How to Fix Printer Offline in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Having trouble with your printer showing offline in Windows 11? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s a common issue that can usually be fixed with a few simple steps. First, check your printer and computer connection. Then, make sure your printer is set as the default one and that the ‘Use Printer Offline’ option is not selected. After that, try updating or reinstalling your printer’s driver. If those steps don’t work, troubleshoot your printer through Windows. Now, let’s dive into the details.

Step by Step Tutorial to Fix Printer Offline in Windows 11

Before we start, the steps below will guide you through the process of getting your printer back online. This will involve checking connections, settings, and drivers to ensure everything is in working order.

Step 1: Check Printer and Computer Connection

Make sure your printer is properly connected to your computer. This might seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked.

Printers can be connected to computers in several ways, including USB cables, Wi-Fi, or a wired network. If you’re using a USB cable, make sure it’s securely plugged into both the printer and your computer. If you’re using a wireless printer, check that it’s connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer. For network printers, make sure your computer is connected to the network and can see the printer.

Step 2: Set Printer as Default

Ensure your printer is set as the default printer on your computer. This tells your computer to prioritize this printer when sending print jobs.

To set your printer as the default, go to Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners. Find your printer in the list, click on it, and select ‘Set as default’. If you have multiple printers and the wrong one is set as default, your print jobs might be sent to the wrong printer, which can cause confusion.

Step 3: Uncheck ‘Use Printer Offline’ Option

Make sure the ‘Use Printer Offline’ option is not selected. This option tells your computer to send print jobs to the printer queue without actually printing them.

To uncheck this option, go to Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners, click on your printer, and select ‘Open queue’. In the printer queue window, click on ‘Printer’ and make sure ‘Use Printer Offline’ is not checked. If it is, click to uncheck it.

Step 4: Update or Reinstall Printer Driver

Outdated or corrupted printer drivers can cause your printer to appear offline. Try updating or reinstalling the driver.

To update your printer driver, go to Device Manager, find your printer, right-click on it, and select ‘Update driver’. Windows will search for the latest driver and install it. If an update doesn’t fix the problem, you can try uninstalling and then reinstalling the printer driver.

Step 5: Troubleshoot Printer Through Windows

If all else fails, use the Windows built-in troubleshooter to diagnose and fix printer problems.

To access the troubleshooter, go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters. Select ‘Printer’ and click ‘Run the troubleshooter’. Follow the on-screen instructions to fix any detected problems.

After completing these steps, your printer should no longer show as offline, and you should be able to print documents without any issues.

Tips to Prevent Printer Offline Issues in Windows 11

  • Always ensure your printer is properly connected and turned on before printing.
  • Regularly check for updates for your printer driver and install them.
  • If you’re using a wireless printer, make sure your Wi-Fi connection is stable.
  • Restart your printer and computer occasionally to refresh their connections.
  • Consider setting up a static IP address for network printers to prevent connection issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my printer keep going offline?

Your printer might be going offline due to connectivity issues, incorrect settings, or outdated drivers.

Can I fix the printer offline issue without tech support?

Yes, most printer offline issues can be resolved with simple troubleshooting steps that you can do on your own.

What should I do if my printer is still offline after following these steps?

If the issue persists, consider contacting the printer manufacturer’s customer support for further assistance.

Why is it important to set my printer as the default printer?

Setting your printer as the default printer ensures that print jobs are sent to the correct printer without confusion.

Is it necessary to update printer drivers?

Yes, keeping your printer drivers updated helps prevent compatibility issues and ensures your printer functions correctly.


  1. Check Printer and Computer Connection
  2. Set Printer as Default
  3. Uncheck ‘Use Printer Offline’ Option
  4. Update or Reinstall Printer Driver
  5. Troubleshoot Printer Through Windows


Dealing with a printer that’s constantly going offline can be a real headache, especially when you’re on a tight deadline or in the middle of an important project. But with the steps outlined above, you should be able to bring your printer back online in Windows 11 without breaking a sweat. Remember that staying on top of maintenance, like updating drivers and checking connections, can prevent many of these issues from occurring in the first place.

If you’ve tried all the tips and your printer is still showing offline, don’t hesitate to reach out to professional tech support. They can provide expert advice and help you resolve any underlying issues that may be causing the problem. And hey, while you’ve got some time waiting for those documents to print, why not explore other ways to optimize your Windows 11 experience? There’s a whole world of shortcuts, features, and tricks to discover. Happy printing, and may your printer never go offline again!

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