doing wrong?

    Thank you in advance


      1. Shereen

        Hi Ken,

        I’m having the same problem. I followed your instructions and reinstalled the printer. If I try to print an invoice to the XPS printer it will now save the invoice as a pdf for me. But for reports I am still unable to save as a pdf or email as a pdf. Quickbooks freezes and I have to close it. I’m using QB 2010 on Windows 7

        1. Ken Post author

          First thing… can you print a Word document to the XPS printer? Next, when you try to save a report as PDF are you using FILE > SAVE AS PDF? If so, does it freeze immediately after you select this option from the menu or after you select a file name and hit save from the dialogue window?

  7. Randy Lane

    Thank you very much for your instructions. I spent the better part of a day trying to figure this out using all the instructions as you did from Intuit to no avail. I followed your instructions exactly and it worked perfectly. You Rock!!!

  8. Jeff Kay

    Ken, your advice was invaluable. Thanks so much. I was beating my head against the wall for the better part of month. Intuit customer support was worthless. Very helpful, problem solved.

  9. Shawn

    Great article, however, in Step 4, I do not see “XPSPort: (Local Port)” – any idea how to resolve this? Thanks.

  10. Mike

    Heya, Thank you very much, saved my life. New PC, had the same problem, just did as u said and Quickbooks worked Just fine. Thank you again!!

  11. Frank

    I have Win 7 64 bit and Office 2010.

    I used the patch R7 for QB2010 Pro version and now am able to print the PDF file.

    But even with Ken’s instructions with regard to adding XPS printer with latest driver, I cannot save to a pdf. I have an alternate PDF X-change4.0 app and cannot save either.

    I have also tried to change the printer setup in QB as the XPS and PDF E-change and received an error “could not print to your printer”

    Any step I missed?

  12. Frank

    This worked for me.


    If you are still experiencing issues after upgrading your QuickBooks 2010 to the most current release, you may have to remove the previous PDF driver installed in different releases of QuickBooks 2010, and check if the PDF converter settings are compatible with the Windows 7 64 bit environment.

    Remove any older QuickBooks 2010 PDF converter and confirm the port and printer settings are correct. To do this you must be logged in as an administrator:

    Click the Windows button and click Devices and Printers.
    Right-click the QuickBooks PDF Converter 3.0 and select Remove device.
    Right-click the QuickBooks PDF Converter and select Printer Properties.
    Click the Ports tab, then click the Add Port button. Note: If the Ports tab is grayed out, right-click the QuickBooks PDF Converter icon and select Run as admin.
    Select Local Port and click the New Port button.
    Enter NUL: for the new port name and click OK. Close the Printer Ports window (If the NUL: port already exists proceed to step 7.)
    Put a checkmark in the box next to the NUL: port if it is not already checked.
    Click on the Advanced tab
    Select the Spool print documents radio button to make the options below it clickable.
    Clear (uncheck) the box labeled Enable advanced printing features by clicking it.
    Select the Print directly to printer radio button to make the options below not clickable.
    Click the Apply button, then click OK.
    Important: In order for the changes to take effect, you must restart your computer.

  13. Amanda

    So I have the same issue as Kathy, only when I try to do the fix that you suggested it says that “Unable to install printer. The processor does not exist.” I was told that it was actually a problem with my computer and not Quickbooks. I called tech support where I bought the computer from and basically it was a waste of time. About all he could tell me was that it should be there and he didn’t know why it wasn’t. And then in more words, told me to google it to find a fix and so I thought I would go to the “pro” and see if you had any suggestions or answers. If you can help me great, if not, I think that my computer would look so awesome flying out my car window on the freeway at 80 MPH getting run over by a semi! LOL

    1. Ken Post author

      Hi Amanda- I wish I could provide some quick fix for ya, but I’ve never seen that. A quick Google search shows that it does have to do with your installation of Windows and not QB. I recommend you Google that error and see if you can find a solution. From what I read, the fix may involve manually copying some missing files to your computer from another computer. You could also try the ‘repair’ functionality in Windows, but that can be very risky. Sorry I couldn’t be more help. : )

  14. LEE

    Thank you so much Ken, I work like a charm. And thank you for making it so easy to follow that even a non-tech like me could fix that pesky problem.

  15. Brian

    Thank you!!! I used this to fix the PDF function on 64bit Windows 8 and it worked perfectly!!!! I was worried there wasn’t going to be a fix until vs.2013 but everything works great.

  16. Rickkee

    I don’t understand why if it was so business critical for Kathy that she did not find it worthwhile to spring $89 for a QB support call and instead, choose to burn up 4 days of time and countless frustration trying to fix it for free…. Sometimes I don’t understand how people can be so pennywise and pound foolish. If its mission critical, and you need to get your invoices out, bite the bullet and take the businessman route and make the call… (I know by experience with the countless hours I have putzzzed around with this poorly written piece of garbage so I always pay the $189 per year so I can call the vultures if I need them.

  17. J Michael

    Thank you so much for your post. I have had nothing but problems with this issue and your post was clear and solved my printer problem. I agree with you… Quickbooks is crap. I don’t understand why so many CPA’s want small business owners to use it but they do. I personally think YOU should go to work at QuickBooks and get that place into shape. Again, thank you!


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