How to Fix “Printer Offline” Error in Windows
Your printer might be a good hardware, but if it has begun to show “Printer Offline” error then you need to take care of it so as to fix it and get it working again. When your printer indicates this error, it might be running an outdated driver software, corrupt printer software, conflicting IP address, or something which is not letting it work. You can fix the “Printer Offline” error on your own by following any or all of the steps given in this post.
Remove and reinstall the printer. Click the “Start” button and point to “Devices and Printers”. If you are running Windows XP, click “Printers and Faxes” from the Start menu> All Programs. Locate your printer, right click it and then select “Remove Printer”. When prompted, confirm the action and then exit all the windows. If prompted, restart your computer. Now go back to “Devices and Printers” (or Printers and Faxes) and click “Add a printer”. Follow the on-screen prompts and then reinstall your printer. Afterwards, you should be able to get your printer working and not see the error again.
If the error continues to appear, update its printer drivers from its manufacturer’s website. Though you can search for printer drivers through Windows Update but it’s recommended to resort to the manufacturer’s website for more accurate printer drivers. Provide your printer’s model number and other details and fetch the latest printer driver software. If the drivers are zip file, extracts its contents to another folder and then run it administrator privileges. When done, make sure that your printer is working. If it doesn’t, move on to the next step.
If you are running a wireless printer, IP address conflicts might be causing such error to hinder the wireless printing. To fix IP address problems, make sure that the IP address of your printer matches with that of the router’s. Every time you restart your printer your router assigns a new IP address to it, causing conflicts and such errors. To fix this problem, you can assign a static IP address to your printer in your wireless router’s configurations. To change this configuration you will need to login to your router’s web interface and then make then changes. You can refer to your router’s or printer’s manual to check about assigning a static IP address.
Restart the Printer Spooler service and then all should be fine. To restart the Print Spooler service, open the “Run” utility and type “services.msc” in the blank box. Click “OK” and you will see the “Services” window. On the screen, look for “Print Spooler”, right click it and then click “Restart”. Make sure that you are logged on with admin rights to your computer otherwise you will not be able to restart the service. When done, exit all the windows and restart your computer.
If the problem continues, disables the SNMP feature (Simple Network Management Protocol) on your printer and things should work like a charm. You will need to refer to your printer’s manual to know about disabling the SNMP feature.
Check that your printer is not running out of ink and paper. It has been observed that some printers (your might be one of them) give a wrong error message like this when these are out of paper or ink. So make sure that the paper stack is loaded on to the paper tray and that it is not out of the ink/toner cartridge. If the ink cartridge is empty, replace it with a new one.
If your printer is not set to default and you have multiple printers installed on your computer, it may cause you to experience the “Printer Offline” error. To fix this problem you can set your printer to “default”. To do so, click the “Start” button and click “Devices and Printers”. Right click your printer and then select “Set as default printer” from the list of options. You will see a checkmark beside your printer when it is set to default. Exit all the windows and then print a test paper.
If yours is a network printer (or even if it’s not), your firewall program may be interfering with it and causing it to go offline. You can turn off Windows Firewall or any other firewall program which you have installed on your computer. The firewall built into your antivirus or your wireless router may be one of the culprits.