What To Do When Your Printer Won’t Print?

Have you experienced problem in printing your documents when you finally completed your word-smithing report that you have been working on, you click File and print and nothing happens? Well, odds are the printer itself is fine, but let’s dive into what may be causing this issue.

Printing is like Mailing a Letter 

Imagine if you want mail a letter to your sister with a recipe of baking a cupcake. Consider the steps involved.

First, you have to make sure that you write the letter in a language that your sister understand. Then, you package it in an envelope and mail it to your sister’s address.The post office coverts the written address to a physical location and delivers the letter to your sister’s mailbox. Now, your sister retrieve it from the mailbox, open the letter, read it and carry out the instructions of the recipe.

Each time you send something to the printer, it’s like mailing a letter. Once you click print, the computer writes that print job in a particular printerlanguage, packages and routes that job to the correct device, whether you are using a network or USB cable.

Once the printer receives the job, it deciphers what it has received and executes the instructions it’s been given.


For troubleshooting why a print job won’t print, it’s best to start with the easiest solutions first.

Are you sending the job to the correct printer?

Some applications will save your print settings for the last printer that you used. The auto-populated settings could have selected the different printer than the printer that you want to use, or the device could be out of date. And if anything is changed on the network or printers are added and removed, the printer driver on your computer have to change to. 

Are there any simple errors preventing the printer from printing?

While your looking at the machine, make sure that there aren’t any other issue such as toner cartridge is empty or paper jam issue. Other than that, check the screen display. Most printers nowadays are good at prompting at how to fix any issue it’s experienced. 

Simple errors to look out for:
  • Check your Ethernet port on your machine that connect the network cable to the WiFi router. Are they attached? or are the Ethernet port light indication light up?
  • Is the printer powered on?
  • Verify the power connection, is it plugged in/
  • Is there paper in the device?

Are you sending your printer the correct instructions?

If the instructions told you to add 2 cups of flour, but there was no flour, but there was no measuring cup, then you would not know what to do. 

Remember, when you print something, there are a lot of settings in your Printer Properties that may cause the same response from your printer. If you specify that you want thick paper on Tray 2 but your printer’s Tray 2 has plain paper, your printer is receiving conflicting instructions. You have to make sure that the instructions that you are giving the printer is something that it can understand.

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