5 Most Common Printer Problems & Solutions – Printer Troubleshooting

 

Find out some of the most common Printer problems and how you can fix it. Most of the solutions will work for every major printer brands like Hp, Lexmark, Brother, Samsung, and Epson.

Printers have become one of the most important electronic items in home and office uses. Widely used by large corporations once upon a time, it is now a part of our daily life, just like any other electronic devices.

The significant advantage of a printer is convenience, although printing jobs are costlier because it requires paper, ink, and electricity unlike online publishing where you just need a computer and internet, printers helps you print documents or paper and place the words in the hands of the reader. Print publishing still counts as a credible source, legitimacy, and authority in the real world more than any other form of publishing.

Before discussing about common printer problems and solutions let us tell you more about the types of printers available in the market and what they do. It is essential to learn more about printer types first and then try to solve the problems.

Different Types of Printer and their Functions

Epson, the Japanese Company was the first to introduce electronic printers to the world in 1968. Since then the printing technology has improved day-by-day and a lot of different types of printers have been introduced in the market for both home and commercial use. Here we are going to take a look at different type of printers and their functions.

  1. Laser Printer: A type of printer which uses laser beams to create an image on the drum. Laser printer prints high quality printer material at a very less cost compared to other printers.
  2. Inkjet Printers: As suggested by the name, an Inkjet printer utilizes inks to spray into the paper to produce a hard copy. Inkjet printer is capable of printing color text and images with the help of propelling droplets and makes your image look realistic. It is used in both home and offices. Inkjet printers are usually a bit pricier.
  3. All-in-One Printer: A single printer with multiple functionalities including printing, copying, scanning, stapling, and faxing. Perfect for companies and corporations, All-in-One aka AIO is one of the best printers for businesses.
  4. Dot Matrix Printer: Dot Matrix printers use print head and prints by impact. The Dot Matrix printer produces not so high-quality prints and is mostly obsolete.
  5. 3D Printers: 3D printer creates a real-life object using 3 dimensional solid objects. 3D printing technology has grown enormously in the past couple of years, also 3D printers are fairly priced and are incredibly fast.

These are the list of printer types, what are their functions, and advantages. Note: These are some of the common printer types used worldwide, so the list is not complete because there are so many of them that it would take us a week to write about each of the printer types. We hope you own one of these types of printers and can try finding the right solutions inside this piece of content.

Most Common Printer Problems and How to Fix them

There can be many reasons when you are trying to do a print and your printer is not cooperating. Just when you think you need to print something important and the printer frustrates and irritates you with not responding, printing not printing, paper jams, print jobs are of poor quality etc. A particular troubleshooting method will vary according to the make and model no. of the printer in most of the cases. However, in this article we’ve covered the most common Printer problems and how to fix them. Check them out below.

Problem 1- Printer not Printing

Unfortunately every time you need to print something important your printer stop responding and this is the only one common issue most of the user’s faces maximum number of times in compare to other common printer issues and no one can deny that. However, there are few troubleshooting methods which can help your printer to respond and work in a proper manner.

Reasons for Printer not printing issue: –

  1. Printer not connected properly via USB or a Wireless Network.
  2. Drivers and update problems.
  3. Print Spooler Service.
  4. Mismatch Configuration.
  5. Computer issues.
  6. Software not Compatible.

This list complies of some of the common reasons why printer won’t print and can give you nightmares in fixing the problem. Fortunately we’ve come up with practical and working solution for your print to get back online and start printing.

Method 1 – Start With Basic Printer Troubleshooting

The first thing you need to do when trying to fix printer not printing problem to check the status of your connected printer to the computer. To do that follows these steps.

  • Type on Windows 10 search box found at the bottom of your taskbar ‘Printers and Scanners’.
  • Select your printer by clicking on it once under the ‘Printers and Scanners’.
  • Click on Manage.
  • Click on Run the troubleshooter.
  • Follow the instructions and Try to resolve the problem.

Method 2- Unplug the power cable and Restart

If the above method didn’t work for you even after trying all the steps properly shown by the Windows troubleshooter then you can try this method.

  • Completely turn off your printer.
  • Remove the USB and Power Cable from your Printer.
  • Leave it for an hour.
  • Connect the USB and Power cable into your Printer and Restart.
  • Try a test print from the printer and check if the issue got solved.

Method 3 – Update Drivers

Due to outdated drivers a printer might stop communicating with the pc and stop the print jobs. Always make sure that you’ve enable automatic updates on your computer so that every software and drivers on your computer gets updated frequently. It is very simple to update your printer’s driver.

  • In the search box type Device Manager.
  • From the categories choose the printer category and expand the list. If you do not see your printer listed check the other category.
  • Right Click on the driver and click on Update.
  • Click on search automatically for updated software driver.
  • Follow the instructions.

Another method to reinstall your printer driver is to get into the printer manufacturer website first and search for drivers than select the model number of your printer and start downloading the driver software. Once download, run the program and reinstall the driver.

Method 4- Reset and Clear Print Spooler

Print Spooler is a service which manages the printing jobs in your computer, it is an executable file. By resetting the print spooler service you can fix most of the printer problems. The process is very simple.

  • Type cmd inside the windows 10 search box.
  • Right Click on it and Click on Run as administrator.
  • Copy this or type inside the command prompt net stop spooler and hit enter. This command stops the print spooler.
  • Once you see this message “The print spooler service was stopped successfully” Copy or type this command del /Q /F /S “%systemroot%\System32\Spool\Printers\*.*” and hit enter from your keyboard. This command will delete all the contents located inside the printer folder of your computer.
  • Next copy or type inside your command prompt net start spooler and hit enter button. This command will restart the print spooler.
  • Now, Restart you computer and try doing a test print from your computer.

Problem 2- Paper Jams

As stated above that printer is one of those devices in which you can encounter any issues within seconds, like it was working fine before yesterday and everything was fine until today when everything goes berserk an you’ve no idea what caused the problem in the first place. Paper jams are among one of those common printer problems which occurs unexpectedly or you can say without any prior warnings. Sometimes paper jam issue can be triggered with poor quality papers and in some cases due to toner residue. Here are the top reasons why it occurs and how you can fix it.

Reasons for Paper Jams issue: –

  1. Low Quality Cartridges.
  2. Paper not placed appropriately inside the printer.
  3. Damaged Trays.
  4. Unfinished Print Jobs.
  5. Stuck Paper.

These are some of the causes of printer paper jams issue and before we proceed to show you a solution try checking the printer yourself to see if you can fix the issue. Also try to restart the printer (the universal way of fixing any electronic device) before going further with any type of solution,

Method 1- Remove Stuck Paper

Ok, before you go ahead and starts searching inside your printer make sure that you know what you are doing, anything disrupted or breaks any printer components while you were troubleshooting the printer part manually, you’ll be totally responsible for it, and the printer company won’t take any further responsibility if it’s in a warranty. Follow these steps: –

  • Locate the paper tray of your printer.
  • Open all the area’s leading to the tray. Remember the process when you remove the parts or areas, as you’ve to put it back the way it was.
  • Inside the tray you’ll find stuck papers, remove one at a time.
  • Recheck again and pull out all the scarps as well but carefully.
  • Close all the components.
  • Restart and try to print.

Method 2- Remove and Clean the Feed Rollers

Now this is method is done when you do not have any papers stuck inside your printer but still facing the paper jams issue. As the feed rollers help papers to move forward when there’s a print job going on, it can also create paper jams issue. Follow the steps below: –

Note: Before you start cleaning the rollers by yourself make sure to remove the components carefully, any mishandling of the printer parts can damage it and won’t come under any type of warranty your printer’s original manufacture have provided. So, if you do not know or have an idea of what you are doing we recommend you to take your printer to the nearest repair shop or consult with your printer’s manufacturer via their customer service.

  • Ok the first thing you need to do is to turn off your printer completely, unplug and remove the power cable, and disconnect the USB if it is connected to your computer.
  • The roller can be located in the paper tray or inside the printer unit, varies according to the make and model of your printer. We suggest you check the manual to find the rollers.
  • The rollers are either of grey or black color and are made up of rubbers as seen in the picture.
  • Now remove the components of your printer slowly and steadily.
  • Remove the printer rollers from inside of your printer.
  • Take 1 tsp of clean water and scrub the roller with a lint-free cloth.
  • Ensure that you use a dry cloth to remove all the dust from the roller.
  • Let it dry for an hour or so and then insert it back to printer.
  • Try doing a test print from your printer.

Method 3- Prevent Paper Jams Issue by following these Tips

As the proverb says “prevention is better than cure”. You can regularly check the printer to prevent any further paper jam issues. Look for the things below to prevent any paper jams in the future.

  • Paper Inserted Incorrectly: The most common cause of why paper jam issue happens. Always remember to upload the paper correctly inside the tray and do not make the tray overfilled with papers. Try not to insert wrinkled, torn, and folded papers and always straighten the paper before inserting inside the printer.
  • Printer Rollers: Damaged printer rollers and dirt inside the rollers can be a reason of paper jam issues. Keep a check at your printer rollers every month and do not try to mishandle them if they are working properly, otherwise it could damage.
  • Use Supported Paper type, weight, and size: Do not mix papers of different type or sizes inside the printer also try to select the right size of paper while printing from the computer. Any unsupported type of document or paper can not only cause paper jams, also they can damage the hardware of your printer.
  • Poor Quality Cartridges: Avoid refilling cartridges from any third party or non authorized provider. They are not affiliated with the official manufacturer although they are cheap and compatible printer cartridges but they’ll stain if you do not handle them with care.

Problem 3- Printer Too Slow – Printer Takes a Long Time to Print

Usually Wireless or Network printers are the ones most affected by this problem of printer too slow and printing takes time due to clogged servers, slow spoolers, and large print jobs files. A slow printing can waste a lot of time and can seriously affect your work efficiency, ignoring slow print jobs can also make the problem worse. Here are some of the causes of Printer too slow and Printing takes time problem.

What are the causes of Printer Too Slow: –

  1. Outdated Driver.
  2. Network Connection issue.
  3. Busy Server.
  4. Large File Sizes.
  5. Slow Process.

These are the reasons why your printer is printing slow and is taking forever to complete the print jobs. We’ve come up with the solution to the problem and you can try using the steps below to fix it.

Method 1- Update your Printers Driver

One of the easiest and the smoothest way to fix printer slow issue is to update your printer driver from the computer. Here’s how you can do it.

  • In the search box of Windows 10 type Device Manager.
  • From the categories choose the printer category and expand the list. If you do not see your printer listed check the other category.
  • Right Click on the driver and click on Update.
  • Click on search automatically for updated software driver.
  • Follow the instructions.

Method 2- Remove and Re-Install the Printer Driver

If updating your printer’s driver doesn’t work try removing it from your computer and re-installing it. Follow these steps: –

  • Open the Program and Features Menu in your Computer.
  • Type Apps and Features on your search box or go to control panel > Programs > Uninstall a program.
  • Select your printer software and click on uninstall.
  • Next get in to Device manager.
  • Choose the appropriate category and expand the list.
  • Right Click on the Driver and Click on Uninstall Device.
  • Restart your computer and go to your Printer manufacturer’s website.
  • Select the printer model and download the drivers.
  • Restart your computer and printer.
  • Try a test print and see if the problem got resolved.

Method 3- Change the Spooling options of your Printer

If your spooling option is selected to print directly to the printer then your printer may take a longer time to finish the print job. We recommend our users to set it to “Spool print documents so program finishes printing faster”. Here’s how you can set it too on your printer.

  • Type Printers on your Windows 10 search box located in the taskbar and you’ll get to system settings. Alternatively, you can go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sounds > View Devices and Printers.
  • Under Printers and Scanner select your printer.
  • Click on Manage.
  • From the left menu click on printer properties.
  • Next select the Advanced Tab in between Ports and Color management tab.
  • Now, select “Spool print documents so program finishes printing faster”.
  • Under “Spool print documents so program finishes printing faster” select “start printing immediately”.
  • Click on Apply and Ok.

Common Printer Problems 4- Printer Printing Blank Pages

“Why is my printer prints blank pages with full ink?” Everyone who uses a printer regularly in home or office has faced this issue at least once in their lifetime. Do not worry if your printer prints blank pages with full ink as you are not the only one with similar problem there are tons of users who have complained the exact same issue like yours and thankfully we’ve got some brilliant working solution to help you fix the problem. Before we start the solution let us make you aware what are the causes of printer printing blank pages.

Reasons why Printer Printing Blank Pages: –

  1. Empty or Incorrect Cartridges.
  2. Clogged Nozzles.
  3. Incorrect paper size, type, or weight
  4. Using Third Party Cartridges.
  5. Clog at Print Heads.

Ok now that you’ve got an idea what are the causes behind a printer printing blank pages, let’s try to fix the problem.

Method 1- Inspect Cartridges and Check the Ink Levels

In case you’ve installed the cartridge incorrectly then it can stop printer from dropping inks to the paper, hence it may return blank pages. Make sure to remove the cover on cartridge before inserting back into the printer.

To check the ink levels you can simply do it from your printer’s control panel by printing out the report button from the printer’s menu. Other than this one can easily check ink levels by opening the printer software on computer.

Method 2- Select Right Type, Size, and Weight of Paper

There are many types of Printer paper for example Laserjet printer paper, inkjet printer paper, glossy, resume, white, and card stock. In some Hp printers you can print non-standard sizes with maximum dimension size by creating custom paper sizes.  You can get information about what types of paper supported in your printer at the product information or you can simple Google your printer name and model number to find the supported paper types and sizes.

Method 3- Clear Clogged Nozzles and Print Heads

When you’ve not used your printer for a long time then inks can dry and it can clog up. To clear clogged nozzle there will be option on the printer to clear print heads or print head nozzle check, click on it to remove any ink blockages on your printer. Alternatively, you can clear print heads from the printer software installed in your computer.

Problem 5- Printer not Connecting to Computer – Communication Issues with PC/Laptop

Installing a printer first time in your computer and you are not able to connect it? Printer was printing from computer but suddenly stopped communicating with your computer? My printer won’t print from the computer but everything is connected perfectly? There are several reasons why your printer not connecting to the computer. Let’s take a look at some of the causes and then find the solution inside this part of the article.

Reasons why Printer not connecting to Computer: –

  1. Not connected properly.
  2. Configuration Issues.
  3. Printers Software not installed.
  4. Missing or Outdate drivers.

Some of the common reasons why printer not connecting to computer are mentioned above, if you can locate the issue from yourself then it is well and good otherwise try these solutions.

Method 1- Check the Connection of your Printer and Computer

  • For Wired Network: Before trying any solution always try to reboot your device be it of any type. Unplug the power cable and remove the USB cable connection connected to the computer. Try checking the USB cable and ensure it’s not damaged. Try changing the USB cable and check if the problem is fixed.
  • For Wireless Network: Restart all your devices altogether Printer, Router, and Computer. Follow the Wireless connection manuals provided by your printer manufacturer and try to connect it with your computer, laptop, mobile, and iPad.

Method 2- Install Printer Software Properly

Remember printer software is different in compared to the printer drivers. Printer software basically comes inside a DVD/CD within your printer. If you don’t possess the DVD/CD then try installing the software from your printer’s manufacturer official website. There’s another way to install the correct software, just follow these steps to know how to install the correct printer software.

  • Turn on Auto Updates to automatically download your printer software.
  • Connect your printer to the computer with the USB cable.
  • Go to Control panel of your computer.
  • Inside the control panel, find Devices and Printers or View Device and Printers.
  • Click on View Devices and Printer and Select Add a printer from the top.
  • Choose the printer to add it to your pc. Select the printer and click on Next.
  • Follow the instruction to install the printer drivers.
  • If your printer is not listed then select The printer I want isn’t listed.
  • Now select the option Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings.
  • Click on Next.
  • Select your printer port, for ex: – USB001 for a USB printer, and then click on Next.
  • Now select the Windows Update, and wait for the print drivers to update.
  • Select the printer manufacturer of your printer in the Manufacturer pane, and in the printers name click on the name of your printer.
  • Select the printer from the list and click on next to install the software.

Method 3- Update the Drivers

Updating the drivers regularly can never cause any software related issue in your printer. But, if you miss any of the updates there might be a chance of your printer getting a technical hindrance. To update the printer drivers follow these steps: –

  • Click on Start Icon at the left bottom corner of your computer screen.
  • Type Device Manager.
  • Expand the category of your printer. If you are not able to see your printer drivers then at the top Click on view option and select show hidden devices. Most of the time your drivers can be found on other devices category inside the device manager.
  • Right Click on your printer’s driver and select update driver.
  • Click the Search automatically for updated driver software.
  • Device manager will install the new driver if the update is available automatically.
  • Try printing a test page from your computer to check if the printer is connected.

Conclusion

Most of these problems that we’ve mentioned here occur in almost every printer brands and all the solutions and methods listed here are also same for any printer brands. We’ve compiled the list very carefully and have only given you the perfect and tested solution which has worked for us, to fix common printer problems.

In case of any issues regarding your printer head down to the comment section and write exactly what trouble you are having with your printer. We promise that we’ll try to guide you with the appropriate solution to fix the problem. If you’ve liked the article kindly share it with others as it’ll encourage us more to write and offer free troubleshooting steps related to computer, printer, email, anti-virus, and browsers.

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