Troubleshooting Reminders for Printing

Lately we have been writing about printing innovations, but for this latest post we wanted to get down to the nitty gritty by exploring troubleshooting tips for printing at home. We all want to have a printer at the ready for all the random projects that pop up, but what happens when you're in a bind and printed pages aren't coming out right? Maybe things are printing too slowly. Maybe there are lines or weird marks. Maybe nothing will come out at all. Here are some basic tips to help you get back on track.

Make sure the green light is on.

If you haven't used your printer in a while, make sure it's still connected to your computer (unless you have a wireless printer) and a power outlet. After reshuffling cords or cleaning surfaces, sometimes important cables can get disconnected. Try to be smart and avoid this basic error.

Adjust printer settings to avoid slow printing speeds.

Unless you're printing photos or documents for a special occasion, PCMag provides a helpful reminder to print in draft mode and avoid double-sided printing. This can shave valuable minutes off of large-scale jobs. For those who are tech savvy, you can even install different drivers with your printer that impact quality/speed of printing, which PCMag explains in more detail in the link above.

Watch out for paper jams.

If you work in an office setting with a large printer and copier, you've likely experienced a paper jam that requires an outside technician to come in and correct the problem. Thankfully, a paper jam at home is much easier to deal with, given that personal printers are usually smaller.

Most of the time, you can simply open the paper tray or panel to locate the jam. As always, avoid touching any internal components of the printer. When you're working on a paper jam, tug gently on the paper, so that you don't break it and complicate the removal process.

If you haven't printed in a while, run a test sheet.

In our spring cleaning blog post, we stressed running a test sheet to avoid ink from clumping on the page and to ensure all images and text are aligning properly. This test applies to any season and can help diagnose a problem that might require some outside help.

Sometimes a simple system restart does the trick.

When you encounter a problem with your printer, your overworked system might be the cause. With too many programs running simultaneously, an overworked system might slow down the communication between your printer and computer. Windows explains how you might go about adjusting some settings, but a simple restart also helps. Just remember to save any document before restarting, so as not to lose any valuable data.

Consider reinstalling software or finding new tools.

Sometimes the problem might be in the software you've installed on your computer. Rather than trying to dig through drawers to find a disk, visit the website of your printer's manufacturer. With more computers relying on digital or mobile technologies, installation software for many printers can be found as a downloadable file. For some companies, like HP, you can even download a tool that will help find specific problems in your printer you might not have realized were an issue.


Though these are just some basic troubleshooting tips and reminders, we hope they help your printing jobs go as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Feel free to share your own suggestions for overcoming the little obstacles that might spring up when it comes to printing.

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