printerA reader wrote to tell us she can’t get her printer to print. The computer shows it to be “offline,” though it clearly isn’t. When this happens to us, simply rebooting the computer usually fixes the problem.

If that doesn’t do it, go to the “printers and faxes” or “printers and devices” menu. You’ll find it in the “control panel.” See if you your printer is checked as the “default” printer. If it isn’t click your model to make it the default. If your model doesn’t show as one of the choices, you need to download the software for that printer.

Try printing a test-page. That will point to whether it’s a hardware or software problem. To print a test page in Windows 7, click “start” then “Devices and Printers.”  Right-click your printer and click “printer properties.” Then click “Print a Test Page.” If that works, you know the printer is fine.

If you can’t print a test page, it’s a hardware problem. Call the printer manufacturer, they’re happy to help. After all, if they can keep you printing, you’ll keep buying their ink.

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