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Why My Printer is Offline How to get it back online

With the increasing use of printers in institutes and business organizations, the number of technical problems associated with it also increases. There are several printer errors that are faced by almost every printer user like printer not responding, the printer is offline, paper jam, damaged printer head. Typically every company is having their technical support team which detects and resolves all the technical errors or user gets in touch with a technical expert to solve their printer error. Troubleshooting the printer glitches is a simple task; users need to execute a few steps sequentially to fix the issue.

Printer offline error is frequently faced by users’ network printer users. User’s who faced the same problem can refer to this article for solving their problem.

When a user’s computer system or the mobile is unable to communicate with the printer unit, the user can get a printer offline error message. There can be multiple reasons which cause the printer is an offline error.

Causes for printer offline error:

  • Incorrect cable connection between the printer unit and computer system.
  • Damaged cables.
  • Continue use of printer for long hours.
  •  Enable “ Use Printer Offline”
  • Use of outdated, corrupted printer driver’s software.
  • Wrong printer settings.
  • Blocked by firewall. 
  • Incomplete printer jobs in queue.

Solutions for printer offline error:

To fix the printer is offline error user need to perform several checks. The users who are getting the printer is offline error and refer the following solutions to fix the problem.

Power cycle the printer unit:

Turning off and on the printer unit as well as connected devices can solve almost all the printer unit. Many users use the printer unit for long hours continuously, which results in overheating devices and causes printer offline error.  An expert recommends to power cycle devices in the following order will increase printer performance and solve printer offline error.

  • Turn off the printer.
  • Unplug the power cable.
  • Restart the computer system.
  • Wait for 30 seconds.
  • Plug-in the power cable.
  • Switch on printer unit.
  • Test the printer for error.

Check Cable connections:

If the device power cycle doesn’t help then the user should check the physical connection between the printer unit and the computer system. Wireless printer users should check their network connection. All the latest wireless printer models have an option to test the wireless connectivity. If the printer and computer device are not connected then the user might get printer is an offline error.

  1. Check the USB cable connected between the printer and the computer system.
  2. For the network printer users, check the network cable which is connected between printer and router.
  3. Connect the USB cable and network cable in different ports because the specific port of the device can be damaged. 
  4. Make sure that the USB cable and network cables are not damaged, if damaged replace them with a new one.
  5. Check the printer for error.

Run built-in printer troubleshooter

Windows 10 operating system is having built-in troubleshooters that automatically detect and solve printer errors. Users who are encountered with printer offline error can run this printer troubleshooter by using given steps.

  • Launch the Settings application.
  • Go to update and security options and click on troubleshoot.
  • Go to the printer option and click on the run the troubleshooter button.
  • Check if this is what works for Printer offline Fix 

 Enable “ Use Printer Offline”:

  • Go to start and open setting.
  • Visit for Devices and select Printers & scanners.
  • Select your printer and Open Queue.
  • Now uncheck the “Use Printer Offline”
  • Save and Exit the setting and Go back for printing.

Update the printer drivers:

The installation of printer drivers plays an important role in the fine working of the printer unit. A printer driver is a piece of program code that communicates between the operating system and the printer unit. It converts the printed data from the computer system into printer readable language.

Users can download the printer driver software from the manufacturer’s site of the printer unit. Just installing the printer drivers is not enough; the user needs to update it regularly for the error-free printing experience. Here are some common steps which the user can use to update the printer driver software. User needs to have an active internet connection for downloading or updating the printer drivers in the system.

  1. Launch the control panel.
  2. Go to the hardware and sound category. Select the device manager option.
  3. The device manager contains the list of all connected hardware to your computer system. Look and expand the printer option from the list.
  4. In the dropdown menu, the users can right-click on the printer name and select update driver’s option from the context menu.
  5. It will ask the user how to search for drivers automatically or manually. Users should select manually and locate the file otherwise user can go with an automatic option.
  6. Follow on-screen instructions to update the printer drivers. If the system is unable to find the printer drivers then the user needs to download the printer drivers from the manufacturer’s website.
  7. Restart the computer system and check the printer for ‘printer is offline‘ error.

Blocked by firewall


  • Sometime Firewall or Antivirus blocks the printer setting or ports that keep printer connected with computer. 
  • Upgrade your Antivirus if it is outdated and make sure it is not your antivirus causing your printer offline

Change printer spooler settings:

Wrong printer spooler settings can be one of the reasons for the printer offline issue. Users can check the printer spooler settings and update the settings if they are incorrect.

  1. Press the Windows key + R from the keyboard to open the Run window.
  2. Enter ‘services.msc’ in the text box and click on OK button.
  3. It will open the list of all services. User need to search and locate printer spooler services in the list.
  4. In the printer spooler properties, there is option like startup type with drop down menu. User need to set the startup type as automatic.
  5. Under the service status, the option user can see the 4 buttons in a row. Click on start button and wait for the system to start printer spooler services. 
  6. Save and confirm settings by clicking on apply and ok buttons respectively.
  7. Restart the system and check the printer for the error.

Manually set printer online:

Sometimes the user accidentally modifies certain printer settings which take the printer offline. Users can manually set the printer online to resolve the ‘printer is offline’ error. User should follow given steps for manually setting the printer online.

  1. Press the windows key or start option and go to devices and printer.
  2. It will display all the printer which are/was connected with your computer system. Double click on the printer which you want to manually set online.
  3. Click on open queue option.
  4. In the print queue window go to Printer and check the option ‘use printer offline’ 
  5. It will display the message like ‘this setting will change your printer settings offline to online’. Confirm the same to set the printer online.

In this way user can set their printer online manually.

Delete all the pending jobs in the print queue:

Sometimes the printer displays the printer is offline message due to corrupted or problematic files in the print queue. Deleting all the pending jobs from the print queue can solve the printer offline error. Here are the steps to delete all the pending jobs from the print queue.

  1. Press the Windows key from the keyboard.
  2. Go to the devices and printers.
  3. It will show the list of printers connected with your system. Right-click on the printer name which you want to troubleshoot.
  4. Click on the option like see what’s printing from the context menu.
  5. It will open the entire pending print documents list. Users can select and delete the problematic document. Users can also delete all the print jobs to clear the queue.

Remove and add printer in the system:

If all the above check doesn’t work then user can remove and reinstall printer in the system. Here is the stepwise procedure which helps user’s to remove and reinstall printer in their system.

  1. Remove USB cable which is connected between printer unit and computer system.
  2. Click on start or press the windows key from your keyboard.
  3. Go to control panel-> devices and printer.
  4. Right click on the printer name which you want to troubleshoot and click on the remove option from the context menu.
  5. This will remove the printer from system. Restart the system.
  6. Connect the printer and computer system with the USB cable. 
  7. Once it is connected, windows will automatically prompt a message to install the printer.
  8. Follow on-screen instructions to install printer in the system. It will also install the printer drivers again. 
  9. Restart the system and test printer for the error.

If after the plug-in windows doesn’t prompt to install printer then the user can go to control panel-> devices and printer-> add printer. In the add printer window, the user can click on the link of named ‘the printer I want isn’t listed’ and manually add the printer in the system.

We hope that the user fixes their printer offline error by referring to the troubleshooting solutions provided in this article. Users can also get in touch with the technical experts or the service center for solving printer is offline error with their printer unit.