If you have a printer connected to a network, but every time you try to access it or print, you may receive an error—Printer Cannot Be Contacted over the Network. The issue occurs when the printer configuration has an issue and no other PC can access the printer. In this post, we will share how you can fix the problem on Windows PC.
The entire error message goes as follows:
Windows could not connect to the printer. Check the printer name, and try again. If this is a network printer, make sure the printer is turned on and that the printer address is correct.
The error is also known to have appeared when running the printer troubleshooter and appears at the end of the process. You may get additional details, such as the printer is off.
Sometimes, the problem is minor, and few basic solutions can fix the problem. Start by restarting the printer and the PC. If that doesn’t work, check if the printer is connected to the same network. It is possible that the PC has switched to an alternate network and cannot find the printer. Refer to the next section for additional troubleshooting steps if none of these solutions work.
How to Fix Printer Cannot Be Contacted Over the Network?
Several methods exist to resolve the issue, but not all are effective. Hence, we have tried and tested the solutions which legitimately troubleshoot and will work for you depending upon the cause leading to it.
Below-mentioned is a list of the same:
- Check Block for The Assigned Port & IP Address of the Printer
- Check and Enable Related Windows Services
- Set the Printer’s IP Address to Static or Manual
- Remove and Add the Printer Again
This scenario is related to a printer connected to a network. So you will need to partly troubleshoot the issue on the computer through which the printer is managed. Some of these methods may need an administrator account.
1] Check Block for The Assigned Port & IP Address of the Printer
A network uses a port number to identify a particular application or process. Every device, including the printer, uses ports to allow another network device to establish connections simultaneously. Here we will have to identify if the port and IP of the printer are blocked.
- Right-click on the Start menu, and then select Windows Terminal (Admin)
- Type the netstat -a command
- You will now see a list of connections and assigned port numbers
To check your printer’s IP Address, follow the below steps:
- Open Settings and go to Bluetooth & devices
- Click on Printers & Scanners, navigate to your printer name, and choose Printer properties
- In the Printer properties pop-up, expand the Ports tab
Once you have the details, check if the printer is blocked or allowed. You must use the Firewall settings to unblock it if it is blocked.
2] Check and Enable Related Windows Services
A lot of services are necessary for printer usage to function correctly. A recent Windows update or a configuration change on your computer can affect these services and disable them. Hence, it leads to the printer not being contacted over the network error.
- Press the Windows+R keys, type services.msc in the box, and click OK to open the list of Services running in Windows.
- Select Remote Access Auto Connection Manager, right-click it, and select Properties from the context menu.
- Choose Automatic in the Startup Type, Click Apply and Start
- Press the OK button to finish the process
- Execute the same steps for Remote Access Connection Manager, Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol Service, and Routing and Remote Access.
Now, reboot your device, and the issue will be resolved. However, if it was already enabled, the methods below will help you!
Note: These services are related to the network. For example, the Remote Access Connection Manager connects to a remote network whenever a program references a remote DNS or NetBIOS name or address.
3] Set the Printer’s IP Address to Static or Manual
The IP address of a device on a network is, by default, set up to dynamic. You can manually set up the printer’s IP address to resolve the issue.
Using Printer Web Interface or Software
Some printer OEMs offer a web service for printers, while some allow printer discovery via software. Depending on your printer, connect with OEM support, and determine what you need to use.
If the printer is connected to the router, you can set up the IP address for each connected device.
Depending on the router’s interface, you need to find the list of the connected devices and then edit the printer setting to assign an IP address manually. Restart the router once so all connected devices get the new IP address.
This way, setting the Printer’s IP address to be static or manual will resolve the error printer cannot be contacted over the network.
4] Remove and Add the Printer Again
There might be issues while adding your printer or even a glitch with the printer over the network. In such a scenario, removing and adding the printer helps!
- Press the Win+I keys to open Settings and select Bluetooth & devices from the left-pane
- Go to Printers & Scanners and click on your printer name
- Press the Remove button and click on Yes from the prompt box that appears
Now, click Add a Printer, and your PC will look for printers. Your device will detect printers and then prompt you to select the one to add. Usually, Windows should be able to detect the printer when you turn it on.
I hope the post was easy to follow and you were able to resolve the error—the printer cannot be contacted over the network. When troubleshooting, make sure to note which solution worked for you. It will help you to figure out the problem quickly if it happens again.