Why Is My Printer Offline or Not Responding?
Occasionally, our printer stops working suddenly. If your printer is offline or seems to be offline, the solution may be as simple as you think before you hand it over to a technician. Let’s check out some simple symptoms if we can solve the issues by trying at least one these:
Is the power on?
Check if the power button has been turned on and the power plug is connected to an AC socket.
Is it in Sleep Mode?
Sometimes, the printer goes to sleep mode automatically when the printer has been idle for quite a while. Pressing the power button on again or any button that deactivates sleep mode might work.
Check the printer’s display for error messages
One of these messages might appear:
- Ink Empty / Refill Ink
- Open Lid / Close Lid
- Paper Jam
Troubleshoot the issue to clear the error message being displayed.
Is it set as the default printer?
- Access Control Panel >> Devices and Printers
- Select the printer you want. Right click the printer and select “Set as default printer”
- A check mark should be visible right at the bottom of the printer’s icon.
Are the drivers installed?
Normally, Windows will install a generic driver if the printer is supported but it’s absolutely necessary to install the manufacturer’s driver CD in order your printer to work properly.
Are there duplicate printers installed with the same name? (Listed as “Copy 1”, “Copy 2”)
This happens when you change the USB port on your computer on some occasions and inadvertently installed the drivers more than once. Remove all copies of the installed drivers including the originally listed device and uninstall the drivers. Restart your computer and reinstall the printer driver again.
Is the printer connected from your computer?
- Ensure that the USB printer cable is snugly connected on both ends from the computer to your printer. You might have a loose connection somewhere. Disconnect the USB cable and connect it again.
- If using an ethernet cable, ensure that the printer is connected to the router or access point.
- If the printer was configured to a wireless connection, ensure the router or access point is turned on and connected to your printer for good measure.
The printer is connected but it still does not appear under Devices and Printers
Sometimes a USB icon will appear in the system tray and the printer is still undetected OR it returns an error with “This device can perform faster” or similar message even if your printer is connected to a USB 2 or higher port. Try one of these solutions:
- Make sure you’re not using a cheap USB port hub or cheap generic power supply unit (PSU). The USB ports may be underpowered if all other USB ports are being used by devices that demand more power. If this is the case, temporarily remove all other USB devices from your USB ports and connect your printer again first before any other device that doesn’t demand much power.
- Avoid connecting two or more printers in a single USB port hub extension as this may cause two or more printers sharing under one USB port that’s only displayed as a single USB icon unless you have verified the connections separately detected and it won’t cause you problems later.
- Remove all printer drivers from Control Panel >> Devices and Printers, restart your computer and reinstall the drivers again. Make sure you disable any antivirus program or add an exception to the program and allow any changes the program makes before installing the drivers.
- You maybe using an old USB printer cable for USB 1.1 devices. Swap the cable with a USB 2.0 (or USB 3.0) compliant cable.
- Sometimes an installation or flashing the firmware of your motherboard from your computer can alter the settings in your computer’s BIOS. To access, reboot your computer and press the key that appears on the screen that lets you access the BIOS. Navigate the BIOS and look for a USB Mode option and set it to its highest speed or version. Do not change other BIOS settings unless you’re sure what you’re doing.
If your printer offline issues persist despite following the suggested solutions above, contact your nearest qualified tech to have a look at it.