Windows 7 client machines show printers offline on Windows Server 2008 R2

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Hello AskPerf! I’m Craig Marcho, a Senior Support Escalation Engineer in the Microsoft Platforms Core Team. There has been an increase in cases lately with Windows 7 Clients and Windows Server 2008 R2 Print Servers where Clients will show print queues as being offline, while at the same time, other Clients can print just fine and the Print Server shows the queue as online. While there are a few things that can cause this behavior, all of our normal troubleshooting steps were not providing relief for this particular issue.

We found that this issue occurs because a restricted client thread that runs in the spooler detects an offline print server. When a client thread detects that a print server is offline, Windows registers a polling loop to check the status of the print server. After the polling loop is registered, Windows queries the print server periodically to check whether it is back online.

In rare cases, a client thread that has a restricted token detects that a print server is offline. In this situation, Windows registers the polling loop in the context of this thread. However, the thread does not have sufficient rights to query the print server. Therefore, the polling request fails. Restarting the spooler or the client machine will obviously kill this thread running under the restricted context and will query the server with the correct security.

The hotfix became available on July 11th and you may download it here:

A network printer is displayed as offline incorrectly on a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

So if you have been experiencing this issue, or know someone who has, please spread the word that a fix is now available.

-Craig Marcho

Windows 7 client machines show printers offline on Windows Server 2008 R2

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  • Is this fix required only on the client systems or is it also required on the print servers as well?

  • This hotfix is for the Windows 7 Client machine.

  • This fix may also apply if you are using Windows Server 2008 R2 for Remote Desktop and it is acting as the client.

  • Thank you, thank you!  This has been a very annoying problem on our network!


  • The Hotfix has not yet resolved our issues.

    Need a full solution.

  • Hi This Hotfix has not resolved the issues, other Server printers are online at the time on the client.

    Client OS Windows 7 Enterprise SP 1, Server OS WIndows 2008 R2 Enterprise Sp1. Tried Network printers Offline Fix also Any Help, will be appreciated. SNMP is swicthed off on all the ports.

  • this is nothing to do with 2008, it is a networked windows 7 computer and printer, Print Management says printer is offline and cannot print

  • I am having the same issues with clients (Win7 and Win8) connected to my Windows2012 Servers. For now, I have disabled SNMP on the Printer Ports to see if that helps keep the printers online for EVERYONE.

    Come on Microsoft, surely your latest and greatest Win8/Win2012 would have sorted this out by now???

  • I have a Windows 2008 SP2 server with a network printer. The printer worked fine until a Windows 8 pc was added to the mix. Now when the windows 8 pc is on no other pcs or server can print to that network printer.

  • I have found that it is a spooler dependency issue. Fixing it on the client side seems to fix the issue. The .bat script that I run:

    Net stop spooler
    sc config spooler depend= RPCSS
    Net start spooler

    Then Restart Client Computer.

  • Thanks Rich, your solution worked for me.

  • Rich, many thanks! Incredible, it did work, I just run it from command prompt with admin privileges.