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The printer becoming offline and unavailable for printing is a commonly occurring issue in most printers, especially those that are connected to a network. It can occur quite unexpectedly and prevent you from taking printouts. This issue can still occur even if you have kept the printer on and ready to print. The device will go offline, which prevents communication between your printer and computer. Several trivial issues such as loose cables or a paper jam can also cause your printer to go offline.
Such a printer offline or printer driver is unavailable issue is also attributed to other serious problems like a driver error. However, you can easily diagnose the problem by checking some basics related to connectivity, and then going for the software and drivers to determine the problem. The following are some effective ways to resolve a printer offline issue, and re-establish normal printing.
Mostly, a simple connectivity issue with the USB cable that links your printer to the computer can cause your printer to become offline. You first need to recheck such connections. Remove the USB or Ethernet cable from the ports of the printer and computer, and insert it back again properly.
You can also switch the printer USB to another port on your computer to check whether the printer is back online. Also, check if a faulty cable caused the problem, by connecting a working USB or Ethernet cable between the printer and your computer.
You can also restore your printer and make it online by manually setting it so that your computer recognizes it. If you are using a Windows computer, click on the Start button and then open the Control Panel. In it, click on Devices and Printers, which will display the connected printers on your computer. Right-click on the printer that is experiencing the issue, and click on the See what’s printing option.
Then, right-click on the menu and select the Printer option appearing at the top left of the window. Click on the Use Printer Online from the drop-down menu to manually enable your printer. You can also cancel the pending print jobs by selecting Cancel All Documents from the menu and then manually bring the printer online.
Another way to bring your printer online is by removing and then again reinstalling the printer. For this, you need to choose Devices and Printers from the control panel. Select the Remove device option in the drop-down menu by right clicking on the printer having the issue. After that, add the printer again into your computer by clicking on the Add a Printer option in Devices and Printers and following the onscreen instructions.