Printer Cannot Be Contacted Over the Network

You may have issues whenever trying to print from the device after adding it as a network printer. If you run Windows’s troubleshooter for your printer and it fails to resolve the problem, you’ll get the notice “Printer cannot be contacted via the network” afterward.

The question now is how to fix the printer so that it functions normally again. Consider these options if you’re dealing with a similar issue and haven’t found a satisfactory answer yet. Let’s take a look at each one individually.

Printer Cannot Be Contacted Over the Network

In the digital age, the importance of printer connections, especially in an office environment, cannot be stressed enough. Whether you’re printing a crucial business report or a memorable photograph at home, a seamless connection to your printer is essential.

This article delves into the nitty-gritty of printer connections, potential issues that could arise, and solutions to keep your printing tasks hassle-free.

What is Printer Connection?

A printer connection refers to the way a printer communicates with a computer or a network of devices. This connection can be established through various means: USB cables, wireless connections (like Wi-Fi), Ethernet cables, or even Bluetooth, depending on the printer’s capabilities.

The Dreaded “Printer Cannot Be Contacted Over the Network” Issue: Causes and Solutions

This common issue can halt your printing tasks, but understanding its causes can help resolve it swiftly:

  • Weak or No Network Connectivity: If your printer isn’t connected to the network or has a weak connection, it won’t communicate with your device. Ensure your printer is within the Wi-Fi range and that there are no network outages.
  • Outdated or Corrupt Printer Drivers: Printer drivers enable your computer to communicate with the printer. Outdated or corrupt drivers can disrupt this communication. Regularly update your drivers or reinstall them if necessary.
  • Printer Settings: Ensure your printer is set to ‘online’ mode. Sometimes, printers might go into an ‘offline’ mode, preventing network communication.

Method 1: Reconnect the Printer.

It’s the simplest way to fix printer issues. If you’re having trouble printing from your computer and the printer is linked to your computer, you can disconnect the printer and reconnect it. This short article will show you how to do that.

  1. To open the Control Panel, press the Windows key plus S, type “control panel,” and then select the first result.
  2. In Step 2, select Devices and Printers under the Hardware and Sound heading.
  3. Third, in the Printers tab, select the troublesome printer using the right mouse button, then click Remove device.
  4. Select Add a printer, and the system will begin looking for connected printers. Click Next after selecting the printer you just deactivated.

After installing the printer in accordance with the on-screen prompts, you can verify its functionality.

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Method 2: Set Up the Required Services.

In reality though, there are a few Windows services needed for a network printer to function properly. There will be problems with the printer if these essential services are suddenly turned off.

You should thus make sure the resolved services are enabled and set them to start automatically if Windows 10’s printer cannot be connected over the network.

That goal can be attained if you:

  1. First, open the Services app by pressing the Windows key plus R, then typing services.msc and clicking the OK button.
  2. To proceed, go to your service manager, find the Remote Access Auto Connection Manager service, and double-click it to bring up its settings.
  3. The third step is to choose Automatic from the Startup type drop-down menu, then press the Start button. To commit your changes, select Apply and then OK.
  4. The fourth step is to repeat the third for each of the following services:
  • The Routing and Remote Access Service
  • using Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol
  • and Remote Access
  • Connection Manager

Once you’ve done so, you may use the printer to print some test pages to see if the problem persists.

Method 3: Give the Printer a Permanent IP Address

A network node’s IP address is typically temporary. Some customers find that assigning a static IP address to a printer that isn’t being reached over the network solves the problem.

This is the procedure:

  1. Step one: Obtain the printer’s IP address. In order to learn various techniques, read this manual.
  2. Second, with your newfound IP address in hand, open your preferred web browser and hit the Enter key.
  3. Enter the printer’s name and password and then click OK to enter the network configurations.

Lastly, navigate to the IP Address Configuration (or TCP/IP, depending on your operating system) by clicking IP Configuration in the Networking submenu. Select Manual IP, then type in the printer’s new IP address and hit Apply to save the adjustments.

After that is finished, restart your computer to see if the “printer cannot be contacted over the network” problem has been fixed.

Checking the Printer’s IP Address

The IP address is like the printer’s home address on the network. To check it:

  1. Navigate to the printer’s control panel or touch screen.
  2. Scroll through the menu to find “Network Settings” or a similar option.
  3. Look for an option that says “IP Address” or “Network Status.” The displayed number is your printer’s IP address.

Ports That Support Network Printers

The common port used for network printers is Port 9100 for direct IP printing. However, other ports include:

  • Port 515 for Line Printer Daemon (LPD)
  • Port 631 for Internet Printing Protocol (IPP)

Enabling the Printer Server

A printer server manages print requests and queues:

  1. Open “Control Panel” on your computer.
  2. Navigate to “Devices and Printers.”
  3. Click on “Add a printer” and then select “Add a network, wireless, or Bluetooth printer.”
  4. Your computer will search for available printer servers. Select your printer from the list and follow the on-screen instructions.

Resetting Your Printer Server

If you’re facing issues, resetting the printer server can help:

  1. Navigate to the printer server properties via the “Control Panel.”
  2. Go to the “Advanced” tab.
  3. Click on “Reset Print Spooler” or a similar option, depending on your printer model.

Connecting Your Printer to Another Computer on the Network

  1. Ensure both the printer and the other computer are connected to the same network.
  2. On the computer you want to connect to the printer, open “Control Panel.”
  3. Go to “Devices and Printers” and click on “Add a printer.”
  4. Select “Add a network, wireless, or Bluetooth printer.” The computer will search and display printers on the network. Select your desired printer and follow the prompts.

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While printer connections might seem daunting, understanding their intricacies can simplify troubleshooting. Regular maintenance, updating drivers, and ensuring stable network connections can ensure seamless printing experiences. Whether at home or in an office, keep this guide handy to tackle any printer connection challenge that comes your way.