How To Fix “Printer Cannot Be Contacted Over The Network”

Users who have a printer set up as a network printer may see the error “Printer cannot be contacted over the network.” Their attempts to use it typically result in nothing being printed and the printer troubleshooter showing this message.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, efficient printing is often essential for both homes and offices. Network printers offer a seamless way to manage this need, letting multiple devices use a single printer over a network.

However, like all tech tools, issues can arise. Let’s delve deep into the world of network printers, their common problems, and ways to troubleshoot them.

Printer Cannot Be Contacted Over The Network

What is Printer Contacted Networks?

The term “Printer Contacted Networks” refers to the networked environment within which a printer is set up. In simpler terms, it’s the network that the printer connects to, allowing various devices (like computers, tablets, or phones) to send print jobs to it.

What Causes the “Printer Cannot Be Contacted Over The Network” Error?

This error message is fairly common and can be attributed to:

  • Connectivity Issues: If the printer is not properly connected to the network, it can’t be accessed by other devices.
  • Printer Offline: The printer might be in an offline state, disabling its network features.
  • Outdated Drivers: Old or incompatible printer drivers might prevent effective communication between the device and the printer.
  • IP Address Changes: Sometimes, if the printer’s IP address changes, devices trying to access the old IP can’t find the printer.
  • Firewall Restrictions: Firewalls might sometimes block the communication between a device and a network printer.

Method 1: Verify the Activation of Necessary Services

Several services are required for printer use to function correctly. It’s possible that the way these services begin running has changed as a result of a recent Windows Update or a modification to your computer’s configuration.

Make sure they start up automatically and that should take care of the issue.

Step 1: To launch the Run command prompt, hit the Windows key plus R on your keyboard simultaneously. Enter “services.msc” (without the quotes) into the opened box and hit OK to launch the Services management console.

Step 2: You can access the Control Panel in a different fashion by selecting it from the Start menu. The search bar in the Start menu is another option for finding it.

Step 3: Once the Control Panel has loaded, switch the “View by” setting in the top right corner to “Large Icons,” then look for the “Administrative Tools” section. Go to the bottom of the page and click the Services shortcut. You may also open it by clicking on it.

Step 4: In the list, right-click on the Remote Access Auto Connection Manager, Remote Access Connection Manager, Secure Sockets Tunneling Protocol Service, and Routing and Remote Access services, and then select Properties.

Step 5: If the service is already running, you may confirm this by looking for the Service status statement towards the top of the window, and then clicking the Stop button in the middle of the window. If it has been halted, please keep it that way until further notice.

Step 6: Before continuing, double-check that Automatic is selected in the Startup type menu of the service’s properties window. When switching the startup mode, confirm any prompts that arise. To begin, close the current window by clicking its central Start button. To sum up, just keep doing what you’re doing and use the same method for each of the services we specified.

When you try to launch a programme by selecting the Start button, you may see the following error message:

“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.”

In case of this happening, please proceed with the steps outlined below.

Step 1: To access the service’s settings, repeat steps 1-3 from the preceding section. Select the Browse button under the Log On menu.

Step 2: Fill in your account’s name where it says “Enter the object name to pick,” then hit “Check Names” and wait for the name to become accessible.

Step 3: When you are ready, click OK, and then enter the password in the Password box. Hopefully, you’ve fixed your printer’s problems.

Method 2: You Need To Uninstall The Printer And Reinstall It.

This is a really simple fix, but it has helped many people: uninstalling the printer and then reinstalling it via the Add a Printer procedure has fixed the issue for many people. If you want to give it a shot, try to replicate the steps below.

Step 1: Locate the Control Panel by typing “Control Panel” into the Start menu or by selecting the Search (Cortana) button in the left side of the taskbar (the bottom left of your screen).

Step 2: The Control Panel can also be accessed by pressing the Windows key plus R, whereupon the user should enter “control.exe” and then select the Run button.

Step 3: To get to this portion of Control Panel, open it, then switch to Category view and select View devices and printers from the Hardware and Sound submenu.

Step 4: To uninstall the problematic printer, go to the Printers folder, right-click the printer’s icon, and then choose Remove device. Verify the results of any pop-up dialogue boxes.

Step 5: The Add a printer button should now be selected at the top of the window. When you click the button, a new window will open and begin searching for a printer on your computer or network. Please click Next after selecting the option you just deleted.

Step 6: Please read and adhere to the on-screen prompts. After it’s finished, see if you can finally print successfully.

How Do I Enable File and Printer Sharing on Network Interface?

To enable file and printer sharing on a Windows machine:

  1. Navigate to the Control Panel.
  2. Click on Network and Sharing Center.
  3. From the left pane, select Change advanced sharing settings.
  4. Choose your current network profile (Private, Public, or All Networks).
  5. Check Turn on file and printer sharing.
  6. Click Save changes.

How Do I Fix a Network Printer IP Address?

If the printer’s IP address has changed or there are IP conflicts:

  1. Print a Network Configuration Page from the printer’s onboard menu. This page will list the printer’s current IP address.
  2. Access the printer’s web interface by entering its IP address in a web browser.
  3. Navigate to the network or TCP/IP settings.
  4. Set a static IP address (one that doesn’t change) that’s within your network’s range but outside the DHCP range (to avoid conflicts).
  5. Save the settings and restart the printer.

Which Port Supports a Network Printer?

Network printers typically use port 9100 for raw printing. However, they might also utilize:

  • Port 631 for Internet Printing Protocol (IPP).
  • Port 515 for Line Printer Daemon (LPD).
  • Various other ports for specific services or printer models.

It’s essential to ensure that these ports aren’t blocked by firewalls to maintain seamless printing.

How to Check Printer IP Address?

To find your printer’s IP address:

  1. Navigate to the printer’s onboard menu.
  2. Look for a “Network”, “Networking”, or “TCP/IP” option.
  3. Select it, and you should see the printer’s IP address listed.

Alternatively, you can also print a Network Configuration or Test Page from most printers to get details about its network settings, including the IP address.


Network printers are a boon for efficient workflow in modern settings, but like all tech tools, they have their share of issues. Being aware of the common problems and knowing how to troubleshoot them can save time and frustration.

Always ensure your printer’s drivers are up to date, and monitor its network settings for a hassle-free printing experience.