The largest barrier to effective troubleshooting when you try to print a document but nothing happens is the lengthy list of plausible causes for your printer’s misbehaviour. Your issue could be with supply or data transfer, or it could be somewhere between the application data and the printer’s output tray. Adopt a systematic approach by starting with a list of the typical causes of printer unresponsiveness to assist in getting your hardware back up and running.
Out of Supplies
When they run out of essential consumables like paper, ink or toner, or developer, the majority of desktop printers go to offline mode. Additionally, when they identify refilled or unsuitable ink tanks, some printers halt printing. Drum cartridges have a unique usage rating that causes “feed-me” alerts when they are nearing the end of their useful life in laser printers that segregate their drums from their toner cartridges. If your gear permits you to override its low-supply warnings, use caution as trying to compel it to keep printing after its consumables run out could harm printheads or other components. Although some devices require you to press front-panel switches to put them into online mode, replenishing necessary materials can help you put your printer back in use.
Some ink cartridges used by printer manufacturers have an enforced expiration date. The use-by dates on these consumables’ packaging as well as how long they have been in your printer when they are installed can affect how long they last. Some of these devices have an override mode that you can use to keep printing even though your ink cartridges have expired. Some just stop working until the cartridge is changed.
Misfed paper forces your printer offline because a paper jam prevents its internal machinery from functioning. Once you remove all traces of the sheet that caused the problem, you can resume printing. If your device jams continually, examine your paper supply for traces of damage or signs that a ream of bargain paper proved to be less of a bargain than a nuisance. Some ongoing jamming problems can point to dirty internal rollers or other mechanical problems, as well as lingering fragments of a ripped sheet from a previous misfeed.
A damaged or partially unplugged cable compromises the flow of document data from your computer to your printer. Even a subtle interruption or flaw in the path from application and operating system to the printed page can result in crashes, freezes, intermittent printer unavailability and a host of other hard-to-diagnose symptoms. Reseating a cable or replacing it with a new one can help you rule out your data connection as the source of your printing problem.
Your printer uses driver software to understand the data it receives from your computer. The incompatibility between your driver and operating system version can make it difficult for your computer to communicate with the printer when it happens. Using a Windows troubleshooter or verifying the version information on the manufacturer’s website, you can confirm driver compatibility. Electrical issues, storms, hardware defects, and other computer issues can potentially result in data loss in driver software. Running diagnostics might help you rule out corruption as the root of your issues if your printer stops being recognized soon after a disruption to your PC.
When you operate inside your printer to add or check supplies, clear a paper jam, or perform other tasks, you can leave the cover slightly ajar and not realise that your hardware hasn’t returned to its usual online position until you try to print and it doesn’t work. Verify that access panels and covers are securely fastened in place. After you close their covers and send the signal for the fuser hardware to re-heat, some laser printers audibly resume online operation.