Printer Offline Error : How to Fix Printer Offline to Online in Windows PC

Going Printer offline is the one of the common problem and also very irritating. It will be very problematic, as it may go offline anytime such as while you are printing some emergency file or you may have stuck at half the work. Whenever printer cannot communicate to your Windows PC, printer will retry connecting two to three times and then it will be displayed as offline. In order to bring printer back to online mode, you just have to make sure to enable communication between printer and PC. However, finding out the problem is big task here, as there were many scenarios where printer can go offline such as loss of wireless connection, Printer VPN problem, Printer not responding and many more. By the end of the post, you will be able to solve any type of issue with printer. 

How to Fix Printer Offline to Online in Windows:

How to Fix Printer Offline to Online in Windows

In order to fix printer offline issue, make sure you identify the error first. In this post, I have mentioned all the possible solutions for every problem. So identify your respective problem and follow the steps mentioned to resolve and bring your printer back to online. 

Below are the common printer errors that make your Printer offline mode. 

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Different Printer issues for Offline and Quick fixes:

  • Due to network disconnection between your PC and printer cause printer to go offline mode. Here you have to make sure you have enabled printer setup and also hardware cable connections are working fine. 
  • One more case where printer often goes online is due to VPN configuration. Many people have reported this issue. In this case, you have to configure your VPN properly and try re-connecting to your printer. 
  • Sometimes while you try to ping/print, you may not be able to connect to your printer. Here, printer status will be active and it may work previously. This issue may be due to unfinished tasks or slow performance of PC/printer. So, in this case you have to close unfinished tasks and try to reconnect to your printer. 
  • Also SNMP feature may also cause to failure of your printer. In this case, you have disable SNMP feature and reconnect to your printer. 
  • Some other various issues such as printer not working, hanging, printing and other. All these times check if it is due to any above error and try to follow below steps to make your printer online again. 

Step by Step process to Fix printer offline issue: 

VPN configuration:

Many people have reported offline issue due to VPN setup. In order to printer work properly and bring back it to online, you have to make proper VPN configuration. 

Issue: The issue is, whenever your PC connects to VPN, it will connect to private IP address and your Home network will be disconnected. As your printer is configured to your home network, you no longer can access printer. So, printer will move to offline mode. 

Solution: In order to bring back your printer to online, while your PC is connected to VPN then you have to configure your VPN. You have to enable ‘Split-Tunnel’ access in your VPN settings. However, this could cause security issues, as you are allowing other networks to continue while you are connected to VPN and this can be sensitive. Different VPNs will have different options like in CISCO VPNs you can allow ‘LAN access’, so you can access your printer. In similar way, you can enable ‘Split-Tunnel’ access on your VPN. This can be different for different VPNs. So, contact your VPN customer care and enable that access. After that you will be able to access your Printer, as your home network will be connected again. 

SNMP Feature:

SNMP is common feature that will be implemented in all network printers, but some don’t. It is way PC checks the status of printer by sending messages to printer and then SNMP will respond to PC. Thus, the connection will stay active between PC and printer. 

Issue:  If the printer do not have SNMP feature and when your PC contacts printer, it cannot respond back. As a result, printer will be shown as offline. 

Solution: In order to make your network printer online, you have to disable SNMP feature on your PC. So that your PC will not contact through SNMP and printer will be shown as online. Follow the below steps to disable SNMP feature. 

  • Go to Control Panel -> Devices and Printers and then right click on your printer to select ‘Printer properties’. 

How to Fix Printer Offline to Online in Windows

  • Go to ‘Ports’ tab and select your printer’s IP address then click ‘Configure Port’. 

How to Fix Printer Offline to Online in Windows

  • Now uncheck ‘SNMP Status enabled’ and save the changes. 

That’s it, your network printer should be shown online now. If the issue is still not solved then you can check below solutions. 

Printer Connection issue:

You might use various printer connections such as wired/wireless. You have to make sure if the connection is safe and successful. 

  • If you connect your printer through cables and then make sure the cables are working fine and no power leakage. Try to remove all the power cables and try to reconnect after few minutes. 
  • If you do connect your network printer through Wi-FI, then make sure both PC and printer should be on the same network. Sometimes there might be network issues, so try to disconnect and reconnect to Wi-Fi. 
  • Some other cases like connection through Bluetooth, LAN and other cases, try to reboot both PC and printer then try to connect to Printer. Through Bluetooth connection, make sure both the devices are paired. 

Ping issue:

Whenever you try to print a document, your printer may not respond even though it shows active. It may because of slow performance of your PC or printer. However, it may also due to overload as many other files are already running at background. 

Solution:  You have to clear unfinished tasks or any stuck tasks in printing proces. In order to do that follow the below steps. 

  • Open Control Panel –> Devices and Printers and right click on your printer to select ‘See what’s printing’. 

How to Fix Printer Offline to Online in Windows

  • You can then see all the files/tasks that are already running. You can clear them and try to print the page again. 

Generic Solutions:

  • One quick solution that may work is to reboot both PC and printer. It is the obvious solution that works many times. Try to reconnect again after rebooting both of them. 
  • Make sure to check if your printer setup is done or not. If not, follow the below steps to add printer to your PC. 

1. Open Control Panel –> Device and printers and then Click ‘Add Device’ . 

How to Fix Printer Offline to Online in Windows


2. In Next screen, you can select printer and then follow the onscreen instructions to successfully                                      connect your printer to PC. 

  • Even if you printer is shown up in Control Panel, you can try to reinstall your printer.  You can just select printer and then right click to select ‘Remove device’ to disconnect the printer. Now follow the above process to install printer again. This may work if your previous set up is faulty. 
  • Try to update the Printer drivers. In order to update latest printer updates, follow the below process. 

1. Open ‘Device Manager’ on your PC. You can open it from Control Panel. 

2. Under ‘Print Queues” option, select your printer and then Right click –> Update driver. On next                              screen select ‘automatically update drivers’. That’s it, drivers will be updated. 

How to Fix Printer Offline to Online in Windows

  • It is evident for many times that restarting printer spool service can really bring back your printer online, as printer spool service sends the print jobs to queue and then perform printing service. In order to restart Printer spool service, follow the below steps. 

1. Type ‘Win + R’ to open Windows run.  

2. Type ‘services.msc’ to open all the list of services running in background.  

3. Now right click on ‘Print spool service’ and select restart to finish the process. 

How to Fix Printer Offline to Online in Windows

After that try to reconnect to your printer and try to schedule print jobs. 

  • Make sure your Windows OS is running on latest version to avoid any compatibility issues. So try to Install latest Windows updates 
  • Finally try to run troubleshooter to get the exact issue and may be then you can check for that issue to bring your printer back to online. 

FAQs Regarding Printer Offline issue:

How to restart Printer Spool service? 

In order to restart Printer spool service, follow the below steps. 

  • Type ‘Win + R’ to open Windows run. 
  • Type ‘services.msc’ to open all the list of services running in background.  
  • Now right click on ‘Print spool service’ and select restart to finish the process.  

You can check above for detailed information. 

WIll SNMP feature can cause printer offline issue? 

Yes, It may cause as SNMP feature may not supported with your printer. So, it it does not support make sure you  follow the above mentioned process and disable SNMP feature. 

I tried to Ping my printer but Printer do not respond back? 

It may be because of slow performance or unfinished tasks. Check if there are any unfinished tasks and then clear them. Check above for detailed process. 

I have upgraded to Windows 10 and my printer not working? 

After you upgraded your OS, you should also update your Printer drivers for best compatibility. So follow the above mentioned process to make your printer online again. 

How to Update Printer drivers? 

  • Search for ‘Device Manager’ and then right click on your printer to select ‘update driver’. 
  • After select ‘automatically update driver’ and Click ‘OK’ to finish updating. 

That’s it. Hope you found this post useful. Please feel free to come back if you still do not get any solution.

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