Printer Offline?

Most of us have encountered the problem of a printer saying it is offline before. It can be an annoying issue, especially if it has cropped up at a time when you’ve got a deadline!

So, what does printer offline mean, and how can you go about troubleshooting to find a solution? There are several different reasons why you may be getting a printer offline message and several different solutions that could help to fix the problem and get you back to printing. Sometimes the cable has become dislodged, or the device just needs to be uninstalled and reinstalled onto your computer. 

Today, we take a look at the meaning of the phrase “printer appears offline”, and some tips and tricks that may help you to solve the issue and get back to printing! 

What does it mean when a printer appears offline?

Simply put, when a printer appears offline, your computer is saying it cannot be connected to, which means it cannot be printed from. In order to create prints, a printer and computer need to have a connection, and when this cannot be found, printing cannot go ahead. There are several reasons this may be the case, which we will address below. 

Install the printer driver

If you haven’t installed the printer driver yet, this could be the issue. In order to print, you need to connect your printer to the device you wish to print from. To do this on a Windows computer, go to Start >> Settings >>Devices >> Printers and Scanners, and click on “Add Printer”, at this point you can add the printer you will be using to your list of printers and scanners.

Take a look at the cable

First up, you should check to make sure your printer’s cable is still connected. An accidental bump may have dislodged it either partially or fully, meaning the computer and printer can now no longer communicate with each other. Check both the point on the computer’s end, and on the printer’s end, to be sure it all looks good and is connected correctly. If this all looks to be positioned as it should be, try swapping the cable out for a spare to see if the cable itself could be the issue. 

Check the connection 

If your wireless printer shows an offline message, the first thing to do is to check your internet connection. If your internet seems to still be working, then check the connection on the device. The steps on how to do this differ depending on the make and model of wireless printer you have. If you are unsure of how to do this for your specific device, have a read of the product manual, or google how to do so. 

Uninstall and reinstall the printer

Sometimes the issue can be resolved by simply uninstalling the printer from your computer and then reinstalling it. To do this, simply go to Start >> Control Panel >>Devices and Printers, and then right-click on the printer and press “Remove Device”. Once removed, reinstall the printer on the device (following the same steps, but clicking on “Add Printer”, instead).

Remove print jobs

Removing print jobs from the queue can sometimes help to get your printer back online. To clear print jobs on a Windows computer, go to Start >> Control Panel >> Devices and Printers. Right-click on the printer that has stopped connecting and select “See what’s printing”. Once you see any print jobs that are queued for printing, right-click on them and press Cancel, or press “Cancel all documents”. This will clear the queue for your printer. 

Restart both devices 

A simple restart of both devices may help your printer to connect to your computer again. To restart your Windows computer, go to Start and then click “Restart”. Many printers have a restart or reset button on the machine itself, but not all do. The method to restart a printer differs from machine to machine, so it’s best to consult your user manual to work out how to safely do so. Just keep in mind that resetting a printer to factory settings generally means you will lose any custom settings you assigned to your printing device. 

Having a device display a “printer appears offline” message can be annoying, but there are several steps that you can try in order to get it back up and running smoothly. Some can be as simple as checking the cable or clearing any print jobs that may be in the queue for the printer. 

If none of these troubleshooting methods have solved your problem, try googling the make and model of your printer to see if there are any printer-specific fixes that could fix your issue. We hope this blog has been informative, and that your device is back online and printing well as soon as possible!

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