Printers on the Fritz? Here’s How to Get Them Online and Working

Is your printer suddenly giving you trouble and showing the dreaded “offline” status? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Printer connectivity issues are a common problem that many people face. Fortunately, getting your printer back online and working is often a simple fix that you can do yourself. In this article, we’ll guide you through some troubleshooting steps to help you get your printer up and running again.

Check the Connection

The first thing to do when your printer goes offline is to check the connection. Ensure that all cables are securely plugged in and there are no loose connections. If you’re using a wired connection, make sure the USB cable is properly connected to both the printer and your computer. If it’s a wireless printer, ensure that it’s connected to your Wi-Fi network.

Sometimes, power cycling both your router and printer can resolve connectivity issues. Turn off both devices, wait for a few seconds, then turn them back on again. This can refresh the network connection and resolve any temporary glitches.

Update Printer Drivers

Outdated or incompatible drivers can also cause printers to go offline. To fix this issue, update your printer drivers to ensure compatibility with your operating system. You can usually find driver updates on the manufacturer’s website or through automatic software updates.

To update manually, go to “Device Manager” on Windows or “System Preferences” on Mac and locate your printer under the “Printers” section. Right-click (or control-click) on it and select “Update Driver” or “Software Update.” Follow the prompts to install any available updates.

Set Your Printer as Default

Sometimes, printers may go offline if they’re not set as the default device for printing. To check this setting on Windows, go to “Control Panel,” then click on “Devices and Printers.” Right-click on your printer and select “Set as Default Printer.” On a Mac, go to “System Preferences,” then click on “Printers & Scanners.” Select your printer from the list and click on the “Default” button.

Setting your printer as the default device ensures that print jobs are directed to the correct printer and can help resolve offline issues.

Reset Printing System (Mac only)

If you’re using a Mac and all else fails, resetting the printing system can often fix offline printer issues. To do this, go to “System Preferences” and click on “Printers & Scanners.” Right-click (or control-click) anywhere in the printers list and select “Reset printing system.”

Keep in mind that resetting the printing system will remove all printers from your Mac, so you’ll need to add them again manually. After resetting, click on the “+” button to add your printer back.


Dealing with an offline printer can be frustrating, but most of the time, it’s a minor issue that you can easily fix yourself. By checking the connection, updating drivers, setting your printer as default, or resetting the printing system (on Mac), you should be able to get your printer back online and working smoothly again.

Remember to consult your printer’s manual or contact customer support if you encounter any specific issues or if these steps don’t resolve your problem. Happy printing.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.