I have an HP OfficeJet 6500 wireless. I do not use the wireless and it will suddenly not connect to my laptop. I’ve gone to HP’s website, downloaded everything I am able to download to help, but I’m still not able to print. The printer’s four to five years old. Does anyone have any advice?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #32, I look at some difficulties in connecting a laptop to a wireless printer and some troubleshooting steps to work through.
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Laptop connects to printer
I definitely have a couple of pieces of advice: One is to realize that (and this is purely conceptual): The printer does not connect to the laptop. The laptop connects to the printer.
It’s an important distinction in that: the printer is a passive device. It simply receives data from your computer.
When you have it on a network like that, it’s the laptop that you need to be focused on: It’s the laptop that’s reaching out to find and/or connect to the printer.
The distinction turns out to be subtle yet important.
I’m assuming, since you’re not using wireless, that you have the printer connected to your network. You have an Ethernet cable connected to the same network that your laptop is somehow connected to.
In situations like that, what I advise first is: On the computer you’re having problems with…
- You completely uninstall the printer from the laptop.
- Then make sure to reboot the system, so that the laptop doesn’t think the printer exists at all.
- Now, basically, start over.
- Add the printer to your laptop as if you were adding it for the very first time.
The reason I suggest that is because, very often, attempts to fix a printer driver will actually add more cruft: more things that don’t really help. Whereas starting over from scratch allows you to start with a clean slate.
Unable to print
Now, you haven’t mentioned exactly what it means when you say you are unable to print. I don’t know what kind of error messages you are getting. That might give us more clues as to what might be going on.
In the general case where it’s simply not printing, one of the things to consider is to simply remove the driver:
- Remove the printer software from your system,
- And then add it again.
- Starting from a clean slate should get you further.
If you still run into problems, then make sure to include additional and specific reasons that it’s failing: What it’s telling you, The error messages, The behavior that you have
And so forth.
Clear the printer queue
There’s also one other straw that I’m going to grasp at real quick – since again you haven’t mentioned exactly how it’s failing.
I have an article on the site about clearing the printer queue.
It is very possible that you simply have a document stuck in the queue. That’s something that is very easy to fix with a couple of instructions. There is an article on that on Ask Leo!
That may be something that could even more quickly get you up and running and off the ground.
Next from Answercast 32 – Does my android phone need a firewall, and is tethering safe?