Why Does My Computer Say That My Printer Is Offline

Why Does My Computer Say That My Printer Is Offline – Editors select and review products independently. If you make a purchase through affiliate links, we receive commissions that help support testing.

In most cases, Windows automatically detects any printer on the same network as your computer. But what if your computer can’t see the printer or simply refuses to connect? Connecting a printer to a local network is simple in theory, but in practice it can be difficult to resolve if the process goes wrong.

Why Does My Computer Say That My Printer Is Offline

Why Does My Computer Say That My Printer Is Offline

Running the “Add a Printer or Scanner” wizard or the printer troubleshooter will solve the problem in most cases. If that doesn’t work, these easy troubleshooting steps will save the day.

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The printer can connect to a network via Ethernet or Wi-Fi local area network (LAN), or you can connect it directly to a computer on the network via USB. Each connection type can be shared with other users on the network by enabling print sharing on the server or on a computer to which a USB printer is connected.

The Windows Add Printer or Scanner wizard is available from the Printers and Scanners section of Settings in Control Panel. (In Windows 7, the Add Printer Wizard can be accessed from the Devices and Printers Control Panel.) The specific details vary between versions of Windows, but the procedure is pretty much the same.

However, unlike previous versions, Windows 10 does not usually require a wizard to run. Instead, when you plug your Ethernet cable into the printer or connect the printer to a wireless network, in most cases the printer automatically appears in the list of installed devices.

When you install a printer on your LAN, it usually appears automatically in the list of installed printers and scanners.

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(In Windows 7 and earlier, when you click the Add Printer link, Windows will automatically search for printers on the network. The printer names will appear and you can select one. Add it, and good luck, and you’ll be ready to print.)

If your device is not listed here, click Add a printer or scanner. Windows will start searching for connected printers on your network and list its results as shown below. Simply click on the printer you want to connect to and click Add a Device.

Windows moves the printer to the list of installed printers and scanners. From here, when you click on a printer name in the list, you can manage the machine as you wish.

Why Does My Computer Say That My Printer Is Offline

Of course, the printer doesn’t always set up as it should. It may not appear in the list of available printers, or you may receive a message that Windows cannot connect to it. The first steps are to make sure of the basics.

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This means making sure the printer is turned on and connected to the same network as the PC you want to add. You should also make sure that Print Sharing is enabled on the computer it is attached to. For a home network, this will be the computer where you installed the printer software.

From here you have two options. Click the “The printer I want is not listed” option located directly below the list of printers found when searching for a connected device, or run the troubleshooter.

One thing to be aware of: if you don’t see a printer, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Some IT departments hide all printer names by default. While there are probably good reasons for this, hidden printers can be a hindrance when someone has a legitimate need to connect to a specific printer. There are other issues that can prevent you from seeing an available printer.

In the Find a Printer Using Other Options dialog box, you’ll see five options for finding and connecting to your printer. (Note that this dialog box had only three options in earlier versions of Windows.)

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My printer is a bit old. Help me find it: When you select this option, Windows will perform a different search. If it finds your printer, it will display a second dialog box. Select your printer and Windows will install the drivers. If your printer isn’t listed, try one of the other options in the dialog box (this may require searching for another “Add printer or scanner” in the Printers and Scanners control panel).

Select printer by name: To use this option, you need to know the name of the computer the printer is connected to and the printer’s own network name. If you do this at the office with a network-attached printer and you don’t know the name of the printer, you’ll need to ask another employee who uses it or get it from your IT department. Note the naming examples below this option in the image above.

Add printer using TCP/IP address or hostname: Selecting this option brings up the “Type the printer hostname or IP address” dialog box. Here again, you need to get the hostname or IP address. Enter the address or hostname and click Next.

Why Does My Computer Say That My Printer Is Offline

On a home network, you can obtain the printer’s IP address by printing a status report from its control panel or from the printer’s built-in web portal.

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Windows will ask for a printer and then display a list of compatible devices, allowing you to select your printer by manufacturer and type. After making your selections, click Next and it should connect your computer to the printer. If not, go to the troubleshooting section below.

Add a Bluetooth, wireless, or network-discovered printer: With this option, you can add peer-to-peer network devices that aren’t actually on your LAN. (Windows will brute-force search for all protocols available on your computer.).

Add a local printer or network with manual settings: Selecting this option will run a wizard and walk you through a series of steps to manually create a printer port and set up a printer, which requires technical expertise beyond an entry-level tutorial. .

At any point in the process or if one of these methods fails, you can run the Windows troubleshooter to connect to the printer.

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To run the troubleshooter, the printer that is having trouble connecting or printing must be listed in the Printers and Scanners list of available devices in Control Panel. To enable it, click the printer in the list and click Manage.

This will bring up the Device Control panel for that particular printer. In the list of options at the bottom of the panel, click Run the debugger.

If Windows detects a problem, it will display another dialog box with information about the problem and, depending on the cause of the problem, the option to “Apply this fix” and “Skip this fix”…

Why Does My Computer Say That My Printer Is Offline

If the troubleshooter finds a problem, it will offer you the option to fix it or continue troubleshooting.

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If you choose the first one, Windows will try to resolve the problem and connect to the printer. If you choose the latter, the troubleshooter will continue to search for additional issues.

What happens next depends on a number of factors, including (but not limited to) the option you choose and which problem(s) are identified. In the above example, Windows suggests that making the device the default printer will solve the problem.

If you click Apply Fix, Windows will set the printer to the default and ask if this fixes the problem. If you click Skip this fix, the troubleshooter will start looking for other problems and if it finds any, it will display another dialog asking if you want to apply the fix or stop looking for problems.

Again, depending on which option you choose and what problems the troubleshooter finds, your problem may be resolved immediately or it may take several tries. If these troubleshooting steps do not resolve the problem, contact IT or call customer service for your printer manufacturer.

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In most cases, the methods discussed here should finally connect your computer to the printer. Now, if you know that the printer is connected, but you

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Why Does My Computer Say That My Printer Is Offline

I focus on printer and scanner technology and reviews. I’ve been writing about computer technology since before the Internet. I have authored or co-authored 20 books, including popular titles

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Series – on digital design and desktop publishing software applications. My published experience in these areas includes Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop, and QuarkXpress, as well as prepress imaging technology. (However, over the course of my long career I have covered many aspects of it.)

In addition to writing hundreds of articles for Windows, I’ve written for many other computer and business publications over the years, including Computer Shopper, Digital Trends, Macuser, PC World, The Wirecutter, and Windows Magazine. I worked for About.com (now Lifewire) as an expert on printers and scanners. Editors select and review products independently. If you purchase through affiliate links,

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