Why is My Brother Printer Appearing Offline?

When trying to print something from your computer, you may sometimes find that your printer appears offline. There are many reasons for this, most of which can be solved quite easily.

This also relates to printers manufactured by Brother as well. Although solutions may differ from model to model, the suggestions in this article should cover most scenarios.

Why a Printer Appears Offline?

If you ever get the “Printer Offline” message while trying to print something, it could be for one of these reasons:

  1. Printer isn’t powered on.
  2. Printer is disconnected.
  3. The printer you’re trying to use isn’t set as the default printer.
  4. A previous print job is stuck in the printing queue.
  5. Printer is set to Offline or Paused status.
  6. There are multiple copies of the same printer.
  7. Printer driver for your operating system isn’t working properly.

Luckily, it’s not that hard to sort most of these issues by yourself.

Brother Printer Appearing Offline

No Power

First thing to do when your printer seems to be offline is to check whether it’s turned on. If your printer has a LCD screen, check if it’s blank. If you don’t have a screen on your printer, check if any of the LED lights are turned on.

If the printer doesn’t seem to be turned on, press the “Power” button on your printer. If that didn’t wake it up, check the cord that connects the printer with the power outlet. Maybe the cable is loose or the outlet isn’t getting any power.

If everything seems fine and your printer is turned on, check if there are any error messages on its LCD screen. If so, check the printer manual for the error type and how to solve it.

If none of these actions helped, it’s time to move on to the next section.

Not Connected

The next step is to check if the connection between the printer and your computer is working properly.

For USB connections, check if both ends of the cable fit snuggly into either ports. Also, avoid using any USB hubs or extenders. It’s important to have a direct USB connection between your computer and the printer.

For local networks, make sure the Ethernet cable hasn’t come loose on your printer’s end. The other end usually connects to a router or a switch. If you don’t have access to that, ask your network administrator to help you with this.

For Wi-Fi connections, make sure the network is working properly. You might want to reset the Wi-Fi router, just to make sure this isn’t the issue.

Brother Printer Offline

Not Set as a Default Printer

Once you’re sure the printer is powered on and connected to your computer, it’s time to check the software side of the problem. First thing to do is to see whether the printer you’re trying to use is set as default for your computer.

  1. Press the “Windows” button in the lower left corner of the screen.
  2. Open “Control Panel”.
  3. Go to “Hardware and Sound”.
  4. Click “Devices and Printers”.
  5. In the printers list, find the printer you want to use. Check if there’s a green check mark on the printer’s icon. This denotes if it’s set as default.
  6. If not, right-click the printer icon and select “Set as default printer”.

This should change your printer’s status from offline to online. If not, check the next section.

A Print Job Got Stuck

If a document you’ve sent to your printer didn’t print, there could be a number of reasons behind it. For example, the file is too big for printer’s memory to handle. Or your computer went to sleep while sending the print job, thus corrupting the process.

Whatever the reason, it’s time to check if there are any pending jobs in your printer’s queue.

  1. Follow the steps 1-4 from the previous section to open the list of available printers.
  2. Next, right-click your printer’s icon.
  3. Click “See what’s printing”.
  4. The list of current print jobs will appear.
  5. Now click the “Printer” tab at the top of that window.
  6. Click “Cancel All Documents” to clear out the printing queue.

If the “Cancel All Documents” option is greyed out, click “Open As Administrator” from the same menu (as in Step 6). Enter the administrator password and click “Yes” to enable this option.

It may happen that there were no stuck jobs waiting for printing. Or perhaps clearing the queue didn’t help to bring your printer online. If so, please continue to the next section.

Printer Status Changed

It might happen that the system set your printer’s status automatically to Offline or Paused. Right-click your printer’s icon and see if “Use Printer Offline” or “Pause Printing” options have a check mark next to them. If they do, click each to uncheck them.

Brother Printer

Multiple Printers

There’s also a chance there are multiple copies of the same printer on your computer. This can happen if you’ve connected the printer to a different USB port on your computer. Also, installing the same printer driver several times will create an additional copy each time.

If there are multiple copies of the same printer, hover over each icon with your mouse until the status pop-up appears. The printer you’re looking for should have “Status: Ready” in the pop-up. Once you’ve found it, delete the other copies.

Printer Drivers

If none of this helped, the last option is to reinstall the printer drivers. To do so, go to Brother support page and click “Downloads”. Follow the instructions to get the latest drivers for your printer. Here you can also find detailed instructions on how to install the driver itself.

Brother’s Online

Hopefully, one of these solutions helped you get your printer back online. If you didn’t manage to do it on your own, perhaps it’s best to contact Brother tech support directly.

Were you able to set your Brother printer from an offline to online status? Which of the options worked for you? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.

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