Troubleshooting: ‘Printer cannot be contacted over the network’ (Windows 10)

Printer Cannot be Contacted over the Network

Printers can work reliably for years and thousands of prints, but they can also fail or stop working. Printing problems always occur at the most inopportune times. Here are a few ways to get your printer to work when you are printing from your PC.

What is this error?

What is Printer Cannot be Contacted over the Network

The “Cannot contact the printer through network” error is an error that can happen with a printer added as a network printer, and it has been reported by many users. If you are one of them, this should be useful to you. Here, ircache summarizes and displays several solutions for you.

Sometimes the cause is as simple as overuse or underuse. Many people don’t use their inkjet printers often enough, which can lead to problems with dry ink clogging the nozzles. Overuse is less common than overuse: paper clips, hair, and even food can get into printers and cause paper jams (and worse).

Printers are great when they work, but when they don’t, it can be extremely frustrating. Here’s how to solve the “printer not available over the network” problem, with the cause and more information.

What is the cause of the “Unable to communicate with a printer over the network” error in Windows 10?

Cause of Unable to communicate with a printer over the network

This particular problem has several different causes. It is very important to identify the correct cause in order to solve the problem faster and more efficiently. Check out the list below!

Central services are handicapped:
In fact, the proper functioning of a printer to which a network printer has been added depends on certain Windows services. If these necessary services are unexpectedly disabled, the printer will certainly have problems. Thus, if the printer cannot be contacted via the Windows 10 network, you need to make sure that the allowed services are enabled and set them to work automatically.

The printer’s IP is dynamic:
Your wireless printer is probably enabled using DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). Most network devices, including computers and printers, support DHCP by default, which means that they get their IP address from a DHCP server – usually a router – for a temporary period of time called a DHCP lease.

At the end of the lease, which can be several days, the printer requests a new IP address from the DHCP server. If there are not many devices on the company network, the printer may get the same IP address again, but there is no guarantee. The DHCP server can assign any available IP address it wants.

System administrators disagree on the appropriateness of assigning static IP addresses to network printers. An alternative is to set printers to DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), which means that the router or server will lease IP addresses for them from a pool.

Setting printers to DHCP seems like the easiest option, but manually assigning static IP addresses can save you time and hassle.

What to do if the Printer cannot be contacted over the network

Make Sure Certain Services are Enabled

Printer usage is dependent on several services in order to run properly. A recent Windows Update or a change in your computer’s setup may have changed something about the startup of these services. Make sure you set them to run automatically and the problem should be resolved.

1.) Open the Run utility by using the Windows Key + R key combination on your keyboard (press these keys at the same time. Type “services.msc” in the newly opened box without the quotation marks and click OK in order to open the Services tool.

servicesmsc

2.) The alternative way is to open the Control Panel by locating it in the Start menu. You can also search for it using the Start menu’s search button.
3.) After the Control Panel window opens, change the “View by” option at the top right part of the window to “Large Icons” and scroll down until you locate the Administrative Tools Click on it and locate the Services shortcut at the bottom. Click on it to open it as well.
4.) Locate the Remote Access Auto Connection Manager, Remote Access Connection Manager, Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol Service, Routing and Remote Access services on the list, right-click on each one, and select Properties from the context menu which appears.
5.) If the service is started (you can check that just next to the Service status message), you should stop it for now by clicking the Stop button in the middle of the window. If it is stopped, leave it stopped until we proceed.
6.) Make sure that the option under the Startup type menu in the service’s properties window is set to Automatic before you proceed with other steps. Confirm any dialogue boxes which may appear when changing the startup type. Click on the Start button in the middle of the window before exiting. Make sure you repeat the same process for all services we mentioned.

You may receive the following error message when you click on Start:

“Windows could not start the service on Local Computer. Error 1079: The account specified for this service differs from the account specified for other services running in the same process.”

If this happens, follow the instructions below to fix it.

1.) Follow steps 1-3 from the instructions above in order to open the service’s properties window. Navigate to the Log On tab and click on the Browse.

logon
2.) Under the “Enter the object name to select” entry box, type in your account’s name, click on Check Names and wait for the name to become available.
3.) Click OK when you are finished and type in the password in the Password box when you are prompted with it if you have set up a password. Your printer should now work properly!

Setting up a static IP address for a printer

The IP addresses of various devices on a network are usually dynamic, which means that they tend to change over time, usually when the device is rebooted. However, you can assign a static IP address to any device, including a printer, which can also be used to solve this printer problem. Try below.

1.) Open the Control Panel by searching for the utility in the Start button or by clicking the Search (Cortana) button on the left side of the taskbar (bottom left of the screen).
2.) You can also use the Windows + R key combination, where you type “control.exe” and press the Run button, which will also open the Control Panel directly.
3.) Once the control panel opens, switch to a category and click Show Devices and Printers under Hardware and Sound to open that section.
4.) Go to Printers, right-click on the printer you want to remove (the printer causing these problems), and select Printer Properties.
5.) In Printer Properties, click the Ports tab. Expand the Port column and scroll down until you see an entry that looks like an IP address format, such as 15.119.112.13. Be sure to write this address down somewhere.
6.) Open a web browser and simply type in the IP address you found in the last step, then press Enter.
7.) Enter your printer name and password, then click OK to connect to the printer’s network settings.
8.) Find the “IP Configuration” button or something similar, depending on your printer, and try to find an option called “TCP/IP” or “IP Address Configuration” and make sure you set it from “Auto” to “Static” or “Manual“.
9.) Enter the static IP address you really want to use and click “Apply” to save your changes. Restart the computer and printer and check if the problem persists.

Remove the printer and add it again

This is a fairly simple solution, but it has helped many users because they were able to solve the problem by simply removing the printer completely and restoring it using the Add Printer Wizard. Be sure to give it a try by following these steps!

1.) Open the Control Panel by searching for the utility in the Start button or by clicking on the Search (Cortana) button on the left side of the taskbar (bottom left of the screen).
2.) You can also use the Windows + R key combination, where you type “control.exe” and press the Run button, which will also open the Control Panel directly.
3.) Once the control panel opens, switch to a category and click Show Devices and Printers under Hardware and Sound to open that section.
4.) Go to the Printers section, right-click on the printer you want to remove (the printer causing these problems), and select Delete Device Confirm all the dialog boxes that appear.
5.) Then click the Add Printer button at the top of the window. A new window will open and the computer will begin searching for a printer connected to either your computer or your local network. 6.) Select the one you just deleted before clicking Next.
6.) Be sure to follow the instructions on the screen. When you are finished, make sure you can now use the printer properly!