How to force printers online and cause greyed out offline printers to go online by changing SNMP settings

A well known issue with many Windows print drivers is that the printer randomly goes offline, and in the printers and devices box, the printer will show to be greyed out and offline.

This behavior is partly to blame on the fact that Windows turns on SNMP in the driver by default. SNMP, or
"Simple Network Management Protocol", is a protocol used to monitor and manage network devices such as switches and routers, and other network peripherals like printers.

This problem can occur if SNMP is being blocked accross WAN and LAN networks via router firewalls or rules, and also via power saving modes built into most printers, that when the printer goes to sleep, or places certain aspects of itself to sleep that SNMP, which is monitoring the connection, will tell Windows that the printer is offline, and thus jobs will stack up and not go through.

If you are on a large corporate network that spans many complexes or sites, blocking of SNMP is the most likely problem.

Users may have discovered that resetting the Print Spooler under SERVICES will make the jobs go through. This does work, however it is annoying and cumbersome and creates allot of issues if the printer is being shared from Windows Server.

The easiest way to stop this behavior is to disable SNMP in the driver as its not really needed.

This quick fix should work for most printer brands.

Here are the steps to turn of SNMP on Windows 7. The procedure should be roughly the same for all other version of Windows.

Step 1:  Goto Devices and Printers either from your CONTROL PANEL or from the START menu if your using Windows 7, or Windows 8.1.



Step 2: Locate the printer icon for effected printer and right click on the printer, and choose PRINTER PROPERTIES.





Step 3: Once inside the PRINTER PROPERTIES dialog box, choose PORTS at the top, and find the port that is associated with your printer. It should say the name of the correct printer next to the PORT type.



Step 4: Click CONFIGURE PORT and then you will get the port settings dialog box, and at the bottom should be the setting for SNMP. Uncheck the box next to SNMP. Click OK, and then click CLOSE on the underlying PORT box. This should take you back to the Devices and Printers box. If this has worked the printer will go from being offline and greyed out to being online.


Step 5: The printer should now be online and not greyed out. You can perform a test page to check functionality.