If you are a frequent user of printers whether at home or at your place of work, you might have noticed that sometimes printers change their status from online to offline. It’s important to note that when your printer goes into the offline mode it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not connected to a computer.
The primary reason your printer may go offline is that mostly there is a breakdown of communication between your printer and your computer due to some issues with your printer’s drivers. Technically, the Operating System of your computer may change the status of your printer from online to offline if it detects any problems.
It’s obvious; you can’t use your printer while it’s on offline status unless you change its status back to online. You can try to follow these simple solutions to get your printer back online.
You don’t have to try all the solutions, just work your way down from the top of the list until you find one solution that will work for you.
How can I make my offline printer show as online again?
Follow each step to ensure you aren’t missing any items to fix your printer from offline to online. So, let’s start.
Please ensure that your printer is turned on and it’s connected to the same Wireless Network as your device.
Sometimes your printer may appear offline due to network issues. So, to verify if your printer is connected to the same Wi-Fi as your computer, if not, see if the in-built menu of your printer has the ability to check Wi-Fi connection, or consult the printer’s manual for instructions on how to add a Wi-Fi network.
Restart your Printer and check its connectivity.
In case your printer has been online and it’s not been in use for sometimes, it may go to idle status. The quickest solution to solve this issue is to turn the printer off and wait for a few minutes before switching it back on.
Check its status to see whether the issue has been resolved. Connection problems can be one of the reasons your printer may appear to be offline. You should check to verify if the printer is properly connected to its power source and to your computer. If the problem is still there, you can move to the next solution.
Change the status of your printer to online
This can be done by:
- Pressing the Win + I key on your keyboard to access the Window settings.
- From there, navigate to Devices and then select Printers and Scanners.
- Select the offline printer from the list of printers.
- Then, click Open Queue.
- From the Print Queue window, choose Printer offline.
- Messages will pop-up stating; this action will change the printer from offline to online. Click OK.
- When you click Confirm, the status of your printer will be changed from offline to online.
The printer should now work properly, once you’ve changed its status from offline to online. If the solution does not work, you can move to the next one.
Clear the print queue
Another reason why your printer may appear offline could be because of the previous printing job it was unable to complete. So you may have to clear the print queue first and see if the printer goes back to online status. In order to clear the print queue, you should:
- Select the Start button and then choose Settings. Click Devices and then select Printers and Scanners.
- Choose your printer and then select Open queue.
- Under the Document name, select any documents listed, and Document, click Cancel.
Now, you have successfully cleared the print queue, your printer should get back online. If not, try the next solution.
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Run the printer troubleshooter
The printer troubleshooter is an integrated part of the Windows in-built troubleshooting utility and is designed to resolve a variety of printer issues on your computer. These issues may include; connectivity issues, driver error issues, printer restarting services, etc. Here is how running the printer troubleshooting is done;
- Navigate to Setting, select Update and Security, and then select Troubleshoot.
- Click the Printer Troubleshooter in order to launch the tool.
The program will scan and your printer for any possible issues and fix them if any issues are detected.
Remove and Re-add the printer to your computer
In case, the above solution has failed, try to disconnect the printer from the system and add it again. It is a straightforward and simple process. Just follow the steps below;
- First of all, disconnect the printer from your computer.
- Navigate to Devices, and then select Printers and Scanners.
- Choose the printer you wish to remove.
- Select Remove Device and then click Yes.
- Under printer & Scanners, select Add a printer or a Scanner and follow the instructions to re-add the printer.
- You may now plug the printer back in.
- Windows will automatically install the appropriate drivers.
In case, the new printer is not detected by the system, you may have to add it online manually which includes downloading and installing the required drivers.
Reset the service managing the printing queue
Go to your computer’s search box and type service and then select Services in the list of results. Scroll down until you find Print Spooler service, right-click it, and select Restart. After the process is complete, the service managing the printing queue will be restarted. Check the status of your printer if it’s back online. If not, try the following solution.
Read also: The 6 Best Printers for Stickers 2021
Change your printer as the default printer
Setting your printer as the default printer can get back your printer online. All you have to do is;
- Click the Start button, and then select Settings, then select Devices and then choose Printers & Scanners.
- Select your printer and then Open the queue.
- Go under Printer, select Add as Default Printer.
- Clear Pause Printing and Use Printer Offline if they appear selected.
- Next, a message will pop-up stating, “Window will stop managing your default printer for you.” Select OK.
Note: If you select OK, the last printer you used as a default printer will automatically be stopped by Windows. To re-enable the feature:
- Go to the Start button and select Setting, and then select Devices.
- Under the list of devices, select Printers & Scanners, and then choose Let Windows manage my default printer.
Troubleshoot your printer network
When using a network printer, its status may sometimes change from online to offline if your computer is not able to reach it. To check if the printer network is the issue, try to use your printer on a different computer.
If it’s working properly then the issue is not with your printer, but most likely the issue is with your network. What you have to do is to troubleshoot the printer network to resolve this issue. A variety of issues including firewall issues may cause network complications for your printer. After troubleshooting, see if your printer is back online. If not, try the next solution.
Restart your computer
Lastly, if all the above solutions are unsuccessful in getting your printer back online, we suggest you reboot your computer. Sometimes, your computer just needs to refresh the necessary services and components in order to communicate properly with your printer. This solution takes a few minutes and it can be helpful in getting back your printer online.
Hopefully, you were able to get your printer back online and now it’s working without any problems. However, if these solutions don’t help to get your printer back online, we advise you to seek professional help to resolve the issue.
Fascinated by science from an early age, Jason has always been drawn to learning and experiencing technology. From learning about light through his passion for photography, building out PCs, and printing 3D models life couldn’t be better. When he isn’t writing about all things 3D printing related he enjoys reading, watch soccer and enjoy with his family.