Network Printer Going Offline

I have an HP Officejet Pro L7580 network printer that’s connected (via a LAN cable) to a Netgear Wireless Router. Two computers are hardwired to the router with LAN cables, and I rarely have any trouble printing from them. The other two are laptops that connect wirelessly to the printer through the router. One of these laptops I rarely print from. On the other laptop, which is running Windows Vista, the printer keeps going Offline.

I narrowed the problem down to an IP address issue. IP (Internet Protocol) addresses are used to specify the location of each computer on the network. My router has its own IP address and it assigns a separate address to each computer and to the printer. You can check your printer’s IP address by doing the following:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Click the option to view your Printers.
  3. Right-click the printer’s icon and click Properties.
  4. Click the Ports tab. (Above the Ports list near the bottom of the window, you might have to drag the little line that separates the Port column from the Description column to view the port numbers.)

If you’re having trouble with your printer going offline on this computer, then Windows might be using the wrong port number for your printer. Go to one of the computers from which you can print and check the port number that Windows is using for the printer. Jot it down. (Even if Windows is using the correct port number on the computer from which you cannot print, creating a new port as I show you in this article, can still solve the problem.)

Now, return to the computer on which the printer is appearing as Offline and create a new IP port using that address. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Click the option to view your Printers.
  3. Right-click the printer’s icon and click Properties.
  4. Click the Ports tab.
  5. Click Add Port.
  6. Click the option Standard TCP/IP Port and then click New Port…
  7. Follow the onscreen instructions to create the new port with the printer’s correct IP address – the one you jotted down earlier.

Tip: Robin, the online tech support person at HP who was so helpful in troubleshooting and fixing my problem, gave me an excellent tip. Open your Web browser. In the address bar at the top, instead of typing a web page address, type the IP address for your printer and press Enter. (If you get a security warning, click the option to proceed to the site.) I’m not sure this works with all network printers, but on my HP network printer, it displays a cool control panel for the printer.

Meet the Author

Joe Kraynak

Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Computer Basics.

29 comments… add one
  • avatar collins Boateng Aug 14, 2009, 12:54 pm

    plz,my name is collins from ghana,i work in an internet cafe.i want to know how i can share my printer to the laptops wireless so they can print from their laptops.thank you

  • avatar Dallas Moore May 20, 2010, 9:57 am

    Thank you so much! Have been sitting here for days, scheduling print jobs, without anything printing, then when I come in the next morning it will magically come online at a random time and print one document then go back offline.

    As soon as I apply the new port settings, the printer printed all of my scheduled documents. Thanks again!!!

  • avatar Matthew Apr 8, 2011, 1:18 pm

    Awesome, this worked. Mine was setup as a Internet port with the IP address. When I created a new port per the instructions above, it made a TCP/IP port. Works now.

    Thank you

  • avatar bn Jun 5, 2011, 9:07 am

    This solved my problem. Thanks for posting.

  • avatar Ms Aug 1, 2011, 4:16 am

    Thanks a heap! have been struggling with this for days. Quick EASY solution!

  • avatar lana Aug 3, 2011, 2:31 am

    This was the first website and support I have every had any luck with. They gave step by step instructions and it was very specific for me to understand, and as soon as I followed them my printer started to print . Thank You so much for your help. Very easy to follow.

  • avatar Janet Aug 29, 2011, 11:17 am

    When I tried to go through these steps, I’m unable to click on Add Port. The button is dimmed, and I can’t seem to figure out why. Any suggestions for getting this button active so I can get my printer online again?

  • avatar Jimmy Sep 10, 2011, 11:57 pm

    Janet, if the add port button is greyed out, you don’t have admin rights change this. You need to log on as a user with admin rights.

  • avatar Chad Oct 12, 2011, 2:46 pm

    If I am to add a new IP address for my printer through a server, will it change the IP address on all of the PC’s that connect to this printer through said server? I want to dabble, but I’m afraid to mess anything up to greatly! I’m at work and don’t want to explain why I messed things up considerably, if at all. Though, the printer is offline almost always and nobody can print with the thing anyhow!

    Thanks a lot, everybody!

  • avatar kris Nov 13, 2011, 2:47 am

    i cant belive how much of a POS this hp c310 is, going off line all the time and needing to restart t he pc and printer 10 times before it prints, been on the phone to hp about the laptop not hooking up as well spent about 3 hours on the phone to them so far

  • avatar laurie Jan 9, 2012, 9:42 am

    this does not work for me. I cannot create a new port with the same IP. says it already exists. I have stopped and started printer spooler on server. printer goes online for about 10 secondes then off again. it is an HP2055dn. network with about 300 users with mandatory profiles.

  • avatar chris Apr 1, 2012, 12:12 am

    is there a way i can print on hp 2035n printer over internet?

  • avatar Ismail Feb 1, 2013, 2:50 am

    Salut mon imprimante a change l adresse IP quand on fait auto test c est avant il etait 192.168.x.xx svp comment j peux rechange et mettre comme avant ou entre dans cette imprimente pour change

  • avatar Rachael Jun 3, 2013, 3:21 pm

    This is happening constantly with my new printer hp 6500 with windows 8, it worked fine before we got these new laptops in feb. I am unable to follow the directions you listed, as these options are not available in Win 8… yeah, I hate it too..

  • avatar Frances Jun 3, 2013, 5:50 pm

    I have been struggling for a few days, and could not figure out what my printer keep going offline after I got a new router. I did not even know about the IP address. Your solution was easy to follow and now my router, printer and laptop are on the same page.

  • avatar Nic Oct 16, 2013, 6:04 am

    I think that I did a variation on the above. My wireless HP4250n keeps going offline, its wireless, we don’t have our pcs networked as we work in the cloud. I found out my printer’s fixed IP address, then I went into the printer’s properties in Windows, and clicked on Ports, I scrolled down and found the port, and then clicked Configure port. In that part it gave the wrong IP address for the printer, so I changed it and the printer prints.

  • avatar Lynn Dec 13, 2013, 12:46 pm

    I too have an HP laptop and printer with a recent problem of the wireless connection failing. And the solution above really helped. I printed these instructions along with my printer report so that I have both available to fix this if it happens again. Thanks chimp

  • avatar Sue Jun 2, 2014, 8:00 am

    Thank you!! First thing that worked! S

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  • avatar ron Dec 30, 2014, 10:32 am

    my printer keeps going off lin

  • avatar ron Dec 30, 2014, 10:33 am

    my printer keeps going off line

  • avatar Crosby Lame Mar 17, 2016, 8:06 am

    I was also facing same issue, My HP printer is also shows offline. I just had this problem last night when I noticed there was some weird thing happening with my printer. I tried a lot to fix that however I was not able to fix that. I got this link over the internet. I just visited and made a call on their toll free and got instant help for my printer.

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  • avatar Todd Mar 2, 2017, 10:03 pm

    This tip worked great. Spent all day trying to fix the printer and it kept going offline. Works perfect now. Thanks

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