Printer is offline: How to get Printer back online

Printer offline issue

Even with today’s advanced printers having all modern day technologies, there is nothing more problematic than a printer going offline every now and then. In today’s post we are going to explain why your printer is offline and how to fix this.

Why is my printer offline?

Printers go offline as they are unable to communicate with your computer due to external factors. There can be various reasons why your printer is offline and you can troubleshoot the actual cause by following these steps.

  1. Ensure your printer and your computer is connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. Make sure that your printer is selected as a default printer in your computer.
  3. Turn off your printer and wait for 30 seconds before turning it back on.
  4. Clear all the print commands in queue.
  5. Remove and add your printer again.
  6. After completing all the above steps, restart your computer.

This step by step troubleshoot guide can be utilized with all types of printer brands such as Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Samsung, Lexmark, Ricoh, Toshiba, Konica Minolta, etc.

When does the printer go offline?

Failure to connect with your computer is the primary reason for your printer to go offline. Depending upon your printer’s age, version of drivers being used and the compatibility with the attached computer, the reason for this issue varies from case to case.

The most common and primary reason for this issue to arise is due to missing or outdated driver updates. Printer drivers are important piece of software that assists in proper functioning of its hardware. Failure to do so causes the printer to perform sluggishly, creating frequent problems with respect to printing.

Another common reason associated with this issue is the prolonged inactivity of your printer. If a printer is idle for many hours, chances are it may enter into sleep mode. This is just an efficient way of conserving power in modern day printers, if they are not used for most time of the day. The simple way to wake your printer is by pressing power button for 1 second. This will ensure your printer is active before it receives any print command.

How to switch my printer from “offline” to “online” in Windows 10

Your printer is offline apparently due to no communication with the attached computer. The reason behind this error may be related to the software or hardware. To further narrow down the issue, we are sharing few list of steps to get your printer back online.

  1. Search “Printers and Scanners” in the search menu bar as shown in the image, and click on open.
  2. A new window for Printers & Scanners will open.
  3. Select your printer in the provided list and click on “Open queue”.
  4. A new window will open for your selected printer.
  5. Click on “Printer” located at the top right corner in the box.
  6. Uncheck “Use Printer Offline”.

How to fix printer offline in Mac

The main cause for printer to go offline in Mac is due to software incompatibility. The driver installed in the printer may have become outdated, corrupted or may have been infected with malware. Make sure that both your computer and printer have the latest edition of software and drivers installed. To troubleshoot and fix your printer offline issue on Mac, follow the below step by step guide.

Check for System Updates:

  1. Go to Apple menu and select “About this Mac”
  2. Check your current version with the latest release.
  3. Click on “Software Update” and wait for the latest update to be installed on your system.

Check for Printer Updates:

  1. Go to Apple menu, select “System Preferences” and click on “Printers & Scanners”
  2. Select your printer from the list and then click “Remove”
  3. Now add your printer again by clicking on “+” or “Add Printer”
  4. After installing your printer go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update.
  5. Install any software update listed for your printer.

How to fix HP Printer Offline Issue

For Mac

If your HP Printer for Mac operating system is not responding or the printer status is offline, follow the below mentioned step by step guide to resolve the issue.

  1. Check if your printer is in sleep mode, a short press to the power button usually wakes the printer.
  2. Check if there are any error lights prompting on the printer. Check the paper tray and cartridge.
  3. Restart the printer after following the above two steps and send a print job again.
  4. If the printer still fails to print open the HP Smart Application from your computer. In case you do not have it installed, we recommend you to install this application from here: HP Smart for Mac.
  5. After opening up the application, click on printers and select “Diagnose & Fix”
  6. Once diagnose has been completed, take a test print to check if the issue has been fixed.
  7. If above mentioned all the steps does not fix your problem, try to reset your printing system.
    1. Resetting your printing system clears all the printers from your system. To go ahead with this click the apple menu and select “System Preferences”
    2. Depending upon your version, click on “Print & Fax” or “Print & Scan” or “Printers & Scanners”.
    3. Right click on the blank space near the list of installed printers. Click on “Reset printing system”.
    4. Click Reset to confirm resetting your printing system.
    5. The previously installed printers will be removed. Now add your desired printer to the system.

For Windows

If you are using Windows operating system, HP has provided a special diagnostic application to fix the printer offline issue.
  1. Click on HP Print and Scan Doctor and wait for the application to download on your system.
  2. Double click on the application ( HPPSdr.exe) to initiate the diagnosis.
  3. Click on Start.
  4. Select your Printer from the list.
  5. After diagnosis, the application will show you list of instructions depending upon the case. After completing the instructions, take a test print to ensure the problem is fixed.

7 Easy Steps​ to change printer status from offline to online

Shared below are 6 easy steps to change the status of your printer from offline to online.

  1. Checking primary connection.
  2. Restarting your device.
  3. Updating drivers.
  4. Checking Internet connectivity.
  5. Restart printer spooler service.
  6. Updating Printer’s IP address
  7. Manually forcing the printer to go online.

Checking the Primary Connection

The primary thing to do is to check your printer’s connection with your PC. You should take a look at the direct link interfacing your printer to your switch, and check the USB link associating your printer to your PC. If you think that the connections to the system are all okay, try switching the printer cable to alternate USB port on your device.

For printers that are connected through WiFi (Wireless Printers), you need to check the “Network Settings” in the Printers and Scanners section of your computer. Click on “Confirm Network Settings” and this will open up the current network settings of your printer.

Restart your Printer & Device

If the connections are okay upon initial investigation and the network settings are fine; try turning it off and on again. This reboot will restart the connection between the printer and the computer / mobile again that will further help you to conclude your investigation. Before pressing the restart button do not forget to clear all the active print jobs that were sent to the printer.

Reinstall or Update Printer Drivers

Another way to fix your issue is to check for new driver updates. Oftentimes the manufacturer releases updated software drivers to remove any kind of bugs that were present in previous versions. We recommend you to update your drivers to the latest released version as per the brand. Shared below are the steps to update your printer driver.

  1. Press the Windows Key (Start menu button) + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the Update & security section.
  3. Click on “Check for Updates”


In case your drivers are up to date, try reinstalling them once again. Many times the drivers do not get properly installed due to Antiviruses installed on our system.

Check your Internet connection

 Check if your internet connection is “ON” and your device is not connected to any third party proxy servers or virtual private networks. It is recommended to disconnect your proxy networks before resuming the printer service as it might cause a conflict in IP addresses.

Restart Printer Spooler Service

1. Go to Windows start menu item and search for “Run” and click enter. Type in services.msc and press enter.


2. Search for the words “Print Spooler” and right click on it once you have located it. Now click on restart from the menu items. This will restart the Printer spooler.


Updating Printer's IP address

A network printer frequently changes its IP address due to security reasons.  In most of the cases the default IP address in your system is automatically updated with the new one, yet it is recommended to check your printer configuration to strike out this cause.

If you are using Windows operating system, select “Printer properties” after clicking on the desired printer from the list. Click on the “Ports” tab and select “Configure port”. This will show you the current IP address of your printer. Make sure that the IP address of the printer is correctly added, if not, you can edit and add the correct address of your printer.

For Mac users, select “System Preferences” by clicking on the Apple icon menu. Choose the option “Printers & Scanners” and then click on “Options & Supplies”

Manually forcing “Printer Offline” to “Printer Online”

If all fails; you can force your printer to go online. Go to start menu lists, and select Control Panel. Click on the “Devices and Printers” and right click on your printer from the list that is shown and choose “See What’s Printing”. Select “Printer” and click on “Use Printer Online” from the drop down.
Bingo! Your printer has moved from offline to online again.

Don’t forget to take a Test print.


We hope this post has made you clear about the cause of your printer going offline and how to resolve the issue.  In addition to all the steps we have mentioned, the best practice is to always keep your device drivers up to date. The new updates usually removes  old bugs and errors making your printers more efficient.

Although we have tried our best to cover all the topics related to this issue, but in case your problem persists we recommend you to get in touch with the manufacturer of your printer for further assistance. Good Luck.

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