Fix: Printer Offline in Windows 10/11 [Best Solutions]

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Key notes

  • Many users complained about printer connectivity issues that switch printers offline.
  • This happens even if they don’t seem to have any problems.
  • This problem has several possible causes.
  • However, most of the time it’s because of a missing or problematic driver for your printer.
how to get printer back online

Many Windows 10 users have reported issues regarding printer connectivity and a glitch that can set active printers offline even if they are connected and fully operational.

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 for 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?

  1. Reinstall your printer drivers
  2. Check if you’re using a VPN connection
  3. Change printer settings
  4. Restart the Print Spooler service
  5. Change printer properties
  6. Install the latest updates
  7. Add a second printer device

1. Reinstall your printer drivers

  1. Go to the Devices and Printers section in Control Panel.
  2. Locate your printer, right-click it, and choose Remove device.
    remove printer device
  3. Click on Yes when the confirmation dialogue appears.remove printer device
  4. Download the latest driver from your printer manufacturer and install it.

Update drivers automatically

If you do not have the necessary computer skills to update/fix the drivers manually, we strongly suggest doing it automatically by using specialized driver updating software.

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.

You can also use other efficient VPN software that will not interfere with your printer connection, and keep your privacy online too. Therefore choose wisely from the best VPNs for your Windows 10 PC.

3. Change the printer settings

  1. Open Control Panel and navigate to your Printers window.
    devices and printers
  2. Check if the correct printer is set to Default (Please watch the video below for more information).
  3. Right-click on your default printer and select the print queue (See what’s printing).
    see whats printing printer settings
  4. If there are any unfinished tasks, remove them from the list.
  5. 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).
    Wireless printer offline
  6. Check if the printer is correctly connected to your computer (unplug the USB cable and plug it in again).
  7. If you own a network printer, try doing a connection test (also, try restarting your router/switch).
  8. Turn your printer and computer off and on again.
  9. 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.

You can’t open Control Panel? Take a look at this step-by-step guide to find a solution

4. Restart the Print Spooler service

  1. Press Windows Key + R, type services.msc, and press Enter or click OK.
    open services.msc
  2. Locate the Print Spooler service, right-click it and choose Restart from the menu.
    restart printer spooler service

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

  1. Go to Control Panel > Devices and Printers.
  2. Right-click your printer and choose Printer properties from the menu.
    printer properties
  3. Go to the Ports tab, select your printer’s IP address from the list and click on the Configure Port button.
    configure printer ports
  4. Uncheck SNMP Status Enabled and click on OK to save the changes.

A user also suggested that you can also leave the SNMP as it is and change its device index to #.

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

  1. Press the Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to the Update & security section.
    update & security
  3. Click on Check for updates button.
    check for updates

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

  1. Follow Steps 1-2 from Solution 5.
  2. Select the Ports tab and click on Add Port button.
    add printer port
  3. Select the Standard TCP/IP Port and click on the New Port button.
    add standard tcp/ip port
  4.  Click on Next after the Printer Port Wizard starts.
    add standard tcp/ip port wizard
  5. Enter the required information. You can get them from your printer’s instruction manual. Click on Next.
    printer name and port name add port

Bonus: Printer offline but it is not

We already talked about cases where the printer is clearly offline and it cannot be pinged, but here’s the interesting part. There are also situations in which the Windows 10 printer is offline but can ping.

In other words, the printer says offline but it is connected. So how can that happen and what can you do about it? Don’t worry, we have some tips for you.

Why is my printer connected but not printing?

Before anything else, you should know that this peculiar mismatch happens when your PC is unable to establish communication with the printer. Thus, the very first thing to do is check if both devices are connected to the same WiFi network.

Check out our complete suggestions below:

  • Open the printer’s menu to check the network it accesses in order to establish connection and make sure it is the same as the one used for your PC
  • Restart both your printer and your PC and disconnect the power cord from all devices (router, PC, printer), then plug it back
  • Make sure there is nothing physically wrong with the printer (internal debris like paper jams and so on)
  • Reinstall printer drivers and check system services on your PC
  • Hard reset your printer

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.

More about the topics: Printer Errors