Internet Explorer prints & previews blank pages (IE7, IE8, IE9)

When trying to print from Internet Explorer (or print preview), all you see is blank content, and some header and footer information. The footer reads something to the effect of:

“file:///C:/Users/userprofile/AppData/Local/Temp/Low/randomfile.htm”

This problem drove me nuts for some time. I first noticed it under Windows Vista with IE8, but from reading out there on the web, it potentially effects any windows system running IE7 onwards (so XP through to 7).

Specifically, I am rolling out Windows 7 at my firm, with IE9 bundled in as part of an Image file. In my case the problem was probably occuring after I installed IE9 using the admin account on the system that the master image was based on (we don’t want users to be able to install their own apps). If I log in to Windows with the admin account directly, all prints fine.

Anyway, enough rambling, you are here because you want to know how to fix it.

Firstly, the ‘Low’ folder mentioned above is needed as a temporary working folder for the HTML pages being generated and printed from IE. Start by bringing up a command prompt (run -> cmd), making sure you DO NOT run with elevated permissions (otherwise it will do this for your local admin account, which won’t help you). At the command prompt, run the following command:

mkdir %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Temp\Low

This will create the necessary Low folder in the right place, which is almost certainly absent otherwise.

Other posts I read suggested this was enough, but it isn’t. The newly created ‘Low’ folder won’t work until you run a further command which sets the integrity level of this folder such that IE can use it (IE7 introduced a new protected mode, which you can read more about here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb250462%28VS.85%29.aspx). So at the same prompt, run the following command:

icacls %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Temp\Low /setintegritylevel low

Having done this, restart IE, and you should find print preview and printing itself now works :) Now I just need to correct the 10 systems I already have setup with this little menace of a problem……

Good luck! :)