Windows 10 Printer Shows Offline - How to Fix | Diagnostics and Bug Fixes

Date of publication of the material 07.10.2019 Article views 171 Number of likes to article 0 Number of Comments

The topic considered in this article is especially relevant for those who spend their working time at a computer / laptop, to which various printing devices are connected.

Surely, each of this category is familiar with a situation where the operating system simply refuses to print, for example, an “urgent annual report” and ignores all attempts to send a document for printing. Such a complex and confusing "love triangle" - a computer-user-printer - has always been a special headache for system administrators.

This article is intended to help everyone who has certain difficulties in handling the MFP, and to explain in detail to the average user why the printer may not work, and what can be done about it.

So, about everything in more detail and in order.

Diagnostics Error

It is immediately worth noting that all the reasons and solutions that will be given below are obtained as a result of many years of practical experience, which showed that even the most banal and, at first glance, ridiculous reasons should not be immediately discarded regardless of the level of knowledge and computer skills and the periphery.

And taking into account the foregoing, it is necessary to go directly to the root causes, namely:

  1. "The printer is turned off or the cable connection is loose." It should be repeated that no matter how trite it may sound, but most of the problems were solved precisely by testing this theory. Therefore, the first thing to do:
    1. Pay attention to the indicator;
    2. Check if the cable fits snugly into the appropriate USB port;
    3. Reboot the printer.
  2. “The printer is not in the“ Device and Printers ”section.” There are situations when a printing device is connected to a computer, it even makes a characteristic sound when connected, but it does not appear in the list of connected devices.
  3. "Lack of driver software." As many probably know, drivers are an extremely important component necessary for the operation of any connected equipment. Perhaps because of this importance, they are the least protected elements of the operating system and are constantly “attacked” by virus software, which should not be ruled out in this situation. In addition, any rash manipulations with them can very badly affect their performance and the performance of the computer as a whole.
  4. Based on the above options for a “diagnosis”, specific actions should be started to correct the current, extremely unpleasant, situation.

Why Windows Does not Dee the Printer

So, if the trivial reasons were noted with confidence, then a more detailed delving into the essence of the problem is required.

But, for starters, it is worth mentioning that there are two main varieties of connecting printing devices:

  1. This is the physical connection of the MFP (usb printer) to the computer
  2. This is connecting a network printer through a local network or wireless connection.

Physical Connectivity Issues

Microsoft, provided many possible problems in the operation of their operating system, and, consequently, the entire periphery connected to the computer.

In the Windows 10 operating system (and in everyone's favorite Windows Seven), there are built-in diagnostics and error correction tools with connected devices. They are not particularly popular, due to lack of information, but as a first tool and solution, such a tool is most optimal.

So, the procedure is as follows:

  • Open the Start menu and sort the contents by the letter “C”;
  • Select the “Utilities” folder and open the “Control Panel”;
  • In the list of categories, pay attention to the section "Hardware and Sound", then "Devices and Printers"; 

    Open Hardware and Sound and then: Devices and Printers

  • Right-click on the problematic printing device and in the menu that opens, click on the “Troubleshooting” line;

    Click on the problematic printing device and then click on Troubleshooting

  • The diagnostic tool will begin an automatic check for possible errors and offer the most optimal solution in this particular situation;
  • Pay attention to the screenshot from the example, in this situation the problem was the lack of MFPs in the list of printing devices used by default.

    In devices and Printers: Troubleshooting has completed - you can View additional information

  • If you click on the button “View additional information”, then you can view a detailed report on all the information received by the diagnostic tools. And already on the basis of this detailing, you can choose the most optimal solution.

    Printers: Troubleshooting additional information

Solution 1: MFP is not in the list of Connected Devices

If the printer you connected is not displayed or is not visible in the control panel and the “Install New Hardware Wizard” does not appear during connection, then try the following steps:

  • Click "Start" and select "Settings" - "Devices";

    In Windows Settings Select Devices

  • In the left part of the window that opens, select the "Printers and Scanner" section and click on the "Add Printer or Scanner" button;

    In Left Panel select: Printers & Scanners and then (Add a printer or scanner)

  • An automatic scan will begin, where in the absence of the desired results, click on the button "The required printer is not in the list";
  • Select the first proposed option and wait for the re-scan to complete;

    Select: My Printer is a little older. Help me find it. and click Next button

  • If the situation repeats, proceed to the next step.

It is highly likely that this situation is characterized by the above announced option with the absence of the correct software driver, which needs to be fixed:

  • Right-click on the icon “Computer” and select “Management”;
  • If the MFP was detected by the system, but the driver software is installed / does not work correctly, then in one of the categories there will be a line marked with a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark;
  • If in your case the situation develops in exactly this way, then it is recommended to remove the previous installed version;
  • Press the key combination “WIN + S” and in the search bar enter “cmd.exe”;
  • Open a command line console with administrator privileges; (Run as administrator)

    Run command promt as administrator

  • Enter and run the command "printui / s / t2";

    Run the commd: printui / s / t2

  • The “Property: Print Server” window opens, where you need to select the installed driver from the list and click on the “Delete” button;
  • Confirm your intention to select the line "Remove driver and driver package".

    Confirm your intention to select the line - Remove driver and driver package

Solution 2: The Printer Appears in the List, but Documents are not Sent to Print, but are Placed in the Queue

A similar situation is not uncommon and it is solved, in addition to the above actions, by restarting the "Print Spooler", also known as "spooler", and for this:

  • Press the key combination “WIN + R” and execute the command “services.msc”;

    Execute command: services.msc

  • In the opened “Services” window, find “Print Spooler” and click on the “Stop” button;

    In List Services find Spooler and stop this Service

  • Without closing this window, open “Explorer” and go to “C:\Windows\System32\spool\Printers”;
  • All that is in this folder should be deleted;

    Delete all from dir: C:\Windows\System32\spool\Printers

  • Return to the window with the list of services and click on the “Restart” button;

    Restart Print Spooler Service

Repeat sending the document for printing and check the correct operation of the dispatcher.

An alternative is to simply remove the devices from the control panel, restart the printer, and wait for the new hardware setup wizard to complete.

Solution 3: The Network Printer is not Visible and does not Work

With printing devices working inside the local network or with printers that have a wireless module, problems can be more complex.

It should be understood that for the network printer to work correctly, an active connection is required between the computer to which the printer is physically connected and the computer connected to the network using a LAN cable, that is, it is part of the local network.

Therefore, the first thing you need to pay attention to is:

  • The “main computer” is turned on and the cable connection is not broken;
  • Computers are in the same workgroup;
  • The MFP is included and available for printing;
  • The MFP is shared, that is, access to it is enabled and remote printing is active.

If all these aspects meet the requirements, as well as the correct driver software installed on the problem computer, then manually install the printer, having previously removed it from the list of connected devices.

To do this, you will need to do the following:

  • Open "Start" - "Settings" - "Devices" and, by analogy with the above steps, find the button "Add a printer or scanner";
  • From the list of suggested options, select the third one - “Add a printer by its TCP / IP address or host name”;

    Find Printer OPtions: Select Add printer useing a TCP IP adress or hostname

  • You will need to enter certain network data of the printer (its IP address), which can be obtained as follows:
    • On the computer to which the physical printer is connected, open “Devices and Printers” and find the desired device;

      Find desired  device - and open printer properties

    • Call its properties and go to the "General" tab;

      Open the General tab and check Printer Location

    • In the window that opens, pay attention to the "Location" line, where all the data of interest will be indicated.
  • Enter the received information in the line “Hostname or IP address”, it is automatically duplicated in the line “Port Name”;

    Enter the received information in the line - Hostname or IP address

  • Uncheck the option: Query the printer and automatically select the drive to use;
  • Complete the installation of the printing device and check its operation.

There is such a possibility that even such actions will not be enough to correct the situation in question. But it saves that there can be only a few problems, namely:

  1. Virus software interferes with the regular operation of the operating system;
  2. The integrity of system files and Windows components has been violated;
  3. The printer is busy. Yes, everything can be extremely simple. If the printer "serves" a larger number of users, then the print queue can be quite large. This can be checked by clicking on the icon that appears in the tray.
  4. The connection inside the local network is broken;
  5. The printer is physically defective;

Connect to Wireless Printers

In conclusion, it is worth saying a few words about the difficulties that may arise with the wireless connection of a printing device equipped with an appropriate module, which is now typical of all modern models from Kyocera, Canon, and HP.

If previously the device has already been installed and has been actively used, then all the steps described above can also be applied in this case.

If problems arose at the initial stage of installation, then you need to check that your computer or other gadget meets the manufacturer's requirements:

  • The wireless network is active and available for connection, the frequency used and SSID requirements meet the requirements specified in the documentation (different models may have different requirements);
  • During the setup process, using the WPS configuration, the correct data is entered and the quick setup module itself is active. The same applies to customization using a special program;
  • In the settings of the wireless network there are no restrictions on the number of simultaneous connections.

If not one of the proposed solutions suits you, then the best option would be to contact the manufacturer with a detailed description of the problem, since the causes of connection problems may be purely individual.

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