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How to Make Your “Offline” Printer “Online” (Windows 10)

How to Make Your “Offline” Printer “Online” (Windows 10)

Those who frequently use their printers have likely encountered an instance where a machine is on and ready to print, but the attached computer thinks it is offline. In most cases this is a simple communication error that is occurring at some point between the computer and printer. Normally this will be the result of a previous error or a cable having come loose, but “Offline” printers can however be caused by issues with a printer driver or even the manufacturers software.

The steps given below The advice given here is universal and can be used with a variety of printers, including those manufactured by Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Samsung, Xerox and many others.

How can I make my offline printer show as online again?

The advice in this guide is prioritised from the most to least likely cause. So we would recommend running through everything in order, regardless of how tempting it may be to assume all of your cables are still secure. This can save you a lot of time, effort and embarrassment in the long run.

When you have completed a step, be sure to check if your printer is showing as online before moving on.

Physical Checks

  • If your printer is connected by cable, ensure the USB and/or Ethernet cable is firmly inserted at both ends.
  • Try the end of the cable that connects to the computer/network in one or more different ports (if available).
  • If you have another USB A-B or Ethernet cable then try using this with your printer.

Set the Printer to “Online” Manually

  1. Click the Start icon on the bottom left of your screen or press the dedicated Windows icon key on your keyboard.
  2. Start typing Printers & Scanners (clicking on it once your computer finds it) or navigate to it via the “Settings Cog” on the left.
  3. From Printers & Scanners, click the printer in question and select “Open queue” that appears under it.
  4. From the window that pops up, choose Printer from the bar at the top.
  5. If “Use Printer Online” has a tick next to it, click this option from the drop down menu.

Remove All Pending Print Jobs

  1. From the print queue we opened in step 3 above, choose Printer from the bar at the top again.
  2. Select the “Cancel All Documents” option from this menu.
  3. If any print jobs remain, they can normally be cleared by restarting both your PC and printer.

Removing and Reinstalling Your Printer

  1. Select the printer from Printers & Scanners and click “Remove device”.
  2. Now add the printer again by selecting the “Add a printer or scanner” option from the top of Printers & Scanners.

Removing Drivers and Packages

  1. Make sure you are using windows as an Admin or sign-in as one.
  2. Open Command Prompt by hitting the Windows key and searching for it.
  3. With command prompt open type “printui /s /t2” including the spaces to open the Print Server Properties window.
  4. Now remove the Driver and Package for the printer in question.
  5. You can now add your printer again by selecting Add a Printer from Printers & Scanners.

Your printer should now be showing as online and allow you to continue printing. If not there is likely to be an issue with the printer electronically and I would advice contacting the printers manufacturer or a printer technician.

If however you have anything to add or any further questions please don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments.

About the author

I have been involved in the printer industry since I was 18 and have been an employee of Refresh Cartridges since early 2009. I am a dedicated family man, gamer, music fan and friend to all. I write the majority of the content here on Igloo and am responsible for its upkeep.

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