How To Fix a Printer That Is In An Error State ?

Printer in an error state? Frustrating!! Right?? We all are friendly to technology nowadays, thanks to the modern age but still, it is always nightmarish to see your printer in an error state.

Urgent circumstances where you have to get a printout of an important document can leave a person in a real fix if his printer is showing an error.

Thankfully like most uncertain circumstances, this one has solutions that can be tried easily by anyone. 

From school or college-going youngsters to mature salaried people or business owners, everyone needs a printer for some other reason and they all know how to take a printout.

But it is even better to know how to fix the simple issue of error in a printer. The blog is an insight into the most relatable and possible solutions on how to fix a printer error in layman’s language.

Let’s delve into the issue if you are also struggling with a similar problem to many out there. Don’t worry, you can easily learn how to fix a printer in an error state. 

What makes a printer go into an error state?

Before you know the disease, it is vital to know what causes it. Similarly, you should know the possible reasons that make a printer act weird and go into an error state. 

The following are the major reasons why a printer goes into an error state – 

  • Corrupt printer drivers can be a reason
  • Malware or virus attack is another common but relatable cause. 
  • Wires and cable not connected properly. Just check it. 
  • Recent computer updates
  • Lack of internet connection 
  • Physically lift the tray and inspect if there is any paper jam.

How to fix a printer in error state?

Whatever your printer brand and version, there are always several generic solutions to a problem. Read below to find what can be the first things to do if your printer is in an error state.

The mentioned steps are generic and apply to all types and versions of printers. The basic mechanism of machines made for a particular purpose is the same, only a little difference exists in the form of icons and their names. 

Restart your printing device because it usually works 

Sometimes, the solution to big problems lies in the small tricks. If the printer shows an error message, do nothing but just restart it and the problem should get fixed soon.  

Check your cables and cartridges as it is the basic tactic 

Trying the basic ways in case of technical issues in a device is always the best thing to try. Improperly places cartridges, and unplugged cables are normally the most common tactic to try.

It usually works and you should also check if any improvement is required on these points. 

Set your printer online manually 

Sometimes the problem is with the computer or laptop because it thinks that your printer is offline.

No worries, you can set your printing device online manually and fix the issue right away. 

Steps to manually set a printer online on Windows 

  • Click on the start button and select the option control panel 
  • Now select devices and printers or the relatable menu option in your windows system. 
  • Click on the option of printer that shows on the top of the menu of devices and printers 
  • Now select use printer online from the drop-down menu

Steps to set a printer online manually with MacOs

  • Click on the option system preferences in the Apple menu, and then select print and scan
  • A yellow light next to your printer’s name should appear after which you need to double-click the printer icon. Finally, click on the option Resume and your printer should get online. 

Check your printer is set as the default printer

If you changed the default printer while printing last time then your computer is communicating with the wrong printing device.

Just go and check whether the current printer is set as the default one or not.  

Reinstall the printer 

If despite trying everything your printer is still showing the error state, this is the best thing you can try. Starting from scratch works not only in relationships but also with devices and technology.

Reinstalling your printer on your computer can be a good idea to try. However, don’t forget you need to first uninstall before you reinstall. 

Steps to reinstall printer in Windows 

  • Firstly go to the start button and click on it. 
  • Now select the control panel from it.
  • Now go to devices and printer or the similar menu option 
  • Now right-click on the printer name and select remove device 
  • Finally, to reinstall the printer, go to device and printers click to add a printer, and follow the instructions given on the pop-up window. 

Steps to uninstall and reinstall on MacOS

  • Go to the Apple menu and then click on system preferences and then select print and scan. 
  • Now right-click on print and scan and click on reset printing system. Your printer is removed from your computer at this step. 
  • Now right-click again to add the printer. 

Check network connection 

The network connection can be unstable sometimes, especially in case you are using a wireless connection.

The printer shows an error if the two devices, your computer, and your printer are not connected. Check your Wi-Fi status on your printer panel. 

Go to the control panel, select your network settings option and press confirm network settings. Your printer’s network connection will display. 

After following all the steps carefully now check if the error message has gone.

Also Check : 11 Steps to Fix Brother Printer

HP printer in an error state? How to fix it?

If your HP printer is showing an error, it is a matter of a few minutes to fix this issue and bring back your printing device to normal functioning.

By trying some methods or to be more rational, but fixing some relatable issues in the printer, you can fix the printer in error state HP issue. 

Did you check your printer spooler services? It should be running 

Yes, check the printer spooler services and make sure that it is running also the automatic mode is turned on. 

If the spooler service is not running, turn it on by following the steps below – 

  • Go to the search bar 
  • Now open the Run dialog box and then type services.msc
  • Scroll down the window and then search for the spooler option to make sure that it is running. 
  • Lastly double-click on the spooler option to make sure that it is in automatic mode. Select the automatic option if the spooler services are in manual mode. 

For Detailed guide check ” FIX HP Printer in Error state Issue “

Have you cleaned your print spooler services? 

You need to check whether the spooler files are clear or not, if not following steps will guide you to successful task completion. 

  • Go to the local disk ( C ) and then windows then System then Spool and lastly Printers 
  • In the next step, you will see multiple files in the printer folder. Delete all the files. 
  • Go to the local disk ( C ) again and then Windows> then System32>then click on Spool then Drivers> and finally w32x86
  • You need to delete all the files shown in the folder w32x86.
  • Go to the spooler services again then select and click again on the option of the restart 

Also Check : What is Printer Spooling ?

How to fix the printer in error state Windows 10?

Millions of people using Windows 10 have this question and the answer for all of them is quite easy to follow.

Just like any user-friendly version of Windows, this one too is handy if you want to solve this issue. Below are the steps you should try to fix the printer in an error state in Windows 10. 

Ensure your computer recognizes your printer

Any break in the coordination between the two devices can easily send a printer to an error state. Here is how you can make your system windows 10 recognize your printer. 

  • Firstly go to the control panel in the start menu and then select the best match 
  • In the control panel, go to the hardware and sound options and click on the option view devices and printers. 
  • You will see the list of all the devices listed on your printer. Find your printer name and select it. 
  • At the bottom bar, you will read the status ready, which means your computer recognizes your printer can communicate with it. 

Reinstall the printer drivers 

Outdated printer drivers are never going to bring back your printing device to normal status. Reinstall them as that can usually fix the problem and it also helps remove faulty drivers. 

Steps to reinstall printer drivers in Windows 10 

  • Firstly disconnect the power cord and printer from your computer
  • Launch or open the control panel on your computer
  • Select the option to view devices and printers shown under hardware and sound 
  • Now go to the devices list to find your printer
  • Right-click on your printer’s name and click on remove device 
  • At last a prompt will appear on your screen, click yes on it. 
  • Now using power cord and cables connect your computer and printer which will automatically install the drivers. 

Update Windows 10 

Updating the systems is always important otherwise not only printers even simple word file functions will not work properly on your computer.

Evidently, more than anything else, the health of your computer system is most important to ensure all other devices connect well to it. 

  • Press the windows key + I which will open the settings app
  • On the settings screen click on update & security
  • From the sidebar on the left select windows update
  • On the right side click on check for updates
  • In the next step, you can install the available updates

How to fix the printer in error state Windows 11?

Windows 11 is a popular version of Windows and numberless times people face the issue of the printer being in an error state but as usual, this solution to this problem is just a piece of cake. 

  • Firstly open Settings
  • Select and click on Bluetooth and Devices
  • Now click on the Printers and Scanners tab. 
  • Go to the section of printer preferences and turn off the option let windows manage my default printer
  • Now a list will appear and select your printer from the shown list 
  • Click on the set as default button 
  • Lastly try to print again after completing the above steps. 

What is the method to fix the printer in an error state in Canon/Epson/Brother?

Regardless of the printer model or brand you own, there are universal steps that apply to all types of printers.

Take a look at the steps below – 

Check your printer hardware and connection

If your printer is working fine with Laptop or Phone, this means printer hardware is fine. Else if you suspect and hardware issue connect with the printer manufacturer.

Also make sure that your printer is connected to your system and plugged in properly. 

Power drain your printer through the following steps

  • Turn off your printer and unplug the cables from the wall outlet
  • Press and hold the power button for 30 seconds 
  • Now connect back all the printer cables and socket to the wall outlet. (Make sure not to use any surge protector)`

Close all the covers of the printer properly 

Run windows update 

Check for low ink

Re-install printer driver using the following steps (Tested and most effective solution)

  • Go to the start menu and type device manager to search for it 
  • In the device manager menu click on the option view and then click on show hidden devices
  • Now right-click on Ports (COM&LPT) (scroll down to find this option)
  • Click on properties now 
  • Click on port settings now and uncheck the option Enable legacy Plug and Play detection and then press ok 
  • If this does not solve the issue open again device manager and expand ports (COM & LPT) to find your printer name 
  • Now right-click on the printer and click on uninstall to uninstall the drivers.
  • After uninstalling get back to this option and click on the option update driver software
  • In case, you have existing drivers for printers then just select and click on Browse my computer for driver software. Now click on Browse and locate the location of the driver then click on next to install the drivers. 
  • What if you have no existing drivers on your system? Well, not to worry, just click on search automatically for updated driver software. This will make the windows download as well as install all the drivers. 
  • When the installation completes, try to print something. 


Fixing errors on your printer, be it an Epson, HP, Canon, or any other brand, may initially appear confusing and challenging. However, the process is actually simple and easy.

While there may be slight variations in the menu options on Windows and the control panel for different printers, the fundamental procedure remains the same.

Frequently Asked Question’s (FAQ’s) 

How can I get my printer off in an error state issue?

Ensure that your printer is turned on and well connected to the computer. Also, check the printer for low ink or paper placement. Make sure the paper is not jammed and the cover is not open.  

How do I get rid of my HP printer in an error state?

Try the basic thing first, restart the printer and also your computer. Else, power off the computer and printer, wait for a few minutes, and turn them on again. It should fix the problem, if not, then uninstall and reinstall the printer or update your drivers. 

How do I fix my Epson printer in an error state?

You can try multiple ways to fix the issue as mentioned below – 
Disable the feature of the offline printer 
Update the faulty or old drivers
Check for the print spooler service it should be running and should be cleaned. 
Clear all the print jobs
Set your printer in use as the default printer 
Clean the printhead of the Epson printer. 

We are dedicated to providing solutions for all printer-related queries. We appreciate your feedback! Kindly spare a moment to leave a comment below and share your thoughts. Your input can be instrumental in assisting others who may encounter similar printer issues.

Anna is the Writer behind ThePrinterFix. Our primary focus is on resolving printer issues so you can resume seamless printing experiences.

Beyond her contributions here, Anna also shares her expertise in troubleshooting printer problems on various tech-related blogs. She's deeply committed to assisting individuals in maximizing their printing experiences and is dedicated to offering solutions for all your printer-related queries.

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