[Solved] printer cannot be contacted over the network

There’s no question that printers play a pivotal role in businesses and personal life. They’re essential for producing physical copies of digital documents, whether it’s a business report or a cherished family photo.

But what happens when your printer becomes unreachable over the network? This common issue can hinder productivity and cause unnecessary frustration. This article aims to provide a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to troubleshoot and resolve such network printer problems.

Understanding the Problem

Before diving into solutions, it’s crucial to understand why a printer might be unreachable over the network. The reasons can range from simple connectivity issues to more complex hardware or software problems.

Unstable or weak network connections, outdated printer drivers, incorrect network settings, or even physical damage to the printer can lead to this issue. Recognizing the potential cause can help tailor the troubleshooting approach.

Basic Troubleshooting Steps

Let’s start with some basic troubleshooting:

  1. Check the power and connection of the printer: Ensure the printer is turned on and connected properly. If you’re using a wired connection, check that the cables are properly attached. For wireless printers, ensure it’s connected to the correct network.
  2. Check network connectivity: Ensure your computer is connected to the network. If other devices also can’t connect, there might be an issue with the network itself.
  3. Restart your devices: Restarting your printer, router, and computer can solve many connectivity issues as it resets the network connection.
  4. Verify the printer is set up for network use: Check the printer’s settings to ensure it’s set up correctly for network use.

Advanced Troubleshooting Steps

If the issue persists, consider these advanced troubleshooting steps:

  1. Update printer drivers: Outdated printer drivers can cause connectivity issues. Visit the printer manufacturer’s website, locate the latest driver for your printer model, download and install it.
  2. Configure the printer’s IP address: Ensure the printer’s IP address is correctly set and falls within the range of your network’s IP addresses.
  3. Check the printer’s firewall settings: Sometimes, the firewall may block the printer from connecting to the network. Adjust the settings as needed.
  4. Disable VPN (if applicable): VPNs can sometimes cause network issues. Disable it temporarily to see if that resolves the issue.
  5. Check for hardware problems: If the above steps fail, there may be a physical issue with the printer.
  6. Reinstall the printer on the network: If all else fails, you might need to uninstall and reinstall the printer on your network.

When to Seek Professional Help

Not all issues can be solved with simple troubleshooting. If you’re still having problems after following these steps, it might be time to seek professional help. Consult a trusted technician or reach out to your printer manufacturer’s customer support. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific model.

Preventive Measures

To prevent future issues, regular checks of your printer and network health are recommended. Keep your printer firmware and drivers updated and ensure a secure and stable network connection. Prevention, after all, is better than cure.


Having a well-functioning network printer is critical for efficient workflow. When issues arise, it’s important to take systematic steps to diagnose and resolve them. While troubleshooting can solve most issues, don’t hesitate to seek professional help when necessary.

Lastly, taking proactive measures to ensure the health of your printer and network can save you from facing such issues in the future. Remember, a smoothly running printer is not just a device, but a key contributor to productivity and success.

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