[Fixed] Why is My Printer Offline? How to Get Printer Online on Windows 10 and 8.1

Why is My Printer Offline? there could be several reasons for that. In this guide, we will be showing you how to make an offline printer to online in Windows 10 or 8.1.  Options have changed and you will not find the same settings to make a printer online as you did in Windows Vista or earlier Operating Systems. Usually, printers may go offline due to network or USB cable connectivity issue, paper jam, out of paper, any other printer hardware faults and sometimes printer driver corruption too. Mostly it will come back to online automatically when these issues are fixed, but sometimes you need to make a printer online manually and this guide shows you how to do it on Windows 10  or 8.1.

Making a printer online on Windows 10 or 8.1 is not like how we did in earlier Operating Systems such as  XP, Vista (except Windows 7) by right clicking it and making online. Microsoft changed the way of making a printer online from offline in Windows 7 and on recent Operating Systems, we have already covered here how to make printer online in Windows 7.

Printer offline Windows 10

Printer Offline in Windows 10 or Windows 8.1? Let’s Fix it

1) Go to control panel.

On Windows 8.1 or 8, press Windows Key with I ( WIN+I) or by using charm bar or else use these ways to reach control panel from this guide.

On Windows 10, you can search for devices and printers by entering ‘devices’ as shown below and click on the ‘Devices and Printers’. You can go to step 3 directly. It doesn’t matter whether you have USB, network, or wireless or any printer brands such as HP, Brother Epson, the following methods are same to bring back the printer online in Windows 10/8.1.

search printers on Windows 10

2) Click on Devices and Printers in Large or Small icons view of the control panel.

Untitled3) Now you will be seeing the offline printer (slightly faded). Right-click on it and select ‘See what’s printing’.

see whats printing in windows 8

If the printer is in an offline state you would be seeing the tick mark front of ‘Use Printer Offline’. Remove the tick mentioned below and wait for some time printer to come online and resume printing.

Remove offiline

If the printer comes online and goes offline again, that could be due to real connectivity or hardware issue on the printer. Better you fix those issues and restart the printer. Here are the few printer troubleshooting tips available for Windows 10 and 8.1.

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If It Is A Shared Network Printer

If the printer still shows offline, then you need to check the settings of the computer where the printer is attached (if it’s a shared network printer for you). The following settings need to be checked;

1) File and Printer sharing settings

2) Make sure the Network Discovery is turned on and Network sharing services is running

3) Check the firewall and Antivirus/network protection software. These programs might block the incoming connection to the shared printer. You can find more details about these steps here.

If it is a network printer, you can find out the IP of the printer and check the communication.

Restart The Spooler Service

Sometimes this method helps in bringing back the offline printer to online mode on Windows 8.1 and 10. Instead of restarting the computer, you can stop and start the print spooler service (which is one of the Windows services). We have already published a detailed guide about restarting the print spooler in GUI of Windows OS that can be done by any users with administrative rights. Read the guide here.

print spooler service start on Windows 8.1

Hope this small guide would be useful to fix printer offline issue and how to get printer online in Windows 10 and 8.1. This should solve the problem mostly if your printer is not having any major hardware or network communication problem.

40 thoughts on “[Fixed] Why is My Printer Offline? How to Get Printer Online on Windows 10 and 8.1”

  1. completely worthless. Checking that or unchecking it makes no difference for a network printer. Perpetually offline, not a hardware issue (works perfectly with other computers).

  2. @Kim you have to choose the option ”run as administrator” to see the printer offline option. Anyway didn’t work for me, trying to find another solution.. I really hate Windows 8.

  3. When I try to uncheck ‘Use offline’ nothing happens and a notice comes up – “error processing command”

  4. I think windows 8 and 8.1 should not be in service until they know the answers to troubleshooting these issues. I have called to resolve these issues and they don’t even know. Stop trying to move so fast with updates until you really know their ins and outs.

  5. The suggestion to check the “Off Line” does not work. Windows 8 keeps loosing the printer, it must be a software problem, it is worse since 8.1 came on line.


  6. WOW Thank you so much!! I’ve had this offline issue for ages and operated my printer via cable. Have just changed router and managed to get it back on line again. But then suddenly it went off line and I thought Oh No! not again!! Google brought me to you, and I hadn’t tried this before and it worked!! 🙂 I’m now one happy printer again. The amount of time I had previously spent on this was obscene — all for a few seconds of mouse clicking. I don’t know why Windows decided to “hide” this instruction but I’m so glad I’ve found it again. Thanks again

    • what did you do? My printer won’t go online. We moved and had a new router installed now the printer won’t go online. HELP!!!!!

  7. I’ve followed these steps and they’ve worked before…weeks later printer wouldn’t come back on again, so I find these same instructions again – and now it won’t work. I’ve tried to print the same document probably 10 times.

    I know we all agree…Windows 8 is awful. Can’t I just have Microsoft 2010 back?

  8. Hi there

    The only way i found to be able to make the printer online is that before printing a document, i restart the print spooler service.

    Run Command (window + R ) >> services.msc

    Find print spooler and restart the service. Print and then it will put it back to offline, but at least you manage to print

  9. Restarting the Print Spooler service on Windows 8.1 worked for me. I might make a batch file that does this automatically that will be run when the computer boots up.

  10. I was thinking it was the last windows update that broke the printing function, and then come here and find out others have been dealing with the same thing. Here’s what happened when I stopped the print spooler and restarted it: The check boxes for offline and connecting to the printer disappeared. I haven’t logged off and am still signed in as admin, so what happened there?

  11. In Windows 8.1 —

    Will not kick a network printer out of standby. 8.1 marks the printer as “turned off” even though I physically punched the wake-up. I cannot get it to reconnect with the printer (connect is grayed out in the printer queue window) and short of a reboot, nothing works!

  12. Windows 8.1 is very interesting. I got to “print” and the document prints. Then I get a message that the item did not print and there are 30 items in queue. Lot’s of f un.

    • I have windows 8.1. I used the radio button in the printer dialogue box to put it off line and now it does not work as a toggle switch to get it back on line. When I follow the instructions here the printer icon does not change. It stays gray and the trouble shooter “cannot complete the action”. It reports an error code as 0x803C010B. This printer gave me no trouble like this before. BUT…

      This is in response to someone who has piled up 12 documents in the printer and cannot print or delete them.
      My problem was often getting documents stuck in the Spooler. The only way I could get the printer to work was to deleted all of the documents. The ONLY way I could do that is as follows:
      Right click the computer icon, left click “Manage”, left click “Services and Applications” in the bottom left column. Double left click “Services” in the top middle column. Scroll down and single right click “Print Spooler”. In the upper left choose “Stop” then “Start”. That should delete the documents and restart the Spooler. When the printer box indicates no documents in Que then it should print. However, you may need to repeat the “Stop” and “Start” selection 3 or 4 times. The directions I found said to re-select “Print Spooler” in between selecting “stop” and “Start”. I don’t ever need to do that. Play with it. Good luck. These instructions took days of searching.

  13. Hi
    am using dell lap top windows 8 am canfigure the printer . but it the printer is showing on line .when i going to print print is not coming. but in my company all are able to print is fine

  14. Restarting the spooler service worked here too. Its been driving us nuts for months. W8.1 really is quite pants.

  15. Get the HP Print and Scan Doctor via printer properties, download it and follow instructions

    really good tool. Well done HP pity about the lack of clear info to find it

  16. In my case the “Work Offline” was grayed out. I deleted the network printer then did “Add a Printer” as if it was a new printer. That solved my problem.

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