My Printer Is Offline How Do I Fix It

Printer offline

We often send several files to our Printer, but the Printer does not operate. Instead, a notification pops up on the computer saying, “Printer is Offline.”

“Why is my printer offline?”

If you have ever asked yourself this question, you would know how annoying it is when your Printer stops working or responding. 

Sometimes the printer status might display Offline when it is actually ready.

What are Printers?

A printer is an external output device that accepts commands from the computer and produces graphic and text output. It converts the material from soft to hard copy. Printers are available in the market in numerous types, which can be classified based on their price, size, features, and speed. Printers can be classified into two major categories: Impact and Non-Impact Printers. Impact printers use the traditional, low-cost method of striking the paper with ink, whereas the Non-Impact printers spray ink on the paper from a cartridge full of ink to print graphics and text.

Why do printers go offline?

When printers go offline, a notification pops up on your computer. We receive this notification when the Printer and computer are not able to communicate, or the device appears to be offline due to an incorrect setting. The reasons for these could be an unstable Wi-Fi connection or an insecure connection with your computer. The reason for failure can vary depending on your computer’s version, age, and compatibility, and in order to figure out the main problem, one must perform the following steps.

Check printer, Network connections, and cables

Whenever your computer gives the notification that your Printer is offline, you should start checking the basics first before checking the computer’s settings. The first few questions you should be asking yourself are:

  1. Is the Printer switched on?
  2. Does the input tray have papers?
  3. Does the Printer have sufficient ink or toner?
  4. Are the lights on the control panel blinking, or are there any messages indicating error? 

If all these questions have been answered and the Printer still does not switch on, you should check your cables, Printer, and ports for physical damages. If your Printer is connected to the computer by cables, test them in all ports of the device and also try to switch the cable to ensure that the cable isn’t defective. 

Disconnect the USB printer cable from the computer and printer, and then inspect the cable.

If your printer and computer are connected through Wi-Fi, try connecting the devices through a cable to ensure that the Printer is working correctly. If this makes the printer work, chances are your WI-Fi is unstable. 

If the printer uses an Ethernet cable, check the cable for damage, and then verify that it is an Ethernet cable and not a phone cable.

Observe the Status light of the Printer

The Status light of the Printer is an indication of what issue the printer is facing. For example, a red light on the Wi-Fi means that the Wi-Fi connection is causing a problem in the wireless Printer. Other printer light issues include jammed papers in the Printer or failed firmware failure. For further details on the status lights, you must refer to the instruction manual of your Printer. 

Make sure the printer is not turned off or in Sleep mode.

Check Wi-Fi Connection

In order to make sure that your Printer and computer connect, you would have to check that your Wi-Fi is stable. You must also ensure that your printer and computer are connected to the same Wi-Fi. To check this, go to the menu on your Printer and check the Wi-Fi it is connected to. For further guidance on adding a new Wi-Fi network to your Printer, you must consult your Printer’s manual. 

If is connected to the Wi-Fi, print the network configuration page to check the IP address, then open the internet browser, type the IP address and check if the page opens.

 If despite having a solid internet connection, your Printer is offline, you can follow the following steps:

Restart your computer and Printer

The glitch is sometimes solved by switching the Printer and computer off for 30 seconds and then turning both the devices back on.

Set up your Printer as default

Setting your Default Printer will help in ensuring that your computer uses the correct printer device for printing. To do so, follow the following steps:

  1. Go to Start, Setting, Devices, and then Devices and Printers.
  2. Next, click on Open Queue for your Printer.
  3. Select ‘Set as Default’ under Printer and then clear the ‘Use printer Offline’ and ‘Pause Printing’ options if selected.

Cancel previous printing jobs in the print queue

Follow the following steps to get rid of previous printing jobs:

  1. Start, Settings, Devices, and then Printers and Scanners.
  2. Next, select your Printer and open its queue.
  3. Choose the listed documents under the Document name and then click cancel. Doing so will remove all previous, pending prints.

Run the troubleshooter for your Printer

Follow the following steps to run the troubleshooter:

  1. Start, Settings, Devices, and then Printers and Scanners.
  2. Select your Printer and then choose Manage.
  3. Choose Run the Troubleshooter. Check the prompts by Windows to see if it can identify any issues.

Disable Offline mode on your Printer

Any printer that is in offline mode would not work. In order to turn off the offline mode, follow the following steps:

  1. Start, Settings, Devices, Printers, and Scanners.
  2. Select your Printer and open its queue. 
  3. If ‘Use Printer Offline’ is checked, uncheck the box.

Try Reinstalling the Printer from scratch

If you have had no luck yet, you can try unplugging your Printer and setting it up again. Follow the following steps to do so:

  1. Unplug your Printer. 
  2. Go to Start, Settings, Devices, Printers, and Scanners.
  3. Select the Printer you want to remove by selecting remove device
  4. Reinstall your Printer by plugging it back in. turn on the Printer.
  5. Go to ‘Add Printer’ and choose your Printer.
  6. You can add your Printer manually as well.

Try Reinstalling the Printer Drivers

As complicated as it may sound, reinstalling drivers is not a tedious task. The steps to do so include:

  1. Start, Settings, Devices, Printers, and Scanners.
  2. Select Printer Server Properties in Related settings
  3. Choose the driver of your Printer under Drivers and press remove -> remove driver and package -> OK.
  4. Go back to the Printer Server Properties and reinstall the Printer driver again by adding Printer Driver Wizard.

Try updating the Firmware of your Printer

Troublesome firmware could also lead to a malfunctioning printer. To deal will a firmware bug, you should follow the following steps:

  1. First, make sure your Printer has the latest version of the firmware. 
  2. If not, download the newest update from the printer software, website of the manufacturer, or Printer.

Run troubleshoot for your Printer’s Software

Printer brands these days have specified software that fix printing-related issues. For example, HP has a ‘Print and Scan Doctor’ toll that identifies the problems faced by Windows computers and HP Printers. If your Printer still shows its status as offline, you should contact your printer company to know if there’s a specified application for your printer model. You can also visit the website of the manufacturer to get details about the Printer Management Application.

Try restarting Print Spooler for Windows

Print spooler is a component inside the Printer that powers print jobs and executes the discovery of printers on Windows. If the Printer Spooler is not running, your Printer will show the offline notification. To make sure everything is according to the order, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Go to Start and then click Run
  2. Type ‘services.msc’ in the window. Doing so will open Windows Services Manager
  3. Navigate through the list and find Printer Spooler. Select it and click Restart.
  4. If the ‘Restart’ button is greyed, click ‘Start.’
  5. Set startup type to ‘Automatic’ to make sure that the service starts spontaneously.

Final Thoughts

I hope one of these tips helped you get to change the Printer status to online or Restore the Printer to online status.

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