My Printer Will Not Communicate With a Computer

It may seem easy to send digital documents to a desktop printer, but this appearance of simplicity is deceptive, as you’ll quickly learn if the computer to which your office output device is connected stops communicating with it. A glitch prevents that process from proceeding to its natural conclusion somewhere between your application software and the tray where you anticipate seeing completed pages emerge. Follow your output from the computer to the printer in order to identify and resolve the bottleneck.


Although data cables may appear to be as durable as power cords, damage that cannot be seen might cause them to malfunction. You can load up your print queue with documents, but it will be for nothing if the integrity of a reliable data connection is absent. Turn off your printer and computer, then swap out the cable with a new one to rule out a bad cable as the cause of your communication issues. You should be able to print once your computer has restarted.


Your hardware is controlled by a software driver, along with the physical connection between your computer system and printer, to determine how it can process data and print page information. The output process cannot continue if you use the incorrect driver for your hardware and operating system, or if your driver becomes corrupted due to a hard drive crash. This is because the printer will no longer receive data that it can process. Find the most recent drivers to download by visiting the manufacturer of your printer.


Printers pause processing additional output until you replenish their supplies when they run out of paper, ink, or toner. In order to prevent printhead damage from trying to force a dry cartridge to supply ink for heated or micro-piezo ink nozzles, an inkjet printer may stop communicating if only one of its ink tanks runs out of ink. Similar to this, a laser printer will halt all output cycles when the toner runs out. To put your hardware back in operation, look for indicator-light signals on the front panel that indicate an empty consumable. If you find any, restock the area.

Media Jam

Paper misfeeds or jams also prevent printers from processing documents, just as an empty paper input tray does. A printer cannot process more pages while a stray sheet is lodged in its mechanism without making the situation worse. Because leftover scraps from a torn sheet will cause another jam, removing jammed sheets requires a deft touch to get the misfeed out intact. Check for any missing corners after flattening the sheet on a desktop to ensure that you have extracted the entire sheet.

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