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Brother Printer Not Responding: 8 Easy Fixes You Can Do

If your Brother printer isn’t responding, you might assume the worst. But before you toss your printer and buy a new one, check these eight easy printer fixes. This guide addresses the most common glitches on Brother printers.

Is your Brother printer not responding? You might have a loose cable connection, an incorrectly installed driver, a faulty USB port on your computer, or incorrectly installed ink cartridges or toner. On Mac computers, check that your Brother printer has sharing enabled.

Brother Printer Not Responding

This guide will help you resolve Brother printer problems. This guide is part of our Brother Printer Support series.

Brother Printer Not Responding? 8 Fixes

Here are the most common reasons for a Brother printer to not respond.

We’ll begin with the most obvious. When troubleshooting a problem, we rule out the simplest fixes first.

Let’s begin!

Fix 1: Check Your Power Switch

Is your printer turned on? If not, switch it on.

Is it responding now? If not, continue to the next fix.

Fix 2: Check Power and USB Cables (3 Things)

Loose cable connections are the most common reason for a Brother printer not to respond.

Here are the three areas to check.

  1. Check your power cable. Is it well seated into your printer? There should be little to no play if you wiggle back and forth. Is it well connected to your power bar? Is your power bar turned on and also plugged into the wall?
  2. Check your USB cable, if connecting directly to your computer. Is it firmly connected to your printer and securely in your computer’s USB port? Because USB ports can fail, it’s worth trying another port.
  3. Examine your cables. Do they have any visible signs of damage? Look for exposed wires, kinks, or damaged/missing prongs on the connector ends. If you find an area of concern, swap it out and see if your printer will respond.

Is your printer connected wirelessly? Here’s how to troubleshoot WiFi connectivity problems.

I realize that these are super obvious things to check. And that’s why we need to check them first.

Okay, now on to the more technical printer fixes.

Fix 3: Set Default Printer

It’s possible that your printer isn’t set to default. More than once, I’ve accidentally printed to my daughter’s printer in a different part of the house. And I’ve also printed to PDF instead of the printer in my office.

Here’s how to ensure that you’re printing to the correct printer.

  1. Check which printer you’ve selected in your print menu.
  2. Select and set the correct printer as your default printer.

Here’s how to change this setting in Windows:

  1. Go to Start > Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners.
  2. Scroll to the bottom, and look for “Let Windows manage my default printer” under Printer Preferences.
  3. Toggle to “On

Here’s more about how to set a default printer in Windows and Mac.

Fix 4: Clear Print Queue

Sometimes, a queue of pending print jobs will cause the printer to go nonresponsive.

Here’s how to clear your print queue on your Brother printer.

  1. Click on the Brother Printer Driver and click Open print queue.
  2. Cancel the print jobs.

Need more help? See our full guide on how to clear printer queues on Windows and Mac computers.

Remember, just turning off your printer and computer isn’t enough to clear the queue. Often, you’ll have to go in and manually cancel the pending print jobs.

Fix 5: Check Ink or Toner Installation

Nothing will upset your printer more than incorrectly installed ink or toner cartridges.

  1. Are the ink or toner cartridges well-seated and firmly in place? It’s good to note how they fit when you remove the old ones.
  2. Do the cartridge numbers fit with your printer model? It’s possible that the office supply shop gave you the wrong ones. If they don’t fit correctly, your printer may not turn on and definitely won’t work.

Are your ink cartridges old? Here’s how to keep printer ink from drying out.

Fix 6: Wake Up Your Brother Printer

Is your Brother printer asleep? Here’s how to wake it up.

Fix 7: Ping Your Printer

To see if your printer is online, you can ping it. 

This is a little more technical, but if you’re up for it, here’s how to do it on Windows and Mac.

Fix 8: Reset Your Brother Printer

If you’ve tried all the fixes and still your Brother printer is not responding, it’s time to reset.

Resetting your printer will reset all custom settings. And it usually clears any weird background glitches that are causing it to be unresponsive.

There are four types of Brother printers. Here are all the details for resetting your Brother printer.

Here’s some help for a printer that won’t respond.

Your Turn

How did it go for you? Were you able to get your Brother printer to respond and begin printing? Please let me know how it went for you.