How to Fix an Offline Printer

Whether you are working out of your home or in the offices of a Fortune 500 company, a malfunctioning printer can bring your productivity to a standstill. We rely on our printers for everything from printing business documents to creating hard copies of our favorite family photographs. If your printer goes offline, you need to find the problem quickly and get the printer back online as soon as possible.
offline printer message

Troubleshooting an Offline Printer

hp printer consolePrinters go offline for a number of reasons, so it is always a good idea to start your troubleshooting with the simplest possibility and work outward from there. There is no sense doing extensive network troubleshooting if the problem could be as simple as a paper jam or low toner cartridge. Starting with the simplest possible problem means checking the condition of the printer itself. Look at the printer console or LCD screen and see if there are error message like low ink, no connection, or paper jam.  If you have checked for all these items and your printer still shows offline, then try completely powering down the printer and resetting the power by unplugging it, waiting a few seconds then plugging it back in.

Check for Loose Cables and Network Connection

If you are using a network printer that is wireless or wired and you experience a network disruption such as a power outage then you should reset your switch or wireless router by unplugging it and then plugging it back in. A temporary power outage, even one that lasts only a few seconds, could have been enough to knock your wireless router off the network. Rebooting or otherwise resetting the modem or router should fix the problem and bring the printer back online.

Even a direct connection between the printer and the computer can go offline. A loose cable or poor quality connection could cause the printer to go offline and stop responding to your requests.  This can happen if you recently re-located your printer or computer.  Pull your computer out and check if it’s properly connected to USB. Also try another USB slot if one is available.  Also check the printer connection which is plugged into the printer for a loose connection.

Check to See if SNMP is Enabled on the Printer

A bug found on several different versions of Windows including Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 (not common on Windows 8) is when SNMP is enabled on your printer it may show offline and online intermittently. SNMP is a protocol used to send log information to different sources for troubleshooting.  What is happening is if your Windows PC is not getting a response via SNMP it assumes that the printer is unavailable and marks it as offline. Put simply, you don’t need SNMP if you are just a typical home user with your printer.  The simple solution is to disable SNMP.  To disable SNMP, right-click on the printer in the Devices and Printers window, choose Printer properties, choose the Ports tab, and select Configure Port, at the bottom you should see a check box that enables and disables SNMP.  Make sure it is disabled.

printer properties       configure printer port    printer disable snmp

If you are still having printer problems, you can give us a call on our toll free number. 800-999-6872.  Our experts fix hundreds of printers on a daily basis.  Our typical printer repair is $29.95 with no contracts or commitments to our service.  You only pay if we fix your problem and you never pay up front at Boxaid.

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