Why I Cannot Print from My Computer via USB on Brother Printer?

Many users connect their Brother printer with a computer via a USB cable. However, on some occasions, you might not be able to print documents due to an incompatible USB cable. Improper driver installation, incorrect printer driver settings, or outdated print drivers could also be the key reason behind such problems.

To fix this problem, you can execute the most effective methods we are sharing below. These methods are for both Windows and Mac users.

Fix 1: Restart Your Computer and Brother Machine

There can be instances when your operating system and Brother machine are creating conflicts. This may happen due to third-party programs. By restarting both devices, you can fix such minor issues. However, if the problem continues, you can try some other troubleshooting methods.

Fix 2: Check the Computer and Printer Connection

Poor connectivity between the devices could also be the reason that you are not able to print from your computer via a USB cable. Make sure you verify the connection of both your Brother printer and computer. Following are the instructions you can go through:

  • Remove the USB cable from your computer and printer and connect it again. Also, disconnect your computer and Brother printer. Later, you can connect both devices.
  • For those who are using the USB hub, you can disconnect it too. Make sure you reconnect the Brother printer directly to your computer.
  • Users should also make sure that the USB cable they are using must meet the following specifications:
    • Shielded
    • Twisted pair cable
    • No longer than 2 meters (6 feet long)

Check the cable and verify it is only connected to a USB port on the Brother machine. The cable should not be connected to Line Jack, Network Port, Pictbridge Port, Ext Jack, or any other port.

Fix 3: Check the Status of the Brother Printer

If you cannot send print jobs from your computer via USB, you need to check the status of your printer machine. To do so, you can do the following:

  • Make sure your Brother printer is powered on.
  • Also, check the LED or LCD indication of your Brother printer. Make sure the light indicator is not showing any error.

In case you find any error on the LCD, you need to troubleshoot the error. However, if everything seems fine to you but you are still not able to print from your computer, jump to another solution.

Fix 4: Review the Printer Driver Settings

The printer driver must be functional in every sense. Otherwise, you may find interruptions when sending prints from your computer. Make sure your printer driver is properly installed and set as default.

Besides, you need to verify that the print status is not offline and make sure you are using a relevant port for USB. If you still cannot print from your computer via USB, clear all the print jobs in the queue.

Get help from the following instructions for reviewing the printer driver settings on Windows and Mac computers:

  • Access the printer folder based on the operating system you are using:
    • Windows 10/8
      • Launch the Control Panel.
      • Select Hardware & Sound.
      • Click the Device and Printers option.
    • Mac OS X
      • Access System Preferences.
      • Select Print & Fax.
      • Click Printers & Scanners or Print & Scan.
  • Then, check if your Brother printer is on the list. If it is not, this indicates the driver is not properly installed. Make sure you reinstall the printer driver to resolve the issue.
  • Also, verify that your Brother printer is set as the default printer. If not, make sure you make it default.
  • Your printer status should not display offline or pause. To verify this, perform the following steps based on your operating system:
    • Windows 10/ 8/ 7
      • Click right on the Brother printer.
      • Select See what’s printing option.
      • Then, select Printer.
      • Click on the Use Printer Offline or Pause Printing option and remove the checkmark. (If this option is grayed out, select Open As Administrator, enter the admin password, and hit the Yes button).
    • Mac OS X
      • To clear the offline or pause status, select Print Queue or Open Print Queue option.
      • Select the Start Printer or Resume Printers option.
  • Remove all the print jobs:
    • Windows 10/ 8/ 7
      • Click right on the Brother printer.
      • Select See what’s printing option.
      • Then, select Printer.
      • Select Cancel All Documents.
      • Press the Yes button. (If this option is grayed out, select Open As Administrator, enter the admin password, and hit the Yes button).
    • Mac OS X
      • Click on the Open Print Queue option.
      • Select the print jobs that need to be deleted.
      • Then, click the Cross tab to remove the queue.
  • Check the port and make you have selected the correct one:
    • Windows
      • Click right on the Brother printer icon.
      • Select the Printer Properties or Properties.
      • Select the Ports tab.
      • At this point, you can check if the correct printer or port is selected. If not, choose the correct one and apply the changes.
    • Mac OS X
      • Go to the Apple menu and select About This Mac.
      • Then, go to More Info.
      • Select System Report.
      • Click the Printers option.
      • Here, you need to check the URL section. It should start with ippusb or USB.

These steps will help you to apply the relevant settings for the Brother printer driver on Windows and Mac PC.

Note: How to Change the Printer Driver Settings on Windows & macOS

Fix 5: Try Sending Prints from Another Application

If you are not able to print from your computer via USB, you should try using some other application. If you successfully print from a different application, it indicates that your application (from which you were sending print jobs before) has problems.

In this case, you can check the settings of that particular app. If the problem continues, you can remove the app or contact the app manufacturer.

Fix 6: Check the Device Manager

This is important to make sure that the Device Manager can easily recognize the Brother printer machine. Please note this method is only for Windows users. Perform the following steps to check the Windows Device Manager:

  • Access the Control Panel.
  • Click on the Hardware and Sound option.
  • Then, move to the Devices and Printers section.
  • Select the Device Manager.
  • If the User Account Screen window shows up, you can perform these steps:
    • If you have admin rights, click on the Yes or Continue button.
    • If you don’t have admin rights, you will have to enter the password and then click the Yes or OK button.
  • Click on the View button.
  • Select Show hidden devices.
Show Hidden Files on File Manager
  • Click the Triangle or Plus mark before the Printers option.
  • If you find your printer in the list, e.g., Brother [model name] Driver or Brother [model name] Printer, it indicates the Device Manager recognizes your Brother machine.
Click on Printers Section

If your printer does not appear in the list, it means that the Device Manager cannot recognize your Brother machine. Following are the steps you can follow:

  • Try using another USB cable.
  • Connect to another port on your PC.

If you find a Yellow? mark along with a Brother machine name, click right on the mark, and choose Uninstall button. Then, close the Device Manager. Now, disconnect your Brother printer and restart your computer. Once it restarts, you can reconnect your Brother printer.

Fix 7: Reinstalling the Printer Driver

When the brother printer drivers are outdated or not installed properly, you may find it difficult to perform print operations. If you are unable to print from your computer via USB, try uninstalling the printer driver and installing it again. Don’t forget to check the driver’s compatibility with your system.

Reinstall Brother Printer Drivers

Please Note: If the model name of your Brother printer starts with DCP or MFC then you can simply insert the CD-ROM and click on the Repair MFL-Pro Suite option. Doing so the uninstallation and reinstallation process will automatically start.

The Bottom Line

USB cable connectivity issues are common. In some cases, the USB cable is responsible while in some situations, your operating system or printer machine creates conflicts. We hope the aforementioned methods help you to fix such problems so you can perform print jobs efficiently.

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