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How to Fix Printer Problems in Minutes

Ever had a printer act up or run into problems when you were in the middle of printing something important?

It can be really frustrating if you are not sure how to fix your printer problem and get it printing again.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to troubleshoot and fix common printer problems across most brands of printers.

fix printer problems

Essential Tips to Fix Printer Problems:

1. The printer doesn’t Turn On

  • Check the power cable running from the printer to the plug point (mains) for loose connection
  • If you are having intermittent problems with the cable, replace it with a better one
  • Make sure the Power button on your printer isn’t stuck or pressed in

2. Paper jams

  • Never try to force out the paper from your printer, as it may affect the internal components like the paper roller inside
  • Most manufacturers include a hatch at the back or offer a specific method to release and remove the paper in case of jams (check your printer manual)
  • To prevent jams, make sure the paper isn’t bent or folded and is fed correctly into the printer

3. Error Messages/Alarms/Beeps from the printer

  • If your printer has a LCD display, read the error message and follow the instruction shown. If you have warning LEDs or beeps instead, observe the pattern or frequency of these warnings and refer to your printer’s manual to learn more about the problem and how you can resolve it quickly
  • Try to familiarize yourself with the most common problems by referring to your printer’s manual. Hopefully they can be avoided in the future

4. Windows is unable to recognize or communicate with the Printer

  • Check the USB or parallel cable running from the computer to the printer. It needs to be firmly in place at each end. If the cable or connector is damaged, replace it immediately
  • If you are using a wireless or network connected printer, check to see if the wireless network or local network is down or is experiencing problems. Try again after the connectivity issue is resolved
  • The driver for your printer might be missing, outdated or corrupted. So make sure your visit the manufacturer’s official website (do a quick Google search) and download the latest Windows or Mac driver available for your printer. Only after the driver is installed and your printer detected by Windows, can you start making use of your printer
  • You can also try uninstalling the printer from the Windows Control Panel, restarting your computer and reinstalling it again

5. Misalignment of colors and lines on print outs

  • Go to: Start > Control Panel > Devices and Printer (or) Printers > Select your printer, right-click and choose Printing Preferences (or Printer Properties)
    In the new window, look for a section related to Maintenance, and you should see an option called “Print Head Alignment”
    Use this option and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the alignment process
  • On a Mac, click the Apple menu, select System Preferences. Then Open Print & Fax. Make sure the correct printer is selected and, depending on OS version, click ‘Open Print Queue…’ or ‘Print Queue..”. Click the Utility icon, select the printer and click Maintenance. From the pop-up menu, locate and select “Print Head Alignment”

6. Common problems with the print out

  • The color and print quality has become poor – The ink cartridges may be running low, check the ink status and replace it
  • Parts of characters and symbols missing – The ink cartridge could be clogged. Try the printer’s cleaning process
  • Colour printout appears smudgy or smeared – Depending on what you’re printing, choose the right Paper Setting in the Printer Preferences. Low Quality setting for text documents and High Quality setting for photos and other graphical printouts
  • Photos and graphics look grainy – The source (image/graphics) itself could be low quality (< 300 dpi), which is why the printer is unable to print the image well. Try again with a high quality image and use a photo quality paper

7. Printer returns a blank page after printing

  • The content sent to the printer for printing was blank, check and try again
  • The printing process was interrupted, check and try again
  • Ink cartridge is empty, check the ink status and try again
  • If you recently installed a new cartridge, check to see if you have removed the sticker from the electronic contact points of the ink cartridge.

8. You have replaced your ink cartridges and the printer still refuses to print.

  • Remove the cartridge, power down the printer, wait for a few minutes, power it back on and carefully reinstall the cartridges (make sure you remove the protective plastic strip)
  • Consider resetting your printer. To learn how to do this, visit Google and search for ” How to reset [MAKE AND MODEL NAME] printer”. This should help you find some helpful guides to do so.

9. Your printer software is not working properly

  • If you are having problems using the bundled printing software, a quick reinstall might just fix the issue. Uninstall the software package through the Windows control panel, restart your computer, visit your printer manufacturer’s website, download and install the latest version of the printer software and try it again.
  • The other option is to permanently uninstall the printer software and rely on the default (but basic) printing options available in any application you are using.

Still having trouble with your printer? Go ahead and post your question or problem in the comments section below and I’ll try my best to help.

Good luck,


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