Network-connected printers have become the norm today. They are extremely useful as users can access the printer and print without worrying about any wired connection. However, electronic devices may falter or show ambiguous errors which may trouble the users more than often. If you are facing “Printer cannot be contacted over the Network’ you can easily troubleshoot the problem using the guidelines given by the Tech Support Expert.
The “Printer cannot be contacted over the network” error appears to users who have a printer added as a network printer. In this error, the printer fails to print anything, and the printer troubleshooter displays the error message. This is an error symbol that shows up when viewing the printer in devices and printers. The methods explored in the blog can be performed without any technical assistance. However, if your problem still persists you shall seek expert assistance or contact the manufacturing company of the printer.
Common Causes of the Printer Cannot Be Contacted over the Network
The “Printer Cannot Be Contacted over the Network’ Error is commonly found in Windows versions 7, 8, and 10. There are several factors that might be causing this error. It is important to find the exact cause to take the right steps after that. Some common reasons that may be making it difficult for your printer to take commands from the computer are mentioned below.
The printer’s IP is dynamic – Though it is not a commonly seen cause of the error, some printers display problematic behavior when their IP isn’t static so make sure you change it.
Disabled Core Services – The printer’s functionality depends on several services running, especially if it’s a network printer. Make sure all required services are enabled.
Firewall or Antivirus Blocking – The firewall or antivirus software on your computer could be blocking communication with the printer.
IP Address Conflict – There could be an IP address conflict on the network, where two devices have been assigned the same IP address, causing communication problems.
How to Fix the ‘Printer Cannot Be Contacted over the Network’ Error on Windows
It is common to encounter such issues where the printer does not work in harmony with your device. Under such circumstances, it is usual for us to panic and seek expert technical guidance. However, the errors can easily be resolved using troubleshooting steps. If you are seeing the ‘Printer Cannot Be Contacted over the Network’ on your device need not worry and follow the steps given below:
Check the Enabled Services – For a printer to work in perfect harmony it requires different services to be enabled. These services may get changed due to a recent update in Windows or other reasons. Follow the steps given below to enable the services:
- Press the Windows key+R keys together
- Type “services.msc” and click on “OK”
- In the Services window, double-click on the “Remote Access Auto Connection Manager”
- Set the ‘Startup type:’ of the service to “Automatic” mode
- Tap on “Start” to start the service.
Update Printer Drivers – If your printer drivers are outdated your printer may show a similar contact error. If you identify this issue to be the main culprit you can resolve the issue by installing the latest version of print drivers.
Visit the printer manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your printer model. Install the updated drivers on your computer to ensure compatibility and proper communication.
Restart the Print Spooler Service – The print spooler service manages print jobs in Windows. Restarting this service can sometimes resolve printing issues. To restart the spooler service perform the following steps:
- Open the Run dialog by pressing Windows Key + R.
- Type “services.msc” and press Enter.
- In the Services window, locate “Print Spooler” in the list.
- Right-click on “Print Spooler” and select “Restart
Run Windows Printer Troubleshooter – To solve this issue you can utilize Window’s built-in troubleshooters that can help identify and fix common printer issues. To run the printer troubleshooter follow the steps given below:
- Go to “Settings” > “Update & Security” > “Troubleshoot.”
- Under “Find and fix other problems,” select “Printer” and click “Run the troubleshooter.”
Disable Firewall/Antivirus Temporarily – Firewalls and Antiviruses may make the printer unable to establish contact with the device. You can try disabling your firewall and antivirus software to check if they are blocking communication with the printer. If the firewalls are causing the problem, you may need to add exceptions or adjust settings in the security software.
Facing errors like Printer Cannot Be Contacted over the Network’ may be more common than you imagine it to be. With these steps given by the Tech Support Expert, you can very easily troubleshoot the problem. If you are still not able to resolve the issue using the steps given by us you may need to seek further assistance from the printer manufacturer’s support or a network technician, as there could be more complex network or hardware-related problems.