How to Fix a Printer That Won T Print

How to Fix a Printer That Won T Print

Technology is weird sometimes. I can control mythermostat with my voice, but somehowprinters feel merely as confusing and unreliable equally they were ten years ago. If your printer is throwing you an error (or only ignoring your demands entirely), here’s how to troubleshoot the problem so y’all can get back to piece of work.

Bank check Your Printer’south Mistake Lights

printer lights

Frustrating as they tin can be, printers exercise sometimes tell y’all what the problem is so you can avoid trial-and-erroring your way through the troubleshooting process. Your printer may be showing an error bulletin through a serial of ambiguous flashing, colored lights on the printer itself.

It isn’t always clear which lights mean what, though, and then you may need to check the manual to decode what your printer is saying. If y’all lost the manual, you can usually download a PDF copy from the manufacturer’s support page for your printer.

Once you’ve figured out the error—east.g., printer jam or no ink—jump downwards to the corresponding section of this guide to diagnose it further. (If your printer isn’t showing an mistake, proceed reading.)

Articulate the Printer Queue

printer queue

Sometimes, your computer’s impress queue can become jammed up with old documents that failed to print for 1 reason or another, holding up the document you need right now.

Right-click on the printer icon in Windows’ notification area, then choose
Open All Printers
to run into a list of currently queued items. In macOS, you can meet the queue fromSystem Preferences > Printers & Scanners > Open Print Queue. Correct-click whatever erstwhile items and clear them to get things chugging again.

Alternatively, in Windows, y’all can restart the print spooler, which will attempt to impress those documents as if they were just added to the queue (and then you don’t have to clear them).

command prompt spooler

There are a few means to do this, but the easiest is probably from the Command Prompt. Open up the Starting time carte, search for “Command Prompt,” right-click the option that appears, and choose
Run As Ambassador. Then paste in the following commands, pressing Enter later on each one:

cyberspace stop spooler

del %systemroot%\System32\spool\PRINTERS\* /Q /F /S

internet start spooler

With whatsoever luck, this will bring your printer back to life and y’all’ll become the certificate you lot’ve been waiting for.

Solidify the Connection

printer plug

This may sound silly, merely if I had a nickel for every hour I’ve wasted troubleshooting something that wasn’t plugged in, I’d exist halfway to buying a Snickers bar. Ensure the USB cablevision is plugged in snugly at both ends, and that the power cablevision is plugged into the wall. You never know when someone unplugged information technology to charge their telephone without telling you.

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If y’all’re trying to
print over Wi-Fi, try plugging your calculator in via USB. If that works, you know the problem exists with the Wi-Fi connexion and tin can focus your effort there.

Is your printer getting a good enough signal? Run across if the printer shows up in yourrouter’due south network list, or endeavour moving the printer closer to the router to meet if it’s just out of range. No joke, my father-in-law’s printer doesn’t work unless all the upstairs doors are open, considering they impede the already-weak Wi-Fi signal.

Ensure You Have the Correct Printer

printer select

Once again, this may seem basic, but are y’all certain you’ve directed the certificate to the correct printer? If you’ve used your computer with multiple printers—say, if you go back and along between your home and office, or if y’all but got a new printer at home—Windows may exist trying to send documents to the wrong printer.

Effort printing the document once again, and exist certain to chooseFile > Print from the menu rather than using a shortcut. Then, pay close attention to the options that appear—if the drib-down carte shows a different printer than the one you want, click it to select the correct printer before standing. In some programs, like Google Chrome, you may even need to click
See More
for a full list of connected printers.

Install the Drivers and Software


When you plug a printer into your PC, Windows will normally grab the necessary drivers for you lot. Merely in rare cases, yous may need to head to the printer manufacturer’s website, await upward the support page for your model, anddownload the driver or software bundle manually—then if you haven’t done so, effort that now.

Add together Printer

add printer

If you’re using your printer over Wi-Fi, you may need to add together it to Windows’ list of bachelor printers before Windows will offering information technology as an option. In
Windows x, head toSettings > Devices > Printers & Scanners and click the
Add a Printer or Scanner
button. If y’all’re still using Windows seven (you shouldn’t exist), this is netherControl Panel > Devices and Printers.

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On a Mac, go toSystem Preferences > Printers & Scanners and click the plus sign. Your PC should search for printers on the network, and when it finds the one you’re looking for, click on it to add the printer to your list. Now, you should exist able to print a certificate.

Check that Paper Is Installed (Not Jammed)

printer paper

I’thousand going to guess you’ve already ensured paper is in the tray, but merely in instance: put paper in the tray. Sometimes, though, printers are finicky—there may be paper loaded, but if the printer tin’t grab concur, information technology’s going to recall it’s empty. Try removing the newspaper tray, re-adjustment the paper, and sliding information technology back in.

In other instances, there may be some paper jammed in the mechanism. Usually your printer will tell you and so, and you but need to open the access console and pull the crumpled paper out. (Over again, you may need to refer to your manual if yous aren’t sure where it opens up.)

Recommended past Our Editors

In some cases, your printer tin can say in that location’south a paper jam even if you don’t run into a canvas of paper stuck in the machinery. When that happens, you lot may accept smaller bits of paper or other residue stuck inside the rollers that you can’t encounter. This means you lot would take to remove some of those components to articulate the problem. If you aren’t comfortable doing so, bring it into a PC repair shop for help.

Dabble With the Ink Cartridges

printer ink cartridge

If your printer tells yous information technology’s out of ink, only youknow it isn’t, in that location are a few things you can do. First, the print head may exist clogged or muddy, and y’all can make clean it out through your printer’southward built-in cleaning routine (which yous’ll notice detailed in the transmission).

Alternatively, if your printer’s heads prevarication on the ink cartridges themselves—the piddling copper strip where the ink comes out—you tin can blot information technology with a wet paper towel to make clean it upwards. Once ink starts to menses more freely onto the towel, give it a quick dab with a dry paper towel earlier re-inserting the cartridge.

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If you have alaser printer, you lot may exist able to get a bit more than toner out of the cartridge by shaking it from side to side, then re-inserting it.

It’south besides possible your printer simply doesn’t realize you put in new ink cartridges. If it doesn’t detect new ink automatically, there may be a setting on the printer that allows yous to “reset” the fill up levels. Check your printer’s transmission to see how on your specific model.

Remember that sure third-political party cartridges may cause problems, too, so attempt genuine cartridges from the printer manufacturer to see if they piece of work meliorate.

Run the Printer’due south Self-Examination

printer test

If you still can’t figure out the problem, it may help to run a few diagnostic tests. Both your printer and your computer can print test pages that may assistance you narrow downwards your event.

You tin can normally run your printer’s cocky-test by pressing a series of buttons as the printer boots up, which yous’ll find outlined in your printer’s manual. Windows’ test pages can be printed past heading toSettings > Devices > Printers & Scanners. Select your printer, so click
Manage >
Print a Test Page.

If your printer’s own test page comes out fine but Windows throws an mistake, you can be reasonably sure you have a software problem. If the printer can’t even impress its own exam folio, then you’ll desire to focus on repairing the printer rather than driver or software problems. If you’re lucky, your printer may even give you a exam folio with an mistake lawmaking or other information on it yous tin can decipher.

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How to Fix a Printer That Won T Print

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