We have recently rolled out 100 laptops running Windows 8.1, some of our users are having a problem with printers being offline. It appears to happen when they take the laptop home to no WiFi and then return to work and are reconnected to the WiFi. Restarting the print spooler doesn't always fix the issue, nor does restarting the pc. It only seems to affect the users who don't connect to a network at home.

To replicate the problem:

  1. I took one of the problem laptops.
  2. confirmed that printing was working.
  3. Shut it down.
  4. Walked a block off campus until I was well out of WiFi range.
  5. Started the laptop, and logged in as the owner.
  6. Shut it down again.
  7. Walked back onto our campus.
  8. Started the laptop again and relogged in as the owner.
  9. Network printers were now offline.
  10. The Event Log didn't show any thing obvious.
  11. Restarting the spooler didn't bring them back online. Nor did restarting the whole pc.
  12. After several further restarts the printers came back online.

Any idea?

  • I believe this is your problem... and unfortunately, there's no fix for Windows 8 right now. Just no getting around it. Printers SUCK. Mar 7, 2014 at 3:27
  • I'm with @HopelessN00b, printers suck! How are your clients connecting to the printers? I have a Sharp copier that seems to use some odd custom "Printer Port" setup rather than old school LDP to port 9100. It is a huge pain on the servers that are sharing it, as they seem to not survive a reboot and stay connected....sometimes. I switched the setup to old school LDP and the problem went away. Just food for thought.
    – MikeAWood
    Mar 7, 2014 at 22:15

6 Answers 6


Open the Services console.

Start (or restart) the Printer Extensions and Notifications service.

Stop, wait for 5 secs and the Start the Print Spooler. Normally not enough to Restart.

Voilà the printers are online again - until your next network change or dropoff...



This was a bug in Windows 8.1 that has now been fixed. The KB article 2961042 has the details. The fix is in the update rollup May2014.

Thanks to HopelessN00b for the forum link that was eventually updated with solution.


My environment is small and simple. One 8.1 PC, cable-attached to router; 2 year old Epson printer network attached; (plus other non relevant pads, XP machines etc). No server is involved.

Since July 2014 (after a MS update and a refresh of print driver) printer would go offline a few minutes after a recent print job.

My Work round required power off/on of printer which would then come online again a minute later. Investigation showed culprit appeared to be WSD.

Solution (works for me!): Open control panel/Devices and printers/ printer name click on "Ports" Unselect "WSD Port" (so-called) Select "standard TCP Port"

It may be relevant for other configurations such as yours.


I had this problem also on one of my windows 8.1 pro workstations using a shared printer slaved to a win 7 pro wrkstn. My other win 8.1 pro wkstn worked fine.

After deleted and adding the printer back for weeks, I stumbled across a long list of IPV6 errors when I ran ipconfig on the problem PC. Since we don't really use the IPV6 protocol in the office I disabled it on the problem PC and my printer came back online. Hopefully this fix will last.


We have the same problem with users disconnected from the network (either wifi or drop cable it doesn't matter) when they go home or to a meeting.

I confirm that restarting the spooler is a good workaround, better than a restart. But our users have no admin rights to do it so it's not a good solution. They need to call the helpdesk almost everyday.

What I had to do is disabling the snmp status on the server (W2008R2) for the 200 printers. It seems to solve the problem.

I forgot to change the settings for a few printer last week and some of our users are still impacted. I change the setting this monday morning (march 10th 2014).
I'll be back in a few days to tell you more.

We also noticed that the guy from IT staff with full admin rights are not impacted at all.


I had this same problem for weeks with multiple printers & PCs on the network, but only the HP8620 just started disappearing from the network after waking my PC from Hibernation. HP Tech Support couldn't find a solution, so I researched online and found that disabling IPv6 worked.

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