Why is My Network Printer Blocked by Norton 360?

By Andrew Aarons

Norton 360 blocks access to some network devices.
i George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Though anti-virus software is designed to protect your computer against harmful programs, it can sometimes get in the way and misidentify safe tasks -- like printing -- as harmful. Some network services for specific printers are blocked by default in Norton 360. You can configure Norton 360 to allow the printer on the network so that everyone in your office can print without issues.

What’s Happening

Norton 360 supplants the Windows firewall, taking over the management of all devices across your office’s network -- for each computer, one at a time. If Norton can't identify a device that is trying to access your computer, its firewall blocks it. So when your printer isn't identified as a trusted device, Norton doesn't let it through the firewall. In theory, like everything the program does, this is to protect your computer from unknown threats.

Find Your Printer Name

Before you can change the rules in Norton 360 to allow access to your printer, you need to know the name that your computer uses for the network printer. In a small office with only one printer, this will be obvious, but if you run more than one printer or network device knowing the specific name of the printer is essential. Click in the top-right hand corner of Windows and then choose search and type “Printers.” Click “Printers and Devices” and then write down or make a note of your printer’s exact name.

Add Device to 360

Open Norton 360 and click “Tasks > General Tasks > Check Network Security Map.” Click the plus sign beside “Total in Network” to expand the network options and then click “Add a Device.” Type the name of the printer and then click “Add Device.” Then click on the device in the “Network Security Map” and click “Edit” beside “Trust Level.” Change the “Trust Level” for your printer to “Full Trust” and then click “OK.” The printer will now be allowed through the Norton 360 Firewall.

Printer Software Interference

Some printer manufacturers, including Kodak, indicate that their particular printer management software sometimes causes problems with Norton 360. In addition to giving your printer access to the computer, you need to give the printer software access to the network through Norton 360’s firewall. In Norton 360, click “Firewall” and then “Program Rules.” Click “Add” and then browse to the folder on your computer where the printer’s software is stored -- you may have to check the manufacturer’s website to find the name of the software or its location on your computer. After allowing the software through the firewall, you’ll be able to access the network printer.