How to Fix a Brother Printer That Keeps Going Offline

Offering some of the most affordable printers on the market, Brother devices are known for their liability. But as with any other printer, using them may sometimes cause seemingly inexplicable issues.

How to Fix a Brother Printer That Keeps Going Offline

One such problem is having your printer constantly going offline. Even if you set everything up properly, this issue can occur for a number of reasons. Luckily, there are solutions to help you resolve them.

Reasons for the Offline Status

When trying to print something, it can get annoying if your printer is in the offline mode. This is especially true if you have an important meeting scheduled and can’t print out your talking points.

An offline printer will essentially prevent you from printing anything. Not until you figure out why this happened and how to resolve it. In the sections below you can find some of the common reasons for printers going offline. In addition, you’ll find solutions to help get your printer back online.

Brother Printer

1. Dynamic IP Address

One of the most common problems when using a network printer is the constant change of IP address. This happens when your printer uses the default port settings. This will make it work with dynamic IP addresses rather than the static one.

To resolve this issue, follow the steps below:

  1. Click the Windows logo at the lower left corner of your screen.
  2. Start typing “Control Panel” on your keyboard and the Control Panel icon will appear. Click it.
  3. Go to “Devices and Printers”.
  4. Here you should see your printer’s icon. Right-click it.
  5. Select “Printer Properties” from the menu. Make sure you don’t click the usual “Properties” option found at the bottom of the menu.
  6. Click the “Ports” tab.
  7. Here you should see one of the ports checked. This is the one your printer is currently using. It’s usually the “Standard TCP/IP Port”.
  8. Select that port. Of course, make sure you don’t uncheck it.
  9. Now click the “Configure Port…” button.
  10. In the fields “Port Name” and “Printer Name or IP Address” you should enter the IP address your computer uses on this network.
  11. Before you save these settings, just make sure that the “SNMP Status Enabled” option is not checked. This one is known to cause certain issues with Brother printers, so it’s best not to use it.
  12. With all that done, now you can click the “OK” button to confirm your changes.

If you’re not sure how to check what your IP address is, you can do it this way:

  1. Press the Windows button and type “Network”.
  2. From the results list choose “View Your Network Properties”.
  3. Your current network properties will appear.
  4. The entry “IPv4 Address” shows your IP address you can use for the printer as well.

If the dynamic IP address was the issue, this should definitely provide a solution, allowing you to use your Brother printer again.

2. Print Offline in Windows

Another reason for your printer not being online is the “Use Printer Offline” feature in Microsoft Windows 10. This feature allows you to prepare your documents for printing, regardless of whether your printer is available at the moment or not. Although this looks like a useful thing to have, it actually causes a bunch of issues.

Fortunately, sorting these issues is really simple.

  1. Open the “Devices and Printers” menu as described in the previous section.
  2. Right-click your printer’s icon.
  3. Click “See what’s printing”.
  4. Select the “Printer” tab from the top menu.
  5. Uncheck the “Use Printer Offline” option.

This should hopefully bring your printer back online.

Brother Printer Going Offline

3. Antiviruses and Firewalls

You might be the type of person who takes their computer’s security seriously. Unfortunately, certain communications between a computer and printer could appear as a threat. That’s when your antivirus or firewall decides to block off this communication rather than risk the security of your system.

To make sure your antivirus or firewall software isn’t to blame, simply turn them off. If you do so, it’s important to double-check that they aren’t continuing to run in the background.

If your printer still appears offline after this, then it’s almost definitely something else.

4. Driver Issues

Another common occurrence is faulty printer drivers. This issue usually appears when your operating system receives a fresh update. Sometimes, the update just doesn’t handle that specific driver very well. Of course, regardless of these updates, the driver itself may have a faulty code that prevents you from using your printer.

To install the fresh driver for your printer, go to the Brother Support page and download drivers for your printer. Before you proceed with the driver installation, make sure you’ve uninstalled the drivers you’re currently using. To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Click the Windows button, type “Device Manager”, and hit Enter.
  2. Double-click “Imaging devices” to expand this section.
  3. Right-click the name of your printer.
  4. Click “Uninstall device”.
  5. When asked, make sure you also confirm to delete the current drivers as well.

Once that’s done, follow the instructions on Brother Support website on how to install the new drivers.

Keeping Your Printer Online

Hopefully, one of these solutions solved your issue with the offline Brother printer. If none of them helped, it’s best to contact their customer support to get the right advice. Of course, whatever the issue is, you’ll eventually manage to get your printer back online.

Have you succeeded in getting your printer online? Which of the options worked for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

12 thoughts on “How to Fix a Brother Printer That Keeps Going Offline”

Willie Considine says:
I had an older Brother printer that worked just fine for several years, then started crumpling every other page. So I bought this MFCL-2710DW. Much nicer print but it keeps going offline. I’m retired but do a small business at home. Solution #1 mentions “ports tab” but this doesn’t show up in the menu. #2 seems to be working so far. Fingers crossed.
Suzy says:
Totally agree with Chris Snuggs. I’ve already had my IT guy out 3 times to resolve the offline issue. TIme for this brother to go back.
Eckhard says:
Stumbled over another problem, none of the above mentioned applied. Symptom: Brother DCP-9022 laser printer with a fixed IP address, connected via ethernet cable to an inhouse ethernet hub. Printer appears “offline”, no response to ping. Printer power off/on didn’t help
Solution/Reason: Toner was low! Unless you confirm the message on the display, the printer stays offline. IMHO not a brilliant idea. What if the printer isn’t in the same room or at least with a short distance and you need to check the device remotely?
Ed Collins says:
I’m on Windows 10 and have an old Brother MFC-J470DW wireless on a Comcast router. It recently went offline. I could see it as a device on my router and the MFC could see my computer. I could scan to my computer but not the other way. I could not print to the MFC. I tried all of Jordan’s suggestions and pretty much any other I could find through Google search. I must have spent 20 hours trying to figure this out to no avail.

It just so happened that I had an old HP Officejet that was given to me that I never connected. I connected it to my network and loaded the HP software. It worked like a charm. I then looked at my MFC and guess what … ? It was online and working again. It seems like it just needed some competition to kick it in gear. 😉

I did the same on another network computer and it too re-gained access. I have to assume there was something in the HP software that turned something on or off in my computers relationship to the MFC. Very strange but I’m happy I don’t have to throw away a bunch of unused Brother ink cartridges.

AnsiZmodem says:
Make sure you not running a VPN if your printer is connected to your network. Disconnect your VPN first.
Dennis Jones says:
I must agree with the previous comments. Brother Corp. should be ashamed to put their name on something that causes so much grief for purchasers of their products. I try to tell everyone I talk to about printers to stay away from Brother products. It’s a shame because most of the rest of the unit works flawlessly… but I also wouldn’t purchase a car that kept going “offline” for no apparent reason – and to have NOTHING in the manual to help me fix it AND have less-than-splended short-tempered customer service who have no idea that this is an issue…. all of the above equals … not buying Brother anymore.
Maximus says:
Thank you! This was driving me crazy with the Brother MFC-8460N. I already had the printer on a Static IP. Scanning and the Brother Remote Admin utility worked 100% normally, but the printer would always remain in Sleep mode whenever I tried to print something. The trick was to disable the SNMP setting as listed in step 1.11. This had been going on for months until I found this article.
Collin says:
I’ve spent more hours trying to get this stupid Brother to print than I have actually printing anything. I’m ready to take it to the high school and donate it to their shop class.
Melissa says:
What a nightmare this is! Be warned – and no one from customer service cares to help.
Rick says:
I can get as far as Configure Port. The fields you say to change are locked and unchangeable.
Dead in the water.
VASHON says:
Chris Snuggs says:
This is absurd beyond insanity. If I buy and install a printer I expect it to PRINT without all this insane nonsense. And WHAT IS THE POINT of using a printer “offline”?

Who is responsible for this shambles?

Comments are closed.

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