5 Top Printer Troubleshooting Tips

useful printer troubleshooting tips fix printing it advice

We live in a time period with more technological convenience than ever before. We carry little computers around in our pockets that work seamlessly with another tech around use. We can call taxis in an instant, or have a face-to-face chat with a distant friend with the click of a button. 

And yet, we can never seem to get our malfunctioning printers to work. 

There's nothing more frustrating than needing to print something and running into problems with your printer. These are complex machines that often need a little coaxing to help get the job done. 

Having problems with your printer right now? Don't panic. A few quick fixes can help get you back on track and out the door on time. Read on, and we'll walk you through a few useful printer troubleshooting tips. 

1. Reduce Your Print Quality

What can you do if your printer is running far too slow? You have a busy schedule, and you can't exactly sit around and wait for your printer to work through a few pages for minutes at a time. 

One great way to help reduce print time is to increase your print performance by decreasing the need for high-quality prints. Not only will this speed up your print process, but it'll actually help save you ink (and therefore money!) over time as well. 

How to do reduce quality will vary from model to model but you should be able to find such a setting in your standard printer settings. 

2. Examine Gears and Machine Parts

One of the most common and frustrating problems printer owners run into as what's known as a 'ghost jam.' A ghost jam is when a printer reports a paper jam when there is no paper jam present. 

The anomaly is enough to drive anybody mad. 

But your printer isn't' crazy: if it's reporting a paper jam it is because there is some sort of physical problem. Open your printer up and check all of the gears and machine pieces that move the paper through the system.

More likely than not, they'll be a small piece or scrap that's been wedged in somewhere. These pieces are very easy to miss. But removing them should allow your printer to get back up and running again. 

If you've checked everywhere and still don't see any source of the jam, you may need to call a repair service to come in. You can find out more about preventing printer paper jams about that process by doing a little research. 

3. Make Sure Your Driver Is Updated

The printer itself isn't always to blame for problems that come up. Sometimes it's your computer that is actually the source of the problem. 

The most common issue? Your printer driver isn't updated. The driver is a download that serves as the point of communication between your computer and the printer. If it's out of date or needs updating, it may be causing issues in your printing process. 

Go to the printer brand's website and make sure that you have the most updated driver installed on your computer. This should help you to get your papers printed in no time. 

4. Clear Your Print Log

When you send something to your printer to print, it joins a list on your computer known as a print queue. This queue keeps an ordered list of everything your printer needs to print. Think of it as something like your printer's To Do list. 

This queue is supposed to clear out automatically after a print job is done. But every so often, a mistake or glitch occurs. If a failed or complete job remains in the queue, it can prevent other jobs on the queue from being done. 

As such, going in and manually removing these tasks may help your printer to get back to work on other tasks. 

5. Reconnect To WiFi

These days, most printers are set up to connect to your computer via WiFi as opposed to physically plugging in. This can be very convenient, as any device in your house could connect to your printer. You don't even have to be in the same room. 

But the downside is that problems with your WiFi also mean you'll run into problems with your printer. Luckily, the most common issues are simple to fix. If you're having trouble connecting with your printer, check it's WiFi settings. 

More often than not, you'll find that the printer simply is connected to a different WiFi than your computer is. Connecting either your printer or your computer to the proper WiFi should allow them to connect and get the process going. 

If both devices are on the same WiFi but still aren't connecting, it might be an issue with the WiFi connection itself. You can disconnect and reconnect both devices and see if that solves the issue. If it doesn't, you can try to manually plug and unplug the router itself to reset the connection. 

Taking these steps should help reset the system and fix the issue. In the worst case scenario, most WiFi printers still contain wires that allow you to plug in directly to a printer. 

Some Printer Troubleshooting Tips

No one likes to suffer through tech problems, but printer troubleshooting is a part of life we all have to work through. The above tips should help to get you back in proper working order with only a little effort exerted. 

Need more help with the printing and other tech tools at your business? Check out the Tech section of our blog for more information and innovation. 

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