Printer is Offline? Learn these 6 Ways to Fix It

If your printer is offline, first check whether it is sleeping or awake. Here’s the approach I generally follow.

  • See the printer screen.
  • Should there be no display on the printer screen, it is sleeping. Otherwise, it is awake.
  • To wake it up, simply press the Power button.
  • If sleep mode was causing the issue, it should be solved. Try printing once again.

If that does not work, it’s time to check the connection issues.

Fix Wired and Wireless Connection Issues

  • For wired printers,
    > Make sure the USB or LAN cable is connected correctly on both sides.
    > Try changing the ports as well.
    > Check if cable is damaged.
  • For wireless ones,
    > Make sure it is connected to Wi-Fi and is receiving proper signal strength.
    > Do not forget that your printer should be connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer.
    > Otherwise, your computer will show printer offline error.

Check Errors on the Printer Screen

Moving forward, please check if the printer is displaying any kind of error message on the printer screen.

For example, you will see E2 error message if there’s a paper size mismatch error on some models of HP printer.

Likewise, you will get different error codes for low ink level, paper jam and so on.

Please check and seek for fixes according to the error message. Once you sort it out, your printer will get back online.

Disable Offline Mode

Whenever your printer encounters any kind of error, it automatically goes to offline mode.

You need to manually disable the offline mode to start printing again. Follow these steps.

  1. Open Settings > Printers & scanners > choose your printer and click Open print queue.
  2. Click the Printer tab on the top and uncheck the Use Printer Offline option.

Clear the Print Queue and Restart Spooler

A lot of print requests jamming the print queue are equally responsible for the printer offline error. Follow these steps to fix it.

  1. Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. Execute these commands:
  3. net stop spooler
  4. del %systemroot%\System32\spool\printers\* /Q
  5. net start spooler
  6. exit

Still seeing the error? Try running the printer troubleshooter from Windows Settings > Troubleshooters. It has helped me fix the issue a lot of times.

Install Printer Drivers

I don’t think I need to explain this. If you don’t have printer drivers installed, your computer will not recognize the printer and mark it offline.

So, quickly go to your manufacturer’s website and download the driver. Let me quickly give you links for HP, Canon, Brother, and Epson.

If you have installed them already, reinstalling will help. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Go to Settings and open Printers & scanners.
  2. Choose your printer name and remove it.
  3. Click Add device > Add manually and proceed with the last option.
  4. Choose USB001 for USB printer, Standard TCP/IP Port in case you added the printer using the printer’s IP address and WSD if you added it wirelessly from Settings/Control Panel.
  5. Select the respective driver for your printer from the list and click Next.
  6. Select the Replace the driver option and you are done.

Assign Static IP Address to Your Printer

The IP address conflict between printer and computer is another major reason your printer goes offline.

This mainly happens if you have a wireless printer and you added it to your computer using the IP address.

If nothing discussed above seems to work, assign static IP address to your printer and see how easily the error goes away.

Well, that’s all for today. Please comment below if you have any queries. I will reply to your comment as soon as possible🙂

Meet Deependra Pangeni, the printer expert and founder of With a background in Computer Engineering and a huge collection of printers, Deependra knows all about printing. He shares his how-to guides, solutions and tips on to help everyone print perfectly.

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