Offering some of the most affordable printers on the market, Brother devices are known for their responsibility. But as with any other printer, using them can sometimes cause seemingly inexplicable problems.
One such problem is your printer constantly going offline. Even if you configure everything correctly, this problem can occur for various reasons. Fortunately, there are solutions to help you solve them.
When trying to print something, it can be annoying if your printer is in offline mode. This is especially true if you have an important meeting scheduled and cannot print your talking points.
An offline printer will essentially prevent you from printing anything. Not until you figure out why this happened and how to fix it. In the sections below, you can find some of the common reasons why printers go offline. Plus, you’ll find solutions to help get your printer back online.
1. Dynamic IP address
One of the most common problems when using a network printer is the constant change of IP address. This happens when your printer is using the default port settings. This will make it work with dynamic IP addresses instead of static ones.
To resolve this issue, follow the steps below:
- Click on the Windows logo in the lower left corner of your screen.
- Start typing “Control Panel” on your keyboard and the Control Panel icon will appear. Click it.
- Go to “Devices and Printers”.
- Here you should see the icon for your printer. Right click on it.
- Select “Printer Properties” from the menu. Make sure you don’t click on the usual “Properties” option at the bottom of the menu.
- Click on the “Ports” tab.
- Here you should see one of the ports marked. This is the one your printer is currently using. This is usually the “Standard TCP/IP Port”.
- Select that port. Of course, make sure you don’t uncheck it.
- Now click on the “Configure port…” button.
- In the “Port Name” and “Printer Name or IP Address” fields, you must enter the IP address that your computer uses on this network.
- Before you save these settings, just make sure that the “SNMP Status Enabled” option is unchecked. This is known to cause certain problems with Brother printers, so it’s best not to use it.
- With all that done, you can now click the “OK” button to confirm your changes.
If you’re not sure how to check what your IP address is, you can do it this way:
- Press the Windows button and type “Network.”
- From the list of results, select “View your network properties.”
- Your current network properties will appear.
- The “IPv4 Address” entry shows your IP address which you can also use for the printer.
If the dynamic IP address was the problem, this should definitely provide a solution, allowing you to use your Brother printer again.
2. Print offline in Windows
Another reason why your printer is not online is the “Use Printer Offline” feature in Microsoft Windows 10. This feature allows you to prepare your documents for printing, regardless of whether your printer is available at the time or not. Although this seems like a useful thing to do, it actually causes a lot of trouble.
Fortunately, sorting through these problems is really simple.
- Open the “Devices and Printers” menu as described in the previous section.
- Right click on your printer icon.
- Click “See what’s printing.”
- Select the “Printer” tab in the top menu.
- Uncheck the “Use Printer Offline” option.
Hopefully this should bring your printer back online.
3. Antivirus and Firewall
You might be the kind of person who takes your computer security seriously. Unfortunately, certain communications between a computer and a printer can appear threatening. That’s when your antivirus or firewall decides to block this communication instead of risking the security of your system.
To make sure your antivirus or firewall software isn’t the culprit, simply disable them. If it does, it’s important to check that they don’t continue to run in the background.
If your printer still appears offline after this, then it’s almost certainly something else.
4. Driver issues
Another common occurrence is faulty printer drivers. This problem usually appears when your operating system receives a new update. Sometimes the update just doesn’t handle that specific driver very well. Of course, regardless of these updates, the driver itself may have faulty code that prevents you from using your printer.
To install the new driver for your printer, go to the Brother support page and download the drivers for your printer. Before proceeding with the driver installation, make sure you have uninstalled the drivers you are currently using. To do so, follow the steps below:
- Click the Windows button, type “Device Manager” and press Enter.
- Double-click “Imaging Devices” to expand this section.
- Right click on your printer name.
- Click “Uninstall Device.”
- When prompted, be sure to also confirm the removal of the current drivers.
Once this is done, follow the instructions on the Brother support website on how to install the new drivers.
Keep your printer online
Hopefully, one of these solutions resolved your Brother printer offline issue. If none of them helped, it is best to contact their customer support for proper advice. Of course, whatever the problem is, it will eventually get your printer back online.
Have you managed to get your printer online? Which of the options worked for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.