How to Make Printer Online in Windows 7 – From Offline Printer

This could be a small guide, but useful if you are trying to make a printer online (from offline mode) in Windows 7. Recently I had to make an offline printer to online on Windows 7 and I struggled for that. I was expecting the similar settings as same as on Windows XP & Vista.  But I could not find in same Printer menu this time. Finally I had to delete the existing printer and re-install it,  because of missing make printer online option in Windows 7.

That doesn’t mean you can’t bring an offline printer to online in Windows 7 easily, but it is in different location than Windows XP and Vista. Normally, due to driver issue or connectivity problem with networked or USB/LPT printers or physical fault in printers, the Windows 7 printers will go offline. Your all printings jobs will be queued to printer if it is in offline mode.

 

Windows XP and Windows Vista Printer Online Setting

Its very easy and straight forward to make printers online in Windows XP and Vista. It is in printer menu which can be obtained by right clicking on the particular printer.

This is from Windows Vista

Windows vista online option

Read Also,

How to clear Print Queue (Fixing Print Spooler issues) in Windows 7 – Several ways

If you right click on a printer in Windows 7, you will see a completely different menu as below,

windows 7 printer options

It is different than earlier Operating Systems and ‘Use Printer Online’ option is missing in Windows 7 printer menu. You can’t find this option even under ‘Printer Preferences’ or ‘Printer properties’ or ‘Properties’.

So, to make a printer to online from offline mode in Windows 7, you must click ‘See what’s printing’ which will bring the pending printing jobs queue on particular printer.  Also, double clicking the printer icon will bring the same menu.

see whats printing

Click on Printer and remove tick from ‘Use Printer Offline’ as shown below.

remove tick

If the printer had gone to Offline mode due to normal issues, then the printing will resume after removing the tick as mentioned above.

Still if the printer is offline, that could be due connectivity problem (network or USB/LPT cable) or something physically wrong in printer (like paper jam, top cover opened or cartridge not fixed properly..etc.).

I’m sure this guide would be helpful on showing how to make printer online in Windows 7 which is having different option than XP and Vista.

Comments

  1. says

    Until now I have never tried to make a Win 7 printer online yet. I’ve been doing it offline. Apart from making it online, I still got issues where Win XP have no problem of it. I’m still struggling through many of the Win 7, and especially Excel 2010 settings.

  2. Mike Smith says

    Here’s a cheap windows trick I learned some years ago.
    Windows would not redirect a local USB printer to a remote Terminal Server session. Maybe you can in Vista or 7, I don’t know, but here’s how to get around that, at least in XP.
    In the local XP machine, add a new printer, and choose the same printer model as the USB printer, but choose to put it on the Parallel port.
    Then enable printer pooling on the Parallel port version of the printer, and choose the USB version to be in the printer pool.
    Make sure your terminal server has the proper driver for the USB printer installed – Printers, Server Properties, Add Driver…. etc.
    Now when you connect, windows will redirect the parallel printer.
    When you print to the parallel printer, in Terminal Services, TS will print to the local windows XP parallel printer. The Local XP will notice the parallel printer isn’t “ready” and switch the print job to the USB printer.
    Hope this helps.

  3. Paul says

    It sure is an amazing article because “Use printer offline” doesn’t show up in my screen…

    So what now ?

    • CayC says

      Paul, I’m having same trouble. No online direction phrase shows up anywhere. Have you been able to resolve it?

  4. steev says

    On Windows 7 SP1, I had the same issue with my HP LaserJet. If I turn the printer power off or turn off internet access from my firewall, then the print spooler times out and does not bring the printer back online when I reconnect or turn the power back on. My workaround is to stop the printer spooler services then start it again. I do this on Win 7 by Control Panel; Administrative Tools; Computer Management; Services and Applicatgions; Services. Then scroll down and double-click on Printer Spooler. Then under the General tab, click on Stop. Wait for the service to terminate, then click on Start. The printer shold start printing shortly.

    • Chuck says

      Stopping and restarting the Print Spooler service seems to work for me. I have been fighting this problem at home and now at work. Glad to have a solution, although it seems a little bit of an “unnatural act”.
      Thanks, Steev.

    • Michael says

      Yes, I also had to stop and restart the service to get the printer back. Using the “Use printer offline” checkbo didn’t change anything for me, but the Print Spooler stop and restart worked.

  5. Dan says

    None of these steps worked for me. I have Windows 7 Home Premium and an HP Photosmart C6100 series printer. Any other ideas?

  6. Steev says

    I should have mentioned the shortcut to restart the Print Spooler service. When you scroll down on the Services menu, you can right click on the Print Spooler and select Restart. Just a bit faster.

  7. Dave says

    I’ve tried everything. Printers (both an HP Officejet Pro L7780 and a Brother HL5370DW) say they are offline – but when added will print a test page while supposedly offline. Will not print. Can’t get to “Print spool” option to try that. Other computers on Windows 8 will connect and print. Have also tried “sharing” from the Windows 8 computer, selecting the shared computer. Still nothing. Have set a static IP address for both printers. Nothing. Any ideas?

    • Adrian says

      I have the same problem in Windows 7. I have re installed the printer a test page printed. However the printer remains off-line. The printer is set up as wireless and other notebooks are able to print to it. So it is on-line for everyone with access accept my notebook. The use printer off-line is NOT checked.

    • Adrian says

      I have the same problem in Windows 7. I have re installed the printer a test page printed. However the printer remains off-line. The printer is set up as wireless and others are able to print to it. So it is on-line for everyone with access accept my notebook. I have checked the use printer off-line and back to on-line and nothing happens.

    • Adrian says

      I have the same problem in Windows 7. I have re installed the printer a test page printed. However the printer remains off-line. The printer is set up as wireless and others are able to print to it. So it is on-line for everyone with access accept my notebook. I have checked the use printer off-line and back to on-line and nothing happens. Troubleshooter won’t work as it thinks the printer is turned off. I have re-installed the wireless access on my notebook. I have wireless access to everything but the Printer….

  8. says

    It worked, set the printer online / offline.
    I actually already know this way. But I am very happy to read the tips in this blog.
    Very useful for everyday life.
    thanks…

  9. Anders says

    Thanks for the tips. I unplugged the USB-cable from the 3.0 and changed it to the 2.0 port. This amongst all reinstalled the printer driver and printer went on-line. Before I couldn’t uncheck the box “Use Printer Offline”.
    Windows 7 SP1, HP Color LaserJet CP2025n, USB connected

    Log Name: Microsoft-Windows-PrintService/Admin
    Source: Microsoft-Windows-PrintService
    Date: 2013-01-14 10:57:14
    Event ID: 372
    Task Category: Printing a document
    Level: Error
    Keywords: Classic Spooler Event,Document Print Job
    User: COMPUTERUSER
    Computer: COMPUTER
    Description:
    The document Test Page, owned by , failed to print on printer HP Color LaserJet CP2020 Series PCL6. Try to print the document again, or restart the print spooler.
    Data type: NT EMF 1.008. Size of the spool file in bytes: 160972. Number of bytes printed: 0. Total number of pages in the document: 1. Number of pages printed: 0. Client computer: \\COMPUTER. Win32 error code returned by the print processor: 2. The system cannot find the file specified.

  10. says

    Hi,

    Thanks steev , you hint worked for me… only for the first thing to print.
    If 3 things on the queue, I have to restart 3 times the spooler service.
    I’ve read somewhere this could be linked with the SNMP of the printer, which is “on”.

    Any idea?

  11. Steev says

    Olivier,

    I did not have that issue, maybe bacause I have an old HP LaserJet 5 which I believe does not support SNMP.

    However, I no longer have to restart the print spooler since I upgraded to a new PC that is running Win 7 Pro SP 1. Seems like this issue was only on my Win 7 Pro (SP 0) system only. I’m not sure if you are running SP1 but it may be worth upgrading if not.

    Steev