Common Printer Issues
Fixing your printer may be easier than you would have guessed
Fairly often, printers act up due to a simple lack of consistent use. They can also suffer from over use, though this is less common. Of course, these aren't the only factors to consider. Remember that earring you misplaced? Well, maybe it's no coincidence that your printer started jamming right around the time you lost said earring! It's no rarity to discover that the source of a jam is a small item accidentally dropped into the machine! Enough with postulation! Let's figure out what's wrong with your printer!
My Printer Isn’t Printing
There are many variables to consider, so let's start with the basics. First, check to see whether there is an error message/warning light on the printer, be sure there is paper in the tray, the toner cartridges aren’t empty, and the USB cable is plugged in or the printer is connected to the Wi-Fi network. If it is a wireless printer, try using a USB cable instead.
It could be that old printer drivers are still installed and set as the default printer. On your computer, open the Control Panel (Windows) or System Preferences (Mac), then Devices and Printers (Windows) or Print & Fax (Mac), choose the printer to use and set it as the default. This may not be the exact process depending on what computer and operating system you are using. Also make sure that the correct printer is selected in the program you are printing from.
Next, we suggest you switch your printer off and then unplug the print cable (not the power cord) from the machine. Leaving the print cable unplugged, power-up your machine once again. If the message on the LED screen now reads "Ready" or the red or yellow lights on your machine have changed to green, cancelling your print jobs is the next course of action. Though your printer has a button on it for cancelling print jobs, you will likely need to cancel the print jobs using your PC or Mac to ensure the job queue is entirely clear. If the printer you're using is a shared one, you will need to contact your office's administrator to get permission to cancel the printer's job queue. The administrator might be able to conduct the job cancellation for you. If the printer is not shared or you have been cleared to cancel jobs on a shared printer, use a search engine to learn how to clear one or more print jobs for your particular computer and operating system. After you've done this, attempt resubmitting your print job.
If these steps haven't restored your printer to working order or powering off your printer and unplugging the print cable didn't return the printer to a state of readiness, proceed to the last paragraph of this page.
"Toner Low" Or Similar Error Messages
Your printer will let you know the toner is running out before it actually does. In a bustling office environment this might mean you only have a few hours, but home users could still have weeks of use left. Order new cartridges as soon as the message appears, but don’t install them until it either stops printing or the colours fade. Sometimes, taking out the toner cartridge and gently rocking it back and forth will redistribute the toner throughout the cartridge and extend its life.
If you're experiencing regular paper jams it's most likely time to have a look inside your machine. Paper jams happen for a wide variety of reasons. Jams can be due to worn out rollers, dirty parts, incompatible paper stock and quite a few other things. Using the correct paper type is an easy way to solve the lattermost of these issues. If it turns out a roller replacement is necessary, some professional help may be called for.
First things first. To get a feel for exactly what's causing the jam, remove the paper from all trays, open all the flaps and panels and examine your printer using a flashlight. If you spot any obvious paper blockages, gently remove them either with your fingers or using tweezers if needed. IMPORTANT: Always pull paper out in the direction the paper would usually travel through the paper path. Pulling paper out in a direction it is not intended to go can seriously damage your printer.
If you notice dust or dirt deposits during your examination (especially significant ones), a can of compressed gas for electronics dusting can come in handy. You can find compressed gas intended for this purpose at most electronics and hardware stores. We very much recommend you do not wipe your printer out, as this can damage certain parts within it.
If none of these approaches get your printer up and running again, check to see if your printer's make and model is one we specifically address in our DIY page. If you're at the end of your rope, contact us and we will be much more than happy to help you! Our technicians have been saving businesses like yours from untold frustration for over 16 years.