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How to Fix USB Printing Isssues in Windows 10/Mac

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 15, 2024 • Filed to: Windows Computer Solutions • Proven solutions

A computer recognizes some printer through plug-and-play capabilities, but there are instances where it fails to detect the printer. Since these are usually equipped with a USB-connected plug, all you need to do is insert it in a USB port. As a consequence, the device fails to pick up a printing request, pending the document in the printing tray. However, this issue can be solved easily with various methods.


If you get the printer not connected error, certain fixes will help you be able to print again. Multiple scenarios cause this issue. One may be a faulty USB cable that prevents the printer to be detected by the computer. It could also be that the driver for the device is missing or corrupted. Malware may also block the system from recognizing the printer as a plugged peripheral device.

Whether the printer isn't detected by attaching the cable or over the network, here are some fixes you can try to solve the issue.



a. Restart the printer

Click the printer's power off to shut it down, and then press to power on again. Wait a few moments to complete the process.

b. Check the printer's connection issue

Perform a physical inspection of the printer's USB cable to see if there are any cuts or breaks. Make sure that it is connected correctly and firmly. You can also check USB ports for any damages, and clean it with a soft brush indicated for cleaning computer parts. The dirt inside the USB port can accumulate and affect the function of these slots.

If you have a wireless printer, check the manufacturer's manual and follow the steps to reconnecting the printer to the Bluetooth or network. The process may vary from one manufacturer to another, so make sure to have the manual handy in cases like this. Also, you can check out the company's website since they usually have product manuals that can be downloaded online.

c. Check network connectivity

If your printer relies on the wireless network, it will never work when the network is down or having issues. Check your internet connection and troubleshoot if the need arises, and then try reconnecting the printer again.


Outdated printer drivers can cause the "printer not connected" error. Keep your drivers up to date to avoid these issues from arising. You can choose to update automatically or manually.


Go to your printer manufacturer's website and search for the specific driver of your printer model. You can use their site's search bar to do so. Since printer drivers are brand-specific, you cannot download just about any printer driver. Make sure that the driver you download is compatible with your Windows version, and is also up-to-date so as not to cause the said error.


You can use third-party software to detect your printer and Windows version, and it will find the specific driver for you.


Try the troubleshooting tool to scan and fix your printer.

a. Launch Control Panel by typing in the search bar and clicking the top result.

b. Select Devices and Printers.


c. Find the specific printer and right-click it. Choose Troubleshoot.


d. The system will then automatically diagnose the printer; follow the wizard should Windows attempt to fix the problem.


Print Spooler Service handles print jobs and interactions within the system and printer. If the error is found in the service, you can restart it and try printing again.

a. Press Win + R to launch Run.

b. Key in services.msc and choose OK.


c. Find Print Spooler on the list of services and right-click on it. Choose Stop. After a few seconds, right-click again and select Start to restart the service.


. If the service isn't running, right-click again, and select Start.

e. Restart your PC and try printing again.



The first thing to check when you receive a printer not connected error is to see whether the printer is included in the devices list. If it is, you can proceed with the following methods to fix the error.


a. Press the Power button for a few seconds to turn it off, and wait for five seconds.

b. Unplug the printer's USB cable usually located at the back of the device.

c. Turn the printer on by pressing the Power button. The printer may start printing the queued documents, so wait for it to complete.

d. After a few moments, reconnect the printer to the Mac by plugging the USB cable to the corresponding port. Ensure that the USB cable is inserted firmly and in place. If the printer begins to print the queued documents, wait for it to complete before proceeding.

e. Try printing again. If the issue persists, follow the next method.


a. Switch the printer off by pressing the Power button until the indicator turns off.

b. Try restarting the printer by powering it on. If this does not work, try restarting your router to reset the network. Remember to close all network tasks. To restart, simply unplug the router from the power source and plug it again.

c. Wait for the router to connect to the internet. When you notice the indicator turned on, you can proceed to the next step.

d. Reboot your Mac. As soon as it restarts, click the Apple logo and select System Preferences.

e. Select Printers and Scanners and find the printer name on the list.


f. If the printer shows up on the list of connected printers, it means that you can start printing wirelessly again. Otherwise, the network may be having issues that prevent the system from printing.


a. Make sure that the device is inactive before continuing.

b. Switch the printer on and unplug the cable completely, both the USB connection on the device and the plug to the power socket. Wait for at least a minute.

c. Reconnect the cable and plug it to the power source.

d. Turn it on by clicking the Power button. Retry printing again.


If multiple printers of the same name are listed as a connected device on Mac, remove all the unnecessary ones (extra printer entries of the same printer) except the one that shows Idle. This is usually indicated with a green button below its name.


a. OpenPrinters and Scanners to see the list of connected devices.

b. Remove the extra entries (multiple entries of the same printer on the list) by selecting and deleting one by one. Remove by clicking the minus button as shown in the image.

c. Set the Idle printer as the default printer.

d. Try printing again.

6. Clear Printing Queue and Add Printer Again

a. Check the network connection before proceeding.

b. Go to Printers and Scanners and open the list of connected printers. Delete the current printer by clicking on the minus button at the bottom right of the screen.

c. Re-add it by clicking the plus button, select the device from the list that turns up and choose Add.


d. Select Use or the Print Using

e. Select Airprint or by choosing the available printer.

f. If the printer is Idle, try printing again.

7. Reconfigure or Reset the Printing System

a. On the list of printers found in Printers and Scanners, right-click on the space of the printers list and select the Reset printing system.

b. Key in the administrator's account (Username and password). Select OK.

c. The list will then be refreshed and emptied. Add a printer by clicking the plus button at the bottom left of the screen.

d. Retry printing.


Printers are essential in everyday lives, and fixing an issue such as printer offline or not connected might necessitate advanced troubleshooting. Having a professional check your printer will be better for a fast and efficient resolution of the issue.

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