Has anyone experienced a situation where a printer appears as offline until the Spooler service is restarted? Any thoughts?

Steps I have tried:

  1. Updating to the latest print driver (for Vista 64-bit; the driver is WHQL certified)
  2. Uninstalling and re-installing the printer
  3. Disabling Windows firewall

The printer is a Brother MFC-490CW, set up wirelessly. It's not being shared through another PC. I'm printing to it just fine using Windows 7 64-bit.

1 Answer 1


The print spooler will take the printer offline if the print server port becomes unavailable (most often this is a USB printer), or if the driver requests it. You may find it easier to right click the printer and untick "Use Printer Offline" and see if that puts it back into online mode.

  • Thanks for the info. I tried right-clicking it.... then the printer said "Brother MFC490CW - Offline - Offline" versus "Brother MFC490CW - Offline - Offline". Restarting the spooler service changed it to "Brother MFC490CW - Ready" Feb 3, 2010 at 15:58
  • I found that restarting the spooler service fixed my problems. I also modified the service so that it restarts on failure. Apr 4, 2010 at 16:25

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