Printers are one of the boons we have received from technology. These things can print anything from your e-tickets, to multiple page project reports. When a printer works, it is great; but sometimes, problems can come up in the way it operates. Following are some tips on how to fix a printer that wont print the way it’s supposed to.
Sometimes, the problem boils down to overuse or underuse. If you don’t use your printer frequently enough, there can be the issue of dried up ink blocking the nozzles. Overuse, on the other hand, can lead to small things like paper clips falling in and causing paper jams.
It may sometimes happen that your printer is not printing because you have a software that has ‘virtual printer’ set as default. Therefore, when you hit Print, the thing you wish to appear on paper gets saved as a file instead.
To see if this is the case, go to the Start menu and choose Control Panel. From there, go to Devices and Printers, and find and right-click on the right printer to set it as default. Furthermore, check if the status of the printer is set to Ready, because if not, then that could be a problem as well.
After this, make sure that the right printer is chosen inside the program that you are printing from. This option will be available after you give the print command.
To troubleshoot, you can use the printing troubleshooter provided by Microsoft. There, hit the Fix It button, then download and run the program. After that, follow the steps outlined in the wizard. To troubleshoot from the Control Panel, go to Devices and Printers, then right click on the printer, and hit Troubleshoot.
If you are printing from your iOS device, the printer should have Wi-Fi and AirPrint support. Note that there are still many printers in the market, which don’t have the latter option.
If you are printing from your Mac, HandyPrint is a great option to turn the printer into an AirPrint printer. Another app for printing out of wireless printers directly is Printer Pro.
For printing from an Android phone or tablet to a printer connected to a PC, install Cloud Print on the device from the Google Play Store. Open Chrome on the PC, go to Advanced Settings, and choose Manage. After this, add the printer attached to the PC. Keep the PC and the printer on, and you will be able to print from the Android device.
If a web page prints incorrectly on Mozilla Firefox, you might need to make certain changes in the browser’s page settings. To do that, open Firefox, click on the three horizontal lines to the right corner, and choose Print in the next drop-down list. The Print Preview would pop up subsequently. In that window, ensure that Scale is configured as Shrink to Fit and that orientation is set as Portrait mode. After that, click on Page Setup and wait for its window to appear on screen. Once it pops up, click on the tab titled Margins & Header/Footer. In that section, ensure the margins are configured correctly; the default Firefox page margins are 0.5 inch or 12.7 mm.
Click OK in order to close the Page Setup window and return to Print Preview. Click Print again on Firefox, and ensure that the right printer name is shown on its respective field. Moreover, ensure that the setting is not Print to File, which will give you a digital copy of the to-be-printed web page. If the changes to the Firefox settings fails to resolve the printing issues, follow the below steps for advanced troubleshooting.
You need to ensure that if the inability to print the web page occurs only on Firefox, and figure out whether it is something wrong with the printer or the web page that you are trying to print. To know the latter, try taking a printout of the same page on a different web browser like Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. If the web page prints correctly on another browser, you can strike out the possibility that the issue happened due to any printer error or web page issue.
If you can print the web page without running into any errors, you will have to reset the printer settings on Mozilla Firefox. To do that, key in about:config in the address bar of the browser and hit Enter key. Then, a warning reading, “This Might Void your Warranty!” may appear on the screen. To proceed ignoring that onto the about:config page, click on “I Accept the Risk!” Then, enter print_printer in the field titled Search. Right-click on the setting and choose Reset. After that, click the Firefox menu button denoted by three horizontal lines and click Exit.
Now start a new browsing session on Mozilla Firefox, try to take a print out of the same page that showed the problem, and see if the issue is resolved.
When a printer on Mac shows offline, despite the printer staying online on the network or connected to the PC, you need to find out why the printer is unavailable on Mac OS. Of course, once you reestablish a connection with the PC and verify the driver software is not corruptly installed, you can resume productive network printing.
While you try to get the printer online on Mac, it is best to start with basic troubleshoots and see if the printer comes back to the network following each fix as listed below. If the printer stays offline despite basic troubleshooting, you should reset the printer and add it to the network again.
Ensure that the cable connections are safe between the printer and the computer or the network router, based on the printer connectivity method you use in your office setup. Make sure that the cables are not loosened and that the printer stays powered on just in case. Further, you should check the tray of the printer is devoid of paper jams.
In addition, ensure the tray has sufficient paper to print and that the paper is positioned in the printing direction. In case you see Low Ink error on the device, replace the empty cartridge of the printer.
This works similarly as on Windows. To update the printer driver on Mac, go to Software Update in order to install Mac updates through Apple’s official website. If the OS is up-to-date, click on the Apple logo and choose Restart. Once the system reboots, click System Preferences icon through the menu and choose Print & Scan option. Double-click on the printer in the list of printers that appears if a yellow light pops up next to its name. Then, click Resume.
Click System Preferences icon on the Dock or access it via the Apple menu. Choose Print & Scan subsequently. Press down Ctrl key and right click at the printer in the list. Chose Reset Printing System. To add the printer again, click the plus icon and choose the printer if it pops up; if you do not see the printer listed automatically, click on Add Printer or Scanner to proceed. Choose the printer from next list and click Add.
When you face any printing issues unexpectedly, even a faulty USB cable of the printer may be to blame. If the printer starts and then stops if you move the USB cable, it is likely to cause a disruption in printing. However, wait before buying a replacement for the existing USB cable of the printer and confirm if it has operational faults following the below steps.
Switch off the printer and detach the connected cable from the USB ports. Check if the USB cable has damages such as cuts or crimps. Additionally, check if the USB connector’s point that is attached to the rest of the cable is safe. Replace it only if damages exist.
If the USB cable of the printer is over 6 feet in terms of length, then it is likely the cable is a faulty one. If you face printing pauses, measure how long is the printer’s USB cable and replace it with a shorter one only if need be.
Check if the cable connectors at both ends have accumulated dust or dirt alongside computer’s USB port and that of the printer too. If so, clear the connectors and ports using a handheld compressed air duster.
It is advised to connect the printer to the PC without using a USB hub or any other intermediate device. Make sure that both ends of the USB cable are firmly inserted into the computer’s USB ports. Switch on the printer and retry taking a printout. If that fails to resolve printer connection problems, try changing the USB port on the computer.
Connect the printer’s cable to another computer or a different printer to the PC using the same cable in order to eliminate connection as the underlying cause or a faulty USB cable. If it works fine, be sure it is not the cable’s fault.
If so, switch off both the computer and the printer. Detach all of the USB peripheral devices such as USB mouse and keyboard. Reboot the PC and turn the printer back on to see if Windows detects the new hardware. Check for Safely Remove Hardware icon in the notification bar below the desktop. If it exists, printing disruption is unlikely to be caused by connectors or faulty USB cable.
The printer driver converts the data one sends to print to a Windows PC into a printable format specific to the particular printer installed on the network. However, Windows tends to fail to recognize the hardware when users try to install a new printer driver in the PC or connect the printer to the computer. It may show as an error message on the computer and can be resolved provided that you figure out the root cause.
Printer driver problems on Windows may happen due to any of the below reasons:
If you happen to see an error message such as “Spoolsv.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience” on your computer, it suggests that the printer driver installed on the system is incompatible with the OS. In that case, you will need to install its latest driver manually if it is stored on the PC or download it from the manufacturer’s website.
To navigate to the location of the printer folder on Windows 7, go through the below steps on the computer.
Alternatively, you can download and install the driver from the printer manufacturer’s website. When you do that, just ensure you get the latest version of the driver in order to prevent printer driver errors afterward on Windows and troubleshoot that. Even if the error pops up as “Windows Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for any inconvenience”, follow the same steps as above in order to resolve it.
In order to avoid a reoccurrence of the printer driver error on Windows, keep the driver up-to-date. If it is a malware causing the problem though, you will need to remove it using a reliable antivirus software.
Printer problem in Windows can be frustrating and can cost you a lot of money and time. Printer not responding issue is one of the main problems that Windows 10 users face. However, you can address this problem using various methods such as those discussed below.
The first thing you have to do is to check all your printer connections. Check whether they are properly plugged into your laptop or desktop. If there are many printers connected to your computer via USB ports; try to connect the printer to another USB port available. In the case of Wi-Fi printers, check the authenticity and connectivity of your Wi-Fi network because there are many cases when the printer is unable to detect the exact network name.
Run the printer troubleshooter in Windows 10 to solve the printer not responding problem.
One of the main reasons that your printers do not work may be the faulty or outdated device drivers. Even though Windows will update the device driver automatically, it is always better to check it manually as well. This will be useful especially when you have not enabled the automatic Windows Update service. Follow the steps to update your printer’s device driver.
Cartridges are major components of an inkjet printer that smear the ink onto the paper in a specific pattern to produce a text or image. Under the cartridge are several microscopic nozzles that eject the ink in a precise volume and mix to produce various colors on the paper. Any failure in the cartridges can stop the printing function altogether and this can be caused due to a variety of reasons. Drying out of ink cartridges is a common problem that prevents printing. It causes the ink to clot inside the cartridges and prevents them from ejecting via the nozzles.
There are several reasons why ink cartridges tend to get dried up and interfere with the normal printing function. If the printer is not used frequently, it can result in the cartridges to become dried up fast. One way to fix this issue is by running the printer at least once in a week and do some nozzle cleans and test printouts.
The drying up and clogging of the nozzle heads is another factor. A printer cartridge has an expiration date and continues using them after the intended date can cause it to malfunction. Refilling cartridges can also result in the air to get trapped inside that causes the ink to dry up fast. The temperature of the room is also known to affect the ink inside the cartridges.
The first step to resolve a dried ink cartridge is by executing the print head cleaning function using the computer. It can clear any blocks in the nozzles and thus allow the free flow of ink needed for printing. Run a test print and verify whether there are any faded areas or misplaced colors in the print.
If the cartridge is still not functioning properly, detach it from the print head gently and soak it in warm water. The warm water can actually cause the dried up ink to get loosened and thus flow correctly from the nozzle. Gently rubbing the portion of the nozzles with a cotton swab immersed in warm water is also recommended.
Repeat this action until the ink comes out of the nozzles. Wipe away any excess ink using a paper towel and then attach it back to the printer head. Run a test print to inspect whether the cartridge is functioning normally. It is better to replace the ink cartridge if the issue persists.
Sometimes, a ‘Printer Driver is Unavailable’ error shows as a status on the driver software installed on Microsoft Windows 10 PC. The software resides in Devices and Printers in Control Panel of the computer. The error occurs if printer’s driver is not up-to-date, if it is corrupt, or Windows updates are yet to be installed on Windows 10. So first, you should look into the driver or the operating system to know the status if the ‘Printer Driver is Unavailable’ error pops up out of nowhere. To help you fix the issue on Windows 10 PC, below are a few troubleshoots you can try.
As said, an incompatible or corrupt printer driver maybe the underlying reason as to why the error occurs on Windows. So, you should install a right driver to troubleshoot the error that won’t let you take printouts. If that is the status, simultaneously press the Windows key and the R key on the keyboard to launch Run. Enter devmgmt.msc on the dialog box appearing on desktop and click on OK. Then, find the printer driver installed on the computer, right-click on it, and choose Uninstall device. To confirm the same, click Uninstall upon prompt. Now, download the right printer driver from the manufacturer website and install that on the computer to see if that resolves the issue.
If you have not turned on Automatic Updates on Windows as of now, and the OS is out-of-date henceforth, it might make the printer driver to go unavailable temporarily until troubleshooting necessitates for printing. Follow the below steps to install Windows updates and troubleshoot the error on Windows 10 PC.
If you see an Updates Are Available option, you will then see a dialog box stating that alongside Preparing To Install Updates showing the percentage remaining. Depending on your broadband speed, you will have to wait for some time until Windows updates to the latest version available. Once the update completes, restart the PC, and retry printing a digital file in order to see if that fixes the printer issues that occurred unexpectedly.
A printer spooler serves the key function of managing the printing jobs sent from a computer to a printer. In this way, the spooler facilitates an interaction between the computer and the printer. In fact, the spooler gives the necessary commands for executing the print jobs in queue. Using the spooler, a user can delete any print job in the list or manage the awaiting ones. Any errors to these print spoolers can prevent the printer from carrying out the print jobs.
These kinds of printer issues can cause an error message to pop up and requires correcting the spooler issue for resuming the printing function. This includes applying the necessary fixes to the spooler software through the computer. Any issues with the spooler can stop the printing altogether, which can affect the normal functioning of an office or business since they mostly require high volumes of printouts. Below are some ways to troubleshoot the printer spooler errors.
Mostly, the errors are caused by changes in the settings of the printer spooler. Such simple errors can prevent the print jobs from printing out, thus causing the documents to lie pending in the queue. Accessing the print spooler settings and changing the settings is one way to resolve this issue. In Windows computers, these settings can be found in the Control Panel under Administrative Tools > Services > Print Spooler. However, it is strictly recommended to consult with the operating manual or tech support of the printer manufacturer before changing the settings.
In some instances, a simple restarting will resolve any errors in the spooler and restore it to its default settings. While troubleshooting printers, this is usually the most effective way to clear any issues related to the printer. To stop and restart the print spooler, go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services > Print Spooler. Click on the Stop and Restart button to restore the functioning of the print spooler. This will usually fix any errors of the spooler and restore its normal functioning.
Mostly, the printer ceases to perform print jobs because the spooler may not be ready. This is usually because the spooler is not set to start automatically upon a print request. For enabling the automatic start of the spooler, go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services and then double-click on the Print Spooler option. Beside the Startup Type tab, click on the drop-down menu, and select Automatic for enabling the automatic start of the spooler.
Internet Explorer sometimes shows a script error when people try to take printouts of a webpage or view the soft copy as print preview. This printing error occurs on the stock browser of Microsoft Windows PC due to any of the below reasons:
Sometimes, an update for your printer driver installed on Windows PC may not necessarily be available via Windows Updates. If that is the case with your system, do download and install driver updates for your printer from the printer’s manufacturer website. If you cannot take printouts or view the print preview of a webpage on Internet Explorer even after updating the driver, follow the below troubleshoots to fix the script error.
This will help you to know whether the printing error on IE is caused by a lack of permission. Even if you are using on Windows PC on guest user, you can run the browser on Administrator mode. For that, navigate to Start > All Programs, right click on Internet Explorer, and choose Run As Administrator option. Then, open a website on the browser and retry printing a particular webpage while Windows is on Administrator mode. If that does not resolve the error, proceed to the next troubleshoot.
Open the browser, click on Tools icon, and choose the Security tab. Clear the checkmark from the checkbox next to Enable Protected Mode. Select Apply and choose OK after disabling the feature on Internet Explorer. Then, you will need to close all open web pages on IE and reboot the browser. Once the browser reboots, open the same webpage you need to take printouts from and retry the same while on Administrator mode.
If you are still unable to take web page printouts on IE, then the installed video card on the computer or its video driver may be corrupt or not up-to-date. If that is the case, get in touch with a computer support technician to fix that.