Printer issues rank right up there with gridlocked traffic in our book. Few things are more frustrating than repeatedly clicking the ‘print’ button on your computer and having nothing come out of the machine. Even worse, it always seems to happen right when you’re in a pinch for time. While you might be tempted to physically knock some sense into it, try to refrain and remember this is a complicated piece of machinery. From hardware to software, printers require routine maintenance and care to keep them running fluidly. There are a few big-time printer problems, and we’re here to show you how to fix the top five common concerns.
Communication between your computer and printer is essential to ensure your machine spits out page after page of documents, photos, and spreadsheets. Your computer needs the correct driver to speak the printer’s language, and with evolving software, it’s entirely possible your computer and printer aren’t on the same level anymore. If you get the ‘Driver Not Found’ error message when printing, don’t panic. It’s most likely an outdated driver, with which all you need to do is uninstall it and install the new version. Most drivers come with the machine, but updates can be taken straight off the internet. Convenient, right?
So, you know you have the correct driver installed, but it seems like your computer and printer still aren’t communicating. A stuck job is like a car stalled in the fast lane, causing traffic to build up behind it. Sending multiple documents or the same document repeatedly to try to push through traffic won’t help and will just load up the job queue in your printer. Instead, turn off the printer completely (unplugging after the shutdown won’t hurt) and head into your computer settings. There’s an option under the printer tab which will say either ‘queue’, ‘spooler’, or ‘jobs’. From that panel, you can see every document waiting to print and cancel the offending job.
If properly maintained, your printer should churn out high-quality prints each time. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Everything from photos to text documents can come out with poor print quality if you’re not careful, but there’s some quick fixes to keep your printing tip-top. The easiest is to switch up the paper you’re using, as low-quality options will damage and clog up inside your printer. Paper can have small fibers break off and lodge inside the printer, in which case you’ll want to clean the printing drum. While you can look at your manufacturer’s handbook to remove the drum, it’s usually relatively complicated and we recommend calling a professional who’s experienced in printer repair to handle this printer problem.
Printers can be slightly finicky when it comes to the type of ink or toner used. Switching brands or even swapping for a new cartridge of the same brand can give them a bit of robotic confusion, and it’s common to see an error pop up if you decided to change things up. Always use genuine cartridges from legitimate manufacturers to lessen the chances of this happening (and lessen any damage to your printer). Should you find your genuine cartridge not working, try replacing it quickly with the old, empty one. It might start back up; in which case you’ve relieved the ‘confusion’ and can put the new one in without any issues. Still not working? Make sure you’ve removed the plastic protective seals on it, as they’ll prevent proper installation.
Common and annoying, a clogged printhead happens when you don’t use your printer frequently and the ink or toner dries out. When your printhead clogs, it either will print with splotchy colors and lines across the page or it won’t print at all and you’ll get an error message. No matter which one happens, you’ll want to give it an extended cleaning. Some printer models allow you to pop the printhead directly out and you can clean it with a damp paper towel, but others won’t allow anyone other than a professional to address the problem. The good news is there is a local company here to help you if this happens to you! If you need assistance or you suspect that your printer is in need of repair contact Vegas Ink and Toner at 702-850-7703.