Basic Steps for Printer Troubleshooting

Posted by Richerd Wilson | Posted in , | Posted on 12:44 AM

There are basic solutions to common printer problems like paper jams, printer driver problems, low ink problems and installation issues. Although printers are designed differently, most problems are common to all printers. Knowing some basic printer troubleshooting techniques is beneficial whenever you encounter problems with your device.


1. Ensure that the printer driver is installed. If you just purchased the printer or if you just had your operating system reinstalled, you also have to reinstall the printer driver for it to function properly.

2. Check the data cable and the power cable of the printer. They should be properly connected to their respective ports. If the data cable is not properly connected, the printer will fail to communicate with the computer.

3. Install a new ink or toner cartridge if you receive "low ink" errors on your screen whenever you print a document, or if the printouts have started to get blurry. Some printers require both the black and color cartridges to be replaced before it starts printing again. Make sure that the cartridge you are using is compatible with the printer and that it is not refilled or re-manufactured.

4. Use printer features such as "printer alignment," "print head cleaning" or "nozzle check" to avoid distorted, blurry or garbled printouts. Refer to the user manual of your printer for steps on how to access these features.

5. Clear the printing queue if the printer refuses to print any document. The computer may be having a difficult time reading which document to print so it stopped printing anything. If you are using Windows XP, click "Start" and then "Printers and Faxes." For Windows Vista users, click "Start," "Control Panel," "Hardware and Sound" and then "Printers." If you have Windows 7, open "Control Panel" and then "Devices and Printers." Double-click the name of your printer to display the printing queue. Delete the documents listed in the queue and try printing a document again.

6. Troubleshoot a paper jam error. Turn off the printer and turn it back on for the device to eject the jammed paper automatically. Some printers have an "eject" button that you have to press for the printer to eject the jammed paper. If this does not work, open the top cover of the printer and reach for any jammed papers inside.


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