Printers on Windows 11/10 can have a status of offline and online. I was surprised to find that because everyone wants their default printer to be available and ready for print. One should know that when a printer goes offline, it doesn’t mean it has been removed. It could go offline because of an error during printing or an issue with the printer driver. Windows OS can set the status of the printer as offline if it finds a problem. In this post, I will show how you can change a Printer status to online or Restore Printer to online status.
Why is my Printer Offline in Windows 11/10?
Printer is Offline? Change a Printer status to online
There is an advantage to turning a printer offline. Nobody can misuse it, and if you have kids at home who keep printing casually, you can block the access. You may have forgotten about turning it offline. So, let’s fix it:
- Restart Printer & Check for connectivity
- Change Printer Status
- Run Printer Troubleshooter
- Remove and Add Printer
- Network Printer troubleshooting.
Make sure to check on the status after trying each of them.
1] Restart Printer & Check for connectivity
If the printer had been online for some time, it might have into an idle state. While it should not set the printer offline but you never know. Try turning off, wait about 1 minute, and then on to check if that resolved the problem
Next, check on this essential tip. Make sure the printer is connected to a power source, it is turned on, and it is connected to the computer. Check the ethernet cable or the wireless connection. It is one of the reasons why you may see it offline and sometimes disconnected. Make sure to check the USB cable and the USB port and fix this first.
2] Change Printer Status
- Open Windows Settings (Win + 1)
- Navigate to Devices > Printers and Scanners
- Select the printer of which you want to change the status, and then click on Open queue
- In the Print Queue window, click on Printer Offline. It will display a message saying, “This action will change the printer from offline to online.”
- Confirm, and the status of the printer will be set to online.
You may have to clear the print queue before you can change the status. If that’s the case, then it could be because a print job had an issue, and it chose to set it offline. While this will fix most of the cases, in case it doesn’t, follow the rest of the tips to restore the Printer to online status
3] Run Printer Troubleshooter
Part of Windows in-house troubleshoot package, Printer Troubleshooter can help resolve driver issues, connectivity issues, restart printer-related services, and more.
- Go to Settings > Update and Security > Troubleshoot
- Select Printer Troubleshooter, and run it
- It should help you fix the offline status of the printer.
4] Remove and Add Printer
If nothing else works, it would be best to remove the printer from the system and add it again. It is a simple process that may also include downloading the driver and OEMs application.
- Unplug the printer from the computer
- Go to Devices > Printers and Scanners
- Select the printer you intend to remove > click on Remove device
- Plug the printer back, and Windows should add it back again, and install the driver as well.
- The reinstallation will restore Printer to online status
If it doesn’t show up, click on Add a printer or scanner and click on the link “The printer that I want isn’t listed.” You can then manually add it.
5] Network Printer troubleshooting
If you have a network printer, then it will show offline if the computer is not able to reach it. If the printer is working from a different computer, and not from your computer, its time, you troubleshoot network issues. It could be a firewall issue as well, but then that would mean somebody has blocked it intentionally. If you do not know more than what you need to work on the computer, I would suggest getting someone who can help you troubleshoot.
I hope one of these tips helped you get to change the Printer status to online or Restore Printer to online status.