Printers are Showing as "Offline"

Summary/Problem:

Printers on a workstation are showing as "offline" in "Devices and Printers" and cannot be printed to.

Cause:

While there can be many causes for a printer to show as offline, the most common issue is related to SNMP.

The logical printer queue can communicate with the physical printer device using SNMP to get information about the printer. If SNMP is enabled for a printer queue, but it doesn't get a response to its SNMP query, then Windows assumes the printer is offline and will not allow printing to it.

Here is some information from Microsoft:

"It allows detailed status reporting when the printer provides it. Printers that are not compliant with the SNMP standard do not return status information. Therefore, when there is an error during printing, the spooler displays a general printing error or does not detect any error at all."

Solution:

There are two solutions for this issue: fix the SNMP problem or turn off SNMP status on the printer queue.

SNMP Troubleshooting

Here are some common causes of SNMP not working:

  • The SNMP community name on the printer queue does not match the string on the printer device.
  • There is a network problem blocking SNMP communication between the printer device and the workstation.

Disabling SNMP Status

  1. In the Admin Console, select the printer.
  2. Select the Port tab.
  3. In the SNMP Status section, un-check the "Enabled" checkbox.
  4. Click "Save".

The next time the Printer Installer client checks in on the workstation, the printer queue will have SNMP status turned off. This means that Windows will always attempt to print a print job regardless of the current state of the printer, bypassing any SNMP networking issues.

Attribution:

Last updated:

Author:

Contributions by:

12/23/2016

Dustin Larsen

N/A