Troubleshooting: Printer

February 20, 2015

This article contains some things you can do to try and fix your printer before you call us.

  • Print quality is poor
    • Can’t give you exact instructions here because each printer is different, but basically what you need to do is tell the printer to run a cleaning cycle. You may need to run several cleaning cycles. On the front of the printer there should be a button that says either menu, setup, or sometimes it’s a picture of a wrench. Use this button and the arrow keys and select key to find the cleaning cycle.
  • What I’m printing gets chopped off or spans multiple pages
    • To print in most programs, you click on File and then Print. You then get a window that allows you to change the printer you are printing to and also usually has some settings there. In that window you can usually switch between portrait and landscape. If what you are printing is too wide, try switching it to landscape and see if that helps. There is also usually a print options button next to the printer selection box that you can click on to check the settings.
  • A bunch of extra stuff gets printed when I print email
    • If you are printing email that you are accessing through a web browser, then do not use your web browser’s print button. Using your browser’s print button will print everything being displayed. But you only want to print the email itself. So, instead, use the print option in your email. Often times they hide the print function for some reason. On (which includes email addresses ending in,, live,com, and and also on Yahoo Mail, there is a button that is labeled “…” that you click on to find the print function. In Gmail there is a tiny printer icon at the top of the email being displayed.
  • Errors when trying to print
    • Make sure the printer is turned on and has paper.
    • Make sure there are no errors displayed on the printer. If there are, there may be an internal problem inside the printer. If the printer is broken on the inside of the printer, get a new printer. Nobody fixes the inside of printers because it’s cheaper to replace them.
    • If your printer is an inkjet printer, try removing and reinserting the ink cartridges.
    • Turn off your printer, wait 30 seconds and turn it back on.
    • Restart your computer.
    • If your printer is connected to your computer using a USB cable, unplug the USB cable from the back of the computer and from the back of the printer. Now plug it back into the printer and then plug it into a different USB port on the computer.
    • On the computer, click on Start and then click on “Devices and Printers”
      • Find your printer, right-click on it, and choose “See what’s printing”.
      • If there is anything waiting to print, they will be listed here. In the menu, click on Printer and then “Cancel all documents”.
      • Wait for all of the documents waiting to print to disappear from the queue.
      • Once they are all gone, try printing again.
      • If they don’t all go away, reboot and go back into the job queue to make sure they are gone and try printing again if they are.
    • If none of the above fixed the problem, call us.

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