A printer indicating that it is offline can mean communication failure between the device and the computer. The problem can be caused by several factors and, therefore, the solution is also different for each one. The error is simple to resolve, but there are several steps, which you will have to perform.
Thinking about it, we have gathered the main causes of the problem and their respective corrections. The steps work for all brands of printers, including HP, and all types of operating systems such as Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.
Check the connections
The main cause of the “offline printer” error is because it is disconnected from the computer. Check if the USB cable is plugged in correctly if your connection is wired. If the device is wireless, make sure it is on the same Wi-Fi network as your PC. You can check this in the printer’s menu, which will vary according to the make and model used.
It is also important to check that the printer is properly plugged in. If it is a printer connected to the network or shared, confirm that all routers and computers necessary for the peripheral to work are turned on. It is also necessary to assess whether all UPS, stabilizers, and power filters are properly lit.
Change printer status to online
If all is well with the connections, try to simply force the printer to be recognized as online. To do this, first, click on the Start button and enter Settings. Go to “Devices” and, in the left sidebar, select “Printers and scanners”. Click on the offline printer and press the “Manage” button.
In the window that will open, click on the “Open print queue” button. Now press the “Printer” menu and uncheck the “Use printer offline” option. This will bring the printer online and recognize your print queue again. In previous versions of Windows, the window is within the “Printers and Faxes” menu.
Windows has a built-in feature for checking printing problems. It analyzes aspects of the peripheral configuration and offers solutions based on the errors found. When you’re having trouble finding the root of the failure, running the tool can be a way to quickly find out what to change on the printer to make it work.
The functionality is also in the “Printers and scanners” menu. As in the previous topic, you must select the printer that is showing the offline status and press the “Manage” button. In this window, click on “Run troubleshooting” and wait for the system to carry out the checks.
The troubleshooting wizard will recommend changes that can resolve your offline printer problem. Click on “Apply this correction” or, if you believe that the fault has another source, select “Ignore this correction”. In the latter case, the tool will continue to provide further procedural suggestions with the device.
Update or reinstall the printer driver
Printers usually work without the latest driver installed, but the user may not be able to use some functions. If the software has a problem, the device may appear as offline. Possible causes include simple failures, power outages, or even viruses.
The simplest measure is to update the printer driver. Type “Device Manager” in the Taskbar and select the tool. Then expand the “Printers” option, select the model, right-click and press “Update driver”. On the screen that opens, choose the option “Automatically search for updated driver software”.
If that doesn’t work, uninstall and reinstall the printer driver. First, disconnect the device from the computer, either via USB or Wi-Fi. Then go to “Settings”, go to “Devices” and enter “Printers and Scanners”. Select the printer and press the “Remove device” button. Then, press “Yes” to confirm the operation.
Restart the computer, reconnect the printer, and install the driver again, which can be downloaded from the device manufacturer’s website.
Clean the print queue
If you canceled a print while the printer was offline, at the time ordering another file to print, the new queue may also be identified as offline. In this case, you need to clean the print spooler to restart the job.
Type “services.msc” (without quotes) in the taskbar search field and select the “Services” tool. Locate the “Print Spooler” option, right-click on it, and press “Stop”.
Press the Windows and “R” keys simultaneously to open “Run”. Enter the address “C:\Windows\System32\Spool\PRINTERS” (without the quotes) and press Enter. Delete all files in the “Printers” folder and return to the services window. Right-click on “Print Spooler” and enter “Start”.