What can I do if my printer won’t print?

If your printer won’t print, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to help resolve the issue. This guide will walk you through things to check and try that could help get your printer printing again.

1. Check Your Printer Connections:
Start by making sure your printer is properly connected to your computer or device. If you are using a USB cable, make sure it is securely plugged in to both the printer and the computer. If you are using a wireless connection, check to make sure the printer is on a compatible network and try powering down the printer, router, and computer and restarting them to ensure a fresh connection. For more specific connection instructions, refer to your printer’s manual.

2. Make Sure Your Printer is Turned On and Ready:
Double check the power button on your printer to make sure the printer is turned on and that all the necessary lights are lit. Some printers have multiple sources of power, like a battery and AC adapter. Make sure both components of power are connected and turned on.

3. Check Printer Status:
Many modern printers have a “status” button or display that shows you if there is a connection between your computer and the printer. It’s important to make sure this is indicating a good connection before you try to print.

4. Clear the Print Queue:
Part of the printing process involves sending a print job from your computer to your printer. Clearing the print queue can help free up space for new print jobs, so try clearing any unneeded print jobs on your computer and restarting the machine. To do this, go to Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners and select your printer from the list. Select See What’s Printing, open the Printer menu from the toolbar, and select Cancel All Documents.

5. Update Drivers or Software:
Make sure you have the most up-to-date printer drivers and printer software installed on your computer, as outdated drivers or software can lead to printer issues. You can download the most recent versions of drivers and software from the manufacturer’s website.

6. Check Ink/Toner:
If you’re having trouble getting your printer to print, your ink or toner supplies may be low or out. Check the cartridges in your printer or look at the printer’s display to see if it is telling you that it needs new supplies. If so, you’ll need to replace or refill the cartridge before continuing.

7. Clean Printer Heads:
If the text in your document looks blurry, smeared, or has dark lines running through it, it may be a sign that your printer heads are blocked. Run a test cleaning cycle on your printer to clear out any clogged nozzles. This can usually be done from the Control Panel on the printer itself. Refer to your printer manual for instructions specific to your machine.

8. Try a Different Document or Image:
Sometimes certain types of documents or images can cause a printer to malfunction. If you’re still not having any luck, try printing a different file or image to see if it prints properly. For best results, try a text document or basic black and white image.

9. Restart the Printer:
Still not working? Restart the printer by turning it off and then back on again. Many printers will run through a self-test after they are turned back on, so wait a minute before attempting to print again.

10. Contact Customer Service:
If none of these troubleshooting steps have been able to get your printer working again, you should contact the printer’s customer service team. They should be able to offer additional advice and may even be able to diagnose the problem over the phone.