I had a client who had migrated to a Chromebox with a Brother MFC Cloud enabled printer call and say she couldn’t print any longer. I’ve seen cloud printers occasionally just go ‘unregistered’ so we created a bookmark for her that jumped right to that screen so she could click ‘Register’ again and be back in business.


This time, the printer showed ‘Registered’, but also an error in orange that said: “Unable to connect to Google. Please check your network settings.” Very strange – the system seemed to be online (we were logged into it), but nothing would work. Some users had had problems a few years ago due to a disconnect with Google and Brother, but we had the latest firmware – I thought.

Firmware Update check timed out. Cloud Print wouldn’t work. I clicked on the ‘Brother Online Connections’ link (we had it disabled), and it also had an orange error saying something about setting the Date and Time…

Light bulb! As more and more connections are encrypted in scenarios like this, ensuring an accurate Date/Time is important as the encryption ‘check’ when a connection is first established will fail if the client time/date is too far off. I’ve seen this on PCs (messing up Windows Update) as well as embedded devices.

So if you’re having weird troubles with a cloud enabled printer – make sure the time and date is correct! Once I talked the user through setting the date/time correctly using the LCD touch screen, everything started working again. Not sure how it got reset to 18 months back, but the user was happy.

Brother definitely could have made the error a bit more helpful or maybe allow for setup of NTP.