Why Is My Printer Offline?
Are you being driven crazy by an error message telling you your printer is offline? Believe it or not, printer connectivity issues are still rampant today and can cause quite a bit of trouble for your business – especially if you don’t know what to do about it. There are instances when troubleshooting an offline error message may be easy, such as a matter or reconnecting a cable, or a glitch in communication between your computer and printer.
Other times; however, a printer that appears “Offline” could be an indication of a problem with your printer driver or software. The chance of this being the case increases with the age of your printer and how recently you have installed proper updates. That’s why we’ve put together a troubleshooting guide that can be applied to all major types of printers including Brother, Canon, Epson, and HP.
Check The Printer Cables
The first and most obvious, step to take when you receive an “Offline” error from your printer is to physically check the connecting cables between your computer and printer. Make sure that both sides of the USB cable, as well as the Ethernet cable, are securely inserted.
Also, check that the network cable is connecting your printer and to your router. If these all seem to be in place, you can move your cables to different sockets or ports on your device. Also, try using a different cable to rule out a faulty cable as the culprit of the problem.
If you’re using a wireless printer, double-check your internet connection. For certain models checking the connection can be a little more involved. For instance: if you have an Epson WF-3540DTWF, you would need to do the following:
- Go into “set-up” mode within the printer
- Select “Network Settings”
- Press “confirm network settings”
- Click “Start” to print
These steps let you review the complete status of your network settings and even print out a detailed overview of your connection and existing issues.
Restart Your Printer
If your cable or wireless connections are in place but your printer is still registering as “Offline,” try restarting your printer. Sometimes, this can reboot your printer model and help reconnect to your computer.
Clear All Printing Jobs
If you’re still experiencing trouble with the “Offline” status of your printer, you may be surprised to find that a past printing document could be the cause. To find out, try clearing all of your printing jobs in your queue. Just press “cancel all documents,” to clear and allow you to restart your printer.
Remove and Reinstall Your Printer
If you’ve tried the steps above but still can’t seem to get your printer online, you can also try removing and reinstalling your printer by following the steps below:
- Open your computer’s control panel
- Select Devices and Printers
- Right-click on the printer you would like to remove and choose “remove”
Once this is done, you will need to reinstall your printer to your computer. All you usually have to do is reconnect your printer to your computer via the USB port, and switch it on. If you’re working with a wireless printer, follow the steps below:
- Make sure your printer is powered on
- Select “Change PC Settings
- Open “PC and devices” then select “devices”
- Click on “Add a device”
- Select the model of your printer to begin the installation
Remove Printer Drivers and Packages
If the reinstallation process still didn’t take care of the problem you may need to remove and reinstall the printer drivers and packages. To do so, follow the steps below:
- Log into Windows as an Admin
- Search for “CMD” in the search bar
- When the command prompt opens, type “printui /s /t2” (include the spaces)
- Open the Print Server Properties window
- Remove the Driver and Package for the printer having issues
- Select “Add a Printer” from Devices and Printers to add the printer again
Troubleshooting Printers On A On A Mac Computer
If you are working on a Mac computer, you will want to take the same sequence of steps at the beginning of your troubleshooting process. For example, you need to check the cable connections between the printer and your computer.
Also, check for printing jams and clear all of your previous printing jobs. If these steps fail, try restarting your computer from the Apple menu. If, however, your printer is still registering “Offline,” you can follow the steps outlined below to troubleshoot the issue further:
- In the “Apple” menu select “Software Update”
- Install any available updates; then “Restart” your computer
- In the Dock, choose “System Preferences” then select “Print & Scan”
- Locate your printer on the list and check if a yellow light appears next to it.
- Click “Resume”
- Open the document you need to print and press “Ctrl-P”
- Click the “Change” button and select your printer from the list
- Click “Print”
Resetting Your Printer On A Mac
If the basic troubleshooting steps didn’t solve your problem, you’ll need to reset your printer. To reset your printer system while using a Mac, follow the steps outlined below:
- In the “Apple” menu, select “System Preferences”
- Click on “Print & Scan”
- Simultaneously press “Ctrl” and right-click in the Printer list
- Choose “Reset Printing System”
- Click the plus button (+) the find and select your printer
- If your printer doesn’t show up on the list, click “Add Printer or Scanner”
- Find and select your printer from the list and click “Add”
- Wait until the printer download and install are complete before using your printer again
We hope that following these steps will help you get your printer back online. If your printer still won’t print though, you may be dealing with electronic issues with your printer.
In this case, we recommend that you contact your printer’s manufacturer directly or reach out to a technician for professional maintenance. Just keep in mind when fixing your printer to take into account the price of the repair versus a new printer. If you decide it may be time to purchase a new printer, you’ve come to the right place. BlueDogInk.com carries a huge selection of printers from the top brands including HP, Lexmark, Canon, Epson and many more.