Why is My Printer Offline? [Get Your Printer Back Online Easily]

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Your printer might be offline if it is unable to communicate with the PC. There are a number of things that can cause this issue, and below are some tips that can get the printer working again.

Solution 1 – Verify that your printer is activated and connected to the Wifi network used by the device

To determine which wifi network your printer has a connection with, check its menu which is built-in as it might display options for verifying its connection status. You can also review the manual that came with your printer which should demonstrate how to place it on your wifi network.

Solution 2 – Perform a Power Cycle

Shut down the printer and disconnect it from the wall socket for about thirty seconds. Then plug it back in and activate the printer to see if it works. While this method seems simple, a power cycle might actually fix the issue.

Solution 3 – Make Sure Your Printer is the Default One

If your printer is not the default print device, this could lead to problems. To make sure it is, do the following:

Step 1: Click the Start button in Windows and choose Settings, then Devices, and finally Printers & Scanners.

Step 2: Find your printer and choose Open queue. Below Printer, choose the option “Set as Default Printer,” and be sure that Pause Printing is cleared. If they’re already selected, choose the option Use Printer Offline.

Step 3: If a message appears which states that “Windows will stop managing your default printer for you,” press OK.

Once you choose OK, Windows will automatically stop setting your previous printer which was used as the default device. If you wish to re-enable the feature in the future, choose the Windows Start button then click Settings, then Devices, and Printers & Scanners, and choose the option “Let Windows manage my default printer.”

Solution 4 – Clear up Your Print Queue

To make sure the print queue is completely cleared, do the following:

Step 1: Click the Windows Start button, then choose Settings, then Devices and Printers & Scanners.

Step 2: Find your printer, and then choose Open queue.

Step 3: Beneath Document Name, pick all the documents which are listed, and below Document choose Cancel.

Solution 5 – Reset Your Service which Handles the Print Queue

Step 1: In the taskbar search box, you will want to type the word “services,”

Step 2: Choose Services from the resulting list.

Step 3: Look for the service called Print Spool, then right-click on it and choose Restart.

Solution 6: Remove the Printer from Your Device and then Re-add it

Step 1: Click the Windows Start button, then choose Settings, Devices, and Printers & Scanners.

Step 2: Locate your printer, then choose Remove device and click yes.

Step 3: Beneath Printers & scanners, choose the option “Add a printer or scanner” and then use the instructions provided to re-add your printer.

Restart Your Computer

Sometimes restarting your computer is the best way to get your printer back online, because doing this will refresh the components and services which are needed for the computer to connect to the printer.

Solution 7 – Update Your Printer Drivers

When your computer performs an update it will normally include security fixes and the installation of new hardware. However, the registry settings in your computer might also change, which can lead to problems with devices such as printers. For those using Windows 10, the drivers can be updated by doing the following:

Step 1: Click the Windows Start Button and then Device Manager. Locate your printer on the list.

Step 2: Choose the printer, right-click on it, and then select “update driver.”

Step 3: Click on the “Search automatically for updated software driver software,” button.

Step 4: In the event that Windows is unable to find the driver, visit the official website for the manufacturer and then download the driver directly.

The Computer Won’t Connect to Your Printer or Frequently Drops the Connection

If you notice that your printer is going offline randomly and you’re using wifi, there might be an issue with coverage. The offline status means that your printer software might have difficulty forming a connection with your wireless network. In other words, what appears to be a printing issue might actually be a connectivity problem.

Has the printer been recently moved into a different room? To ensure that it has a quality connection, perform the following steps:

Step 1: Check the panel for printer diagnostics (which can be found under settings), within your printer’s LCD screen. If your printer does not use an LCD, use the Control panel in Windows.

Step 2: Look under the wifi and connectivity options. Check to see if the printer settings are in offline mode because if they are the device will not search for your wireless connection. If the status says offline, you’ll want to reconnect it to your wireless network.

Step 3: Make sure your computer or electronic device has the wifi radio activated. If you’re using a laptop you might have accidentally disconnected it by clicking F3 or FN.

Step 4: Move the printer in close proximity to the computer and then run your installation Wizard. Be sure to follow the instructions of the manufacturer precisely. Install your software as recommended and then connect your printer to the computer.

Solution 7 – Force the Printer Status Online

It is possible for users to manually force their wireless printers to go online. It is a fast and simple way of resolving the offline problem:

Step 1: Find your printer within the Windows device manager.

Step 2: Right-click on the printer, and then choose “Remove Device.”

Step 3: To re-add the printer, choose “Printers and Scanners,” and then “Add a printer.”

Step 4: Windows should scan the computer automatically and install your printer. Once this is done, the icon for the printer should appear, verifying that the computer recognizes it.


If you’ve used a different printer recently, it might be that your computer doesn’t see the newer printer as being the default device, and might be trying to form a connection with the other. In this case, simply choosing the printer that you prefer to use should resolve the problem.

Additionally, some printers come with troubleshooters that will allow the device to self-diagnose certain issues. If your printer is connected via USB or Ethernet cable and is displaying the offline status, try using a different cable, since a faulty one can cause the offline status. There might also be a LAN problem, where the printer’s IP is not correctly communicating with your network router.

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