Brother Printer In Error State - How To Fix?



Oh, Brother, you’re a fine printer except when the “Your printer is in an error state” message pops up on the printer screen. Argh! We hate that!

Here’s how to fix it.

Why Is My Brother Printer In Error State?

Why is your brother printer acting so weird? There are a couple of reasons for the brother printer error state message.

  • Improperly placed plugs or USB connection
  • Sometimes a BIOS issue — the instructions passed between your computer and printer — will cause an Error State.
  • Corrupt printer driver
  • Weak or slow Internet connectivity
  • Malware or virus attack

Fixing A Brother In Error State

Here’s how to fix a Brother printer in an error state, from the easiest solution to more complex methods.

 Method 1: Check your cables / network

It may sound simple but sometimes wiggling the wires connecting your printer and your computer can solve a world of connectivity problems. 

Got a wireless connection? Then run a diagnostic check to see if your router is working properly. 

In Windows, go to Printers and Devices in the Control Panel and make sure your printer is wirelessly connected.

 Method 2: Make sure your printer has ink and paper

Sometimes an empty ink or toner cartridge can prompt an error message. Also, make sure that your printer is clear of all paper jams, is stocked with an ample supply of printer paper and uses genuine Brother printer cartdiges.

 Method 3: Restart your printer

  • Use the power button to shut down your Brother printer.
  • Unplug the printer from the wall outlet.
  • Count to ten and plug it back in.
  • Restart your printer.

If this method doesn’t work, try it a second time, restarting both your computer as well as your Brother printer.

 Method 4: Update printer drivers

Sometimes the Error State is due to corrupt or outdated printer drivers. You can update your printer drives in Windows by:

  • Opening the Control Panel
  • Selecting Device Manager
  • Open the Print Queries folder
  • Find your printer on the list of printers and right-click on it
  • Select “Update Driver”
  • Select the option to automatically search for updated driver software

You can also go to the Brother website to download the latest driver for your printer.

Download the latest Brother printer driver.

Depending on your printer model and operating system, you may need to uninstall the old printer driver before installing the new one.

 Method 5: Use the Windows troubleshooting tool

You can also try to solve your Error State issue by using the Windows troubleshooting tool.

  • Click the Start button
  • Select Settings
  • Select Update & Security
  • Select Troubleshoot
  • Select Additional Troubleshooters
  • Select the printer icon
  • Select “Run the troubleshooter”

When the troubleshooting is finished restart your computer and printer.

 Method 6: Reset your print spooler

Resetting your print spooler may clear the Brother printer error state message. 

To do this in Windows:

  • Click the Start button and search for CMD
  • Right-click on the Command Prompt program
  • Select “run as administrator”
  • When the Command Prompt window appears, type “net stop spooler”
  • Click enter
  • When the Command Prompt window appears, type “net start spooler”
  • Click enter
  • Exit the Command Prompt window
  • Restart the computer

Here is another way to stop and restart the printer spooler in Windows

  • In the search window, type, “Services”
  • Right-click on Services and select “Run as administrator”
  • Select Print Spool Service and right-click
  • Select Stop
  • One the spooler has stopped, paste C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\PRINTERS into the Windows search window.
  • Select any print jobs that appear in the right window, right-click, and select delete
  • Return to Services, Print Spool, and right-click
  • Select start
  • Restart your computer and printer

This should reset the spooler that sends print jobs to your Brother printer.

 Method 7: Reset your Brother printer to factory default settings

You may need to  restore your Brother printer to its original default settings

To do this:

  1. Open the printer cover so the ink or toner cartridges are visible.
  2. Turn the printer off and then turn it back on again.
  3. Press the “Go” button on the printer ten times (other models of Brother printers only require you to press the Go button seven times.)

This should reset your Brother printer to factory default settings and will hopefully solve your error state issues.

Print Away, Brother!

These are the best ways to clear the error state message from your Brother Printer. If troubles persist you may need to contact a Brother service technician.


Here, the folks at MDTech run you through the steps of clearing the error state on your Brother Printer:

Further Reading:

Rob Errera

Rob Errera

Rob Errera is an award-winning journalist embedded in the world of printers and printing supplies. Rob has nearly two decades of experience writing about cutting edge technology, business trends, and the ever-evolving industry of printing.

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