How to Tell If Your Printer Is Offline?

The Microsoft Windows operating system is capable of transmitting file data to printers connected locally to the computer with a USB cable, or network printers connected to the Internet with an Ethernet cable. If you are having trouble getting a file to print, one of the first things to check is the device's online or offline status. Printers can go offline for a variety of reasons, including loose cables and network connection problems.

Open the Start menu and click on "Control Panel."

Go to the "Hardware and Sound" section of the Control Panel window.

Click on the link labelled "Printers" to open a new window with a list of the printers installed on your PC.

Double-click on the icon for the printer whose status you want to check.

Look at the very top of the print queue window to check the status of the device. To the right of the printer's name, it will either say "Online" or "Offline."

Go to the "Printer" menu in the queue window and toggle the "Use printer offline" setting to switch between online and offline mode.

Things You'll Need

  • PC running Windows Vista or 7
  • USB or network printer
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About the Author

Bennett Gavrish is an I.T. professional who has been writing about computers, electronics and the Web since 2004. His work has appeared in the "Nashua Telegraph" and the "Daily Free Press" and on numerous websites. Gavrish received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University.