Why is my printer offline?

One of the most common and frustrating things that can happen with your printer is getting the message that it’s offline. You might find this problem with a new printer, but you can also find it with a printer that you’ve had for a while too.

And whilst the majority of the time this is an easy fix, you need to know what you’re doing to be able to fix it at all. So, let’s look at the reason your printer is probably offline, and what you can do to fix it.

Why is my printer offline?

The cause of your printer being offline is that it cannot connect with your computer or device properly. This is a common issue that happens with printers, and there are a few resolutions that you can use to fix this.

The resolutions to getting your printer back online are the same, whether it’s a laser printer or a photo printer. So, let’s look at the steps you can take to fix your problem.

Why is my printer offline? – Epson

If you have an Epson printer that is offline, then it might be an easy fix for you to get your printer back online. If you go into system preferences and right click on your printer, then go down to See What’s Printing. From here, you can actually scroll down to the Use Printer Offline function, which will likely be turned on. If you turn this off, then you should be able to print.

You might also have printing paused, which can also be a common cause of this problem. This is the first port of call for not just Epson printers, but any printer brand. So, check this first of all.

Why is my printer offline? – Canon

With a Canon printer, you should follow the instructions above to try and fix your issue. If this doesn’t help, then there is more that you can do to try and fix the issue.

You will want to uninstall your printers drivers, and then you’ll need to reinstate them manually. If you aren’t sure on how to do this, then look at this guide on how to update drivers for your Canon printer.

Why is my printer offline? – HP

HP give us a more in depth way to check why our printer may be offline. You can still do the same as with an Epson printer, and check if your printer is offline or online.

However, the best area for you to start with a HP printer is to use the HP Print and Scan Doctor, which can help you to check why your printer might be offline. This program is quite simple and straightforward, and will give you a quick way to know why your printer’s offline.

In 90% of cases, this will be able to resolve your problem for you. However for some people, you might need to manually check. Go to Devices, and then Printers & Scanners. Here, you should be able to see your printer, likely with a tick next to it stating to Let Windows manage your printer. Uncheck this, then clock to Manage your device and reset your printer status to default. This should fix the issue for you.

Other Possible Fixes

Whilst this is the general guidance to try and fix your printer being offline issue, there are a few more things that you can check.

Connection – A pretty common problem that you might not have thought would cause this issue is a problem between your printer and your router. Losing connection can be a reason why your printer is offline, especially if you’re using a HP printer. So, check that your connection is active.
Print Jobs – Another common issue might be that your printer has got caught up with a print job, which has caused it to go offline. Clear all of your printing jobs and see if this fixes the issue.
Restart – Although I hate saying it, switching it off and back on again might actually resolve this issue for you. This reboot can make your printer pick up the connection and resolve your problem.


Hopefully this has been able to resolve your issue with your printer, and you’ve managed to get it back online. Your printer being online is a very common problem with printers, so don’t worry too much if this is happening with your printer. In most cases, this is quite an easy fix for to resolve.

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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