Slow printing? Good thing you’re not rushing to get to your next meeting or trying to get your client’s documents ready quickly to close that sale! Oh, wait, you are? Well, your printer isn’t. Electronics don’t operate based on deadlines, and don’t really care if you forgot you needed to run 20 copies of your presentation off and only have three minutes to do it. If you find yourself frequently frustrated with how slowly your printer is printing, you don’t need to throw it in the trash (or go all Office Space on it in the middle of a field with a baseball bat). There are a few common reasons that your printer could be printing slowly, and we find that typically there are 3 repeat offenders that are actually surprisingly quick fixes.
Printing documents or images double sided is great for saving paper, but terrible for saving time. Printers that have a double-sided feature have what’s called an ‘automatic duplexer’ inside of them. This is what allows your printer to flip the paper prior to finishing the document, but it is a part that makes your printer slow down. If you’re in a hurry, it might be more prudent to print single-sided sheets and give the automatic duplexer a break.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: draft mode is your friend. Draft mode is a feature most printers offer that allows you to print a document in slightly lighter ink, which not only helps prolong the life of your toner and ink cartridges but makes it faster to print multiple pages. Printing in finished mode means that the printer needs to go over each layer of ink (yes, that does mean every single word) more than once, which takes more time.
Please don’t put a tin foil hat on your printer, we’re not talking about government interference here. If your printer is hooked up to your device wirelessly, such as through a Wi-fi connection, there is a chance that your slow printing is caused by wireless interference. Distance from the device, objects in the way, and even other devices that are using bandwidth within the vicinity can all get in the way of your printer’s connection. This is similar to when you’re trying to turn on the TV but there’s something in front of it – the remote can’t connect to the TV, just like your printer won’t be able to connect to your device.
If you’ve tried fixing these 3 common causes of slow printing and you’re still not having any luck speeding up your documents, it might be something actually wrong with your printer. Outdated drivers, broken parts, and clogged ink can all affect print speeds, but aren’t as common. We always recommend regular maintenance on your devices for both home and work to ensure your documents come out both quickly and correctly.