Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Why Does My Google Cloud Print Printer Keep Going Offline?

When we got a Chromebook for the house I had no idea what "Google cloud print" even was.  It's turned out to be more of a pain in the neck than anything else and I'd gladly go back to the old way if I could. I've never had to temporarily share a printer with my neighbor, or print something at home when I was at work, or any of the other situations it is supposed to make easier.

Worst of all, the printer regularly goes "offline".  This is the most frustrating error message in the world, because your printer is on, it is connected, it prints test sheets fine, you may even  have some real computers available that do it the old fashioned way, and those can print fine. But cloud print says it's offline and offers no suggestions for how to fix it, other than to go messing with your firewall  - something that no doubt most of the folks opting for Chromebooks know exactly how to do, right?  This became such a problem that we bought a new, "cloud print ready" printer thinking that it was our old "classic" printer's problem.  Wasn't.

Here's a solution to the problem that may work for you. When you initially register printers with the cloud print service, they are associated with a device. That device has to be online to see the printer!  I learned this the hard way when my daughter got a Chromebook and I registered it using my laptop, which only made sense because that's where I do 99% of my computer work.  The problem was that whenever I closed the laptop and went off to work?  Printer stopped working.

After figuring that out we re-registered the printers using our server (a Mac mini) which is up all the time, and the problem basically went away.

In fact, it went away so well and for so long that when my brand new printer went offline this week (and claimed it had been offline for days) I was furious.  I started the whole process all over again.

Then I remembered that over the weekend my son had friends over and one of them had accidentally unplugged the server.  Even though I'd plugged it back in I had not powered it back up.

Went downstairs, powered it up, and look at that, my printer's back online.


8 comments:

mtgoode said...

Any suggestions for us mere mortals who don't have a Mac server? I'm having the same problem. Used my husband's desktop to register the cloud computer, but at night the computer goes to sleep and even when I bring up the desktop, the cloud printer does not come back online.

Michael Convey said...

This has been reported as a bug at the link below. To vote for it to get fixed, please go to the link and click the star icon near the upper left corner of the webpage. You need to be signed into your Google account to vote.
https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=588462
Thanks.

Michael Convey said...

I'm giving up on the Canon MG7720. Although it is advertised as a Google Cloud Print Printer; after over 10 hours of troubleshooting, I cannot get it to work properly with my Dell Chromebox -- what an infuriating waste of time!!!! Canon should be charged with false advertising!!! I'm returning the MG7720. Please provide suggestions for a reasonably-priced, quality photo printer that works flawlessly with Google Cloud Print.

Duane Morin said...

I will suggest one thing - check the firmware on your printer and see if there's an update. For months I was just ignoring the "Latest firmware is available" message it showed me, thinking that this was some sort of "Everything is up to date" message when in fact it wasn't. After downloading and installing new firmware, I have not had any problems with my Canon.

Michael Convey said...

Thanks, but I did that the first day I got the printer. I couldn't even register the printer with Google Cloud Print before updating the firmware.

Anonymous said...

chrome OS is a great concept but this thing about printer going off line sets it back. This is one irritation that can be fixed if the guys who program it put their minds to it.

Michael Convey said...

Anonymous, this is a Canon issue and not a Chrome issue. Here's my Amazon review of the Canon MG7720 (which I returned due to Google Cloud print issues) and the printer I purchased instead:

https://www.amazon.com/review/RQ0ERVIKG9WFS/ref=cm_cr_rev_detup_redir?_encoding=UTF8&asin=B013C0ZY3C&cdForum=Fx3TJ4FJR8PAGAA&cdPage=1&cdThread=Tx3EI3TPV449LKF&newContentID=Mx2ANCO2R4BJ227&store=electronics#Mx2ANCO2R4BJ227

This printer works flawlessly with Google Cloud Print.

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