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Fix Printer Offline Error in Windows

How to Fix Printer Offline Error on Windows

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Fix Printer Offline Error in Windows

Being stuck with the Printer Offline screen can be a bummer, especially when you need to print out important documents. Here’s a definitive guide on troubleshooting why the printer is offline and how you can resolve it on Windows.

The digital world has taken away most of the physical paperwork, reducing the need for printers over the years. Sending out applications via post has been replaced with online forms, and signing documents is made simple with digital signatures. Even with all of the paperless independence we enjoy, printers are still very much a necessity around the office space. Now that working from home has become the new norm, and children needing printouts for their school projects all the time, even most households have a printer.

Despite being around for decades, being unable to use the printer optimally, has been a stereotypical issue faced by millions over the years. If you’ve been around a printer long enough, you’ll know that the problem of stuck printer pages, a faulty cartridge, or other technical errors are part and parcel of using one. One such nuisance that has surfaced more prominently among Windows 10 users, is the Printer Offline error.

How to Fix Printer Offline Error on Windows

Users have reported several issues related to their printers, such as connectivity drops, the printer being unresponsive, and several others. These printing errors usually vary based on the model of the printer as well, and here are the common ones. Here’s a list of the most common printer error messages that pop up:

  • Printer Offline Error – The common printer problem reported by users that own different printer brands such as HP, Brother, Epson, Canon, and Ricoh.
  • SNMP Settings Error – In certain cases, the SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is the culprit behind the printer error showing it offline.
  • Printer offline giving “error processing command” – Another commonly reported problem faced when trying to print using a network printer.
  • Printer is Offline Can’t Ping – In some cases, your computer won’t be able to identify the printer, hence being unable to ping their network printer.
  • Other printing, not responding, non-connectivity errors – When the printer is properly configured or some essential software or driver files are missing, random printing errors can also surface.

1. Inspect the physical connections

Before we get into the more serious fixes for the printer offline error, let’s start with the basic, and common issues that lead to it. When hooking up the printer, it is important you connect the power cable, as well as the USB cables firmly into the hardware.

When connecting the USB end of the printer cable to the computer or laptop, you can always try switching between different ports. Additionally, there can always be chances of the USB cable being damaged or faulty, so try replacing to see if that fixes the problem.

2. Cancel piled up printing tasks

Depending on the model of your printer, the size of the file you want to print, and the computer itself, it can take some time for the printing task to begin. If you end up queuing one too many printing tasks all at once, it can work up the system beyond its capacity.

  • Using the Windows Start menu, head over to the Printers & scanners menu.
  • Find the printer from the list of devices and click on it.
  • Click on Open queue and view the print jobs listed in the queue.
  • Press the Printer button on the taskbar and select Cancel All Documents from the drop-down menu.

Reboot the printer for good measure, reconnect it to the computer and send out a print command to see if the issue has been resolved.

3. Change printer status

As a default setting your printer might be set on “Use Printer Offline” mode, which could be limiting its use. To change the status of the printer, here’s what you need to do:

  • Using the Windows Start menu, head over to the Printers & scanners screen.
  • Find the printer from the list of devices and click on it.
  • Click on Open queue and view the print jobs listed in the queue.
  • Press the Printer button on the taskbar and uncheck Use Printer Offline from the drop-down menu.

4. Use the Troubleshooter

More often than not, you will realize that the Troubleshooter menu in Windows is actually helpful in resolving issues such as printer offline issue. Apart from helping you diagnose the problem, it will also allow you to download any missing drivers that are causing the error.

  • Using the Windows Start menu, go to the Printers & scanners menu.
  • On the right-side menu of the screen, select Run the troubleshooter option.
  • Follow the on-screen process to find out the troubleshooter’s diagnosis, and the same program will allow you to fix them too.

5. Manually install drivers

Every major brand available in the market offers its very own version of software and drivers to run the printer. In certain cases when the printer troubleshooter isn’t able to fetch the latest drivers from the manufacturer, you might have to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. Using the links given below, you can download the official printer software and drivers from the major brands in the business:

Apart from these popular brands, if you own any other printer, simply Google the brand and model of your printer to find the latest software and drivers from the official website.

6.  Restart the Printer Spooler

One highly recommended solution for fixing the printer offline error is manually restarting the Printer Spooler service. This particular fix is not right in front of you, so you will need to sift through the Services menu to resolve it.

  • Using the Windows Start menu, type in Run, and open the tab.
  • Type in services.msc and hit the OK button.
  • In the Services (Local) tab, scroll through the list of services to find Printer Spooler under it.
  • Right-click on the service and select Restart from the drop-down menu.

After the Printer Spooler service restarts, try reconnecting your printer and give a print command to see if it works.

7. Disable SNMP Status  

When using a network printer that is shared between multiple computers wirelessly, users have reported that SNMP can be the root cause of the printer offline issue. Here’s how you can disable it from the printer properties menu:

  • Using the Windows Start menu, head over to the Printers & scanners
  • Select the printer in question and press the Manage button on it.
  • Click on Printer properties and head to the Ports tab on the top.
  • Press the Configure Port button and then uncheck the SNMP Status Enabled checkbox and press OK to confirm.

8. Perform Windows system update

Not installing the latest updates released periodically by Microsoft can cause all the gears to come loose over time. One such problem can be the printer to stop working, so here’s how you can install the latest updates:

  • On the Windows search icon, look for the Check for updates
  • Press the Check for updates button and wait as the system connects online to look for one.
  • If there is an Updates available notification, press the Download button and wait for the system to fetch the update files.

9. Check the wireless internet connection

In the case of a network or wireless printer, the connection may not depend on a wired USB cable, but the wireless router. If you have spotty or no internet connectivity, the printer will not be able to communicate with the device you’re sending the print command from.

The easiest fix for this printer communication error is rebooting the printer, as well as the wireless router. Unplug the wireless router, and the printer from the wall socket and wait for 30 – 60 seconds to plug the device back in.

10. Remove and reinstall the printer

If none of the solutions above seem to work, the strongest measure would be to remove the printer from the system. You can then reconnect the printer, and use the official software to install the latest printer drivers to the system.

  • Using the Windows Start feature, and type in the Printers & scanners
  • Click on the printer in question and press the Remove device
  • Press Yes to confirm and wait for as the printer and its drivers are removed.
  • Now disconnect and reconnect the printer USB cable.
  • Click on Add a printer or scanner and wait for the system to find the connected printer device.

Now, all you need to do is follow the on-screen process to add the printer once again to the system and see if the issue is finally resolved.

Wrapping Up

Although it isn’t a common issue even among older printers, the device running out of ink, or a hardware fault can also lead to the printer being offline. If all fails, and you’re still trying to breathe life into an old and outdated printer, it might be time for an upgrade. Manufacturers also tend to drop software support for older printers, so it may no longer be supported by a newer operating system such as Windows 10.

Did these quick and easy steps help you fix the problem of offline printer error on your Windows 10 PC? Do share your experience with us in the comments down below.

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Sharing a love-hate relationship with Biotechnology in Uni, Husain moved on to his true calling of becoming a tech geek. While briefly being persuaded by the Apple clan, he made it back to Team Android, and has been a loyal comrade since, with a keen interest in IoT, Entertainment Tech, and Gaming.

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