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Is the printer offline? Here are 10 ways to get it back online in Windows 10

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Printers are not a new technology. You would think that they would be trouble-free by now. Unfortunately, this is not true. You might also encounter an issue when your printer states it is offline in Windows 10.

Modern printers can connect to your computer via Ethernet and Wi-Fi. What do you do if your printer stops working? How can you get your printer to come back online? Perhaps it displays the generic Code 10 error.

We will provide troubleshooting steps for the printer offline error.

1. Verify the Computer and Printer Connection

Check all printer cables. Make sure they are properly plugged in to the printer as well as the computer.

Second, make sure your network is functioning. It’s likely that the problem is not limited to your printer. Our guide on fixing Windows 10 Wi-Fi issues will come in handy.

Third, try to use another method of connecting your printer and computer. Switch to Ethernet if you are using Wi-Fi.

2. Restart the printer and computer

The act of switching something on and off again is power cycling. This is an age-old tech tip, but it’s amazing how often it works.

Turn off your printer and computer. Next, unplug your printer’s power cord, wait for 30 seconds, then plug it back in. Wait for the printer’s full boot to occur. It won’t return from standby so it may take longer.


After the printer has been turned on, turn your computer back on to check if it is online.

3. Troubleshooting a Printer

Windows 10 has a variety of troubleshooters to automatically detect and resolve issues. You can also run the Printer Troubleshooter and hope it resolves your printer offline issue.

To open Settings, press Windows key + and then click Devices > Printers/scanners. Click Run troubleshooter from the right-hand menu.

The troubleshooter will then open the device and perform a series of checks. It will then inform you if it finds any issues and what the steps are to fix them. You can click View detailed even if the issue is not found.

4. Disable the “Use Printer Offline Mode”

Make sure that you have disabled the “Use Printer Offline Mode”. This could have been an accident or your printer may have switched it on by mistake.

To open Settings, press Windows key + To open Devices, go to Printers & Scanners . Click Open queue to select your printer. Check Printer in the toolbar. Make sure Use Printer Online does not have a tick beside it. Click it to disable it if it does.

5. Clear the Print Queue

Clogged print queues can lead to many problems, not just the offline printer error.

To clear the print queue press Windows Key + I. Next, open Settings. Select your printer and then click Open Queue.

Go to Printer > Cancel all Documents.

6. Assign the printer as default

Windows will automatically make the printer you last used your default printer. Although this can be useful, it could be the reason your printer is offline.

To fix this issue, press Windows Key + I to open the Settings menu, click Devices>> Printers & Scanners, choose your printer, then click Open Queue.

Click Printer in the top toolbar, and then click As Default Printer. A message might appear saying: “Setting this Printer as default means that Windows will cease managing your default printer.” If you do, click OK.

You can enable this feature by going back to Printers & Scanners and tick Allow Windows manage my default printer.

7. Restart the Print Spooler Service

The print spooler handles interactions with the printer. This service can be restarted to bring your printer back online.

Open the Start menu and search for Service. Then, open the appropriate app. Scroll down until Print Spiller appears in the Name columns. Right click it to open it. Click Restart.

8. Updating the printer drivers

It is not necessary to update drivers if there are no problems with your computer. Sometimes, however, you might need to locate and replace obsolete drivers. For example, if your printer is offline, updating drivers may be a good idea.

To do so, press Windows Key + X then select Device Management. Double-click to open the Printers window. Right-click on your printer and click to update driver.

Double-check the website of your printer manufacturer (HP, Canon, Brother or any other) to ensure that there are no updates.

9. The Printer Software

Some printer manufacturers offer their own software that can help you troubleshoot and manage your printer. You should install this software if you have the CD from your printer. If not, it can be downloaded on their website.

Check if it is already installed. To open Settings, press Windows key +I. Click Devices>> Printers & Scanners to select your printer and then click Manage. If the software has been installed, you will see a button saying Open Printer App.

Check the software for sections that allow you to restart, troubleshoot or fix the printer.

10. Removing and reinstalling the printer

If all else fails you can take the printer out of your computer and add it back.

To open Settings, press Windows Key + I. To open Settings, go to Devices > Printers and Scanners. Click Remove device. Then click Yes.

Next, click Create a scanner or printer. To connect the printer to your computer, follow the wizard.

Buy a new printer with cheap ink

You should now be able to fix the offline problem and your printer will work again. For further assistance, contact the manufacturer.

You may decide to buy a new printer. Check out our recommendations. These printers have great ink.

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