Network Printer Goes Offline on Windows

From time to time we notice that some connected network printers fail, stopping printing and queuing the print jobs on the print servers with Windows Server. In this article we see why a network printer can go offline and how you can solve this problem without reinstalling the printer or restarting the print server.

Open the print management console on the print server, find a printer whose queue status is Offline, open the print queue properties, and make sure the Use Offline Printer option is not enabled in the settings.


Then, make sure the printer is turned on and accessible on the network (check the availability of the printer by sending a ping to the IP address, make sure you can access the printer’s web management interface).

How does Windows determine if a network printer is available? In Windows 7 and later, SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is used by default to query the status of a network printer. The print server sends an SNMP request to the printer and waits for a reply. If no SNMP response is received from the printer, the printer is considered unavailable and is locked on the print server. Let’s see how to configure SNMP settings for network printers on Windows Print Server.

First, make sure your printer supports the SNMP protocol. Open the web interface for managing network printers and make sure SNMP is enabled in the printer settings and that the community name used for the printer is public. For example, the SNMP settings for the HP LaserJet CP1525 can be found under Network -> SNMP -> Enable read-only SNMP access (uses the audience to get the name of the community).

Locate the printer in the Print Management Console, open its properties, and click on the Ports tab. Open the port settings : Default TCP/IP port -> Configuration port. If your printer supports the SNMP protocol, make sure the SNMP Status Enabled option is checked and the community name is set to Public.


If your printer does not support SNMP, turn it off in the printer port settings on the print server. Windows no longer sends SNMP packets to query the status of the device.

Make sure to change the printer status to Ready.


You can find all printers with SNMP disabled on the print server by using the following PowerShell command:

get-printerport |where {$_.snmpenabled -ne $True}|select name,protocol,description,printhostaddress


You can use the following PowerShell command to find network printer ports with a different name for the SNMP community than Public :

get-printerport |where {$_.SNMPCommunity -ne ‘Public’ – and $_.snmpenabled -eq $truth }|select name, protocol, description, printer host address, snmpenabled, SNMPCommunity

If checking the SNMP settings does not allow the printer to be connected to the network, check the following settings.

  1. Make sure the IP address of the printer is correct in the print port setting;
  2. Make sure you are using the default TCP/IP port and not the WSD port.
  3. Make sure your firewalls do not block SNMP traffic (ports 161/UDP and 162/UDP);
  4. Completely remove and reconnect the printer and the print port. Reinstall the printer drivers;
  5. Restart the spooler service: Restart of the Spooler service
  6. You can completely disable SNMP query for all Windows printers by creating a new DWORD parameter in this registry key, called SNMPLegacy, with a value of 1 : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlPrint.

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