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How to Fix Printer Not Responding Error: All Models (Win/Mac)

When trying to print, you may encounter the printer not responding error. Incorrect hardware status or configuration and corrupted drivers are just a few potential underlying reasons for such an error.

Printer not responding? This can be caused by loose cable connections, incorrectly installed drivers, faulty USB port on your computer, or incorrectly installed ink cartridges or toner. On Mac computers, this can also be caused by the printer doesn’t have sharing enabled.

printer not responding

If this error is causing you problems, you can try the solutions provided below to see if any of them work for you.

Fix Printer Not Responding on Windows

If your printer isn’t responding, follow the steps below to fix your printer error on Windows.

Step 1: Is the Printer Turned On?

First, ensure the printer is turned on, and the cables are securely connected.

Step 2: Navigate to Control Panel

If all components are correctly configured and the machine turned on, navigate to the computer’s Control Panel from the Start menu.

Select “Printers” and make sure you’ve selected your printer as the default.

Step 3: Right-Click the Printer Icon

When everything in the control panel checks out, right-click the printer icon and select Properties. Choose “Details” or “Port” and ensure you’ve selected the right port.

Next, double-click on the printer icon to display a list of jobs currently in the print queue.

Cancel all files and then retry printing.

Step 4: Connect to Another USB Port (WiFi?)

You may attempt to connect to alternative USB ports if your printer is connected via a USB port.

Also consider swapping the USB cable, as your current one may be damaged.

If you don’t have a USB cable, you can connect your printer via WiFi. Here’s how to connect a Canon printer to WiFi.

Step 5: Confirm the Ink or Toner is Correctly Installed

Lastly, check to see if your ink cartridges are properly installed.

Is Your Printer Asleep?

Waking your printer that has fallen asleep is pretty easy. Details vary on brand, but for most you can wake your printer by pressing the GO or OK button.

You can also power cycle the printer by turning it off, waiting, then turning it back on.

Here’s more about waking a Brother printer out of sleep mode.

Steps to Fix Printer Not Responding Error on Mac

If you have trouble printing on Mac and you’re wondering, “Why is my printer not responding?” try the following solutions first.

Step 1: Is the Printer Turned On?

If your printer is connected to your Mac, ensure that the printer cable is tightly attached. The printer should be plugged into an electrical outlet and turned on.

Step 2: Check the Network Connection

Check that both your Mac and the printer are connected to the same network for networked printers. Ensure the printer is turned on and the network is functioning correctly.

If the network has several printers, ascertain which one you selected as it may not be the one you thought you selected.

Step 3: Enable Sharing

If you print from a Mac that isn’t in your local network, you’ll need to ensure that the Mac is running macOS 10.5 or later, isn’t sleeping, and has sharing enabled. Is your printer AirPrint-enabled?

Here’s how to fix an iPhone that can’t find your printer.

Step 4: Check the USB Port Connection

Once you connect the printer to the USB port, click the USB option. 

Consult the printer’s manual or more troubleshooting guidance if you still face issues.

Here are some brand-specific suggestions: How to fix an HP printer that isn’t responding.

Tips to Fix Printer Not Responding Error

If you still have problems printing, please refer to the troubleshooting tips below.

Inspect Your Printer

You will need to run a few checks on your printer.

  1. Check whether normal status indicators are being displayed and if it’s operational.
  2. Does your printer contain jammed paper?
  3. Confirm if the printer has sufficient ink or toner.
  4. Check if you have configured the cables properly.

Try to Resume Printing

Double-click the printer’s icon to access the printer’s queue window on your computer.

Then perform any of the subsequent actions:

  1. The process has been paused if the resume button is visible in the toolbar. Select the Resume button.
  2. If another job is causing a delay in the queue due to a glitch, click the delete job button.
  3. In case a specific print job is paused in the queue, select it and then click the resume job button on the right (marked with a curved arrow).
  4. If your print job does not appear in the printer’s queue, it may have been sent to a different printer. Look in the queue windows to see if other printers are available, or retry printing after ensuring you’ve selected the correct printer.

Create a New Printer Queue by Adding the Printer Again

If you can print to the new queue, delete the old one. It might be off if you cannot add the printer since it’s not on the available printers list.

Ensure You’re Using the Latest Software

Verify that you are using the latest version of your printer’s software.

If you are using a network or a printer connected to your computer, you should have the most recent version of the printer’s software.

why the printer is not responding

How to Ping a Printer on Windows and Mac

Fixing Printer Not Responding Warnings

Here are several warnings you should check out when fixing printers not responding errors.

  • Avoid fixing the issue if the computer is not connected to a network.
  • Fix the error only if the printer isn’t displaying other warnings.

Are you troubleshooting a Brother printer? Here’s how to fix a Brother printer not responding issue.

Final Step: Factory Reset

If nothing else is working, it might be time to factory reset your printer.

Here’s how to reset a Canon, Brother, Epson, and HP printer.

Still having trouble? Here are 8 ways to fix a printer in error state.

Final Thoughts

These fixes should fix the most common causes of a Printer no responding error. Hopefully you’re now able to resume printing without any issues.

What worked for you? Have a tip to share? I would love to hear it below!