I think I’d be lying if I said I had never experienced a printer problem in my life. Unfortunately, with any device you purchase, sometimes you encounter problems. Often it’s right when you need that document printed at the last minute…talk about timing. Most of the time these issues are easy to fix, such as low ink or a paper jam. This blog outlines the most common printer problems and how to fix them.
1. Paper jams
This is one of the most common problems faced when printing documents. On the bright side most of the time it’s an easy fix. There are a few reasons that paper jams occur, it can be as simple as the paper being loaded incorrectly, or too much paper being used. These can be fixed by ensuring the paper is lined correctly in the tray and making sure the amount doesn’t exceed the max paper line.
If the issue persists it could be due to dirty or faulty rollers. Try cleaning the rollers with an alcohol swab. If this doesn’t work, you may need to look at replacing the rolling mechanism inside the printer.
Another common cause of paper jams are the quality of paper being used. Low quality paper can impact the printer’s ability, making it hard to perform at 100%.
2. My printer won’t print
There could be several reasons why your printer won’t print. First up, check if there are no error messages pointing you to a problem and make sure your printer is fully connected. Whether this is through Wi-Fi, USB cable or Ethernet. If your printer isn’t turning on at all, it’s best to check the power cord, that it’s plugged in and hasn’t come loose in the back of the printer. It’s a simple problem but can happen without your knowledge if the printer is knocked or moved. If you’re still having trouble check out the troubleshooting section in your printer’s user guide. If you're still having trouble, it might be time to contact tech support.
3. Poor quality prints
This common printer problem comes in two forms. First being poor quality text prints and the other is poor quality photo prints. Regardless of which one you are suffering; the first step is to check your printer is setup for the best quality output. You can check this by assessing your printers’ settings.
Secondly, another reason could actually be with the type of paper being used. Many people opt for third party paper to save money, but this often results in a drop in print quality. Similarly, if you are using third party (non-genuine) supplies, this could also be a major culprit.
The last reason could be due to the supplies. If you have an inkjet printer the printer head may be clogged, try cleaning it out with a lint free cloth. Or if you have a laser printer the powder inside of the toner could have settled in certain areas. Try removing the toner and gently rocking it (make sure not to shake it too hard). If you are still noticing poor quality prints, try checking out your printer’s user guide to see what is recommended for that certain model.
Slow printing can be extremely frustrating, especially if you’ve left printing a document to the last minute. Some printers, especially entry models often have slower printing then most. It’s important to check the page per minute (ppm) speed when purchasing a device. But there are a few ways to make even the slowest printer a little faster. Firstly, if your printer has automatic duplex printing, try turning this off. This will avoid the printer having to flip the page. Another way to increase the speed is by printing in draft mode, but keep in mind that this lowers the quality of your prints.
5. My printer claims it’s running out of ink
If you own a printer, no doubt you’ve faced the low ink problem. The low ink warning is designed to give you enough time to get a replacement cartridge before the ink runs out completely.
Low ink warnings usually show up quite early, so it’s possible that the cartridge still has up to 50% of their capacity left. This however varies among manufacturers and models. You can keep printing even after receiving this warning, but it’s important to keep an eye out for signs the cartridge is almost finished. These signs can include streaks or faded prints. It’s recommended however not to print until the ink has completely run dry as this can cause costly damage to your printer.
Printer problems can be common especially if your printer isn’t maintained. It’s important to ensure you are continuously updating your printer’s software and hardware. This will ensure your printer performs at full capacity.
And of course, if you are still struggling to find an answer to your print problem, refer to your device’s user guide or support channel.