Table of Contents
- 1 3 Ninja quick fixes to solve the “why is my printer offline? conundrum
- 2 Why is my USB / Ethernet Printer Displaying Offline?
- 3 Concluding thoughts and printer help resources
Why is it when you need to print a document urgently, your printer refuses to work? Honestly, it’s like it KNOWS and does it on purpose. A much-needed update to your resume or that office report that needs printing off? Forget it!
How many times have you asked yourself, “Why is my printer offline?”, Googled it for 20 minutes and then ready to throw it out of the window in pure frustration.
Most of us have, at one point, suffered a love/hate relationship with our home or office printer. Just when you needed to rely on a usually trusted friend and then ultimately lets you down - well, that’s tech for you. Today we aim to correct this annoying problem with the ultimate guide on how to get your printer back online.
We will cover the major brands and focus on compatibility issues with Windows 7, 8, and 10. Furthermore, we take care of both laser and inkjet printers. They’re all family to us at funphotocreator.com.
The sole aim is to give much-needed care and attention to our trusty printers. Let’s start by looking at some common issues that might get you back up and running in just a couple of minutes.
3 Ninja quick fixes to solve the “why is my printer offline? conundrum
It sounds silly, but sometimes the answer to the problem is right in front of your face. These quick fixes may not solve every print job problem, but these checks can come in handy for minor problems. Let’s rip through some quick fixes:
Quick Fix One for Wi-Fi printers: Computer cannot connect or drops connection with printer
If your printer randomly goes offline and you use Wi-Fi to connect, it could be a coverage issue. Offline printer status means that the printer software may have trouble connecting to the wireless network. What seems like a printer problem could actually be a network connection problem.
Have you moved your printer to another room? To make sure your wireless printer has a good wireless connection, do the following:
- Access the printer diagnostics panel (under settings) on the LCD screen of your printer. If you do not have an LCD-enabled printer, then you can check via your PC control panel.
- Look for the connectivity and Wi-Fi connection options. Your printer settings may be set to offline mode, which means the printer won’t even look for a wireless connection. If it displays offline, then you need to re-connect your printer with your Wi-Fi.
- Check to see if your computer has its Wi-Fi radio checked on. On laptops, it can easily be disconnected by pressing FN and F3. This is a common issue.
- Move your printer close to your computer and run through the installation Wizard again. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely. This includes installing the software and connecting the printer to your computer.
Quick Fix Two: Printer drivers need updating
When your PC updates with security fixes or installs new software, your computer registry settings often change. This can cause issues with devices. To update your printer drivers in Windows 10 (it doesn’t matter if you are connected via LAN or Wi-Fi):
- Click Start >> Device Manager (or search device manager) >> Find printer in the list.
- Select the device then right click >> update driver.
- Select use the “Search automatically for updated driver software” option.
- If windows cannot locate the driver, go directly to the manufacturer’s website and download the official driver. (Canon, HP, Brother, and Epson all have dedicated driver download pages)
Where can I find official drivers for my printer?
No need to search online for links, we have gathered HP, Epson, Brother and Canon download driver download pages for you:
Quick Fix Three: Force the status of the printer to online
Did you know that you can manually force the status of a wireless printer to go online? It’s a quick and easy way to see if you can fix the offline issue:
- Uninstall the printer via device manager (See Quick Fix Two to find out how to access DM).
- Select the printer, then click “Remove Device.”
- Finally, to add your printer, select the “Printers and Scanners” option >> Add a printer.
- Windows will scan your PC and then install the printer for you. When it’s done, a new printer icon should appear, meaning your PC recognizes it.
- Have you used another printer recently? Your PC might not recognize the new printer as the default printer, and may instead be trying to connect to another printer online. If that’s the case, select the printer you’d like to use and proceed with the print job.
- You can also try running the printer troubleshooter to see if the device can self-diagnose a problem.
Hopefully, these quick fixes work. Next, let’s look at ethernet or wired printer offline issues and how to fix them.
Why is my USB / Ethernet Printer Displaying Offline?
A “wired printer” should be easier to fix in theory because you should not network connectivity issues that surround Wi-Fi.
Most printers come shipped with a USB cable. If, after installation, your printer does not work, then try another cable. A faulty ethernet or USB cable is the likely cause. Try the cable on another device. If it works, then it could be a LAN issue, where the IP of the printer is not communicating with the network router.
If this is the case, then a clean installation of the printer will likely fix the problem. But if it persists, check your network router as there may be an address conflict with other devices on your network, such as an Xbox, PlayStation, or TV box. If you can plug in your printer via ethernet cable and not use the wireless (Wi-Fi) feature, it would help eliminate coverage issues.
Concluding thoughts and printer help resources
We hope you find the above tips useful (answering the "Why is my printer offline?" question once and for all) and that you don’t end up fighting (and losing) with your laser or inkjet printer. If your printer is new, then it's covered under warranty, and you can send it back for a replacement.
Older printers are harder to troubleshoot and can simply wear out depending on usage. It could well be time to look for a newer model that is more efficient, quieter, and produces better print quality.