- Many users complained about printer connectivity issues that switch offline even if they don't seem to have any problems.
- This problem has several possible causes but most of the time it's because of a missing or problematic driver for your printer.
- If you want to learn more about printers, bookmark our Printers page for further reference.
- Our Tech Troubleshooting Hub provides you with solutions to any other software or hardware problem with your PC.
The error is usually encountered when speaking of network printers, but home users with a direct connection to their printer have also complained.
We’ll go about fixing this issue just like most other connectivity related problems, as in most cases, there is a simple explanation to the problem.
It should be noted that different manufacturers have their own diagnostics software which can inform the user of what problems come up (HP’s Print and Scan Doctor comes to mind here).
If your printer‘s manufacturer provided you with this feature, we encourage you to use it at full extent. More often than not, it will set you in the right direction for finding solutions to your problems.
There are many problems that can occur with your printer, and in this article, we’re going to cover the following issues:
- Printer offline Canon, HP, Ricoh, Epson – A common problem with printers affecting any brand of printer.
- Printer offline error processing command – Caused by trying to use a network printer.
- Wireless printer offline – Can appear with all sorts of printers, and many users reported it while using a wireless printer.
- The printer is offline unable to ping – Your PC can’t recognize your printer.
- Printer offline SNMP – Thes SNMP feature can cause this issue, can be fixed by disabling the SNMP feature.
- Network printer offline VPN – Appears when using a VPN and can be fixed by changing your VPN configuration.
- Printer not responding, printing, working, connecting, showing up – The printer isn’t responding or not working and sometimes it won’t even show up in settings.
Why does the Printer Offline error occur?
The error appears when Windows 10 sees that the printer is unavailable.
Unfortunately, most of the time, it can’t tell if the printer is really offline or if it has connectivity problems or printing errors. They might occur when:
- The connection between the computer and the printer is slow/unresponsive
- The printer has encountered an internal error
- There are multiple unfinished print jobs in the queue
How can I fix the Printer Offline errors in Windows 10?
- Reinstall your printer drivers
- Check if you’re using a VPN connection
- Change printer settings
- Restart the Print Spooler service
- Change printer properties
- Install the latest updates
- Add a second printer device
1. Reinstall your printer drivers
- Go to the Devices and Printers section in Control Panel.
- Locate your printer, right-click it, and choose Remove device.
- Click on Yes when the confirmation dialogue appears.
- Download the latest driver from your printer manufacturer and install it.
Update drivers automatically
This excellent tool does its job automatically. Here’s how you can update your drivers easily:
- Download and install DriverFix.
- The program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically and you will just have to wait a few minutes for the scan to complete.
- After completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once.
- To update one driver at a time, click the checkbox from the left of the driver’s name but it’s easier to click the Select All checkbox from the top to automatically install all drivers.
DriverFixWith DriverFix you will update your printer driver quicker than saying Printer Offline error! It will fix all the other drivers too.
2. Check if you’re using a VPN connection
The Printer Offline message can appear if you’re using a network printer and VPN. To fix this problem, it’s advised to disconnect from the VPN and try to access your printer again.
If you want to use VPN and your printer, you need to connect the printer directly to your PC using the USB cable.
Alternatively, you might be able to fix the problem by adjusting your VPN configuration and granting yourself local network access.
Switching to another VPN solution can also fix this problem and Private Internet Access is the best you can get. It will secure your data before it gets accessed and it doesn’t interfere with your printer.
And while it’s installed and running, it will protect your PC by hiding your IP address and blocking all unwanted remote access to your computer.
Private Internet AccessIf you want a strong and secure VPN solution for your printer, Private Internet Access is the key for that and complete privacy for your browsing.
3. Change the printer settings
- Open Control Panel and navigate to your Printers window.
- Check if the correct printer is set to Default (Please watch the video below for more information).
- Right-click on your default printer and select the print queue (See what’s printing).
- If there are any unfinished tasks, remove them from the list.
- From the queue window, select Printer and uncheck the Use Printer Offline option (if the Use Printer Offline option is off, check the option, leave it a few seconds, and uncheck it).
- Check if the printer is correctly connected to your computer (unplug the USB cable and plug it in again).
- If you own a network printer, try doing a connection test (also, try restarting your router/switch).
- Turn your printer and computer off and on again.
- If by now the problem isn’t solved, reinstall the printer‘s drivers.
Note: if you are using a wireless printer, then you should try to connect to its IP address. To find its address, go to Control Panel, then click on Devices and Printers, right-click on your printer, and select properties.
Copy the address and write it down in your browser’s address field.
4. Restart the Print Spooler service
- Press Windows Key + R, type services.msc, and press Enter or click OK.
- Locate the Print Spooler service, right-click it and choose Restart from the menu.
Note: Keep in mind that this might not be a permanent solution, so you’ll have to repeat it if the issue reappears.
5. Change the printer properties
- Go to Control Panel > Devices and Printers.
- Right-click your printer and choose Printer properties from the menu.
- Go to the Ports tab, select your printer’s IP address from the list and click on the Configure Port button.
- Uncheck SNMP Status Enabled and click on OK to save the changes.
Note: This solution works only if you’re using a network printer. If you encounter any configuration problems with your printer, we’ve prepared a simple guide to help you in that situation.
6. Install the latest updates
- Press the Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
- Navigate to the Update & security section.
- Click on Check for updates button.
Note: If you can’t open the Setting app, take a look at this article to solve the issue.
7. Add a second printer device
- Follow Steps 1-2 from Solution 5.
- Select the Ports tab and click on Add Port button.
- Select the Standard TCP/IP Port and click on the New Port button.
- Click on Next after the Printer Port Wizard starts.
- Enter the required information. You can get them from your printer’s instruction manual. Click on Next.
We hope this guide helped you solve your printer problems in Windows 10. If you’ve tried all of them and your problem still persists, then you might have a hardware-related problem.
In this case, try printing from another computer or try a different printer. Also, if you’re running a wired printer, use a different USB / network cable.
If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.