Printer Offline Status on Windows 10 [Solved]

Sophie Luo, in printer issue Tags: printer

It’s a weekday and you need to print out a file for an important meeting in 30 minutes. You open the file and click the Print button, and wait for the printer to work. Nothing. Then, a message pops up at the bottom-right corner of your PC desktop saying that your printer is offline. 

You then check the printer status in the Devices and Printers window, and you see this: 

Well, you’re not the only one who are bugging by this issue. But no worries, it’s not a hard problem to fix. As a matter of fact, you can easily fix it following the methods below. 

Here are 5 solutions for you to try. You may not need to try them all; just work your way down until you find the one works for you. 

Method 1: Check Printer Connection
Method 2: Check Printing Status
Method 3: Restart The Print Spooler Service
Method 4: Add a Second Printer
Method 5: Update Printer Driver

Note: Before we begin, make sure that there is nothing wrong with your printer. If the problem is with your printer, you need to ask for help from your printer manufacturer. 

Method 1: Check Printer Connection

The printer offline status is your printer’s way of telling you that something is wrong with the communication between your computer and your printer, via USB cable or network connection (wireless and wired). So one of the first things you check is your printer’s connection with your PC. 

1) Power off and then power on your printer to restart it. Wait for a while for it to be fully ready. 

2) Check your printer connection: 

2.1) If your printer is connected via USB cable: make sure the cable to your printer is well connected. Then make sure you’re connecting the cable to your computer via a working USB port. 

2.2) If your printer is connected via wired network: make sure the cable to your printer is well connected to the Ethernet port. Then make sure the port your printer connect to on your router is working well. Check if the network signal on your printer is flashing. 

Note: Your printer could go offline if the connected cable is loose, too old, or broken, you may need to replace them if needed. 

2.3) If your printer is connected via wireless network: Check your printer and make sure that it’s connected to your PC network. The lit-up wireless icon on your printer usually indicates that you’re connected. 

3) Check if you can print now. If the problem persists, continue to the next method. 

Method 2: Check Printing Status

Auto-updated printer driver provided by Windows Update could change your printer settings without notifying you. So you need to make sure that your printer status is problem-free: 

1) Turn your printer off and then turn it back on again. 

2) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and I at the same time. Click Devices

3) Click Devices and printers

4) Right-click the icon with a green check-mark and click See what’s printing

If what you see here is a grey icon without the green check-mark, right-click the icon and click Set as Default Printer

Then right-click it and click See what’s printing

5) Click Printer. If you can see a tick next to the option Pause printing and Use Printer Offline, click them to remove the ticks.

6) See if you can print now. If now, continue to the next method. 

Method 3: Restart The Print Spooler Service

Your printer will refuse to work if the Print Spooler service is not working well. In some case, this service is somehow turned off. You need to check if it’s running first, then decide whether or not to restart it: 

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time. Type services.msc in the search box and press Enter

2) On your keyboard, press the P key to faster locate Print Spooler item. See if its status is Running

3) If you can’t see its status here, right-click Print Spooler service and click Start

4) If you like, you can also restart this service: right-click Print Spooler and click Restart

5) Close the Properties window. Then check if you can print now. 

If the printer offline problem persists, try the next method below. 

Method 4: Add a second printer 

NOTE: This method only works when your printer is connected via network instead of USB cable. 

If none of the above methods work, you can still set a manual IP address for your printer and add a port on your PC for them to match.

You need to have an IP address for your printer. You can usually find it in your printer manual. If you don’t have the manual, try to search for it on the manufacturer website. 

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and I at the same time. Click Devices.

2) Click Devices and printers.

3) Right-click your printer and select Printer properties

4) Click the Ports tab, then Add Port.

5) Select Standard TCP/IP Port, then click New Port.

6) Click Next

7) Type in the printer’s IP address. Click Next.

As mentioned, finding the IP address for your printer differs from one printer to another. If you still have the instruction of your printer, go fetch it and see if you can find the way. If not, go to the manufacturer’s support website and search for detailed instructions. 

8) Try and see if you can get your printer work again. 

Method 5: Update Printer Driver

If you’ve tried all the above method, but no avail, it’s time for you to check if you have the best-matched printer driver installed.  Here is how you can do it: 

NOTE: If you’ve been using the same printer for a while without similar problem, this fix might not be working for you. 

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and I at the same time. Click Devices

2) Click Devices and printers

3) Right-click your printer and click Remove Device

4) If you’re prompted about permissions, click OK, then Yes

5) Go to the manufacturer website, download and later install the printer driver you need. 

6) If you don’t have the time, patience or computer skills to update your printer driver manually, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy.

Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct drivers for it. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running, you don’t need to risk downloading and installing the wrong driver, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake when installing. 

You can update your drivers automatically with either the FREE or the Pro version of Driver Easy. But with the Pro version it takes just 2 clicks (and you get full support and a 30-day money back guarantee):

6.1) Download and install Driver Easy. 

6.2) Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. 

6.3) Click the Update button next to the flagged printer device to automatically download and install the correct version of this driver (you can do this with the FREE version).

Or click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system (this requires the Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All). 

7) Check if you can print now. If not, process with the next method below. 

 

If you need more assistance regarding the printer offline problem, feel free to leave us comments and we’ll see what more we can do to help. 

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  • Jennifer

    I found this article so helpful. Thank you. The problem just happened yesterday and meanwhile it was working a week ago, but windows 10 did a big update. I restarted the printer spooler and it worked like a charm. I knew it wasn’t the driver because I have the latest. I also did a hardware test and it was fine.

  • Cesc Batlle

    #4 Did it for me too!
    Many thanks!!

  • Stephen Clancy

    Hello guys!

    For those of you that none of the steps above helped you,
    I found my “offline” status is anytime I connect to VPN.

    In that case you need to connect via USB cable or disconnect from VPN and then print.
    If you are bound to VPN and access to the printer is only by network, you need to ask your VPN admin to grant you local network access.

  • Melinda de los Santos

    Step 1 worked like a charm. Woulda been great if I found this article first. I went through so many YouTube and other tutorials to no avail.

    Thanks! 😀

    • Phil Wade

      I found the answer when I started having issues with a new slimline blu ray writer. I WOULD MENTION HERE i AM WRITING ABOUT DESKTOPS; MAY NOT BE GOOD TO USE ON LAPTOPS. It kept giving me messages that a USB device had malfunctioned. Troubleshooting this, I came on a post telling me about power option for USB ports. Investigating I found the following: Under Power Options, click change advanced settings, navigate to to USB settings, expand option and change to disabled.

      Now, go to device manager, expand USB options and right click on each entry and open properties. In each one that has a power management option, click that tab and deselect the option. This hs solved both of my USB issues and all ,is good for the moment.

  • Elly

    step 4 did the job nicely. Thanks 🙂

  • Elizabeth LeDoux

    Number 4 worked for me too. Thank you for this helpful list. I do have a new problem and I don’t even know where to begin. I’m printing bills. The bill looks exactly the same but the word “draft” which is in red superimposed across the bill now prints in huge black boxes across the bill (think minecraft squares). This must be some kind of setting but where would I even begin to look? These documents are generated through software which creates PDFs – it makes zero sense.

  • Pipster

    Number 4 worked a treat – have been getting really fed up with the printer randomly going offline – now it works. THANK YOU!

  • ian

    Method #4 worked nicely – just had to track down the printer IP address from the router (to which the printer is hardwired). Still got some remnant ‘printers’ in the devices list that refuse to REMOVE. But can live with that….

  • Jeff Allen

    Thank you! I have been fighting with Win10 and HP printers tirelessly ever since installed. Finally, your step #4, Make a New Port with Standard/IP, worked. No WIN10 or HP troubleshooter, sharing or network diagnosis ever did. Thank you!