Most Common Printer Problems

We’ve all been there – you’re in a rush to get a document printed for a deadline, and your printer chooses now of all times to have issues! Cue 20 minutes of troubleshooting printer problems with the help of Google, trying to get to the bottom of the issue. While some printer issues can be super complicated and require an expert to fix (or the purchasing of a new printer), others may have relatively easy solutions. Some issues thought of as a worry may end up not being problems with the machine at all. For example, you may think your printer is printing too slowly and this is a problem with the machine, but it may actually be that the printer is designed with a relatively slow pages per minute output.

Having a general knowledge of your machine’s information can help you to know whether there’s a problem with the printer, or if the printer is running as it was made to. In this article, we take a look at some of the most common printer problems, possible explanations behind them, and common fixes that may help to solve the issues.

Paper jams

There are many reasons why a printer may get a paper jam. It can be as simple as the paper being loaded incorrectly, or there is too much paper loaded into the tray. To troubleshoot this, make sure the stack of paper isn’t too large an amount for the printer tray, and ensure it is lined up correctly. If the issue persists, it could be something slightly more tricky, and specific to your printer (such as a possible obstruction or damaged roller). Have a look in your printer’s instruction manual to see what the process for dealing with a paper jam for your printer is, and then follow the instructions accordingly.

Slow printing

Slow printing can be frustrating, particularly when you’re in a rush! If you find yourself staring at your printer, wishing it to get the job done quicker, then you may be experiencing slow printing. Some printers – particularly entry models – can often just have slower printing speeds than others. When purchasing a printer, it’s important to have a look at the ppm speeds, to get a gauge of how fast the printer can print. If you absolutely must have pages printed quicker, choosing to print in draft mode may make your printer a little faster, but it will also lower the quality of your prints.

No printing happening

The only thing more annoying than slow printing is no printing! When you buy a printer, you assume that the one thing it will do is print, so when this doesn’t happen it can be a real headache. There could be several reasons why your printer won’t print. First up, make sure there are no clear error messages, and that your printer is still showing it is connected to the network. If you can’t see any obvious issues, and your printer is wireless, try connecting it with a USB cable and seeing if that helps. If printing still won’t happen, take a look at the instruction manual for your specific printer. Each printer is a little different, and as such, the troubleshooting for the issue of no printing will differ from machine to machine.

Poor print quality of documents

Sometimes you may notice your printer isn’t printing documents quite to the quality level it used to. Whether it’s that the prints are generally faded, have streaks, or contains areas of the missing colour, there are a few different reasons that can lead to poor quality printed documents. Two of the first things to check are that you are using the right kind of paper and the correct ink or toner for your printer. If you have an inkjet printer and are noticing your printed pages are coming out streaked, it may be worth cleaning the print head nozzles. If you have a laser printer and are noticing faded prints, it may be that the toner has settled in the cartridges. Removing the toner and gently rocking it may help solve this issue (just be careful and remember not to shake the toner hard!). If you are noticing poor quality prints have started coming from your printer, and none of these possible solutions has worked, take a look at your printer’s instruction manual to see what is recommended for your model of machine.

Poor print quality of photos

Many of us highly value the photos of our lives and loved ones (a picture’s worth a thousand words, after all). Naturally, we want these photos to print at the highest quality possible, so they are clear for the world to see. If you’re finding your photos are printing in poor quality, there could be several reasons why. Firstly, it’s important to ensure you are using the correct paper for printing photos from your specific printer. Some printers recommend a specific paper for the best results, and it can be worth taking this into account when looking to purchase printing paper for photos. If it’s more a pixelation problem, then it’s likely more an issue with the quality of the photo file itself. When looking to print photographs, make sure you’re printing from a high-quality file, in order to get the best results possible.

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