Fix Printer Problems: The paperless office isn’t there for many of us, and printers are still a fact of life. If your printer is not working properly on a Windows PC, here are some simple troubleshooting tips that can fix printer problems.
How to Fix Printer Problems on a Windows PC
The first steps are obviously the most obvious. Make sure the printer is connected, turned on, and connected to your computer (or the Wi-Fi network if it is a Wi-Fi printer).
This may seem obvious, but sometimes we forget to check the simple things before checking the more complex ones.
Check the paper
First, make sure the printer is working properly. Make sure the printer has paper loaded when it is not printing. Even if you have loaded paper, you may need to align the paper correctly so that the printer can use it.
Check the inside of the printer to make sure there is no paper jam that is preventing the printer from working. If this is the case, you may need to manually remove the jammed paper and clear things up.
Check the ink or toner
Of course, you need enough ink (if it is an inkjet printer) or toner (if it is a laser printer) before you can print. Even if you only print in black and white, some inkjet printers may not print at all until you refill their color ink.
Open the Windows Devices and Printers window to check your printer’s ink levels in Windows. To do this, open the Control Panel and click on “Show devices and printers” under Hardware and Sound.
You may be able to select a printer by clicking on it and displaying this information at the bottom of the window. Or right-click a printer, choose Properties, and then search for ink or toner levels.
Many printers report this type of information here, even if not all do it – it depends on the printer and its drivers. You may also be able to view this information on the printer itself if it has a built-in status indicator.
Check the Print Queue dialog box
Printing problems can also be caused by problems with Windows. To ensure that nothing goes wrong, open the Printer Queue dialog box in Windows. You can open a printer’s queue by right-clicking the printer in the Devices & Printers window and selecting “View Print Job”.
If you see an older document that cannot be printed with an error, right-click on the document here and remove it. If a printer job is on hold, you can resume it from here.
You should also click the “Printers” menu here and make sure that “Use printer offline” is not activated. If this option is activated, remove the check mark to deactivate it.
Install, update, or reinstall the printer drivers
You may need to install, update, or reinstall the printer drivers if it does not work properly. Ideally, printers should “just work” and their drivers should be installed automatically by Windows.
However, this does not always work. To do this, visit your printer manufacturer’s website, download the driver package, and run the driver installer. It will guide you through installing the printer drivers and discovering your printer.
Use printer diagnostics
You may need to use a diagnostic feature to clean or realign the printer’s heads or nozzles. This option is located on a different location on each printer, depending on the printer software.
In Windows, open the Devices and Printers window, right-click a printer, choose Properties, and then review the options to see what options are available for your printer. These options are provided by your printer drivers. You may find them somewhere else, e.g. B. in a printer configuration program that is located in the start menu.
This can also help troubleshoot poor print quality issues.
Set your default printer
The November update of Windows 10 changed the way standard Windows printers work. By default, Windows automatically becomes the default printer each time you print to a printer. This would be inconvenient if you leave a particular printer as the default printer and occasionally want to print to a different printer.
To deactivate this, open the Settings app via the start menu or the start screen, select “Devices”, select “Printers and Scanners” and deactivate the option “Windows manage my standard printer”.
You can then select a default printer by clicking or tapping on it in this window and clicking “Set as Default”. You can also right-click a printer in the Devices and Printers window and select Set As Default Printer.
If your printer has a physical control panel with buttons, you may need to press the OK button one or more times when a status message appears. Some printers may only print when you click OK and check for a status message.
This panel may also display more detailed error messages that point you in the right direction and give you the ability to search for something if it doesn’t work properly.
Of course, you need enough ink (if it is an inkjet printer) or a fresh toner cartridge (if it is a laser printer) before you can print. Even if you only print in black and white, some inkjet printers may not print at all until you refill their color ink.
Many things can go wrong with a printer, and some printers – especially older ones – can display confusing error messages. If you see a specific error message on your printer and you’re not sure what that means, you should try searching the web for that specific error message.
I hope that you can fix printer problems now. If you have any problem, comment us in the comment box.