Are You Having Issues With A Brother Printer Being Able To Print After Being Asleep For A While? Here’s A Possible Fix That Their Tech Support Won’t Tell You About

I along with a few of my clients have had consistent issues for about a year or more with Brother printers that won’t print after being asleep for a period of time. Sometimes as short as an hour. In my case it’s an issue with the Brother HL-L2390DW that I got to replace a printer that died. It was working fine in my case, but I am guessing that a firmware update that I applied to it made it behave this way.

After doing some research and some testing, I’ve found a partial solution that either Brother’s tech support doesn’t know about or won’t tell you about. I say that because I contacted Brother’s tech support department and they danced me all around doing a variety of things to the printer including accusing me of not using genuine Brother toner before they blamed my network. Then blamed my PCs, Macs, and iPhones for the problem. Which frankly is just poor customer service on their part as this is clearly their issue.

Part of the issue seems to be that Brother has a “deep sleep” mode that isn’t part of the printer’s configuration settings that the user of the printer has access to. Instead, it’s buried in a hidden menu that requires a “Konami code” to get access to. Why Brother has done this I have no idea. But when this is enabled, I have consistent issues. Here’s what I did to try and deal with this on the HL-L2390DW:

  • Press menu
  • Go into General Setup
  • Go into Ecology
  • Go into Sleep Time
  • Press the minus key (-) and the Stop/Exit key at the same time
  • Turn off Deep Sleep

When I disabled “deep sleep” it improved things, but my problems didn’t go away completely. This goes back to the fact that I think Bother screwed something up in one of their firmware updates and they haven’t bothered to fix it. But others have reported that their issues have gone away. Thus your mileage may vary on this front. But I did do one other thing that I did to further improve things. More on that in a bit.

From my research, other Brother printers have this “feature”. Though it sometimes requires different keys to press to get into the hidden menu. To help you with that, I have this link to a number of YouTube videos that detail how to do this on a number of Brother printers as YouTube is what started me down the path of finding out what the issue was and how to fix it. Thus if you do a search of YouTube for your Brother printer, you should be able to find the directions that you need.

Now I get why Brother might want to have a deep sleep mode like this as it helps with the energy consumption of the printer as that’s something that some countries and some people really care about. But why Brother hides this is beyond me as it likely. took them a healthy amount of effort to create a hidden menu option for this that appears to be different on a variety of printers that they make. Would it not make sense to have this part of the regular menu structure so that users can choose to disable this if they want? It certainly would be easier.

Back to how I appear to have fixed this. I did one additional thing that required me to log into the printer using a web browser. Using the IP address that my printer was using on my network, I got a page that looks like this:

You will have to log in via the login prompt at the top. If you’re looking for the password because you don’t know it and maybe you didn’t know that there was a password, there is typically a sticker on the back of Brother printers that has the password. Once you log in, click on “Network” at the top, then click on “Interface.” You will see this:

You want to enable WiFi Direct. It will force you to restart the printer when you click submit. Since I did that I’ve been able to print without issues for the last day or so. But I will continue to monitor the situation. My guess is WiFi Direct does something to keep the printer either awake, or it keeps it alive on the network. Which in turn makes this issue go away. At least for me so far.

If Brother reads this, they may want to explain why they really haven’t addressed this as based on the sample size of people who complained about this issue, they are not doing themselves any favours by having this issue out in the wild and not addressing it in any meaningful way. I’d also like to know why it makes sense to Brother to force customers to Google for potential solutions and relying on people like me to try stuff and be kind enough to share their knowledge. I ask these questions because as it stands, their odds of making repeat or additional sales have just nosedived because of all of this. And my odds of recommending their printers to my clients is zero the longer that Brother doesn’t address these issues.

Brother may want to have a think about that and take action accordingly.

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