Why is my printer in a standby condition?

A printer in a standby condition means that the printer is powered on but not actively performing any tasks, such as printing or scanning. It's similar to a computer being "asleep" – the device is ready to function but is conserving energy when no tasks are assigned. There are several reasons why a printer might be in a standby condition:

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Why is my printer in standby condition?

  1. Power-Saving Mode: Many modern printers have power-saving or sleep modes to conserve energy when they're not in use. If your printer hasn't been used for a certain duration, it might automatically enter this mode. It should wake up when a print job is sent or when a button is pressed.
  2. No Print Jobs: If there are no pending print jobs or tasks, the printer will remain in standby mode.
  3. Completed Jobs: After completing a print job, the printer may return to standby mode until a new job is received.
  4. Error Conditions: Sometimes, the printer might be in standby due to an error condition that needs to be resolved, like a paper jam, an open cover, or low ink/toner. Check the printer's display or LED indicators to see if there's an error message.
  5. Connection Issues: If the printer can't communicate with the computer or network, it might go into a standby or idle state. Check to ensure the USB cable is securely connected or that the network connection is active.
  6. Driver or Software Issues: Outdated or corrupted printer drivers can cause communication problems between the computer and the printer. Updating or reinstalling the printer driver might resolve the issue.
  7. Power Issues: If there was a brief power interruption or surge, the printer might go into standby as a precaution.
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What does sleep mode mean?

This is essentially the same as the standby condition.

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Sleep mode is a power-saving feature that automatically reduces the energy consumption of the printer after a certain duration of inactivity. When another print or scan task is initiated, the printer reverts back to its regular power state. When a printer is in sleep mode, it may exhibit the following traits:

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  • The display panel is not lit
  • The power indicator light is gently flashing
  • The power light appears dimmer than usual
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How to get your printer out of standby on Windows and in general

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  1. Wake-up Button: Some printers have a button to "wake" them up.
  2. Send a Print Job: Often, sending a new print job will wake the printer from standby.
  3. Run the Troubleshooter: On Windows, you can try and run the troubleshooter from the print settings
  4. Restart: Powering the printer off and then on again can reset any minor issues that put the printer into standby.
  5. Check Connections: Ensure that all cables and connections are secure.
  6. Update Drivers: Ensure your printer drivers are up to date.
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If you've tried the above steps and your printer remains in standby or is unresponsive, it might be worthwhile to consult the printer's user manual or contact the manufacturer's support for further troubleshooting.

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How to get your printer out of standby on Apple Mac

In case you're encountering difficulties while trying to print, here are a few recommendations to resolve the problem:

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Ensure that your printer, if directly linked to your Mac, has its cable securely attached. Verify that the printer is plugged into an electrical outlet and is switched on.

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In case your printer is network-connected, ascertain that both your Mac and the printer are connected to the same network. Confirm that the printer is powered on and the network is functioning without any issues. In networks with multiple printers, ensure you've selected the correct printer - it could be different from the one you initially intended to use.

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If you're utilizing a printer that's connected to another Mac and shared, make sure that Mac is running on macOS 10.5 or a later version, is not in sleep mode, and that sharing is enabled. Refer to the "Share your printer" section for further details.

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When your printer is connected to the USB port of your computer, verify its active connection by checking the System Report. Press and hold Option, then navigate to Apple menu > System Information. If the printer's name is visible in the hardware list but it's not functioning, consult the printer's documentation for more advanced troubleshooting steps.

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If the printing issues persist even after following the above steps, refer to the additional troubleshooting information provided below.

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Resume Printing on the Mac

On your Mac, access the printer's queue window by clicking on the printer's icon located in the Dock.

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You may then do the following as per your situation:

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In case there's a Resume button visible in the toolbar, this indicates that the printer is paused. You can resume printing by clicking this Resume button.

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If a certain job is causing the queue to halt due to an error, highlight that particular job, then click on the small Delete Job button positioned on the right (denoted with an X).

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If a single print job within the list is paused, choose it, then click the Resume Job button situated on the right (indicated with a curved arrow).

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Should you fail to find your print job in the printer's queue, it's possible that you might have sent the print job to a different printer. Check the queue windows of other printers, or attempt to print again, this time ensuring you select the right printer.

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To verify the print queue for other printers, navigate to Apple menu > System Settings, then select Printers & Scanners in the sidebar. Choose the printer in the Printers list on the right, then click the Print Queue button.

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Turn off Print Dialogue Extensions

Certain printer applications and software leverage Print Dialogue Extensions (PDEs) to offer customized print options and dialogues while printing. If you encounter issues while printing with software that utilizes PDEs, you have the option to disable the use of PDEs for that specific printer.

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To do this, follow these steps:

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Navigate to Apple menu > System Settings, then select Printers & Scanners from the sidebar. (You might need to scroll down.)

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Choose the printer from the Printers list on the right side, click on the Options & Supplies button, tick the box labeled Use Generic Printer Features, and then hit OK.

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