A normal daily scenario. Look at the printer menu and see that the “Printer offline” message appears. With a few simple steps and checks, you can quickly and easily reconnect your printer back online.
Sometimes when printing, the device or computer thinks the printer is offline, the printer is actually turned on, and is ready to start printing. This may be due to an error between your device or your computer and the printer.
Sometimes it can be so simple that your cable is not properly connected or that there is a simple paper jam.
However, a printer that displays an “offline” error can also be caused by problems with your printer driver or software. This may depend on the age of your printer or the installation or not on updates.
Printer Offline Troubleshoots
This offline printer troubleshooting can be used with all types of printers, including Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, and many others.
1. Restart the devices
Before you get started with setup and tools, you must first try turning off the printer and computer. This often solves the problem. Turn off your printer and computer. Then turn on the printer and wait for it to connect to the network. If you are using a USB cable, wait for the printer to start up.
Now switch on your computer and check whether the printer is still displayed offline or not. Make sure the printer is turned off completely, not just in sleep mode. If you are unsure, it is best to completely disconnect the printer from the computer for about 30 seconds.
2. Use the printer software
If your printer still appears offline, you can try using the printer software that came with your printer. These printer utilities can usually detect the printer on the network and fix problems that cause the printer to appear offline.
For example, you can refer to my previous article on using HP Print and Scan Doctor to troubleshoot HP printer problems. Go to the Canon support website, enter the model number, and click the Software tab. You can download your My Printer software to manage and maintain your printer.
This applies to almost all printer manufacturers. If you have a Dell printer, go to the Dell Drivers and Downloads page, locate your printer, and download the printer application.
Above is an example of the Kyocera Print Center software running on my Windows 10 computer. It shows you the printer status and additional details such as ink levels, etc. If you are not sure whether the printer software is installed on your computer or not, you can check it by going to Settings, then Devices, and click Printers and Scanners.
Windows 10 lists the printers on the right. If a software package to manage the printer is installed, it indicates that the application is available for this device. If you click the printer and then click Manage, the Open Printer Application button appears.
3. Configure the printer online
Even when the printer is online and connected, the settings are sometimes configured incorrectly. Open the printer queue by going to Devices and Printers in Control Panel and double-clicking the printer.
Here you want to click on the printer in the menu bar and then deactivate the option Deactivate print pause and use printer offline.
4. Run the Troubleshooter
If the problem is with the Windows printing subsystem, it may be helpful to perform the troubleshooting. You can troubleshoot by following the steps in step 2 to access the Manage Device screen for the printer. There you will see a link to Troubleshoot. Click on it, and the queue service, network settings, etc. will be checked.
The fix usually works if the problem is Windows-related.
5. Check the printer connection or port
If nothing has worked so far, the problem is probably related to the port settings. This is most likely only for a network printer with an IP address. The most likely cause is that the printer’s IP address has changed, but the port settings still point to the old IP address.
First, find out the IP address of your printer by printing a network configuration page. If you don’t know how to do it, read my previous article on how to use simple free tools to scan your network and view the IP address of all devices on your network.
Once you have the IP address, go to Control Panel, Devices, and Printers and right-click on the printer. Make sure you select Printer Properties.
Click the Ports tab and scroll down until the only port is enabled. Select it and click Configure Port.
This dialog box shows the printer’s current IP address. If the printer’s IP address is different from the one listed here, it is because of your problem. Simply update the IP address here and off you go.
If you get an error type like the one shown below when trying to configure the port, it is likely because it is configured as a WSD port.
An error occurred while configuring the port. This process is not supported.
A WSD port, which stands for Web Services for Devices, is an automatically configured port that you cannot change. If this is the case and you cannot connect to your printer, you will need to add a new TCP / IP port (using the Add Port button). You can read my previous article on adding a network printer by creating a TCP / IP port. You can also read my wireless printer troubleshooting article for some additional tips.
The other less technical option is to follow step 6, where the printer is removed and then added again, automatically using the new IP address.
6. Remove and add the printer
If you still cannot get the printer to work, the best way to remove the printer is to reinstall it. When Windows installs a printer, it recognizes it, checks all settings, and makes sure that the printer driver is installed correctly.
You can delete the printer by clicking the printer in the Control Panel under Peripherals and Printers and selecting Delete Device.
It is also a good idea to restart your computer before you reinstall the printer. Please note that this does not remove the printer driver from your system.
After the restart, click Add Printer. Windows automatically detects the printer locally connected to your network.
Reinstall the printer driver
Sometimes the problem is related to the current printer driver. In this case, you need to download the latest driver for your printer from the manufacturer’s website. Before doing this, however, you should delete the current printer driver.
I hope you have already printed. If not, I recommend you read this troubleshooting guide again. In addition to all of this, it’s always a good idea to install the latest Windows updates as they usually include newer printer drivers that can improve the performance of your printer on Windows 10. If you have any questions, please leave a comment. Enjoy!