HP PrintersI’ve had a few clients with HP Printers experience a problem where the printers just ‘disappear’ or drop offline and you cannot get them back online. The causes seem to vary, be it network ports that stop working, installed printers suddenly switching to USB, or general network connection errors.

HP has had a few tools to try and fix this so they’re clearly seeing a number of support calls related to printer connectivity. They’ve released a new tool called the HP Print and Scan Doctor, which is a swiss army knife of a tool designed to fix most common problems with network printers. This tool apparently supersedes all the others. It can even login to many common routers to understand your network and wireless configuration – allowing it to attempt even more repairs. It’s worked for me a few times quite nicely. So certainly try this first – though it seems to start based of the currently installed printer – which can be corrupted already.

Sometimes it simply cannot get the printer working again. In this case, uninstalling the HP print driver suite and reinstalling will usually help. But more often than not, you get stuck in an endless loop of install errors. To counter these situations, HP also has a cleanup tool, but finding the right one you need can be difficult as they are customized to each printer, family, and/or version (not sure which exact combo it is – but there is no universal removal tool that I know of). Instead, it is usually included in the print driver suites. Here is how you can utilize it to get your printer working again…