Even the most printer-savvy people run into problems that can reduce office productivity. There’s nothing more frustrating than hitting print, only to run into an error.
When you encounter a head-scratching question like, “Why is my printer not printing?” a common reason for this issue is that the printer is offline. When this happens, the printer is unable to communicate with the computer to print documents. However, resolving an offline printer is usually a simple fix. Below, we’ve broken down some of the most common reasons why your printer is offline and what you can do to get it back up and running.
Why Your Printer Is Offline
From poor connections to printer errors, there are a handful of reasons for the why is my printer offline predicament. Typically, the best place to start is by checking your connection. If the connectivity is not the problem, then clearing print jobs and trying the old-fashioned restart method are some other quick fixes. Here’s how you can troubleshoot to get your printer back online and back to printing the documents you need.
Check Your Connectivity
When your printer gives an offline message, it’s signaling a communication issue with your computer. For instance, the connection between the computer and the printer may be slow or unresponsive. Before you do anything else, always make sure the printer is turned on.
Once you’ve confirmed it’s on, check that it’s connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer. Typically, your printer’s built-in menu has options for checking its Wi-Fi connection, or you can check the manual on how to add it to your wireless network.
If your Wi-Fi connection is working, a second and easy check is to take a look at the network cable that connects the printer and router, as well as the USB cable that links the printer and computer. Determine whether they are undamaged and fully inserted into the correct ports.
If not, try switching the cables to different ports to see if that solves the connectivity issue. For wireless printers, you’ll want to do the same check, but the process may differ depending on the printer brand and model. Your printer’s manual can walk you through how to perform this check.
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Clear the Print Queue
If the connection doesn’t seem to be the issue, an overloaded queue may be the source of the problem. Delete all print jobs by going to the printer menu and selecting “Cancel All Documents” to clear the entire printing queue.
Turn Off the Printer, Then Turn It Back On
Another way to resolve an offline printer is with power-cycling. Turn the printer off, unplug the power cord and turn off the computer. Then, wait 30 seconds and turn the computer back on. Next, plug the printer power cord back in and turn the printer on. This simple reboot may facilitate the connection.
Remove and Reinstall Your Printer
When all else fails, you can remove the printer from your computer and reinstall it. If you use Windows, you can right-click the printer from “Devices and Printers” and select “Remove device.”
Next, you can reinstall the printer by choosing the “Add a Printer” option. Now, add the printer again by selecting the “Add a Printer” option from “Devices and Printers.” This process will differ for wired and wireless printers. If you’re using a wired printer, this can be accomplished by simply reconnecting the printer to the computer with a USB and then turning it back on.
Once the printer is back online and you’re ready to get back to printing, be sure to keep an eye on the printer’s ink cartridge levels. Whether your device uses HP printer cartridges, Canon ink cartridges or any other premium ink brand, it’s essential to keep a steady supply of ink so you can get jobs done quickly and efficiently.
An offline printer is a common occurrence both in the office and at home. When a printer shows an offline status, more often than not, it is a simple connection issue that can be addressed with a few quick checks. By following these simple steps, you can get an offline printer back online in no time. If you’ve followed these troubleshooting steps and continue to receive an offline error, you may want to visit your printer’s support website or contact the printer manufacturer for further assistance.
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