How to get printer online from printer offline

Printer Offline is a common and frequently occurring problem in our daily work, and it significantly affects office productivity.

The troubleshooting can help you on most brands of printers, including HP, Brother, Samsung, Canon, Ricoh, Xerox, Sharp, and many more. The universal operating systems include Windows (Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10), macOS, and Linux. 

Some details may vary in different operating systems, but the logic is the same. Check Print on Mac.

printer cartridges

Why is my printer offline?

There are three players in the printing process:

  • Your printer
  • Wired or wireless connection media including cable, router
  • Your operating devices such as desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone

Equipment and connectivity faults; and compatibility errors can make the printer offline.

How to get printer online again?

We can try these steps to get the printer offline fixed very quickly.

  • Disconnect the VPN
  • Restart your device and printer
  • Check the connectivity
  • Get your printer online from setting
  • Cancel the printing tasks
  • Reinstall the printer
  • Update printer driver


    Three easy and fast methods to get printer online again.

    Disconnect the VPN

    If you use a VPN on your PC or mobile device, your IP will change and make the printer offline. Simply cut off the VPN to bring the printer back online.

    Restart your device and printer

    Simply restart your PC and printer to solve many task errors, which is not necessary to dig the deeper reasons.

    Check the connectivity

    Local connection

      • If the printer is connected locally to your PC with a USB cable, physically check if the cable is firmly plugged in both ends. Try different ports in your devices.
      • You can use a different cable to check if the current cable is broken.

      IP printer on local area network, including Wi-Fi and Ethernet

        • If the printer is shared in an Ethernet or Wi-Fi, check the connectivity from the router to both the printer and your device.
        • You should insert and double-check the Ethernet cable correctly, like the USB cable, or check if the devices have connected to a strong Wi-Fi.
        • You can use a USB cable to check if the wireless connection is workable.

        If the printer is still offline, the problem may be about the setting and software.

        We take a Desktop with Windows 10 Pro working with HP Color Laser MFP 179fnw to make the following instructions of Printer Offline fix. 

        Three critical windows for Printer Offline Fix

        Let’s move on to find the under-the-hood features from the windows of Printers(1), printing task(2) and Print Server Properties(3).


        Find and familiar yourself with them, and we can solve 90% of the issues of the Printer Offline very quickly.


        From Search Bar

        In Windows 10, you can always find an application from searching it.

        • Right-click the Start icon, choose Search, or directly use the “Windows + S” combination key. 
        find control panel from search bar in Windows 10
        • Type printers and click on the result, which is descripted as Printers & scanners in windows.
        printers window, printing task window, and Print Server Properties Window
        • In the opening window, click your printer then “See whats printing” or “Print Server Properties”. 


        From control panel

        The Control panel gives you access to most of the tools in Windows, including the printer feature. In the older versions of Windows, you can easily find it from the start menu or the file Explorer. But a slight detour in Windows 10.

        • Right-click the Start icon, choose Search, or directly use the “Windows + S” combination key. 


        • Input "control panel" in the search bar and click Control Panel in the result.

        Control panel

        • Choose Hardware and sound then Devices and printers, or click View devices and printers directly.


        From Setting App

        In Windows 10, the Setting App takes many functions in the Control Panel.

        Find setting app from start icon in windows10
        • Click the start icon and then “Settings” or use the combination key “Windows + I” directly.
        setting App in Windows 10
        • In the opening window, click Devices


        printers window, printing task window, and Print Server Properties Window in settings
        • Click Printers & scanners and your printer in the middle of the page.
        • Click Open queue or Print server properties.


        Now we get the crucial windows for the next steps

        Get your printer online from setting

        The local connection is workable if you can scan from your device with an offline printer.

        In this case, just open the printing task window and bring the printer online manually.


        Bring printer Online by deselect Use Printer Offline


        • Click the Printer in the printing task window and deselect Use Printer Offline.
        • You will need to clean the pending printing jobs if they exist.

        Cancel the printing tasks

        cancel printing task

        The simple way is to click Cancel All Documents and Enter in the Printing Task window.

        You can always cancel the printing jobs from your computer, whether the printer is online or not. 

        Sometimes the printer receives the tasks but cannot print because of paper jam, and you’d need to remove the paper jam in this case.

        Restarting your computer and printer can automatically cancel the printing jobs, which is helpful if any stubborn tasks remain. Furthermore, you can remove and install your printer to get the same result.

        Reinstall the printer to bring your printer online

        remove and reinstall a printer
        • From the Devices and Printers window, click the printer, then Remove device.
        • Click Add a printer to add an available printer. 
        • Adding a new printer means finding it and installing the correct driver.
        • For a locally USB-connected printer, your computer will automatically detect it and install the driver.
        • For an IP printer, you can always add it by typing the IP address.

        How to find the printer IP?

        Two fast ways to find out the printer IP once connected to the network.

            • The IP address is somewhere in the printer's setting menu; just check around, and you will find it.
            • If there is no LCD on your printer, you can access your router menu to find the printer IP from the attached device list.

            You can also get the printer IP from other printers in the network.

                • Use combination key Windows + R, type "cmd", and click OK to open the Command Prompt window. Type "netstat -r" and press Enter to get all the IPs of connected devices, including your printer. 
                The other way is from the printer properties. 


                  find printer IP from web services in printer properties
                  • Right click your printer in the Printers window and choose properties.
                  • Click Web Services and find the printer IP address at the bottom.


                  find printer IP from ports in printer properties


                  • Click Printer in printing task window and choose Properties. Find printer IP from Ports.  
                  • The description of printer IP port is Standard TCP/IP Port.
                  find printer IP from ports in print server Properties

                  The same result is in the Print Server Properties.


                  How to add a network printer with printer IP?


                  add a network printer with printer IP
                  • Click Add a printer in the printer window.
                  • In the opening window, click The printer that I want isn’t listed, and Next.
                  • Choose Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname, and click Next.
                  • Type IP address in the new window and click Next.

                  Install the printer driver from Windows

                  You will need to install the printer driver if it doesn't exist on your computer.
                    install the printer driver from Add Printer
                    • Select the manufacturer and printers’ model to install the driver.
                    • You can click Windows Update to get the newest drivers.

                    Install universal printer driver from Windows

                    • A universal way for most printers to print text only, choose Generic and then Generic/Text Only, and Next.

                    The compatibility problems to make printer offline

                    The printer will go offline if not compatible with your device.

                    The residual drivers from removing a printer often bring conflict. Sometimes the printer is ages-old, and sometimes the drivers are not up to date.

                    Updating or reinstalling the printer driver can solve most of the driver issues. 

                    How to update printer driver

                    Update printer driver from Windows Update

                    • Press the Windows + S, type “update” and click Windows Update or Check for updates to open it.
                    • You can also find it easily from the Control panel or the Setting App.
                    • Click the Check for updates button, and Windows will show you all the software for update in mins, including the printer driver.
                    • Select the printer driver you need to update.

                    Update printer driver from Devise Manager


                    Update printer driver from Devise Manager
                    • Right-click the Windows Icon, click Device Manager to open it.
                    • In the opening window, click Printer, right-click your printer, and Update driver.
                    • You can choose two different ways to update the driver in the next window.

                    If it doesn't work, remove and reinstall the newest driver.

                    How to remove the printer driver

                    remove printer driver from Print Server Properties


                    • Open Run from Start Icon or press “Windows+R”.
                    • Type “printui /s /t2” to open Print Server Properties.
                    • Click Drivers, choose the unwanted driver, then click Remove.

                    How to download the newest printer driver from the printer manufacturer 

                    download the newest printer driver from the printer manufacturer
                    • Google your printer model + “driver” and find the download page on the manufacturers ’website.
                    • Choose your operating system and the version, download the newest driver, and install it.
                    • You can install the driver with or without adding a printer in the same guide window. Decide with something like “Select if you want to install the software without connecting the printer.”

                    Last suggestion

                    After all these attempts, the printer itself may be a potential problem if you still cannot print. Consult a technician or the printer manufacturer to fix it or get a new printer to avoid a high maintenance fee.

                    Trouble shooting

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