If your printer is not printing at all, there could be a number of reasons. That’s why we’ve put together a small checklist that you can use to quickly find possible errors and fix the problem.
The sources of error range, for example, from banal circumstances such as the lack of power supply, problems with the connection between the hardware components and incorrect settings, to damaged files and dried-out consumables (cartridges). As you will notice, there are many ways that can cause your device to go on strike and annoy you with it.
Use our tips and check your system so that your printer prints again quickly.
Point 1: Does your printer even have electricity?
There are always reports from service technicians in which the comment ” Error in the central power supply ” can be found. That simply means that there was no connection to the electricity.
So first check that the printer’s power cord is properly connected. Make sure not only that the cable is properly plugged into the socket , but also that there is a correct connection to the device . When checking a glance at the status light is power strip with a switch and to the competent for the circuit fuse important. Does your printer have a real on-off switch? There, too, apart from the cable, the cause of the printer problem can be hidden.
Point 2: Is your printer connected correctly?
If your printer doesn’t respond at all, this is often due to the connection to the computer . In this case the printer would at least signal with its own status display that it is “present”. However, there may be problems with the connection and it will not print.
Therefore check the plug connections on the printer cable or on the network cable. If these cables are not screwed in, they often come loose from the ports when the computer or printer is moved.
If you’ve just reconnected your printer and it isn’t responding and still printing, you may have found an unsuitable USB port . Not every printer and every multifunctional device cooperate with the USB ports with outdated standards and no connection is established via this connection. The USB port on your computer may also be defective . Therefore connect the printer to a different USB port on the PC as a test. As a result, the operating system detects and registers it again, which means that you can also fix printer problems due to missing or incorrect detection.
Point 3: Can Windows fix printer problems itself?
If you work with one of the newer Windows versions, you have the chance to end printer failures with the on-board troubleshooting, which is very easy with these short instructions:
- In Windows 10, open the “Printers & Scanners” area in the Control Panel.
- Then click on the printer that is worrying you. Then a window where you left “position opens perform troubleshooting must aktvieren”.
- After that, Windows 10 will start troubleshooting itself and check known problems.
Please be patient as it may take a while for the system to display the result. It does not find many errors, but it is precisely those errors that you usually do not think about and problems are quickly a thing of the past.
Point 4: Are print jobs stuck in the print queue?
There may be issues in the print queue that make it appear to you that your printer is on strike . A common cause is a print job that for some reason failed to start or complete, with the document stuck in the queue.
The printer symbol at the bottom right of your display gives you an indication of such a problem, where you can check the queue . If you click this icon, a window pops up with the print jobs still open . If a print job is shown as stopped in this menu, a right click on this line helps. You can then cancel the non-executable print job and remove it from the queue. You can then start the printing process again.
Extra tip: You can do the following if the print job cannot be deleted from the queue:
Point 5: Did you place the print order too quickly?
Quite a few print jobs fail for an almost unbelievably mundane reason. For example, if you issue a print job from Word or Excel, the program must first “wake up” your printer via the printer control, because most printers and multifunctional devices automatically go into sleep mode or standby mode after a certain period of time . It takes a moment. If you clicked on the “Print” button before your printer is “awake” again, the print job disappears in nirvana. So please wait until you click to print your document until your printer is displayed as online and ready for use.
Point 6: Do all WLAN adapters work?
Recently, more and more printers have been connected to the DSL router so that they can be addressed via the WLAN function there and used in the network. The hardware’s “error devils” can lurk in several places here.
Therefore, check whether the WLAN adapters are activated on all devices involved. Sometimes the WLAN function does not turn on properly again after updating the operating system on the PC or after updating the firmware of the printer’s router. Take this opportunity to take a look at whether the USB connector is firmly seated in the router’s port, because that of course also prevents the connection to the network.
Point 7: Is the printer shared in the network?
With network printers, missing releases are often to blame for the printer not printing. So check in the settings whether the release in the DSL router, in the user interface of the printer and in the printer control of the host computer has been carried out correctly. When working with several network printers or a network printer and a local printer, the cause of the printer problems is often even more banal. It is possible that you simply selected the wrong printer when you placed your print job .
Point 8: Is your printer completely set up?
Many printers use plug and play technology . It is sufficient to plug them in and switch them on so that the operating system recognizes them and fetches the drivers from its own libraries. However, you shouldn’t rely on that.
If a new printer doesn’t print, check the Control Panel to see if the correct drivers have been installed . For example, the Windows 10 operating system automatically deactivates older drivers that do not have a digital signature. This can happen to you after every major update and also after the updates for the monthly patch day. You then have the option of manually installing newer drivers from the printer manufacturer’s support pages via the control panel. Often there are no new drivers for older printers and multifunction devices. Then it is best to use the option of switching off the force of digital driver signatures via the restart options of your operating system .
Point 9: Does your printer know the format of the files sent?
If you use an older printer, there are often problems with the format of the files or documents to be printed. This is particularly common with PDF documents. The printer either does not know the format or the file is damaged.
Test the following:
If the format is the problem, the option “Print as picture ” will help
If the file is damaged , download it again. If the error occurs again, have it sent to you again and save it to your hard drive before printing. The best thing to do is to rename the file.
If none of these measures help, although your software displays the content correctly, the last solution is to take a screenshot with the Windows 10 Snipping Tool or a comparable tool. On the Mac from Apple you can use the key combination cmd + shift + 5 to create a screen shot (screenshot). You can copy, edit, save and print the screenshots created with Word, Excel or an image editing program.
Point 10: What causes can there be on the printer itself?
If your printer doesn’t print at all, it could be because the maintenance hatches were not closed properly . A scrutiny could bring the solution to your printer problems. Take this opportunity to take a look inside, because a paper jam often means that your printer does not print. Does he even have any paper? Without paper he cannot provide you with printouts. You should also check and clean the transport rollers from time to time, otherwise the paper will get stuck on the way from the cassette to the printing unit.
Point 11: Is the printing unit properly supplied?
A lack of printer ink and toner can also be the reason that your printers and multifunctional devices refuse to work and no printing can take place. Not every software for printer control shows the filling level of the cartridges. Many older models lack the display for empty ink cartridges and cartridges via LEDs directly on the printer.
Sometimes the printer cartridge and were toner cartridges also not installed correctly . Then the electronics have no contact with the technology that is built into the printer. In this case, the firmware assumes that no cartridges or toner have been installed at all.
Maybe you missed a small protective strip on the cartridges and have to remove it afterwards.
Point 12: What specific problems can there be with the inkjet?
Two designs are common for inkjet printers: The print head can be built into the printer or sit on the ink cartridges, so-called print head cartridges . If you haven’t used your inkjet printer for a long time, dried-up ink on the printhead could cause it to fail.
So it makes sense, using the printer’s cleaning program to activate when you lack the time, a manual cleaning make the saves for flushing the internal cleaning program of the printer ink needed.
If the printer does not offer a cleaning program, remove the cartridges or remove the printhead and take a closer look at the printheads. Dried ink can be removed from the nozzles on the printhead with a soft, lint-free cloth and distilled water. Please do not use any solvents (paint thinner or nail polish remover) for this, as these damage the print head permanently.
Point 13: What are the common causes of errors with laser printers?
Modern laser printers use a cartridge-in-cartridge system for the imaging drum and toner. If any of these items are not properly inserted , the printer will go on strike and will not print. Therefore, check that the two cassettes are correctly seated .
In addition, a laser printer will not print if the heating unit is dirty . There is a small plastic slide on the cassette with the imaging drum. Remove the cartridge and slide the tab back and forth several times to resolve this printer problem.
There is another special feature of the laser printer: If it is in an environment with high humidity , the toner in the cartridge may have become damp. Then the only solution is to replace the toner cartridge.
Point 14: What to do if the printer still does not print?
With our tips you should be able to solve the most common printer problems yourself. If these tips did not help you and the device does not print, the printer or multifunction device belongs in the workshop . Please do not throw away your device too quickly, but wait for the cost estimate for the repair. Often it is small damage that can be repaired by the service technicians in a flash. These include, for example, the failure of internal fuses, “cold soldering points” as well as small foreign bodies and worn rubber rollers in the mechanisms for paper transport. A cheaply repaired device helps to avoid waste and conserves resources. If it cannot be saved profitably, you can find the right one in our article Disposing of the printer read all important information about it.