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Home » Printers » Why is My Printer Offline? – How to Get Your Printer Back Online

Why is My Printer Offline? – How to Get Your Printer Back Online

Printers have always been frustrating to deal with. No matter how sophisticated your printer is, there’s a high chance you’ve run into problems like paper jams, no ink/paper errors, and many other issues.

One of the most common problems with many printers is going offline unexpectedly.

Many possible reasons make your printer undetectable by your computer. It could be a problem with the printer, the settings, or connectivity.

If you’re struggling to get it back online, we’re here to help! 

Here are the steps you need to follow to get your printer back to business.

How to Get Printer Online?

1. Check the Cable/Connections

The first thing you need to do is to check the printer’s connection to your computer. Take a look at the printer’s power button to see if it’s off or in sleep mode.

If the printer is connected to your computer via a USB cable, make sure that it’s adequately inserted from both ends. You could also try switching to a different USB port.

Furthermore, it would be best if you made sure that the ethernet cable that connects your printer to the router is mounted correctly. 

If you have a wireless printer, things may get more complicated. Depending on your printer’s brand and model, navigate through the printer’s settings to check your printer’s connectivity status.

Now that you’ve tried everything possible on the hardware side, it’s time to check the software.

2. For Windows Users

Remove Any Pending Prints

The first thing you need to do when troubleshooting your printer is to delete any old printing commands. Unfinished prints may cause your printer to lag and malfunction.

To do that, right-click on the printer icon in the taskbar and click on your printer’s name. When a dialog box appears, cancel all the pending prints by right-clicking each of them and selecting “Cancel.”

Set Printer to Online Mode

Once you’ve canceled all pending prints, try to set your printer to online mode manually. To do that, click on “Start,” then choose ” Control Panel.” 

From devices and printers, right-click on your printer’s name and select “See What’s Printing.” Once a window has appeared, select “Printer” from the menu bar, then choose “Use Printer Online.”

Restart & Reinstall Your Printer

You could also reboot your printer and see if it works. If that doesn’t help, try reinstalling the printer. From “Devices and Printers,” right-click on the printer and select “Remove Device.” To install your printer again, select “Add a Printer” from “Devices and Printers.”

3. For Mac Users

Reset the Printing System

Click the “Apple” menu and select “System Preferences.” Select “Printers & Scanners” then right-click anywhere inside the window that appears and click “Reset Printing System.” 

When a confirmation window appears, click “Reset” again. Finally, enter the administrator’s name and password to finish resetting your printer.

After the reset, add your printer back by clicking on the plus button at the bottom of the list of printers in the “Printers & Scanners” window. Now, try printing again. If that doesn’t work, continue to the next step.

Clear the Print Queue

From the Apple menu, go to “System Preferences” and select “Printers.” Choose the printer’s name and click on the “Open Print Queue” button. Cancel all the print jobs and remove them from the queue.

Delete Other Printers from Mac

Sometimes, your printer might appear offline because it’s not set as your default printer. To ensure that your printer is the default one, you could try deleting other printers from your Mac; then, your printer would be set to default automatically.

You can easily do that from “Printers & Scanners.” Check the list of available printers and delete them using the remove “Minus” button. 

Moreover, if your printer appears to be installed more than once using different names, delete all the installations and keep one entry only.

4. Reinstall the Drivers

Your last attempt is to reinstall the drivers. To do that, go to “Settings,” then choose “Printers” and right-click on the printer’s name. From the pop-up menu, choose “Properties.” Under “General” or “Details” tab, click the “Driver” button and select the driver. 

You may be required to download the driver from the printer’s manufacturer website. After that, reinstall the printer, as we previously discussed.

Final Thoughts

If you still have problems getting your printer back online, contact the manufacturer’s customer support. You could also write a post on your printer model’s forums to see if anyone else had the same problem before.

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