Your PC Can’t Recognize the Printer – Here’s What to Do!

PC Can't Recognize the Printer

You’ve got your PC and printer both connected to the Wi-Fi network, but for some reason, they just can’t seem to communicate with each other. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered on how to deal with this printer mystery.

First things first, ensure that your printer and PC are indeed connected to the same network and are powered on. Sometimes, dual-band Wi-Fi routers provide two networks – one on the 2.4GHz band and the other on the 5GHz band. While most devices can still detect each other on different bands, it’s better to connect them to the same band just to be sure.

If you’ve confirmed that both devices are on the same network, it’s time to delve into your Windows settings. Simply type ‘printer’ into the Windows search bar and open the “Printers & Scanners” menu that pops up. If your printer isn’t listed on that screen, click on ‘Add a printer or scanner’ and try to find it that way.

PC Can't Recognize the Printer
photo: Pixabay

Should your printer be listed but shows a gray ‘offline’ label beneath it, we need to investigate further. Click on the printer and select “Manage.” If it’s your primary printer, click the “Set As Default” button – this simple action might trigger Windows to rediscover the printer, making them the best of friends from then on.

If the issue persists, click on the “Run The Troubleshooter” link on that page. Windows will conduct a series of network tests to attempt to connect to your elusive paper-spewing companion.

If there’s still no success, go back one screen, click on the printer again, and choose “Remove Device.” This will uninstall the printer entirely. Afterward, reboot your computer and try adding the printer anew.

For Mac users, accessing printer settings is slightly different. Click on the Apple icon in the top-left corner of the screen, select “System Preferences,” and then choose “Printers & Scanners.” If your printer isn’t already listed on the left, click the “+” button under the list to add it. You can also change the default printer from this screen if you have multiple printers installed on your Mac.

To sum it up, here’s what you can do to resolve the issue:

  • Ensure the printer and computer are on the same wireless band.
  • Set the printer as the default printer in Windows/Mac.
  • Run the printer troubleshooter.

More Tips for Computer-Printer Connectivity

  1. Outdated Printer Drivers: Check if your printer drivers are up to date as outdated drivers can cause recognition issues.
  2. Firewall or Security Software: Sometimes, firewall or security software settings can block the communication between the computer and printer.
  3. IP Address Conflict: Ensure that there are no IP address conflicts between the computer and the printer on the network.
  4. Network Connectivity Problems: Verify that both the computer and printer are connected to the same network and that the Wi-Fi signal is stable.
  5. Printer Hardware Issues: The printer itself might have hardware problems that prevent proper recognition by the computer.
  6. USB Connection Problems: If using a USB connection, check for loose or faulty cables that could disrupt communication.
  7. Printer Queue Errors: Clear any stuck print jobs in the printer queue, as they can interfere with new print commands.
  8. Power Cycling: Try power cycling both the computer and printer to refresh their connections.
  9. Printer Compatibility: Ensure that the printer is compatible with your computer’s operating system.
  10. Network Router Settings: Some router settings can impact printer visibility on the network. Double-check router configurations.

Remember, diagnosing and fixing printer recognition issues can be a step-by-step process, so try these solutions one by one to identify the cause and resolve the problem effectively.

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