Why is My HP Printer Offline?

You need to print an important document and a notification pops up that your HP printer is offline. Has this ever happened to you? What does this term mean? And, more importantly, how do you fix this problem?

This surprisingly common issue happens with many connected printers and can be resolved easily with a few steps. Learn how to get your printer working again quickly with these simple instructions.

What does it mean when your printer is offline?

If you’ve received this error message, it can be frustrating. It doesn’t mean that your printer is broken, however. An offline printer is one that cannot communicate with the device sending the print job.

Unfortunately, a printer that is offline cannot receive new print jobs and process them, so it’s wise to pause all print jobs until you resolve the issue. Do not send any more print requests to your offline printer until you’ve gone through our troubleshooting guide. If you have print jobs in the printer queue, you may need to cancel them until you get back online. Just remember to save your work so that you can print your projects later.
Some of the reasons might be:

  • Outdated drivers
  • Connection issues
  • A settings error

Each of these reasons has a different resolution process. Let’s take a look at what the problem is and how to get back online and printing again.

How to change the printer from offline to online status

These instructions will address several issues. If your problem is resolved, don’t feel you have to continue through all the steps. It’s best to do them in this order, however, because the simplest fixes are listed first and require the least effort and tech knowledge.

Option 1 - Run HP Print and Scan Doctor

Option 1 - Run HP Print and Scan Doctor
  1. Use the HP Print and Scan Doctor application to identify and solve errors. You can find this special version that’s designed to resolve offline issues by clicking this link.
  2. Open the application called HPPSdr.exe by clicking it from the download location and allowing it to run. You may need to be in administrator mode to do this
  3. If you are prompted, choose Yes to trust the file source because it comes directly from the HP tech support team
  4. Click Start and choose your printer
  5. If your printer is not listed, restart your printer, then click Retry in the Print and Scan Doctor application
  6. The application will identify potential connection issues. Follow the prompts and click Yes if asked to turn on printer updates
  7. Continue through the prompts and click Yes if asked to make this printer the default printer

Did these instructions help you? You’ll know it worked if your printer status changed from “offline” to “online.” If not, continue to the next section.

Option 2 - Set the default printer

You may need to manually indicate your default printer preference. Follow these steps to resolve this issue for Windows 10. Before you begin, make sure that you have downloaded and installed all of the updates for the Windows 10 operating system.

For Windows 10 users

Option 2 - Set the default printer
  1. Use the search box or ask Cortana to open Devices
  2. Select Printers & scanners
  3. Ensure that the box next to “Let Windows manage my default printer” is unchecked. Click the box to unselect it if necessary
  4. Choose your printer from the list provided
  5. If your printer is listed multiple times, select the version that is showing an idle or online status
  6. Click Manage
  7. Click Set as default

For Windows 8 users

Select your printer from the devices shown. If there is more than one version, choose the version that is not grayed out. Right-click and select “Set as default printer.”

Now try printing again. If your device still displays an offline status, move on to the next section.

Options 3 - Confirm your printer port and Windows services status

The next step in resolving offline printer issues is to see if your printer uses a WSD port.

  1. To determine this, search Windows or ask Cortana for Control Panel and click “View devices and printers”
  2. Next, right-click your printer and select Printer Properties
  3. Click the Ports tab and look to see if your printer uses a WSD port

If it does, follow these steps (but skip this section if it doesn’t)

  1. Search Windows or ask Cortana for Services
  2. Scroll through the list to find Function Discovery Provider Host and Function Discovery Resource Publication
  3. Check the Status and Startup type columns
  4. If they are running and the startup type is automatic, go to the next step
  5. If they show up blank with a manual startup type, right-click the name and select Properties
  6. Change the startup type to automatic
  7. Then, click Start under the service status and click OK
  8. Go back to the Device and Printers window and press F5
  9. Click your printer name and check the status

If it’s online, your issue is solved. If the printer is still offline, print a network configuration report. You can do this through the Settings or Wireless menu for your printer.

  1. Right-click on your printer name, choose Printer Properties, and click the Ports tab.
  2. Select Add Port
  3. Select Standard TCP/IP Port and click New Port
  4. Use the network configuration report you ran previously to add a new port -a hostname is preferred
  5. Go back to the Devices and Printers window and press F5
  6. Check your printer status by clicking it

Is it online? You’re all set! If not, move on to the next section.

Option 4 - Check your connection

Option 4 - Check your connection

Depending on how your printer is connected to your device, you may have any number of reasons why the printer is still appearing to be offline. If you use a USB cord to connect, ensure that it is securely in place. If your issue persists, consider using a different USB cord.

If you use a wireless network to connect to your printer, follow these steps:

  1. Restart your printer by turning it off, waiting 10 seconds, and disconnecting the power cord from your printer
  2. Then, turn off your computer
  3. Connect the printer power cord to the printer and turn the printer back on
  4. Disconnect the power cord from your wireless router
  5. Wait 10 seconds before reconnecting it
  6. It may take a few minutes for your internet to come back on
  7. When it does, power on your computer
  8. Using the HP wireless setup wizard or the HP Smart software, connect your printer to your network
  9. Print a wireless report to see what connectivity issues may still exist
  10. Find this report in the Network settings or the Wireless menu of your printer

If issues persist, it may be a job for your router manufacturer or network administrator. Connection issues can be difficult to identify beyond these steps, so reach out to a tech pro if you still can’t get your printer online.

Try printing from another device

Try printing from another device

You may also want to try printing from a different device, such as a laptop or mobile phone. While you may assume that offline issues are due to printer errors, a flawed connection can be device-specific. Try connecting to another computer and see if your issues clear up. If it’s possible to print from another device, you know that the problem is most likely not the printer.

Getting your printer online quickly

For anyone asking, “why is my HP printer offline?” know that you are not alone. Almost every printer owner will experience this issue at least once. It can be more common for those who have a wirelessly connected printer or an older printer, or those who haven’t updated their operating system or printer drivers in some time.

Each time you run into this issue, work through the steps mentioned above until you reach a resolution. You’ll hopefully get back to printing in no time without the headaches or costs of printer repairs.