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Sometimes, using printers can be a headache.

We’ve all been there; all you want to do is hand in your last important document of the day before you can go home, but there’s a queue at the printer because there’s yet another paper jam.

It can be frustrating when printers won’t cooperate, but often there’s a simple solution.

We’ve put together our guide to troubleshooting common printer issues that anyone can get their head around.

Whether you want to be the hero of the office, or just make WFH that little bit easier, here are some foolproof solutions to pesky printer problems.

Paper Jams

Paper jams are the worst. Luckily, they’re really easy to resolve.

First, you’ll want to make sure your printer is turned off and unplugged from its power source. Then, carefully remove the jammed paper from the printer- if you’re unsure, make sure to read your printer manufacturer’s instructions. When removing the jammed paper, gently pull it in the direction of the paper path and avoid tearing the paper. If you want a more precise view, use your phone’s flashlight; it can be a bit tricky!

If the paper is still jammed, remove the paper tray completely and gently pull out the paper; make sure to look for any debris, like torn pieces of paper, that could be the source of the problem. Once the paper is out, reinsert the paper tray and you should be good to go!

Ink and Toner Cartridge

Another common problem that’s responsible for a lot of headaches in the office is ink and toner cartridge issues.

Always make sure to check out the control panel on your printer before you do anything else- it’ll always tell you if your levels are low. Then, you can replace the cartridge with a new one. Before removing and reinstalling a cartridge, ensure that your printer is completely switched off. Open up your printer cover and remove the cartridge causing you issues- also give it a quick once over for any damage or blockage to the area. Then, you’re free to pop a fresh cartridge back into the printer.

It’s not always as simple as this- if you’re still having problems, check out your printer head or drum unit, as it could be clogged. This can cause other issues like poor print quality, so it’s important to give it a look over. Luckily, most new models with have an option to clean out these sections through the printer control panel. If you’re unsure, check out the model’s manufacturing information.

No Network Connection

With most modern printers relying on WiFi networks to print and scan, it can be a pain when you’re struggling to get your device to connect.

Don’t fret, there’s often an easy fix. You should first check that your printer is indeed connected to the correct WiFi network, or that you’re entering the right password. It sounds obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t realise! You can check that the information is correct through the printer control panel. If you’re still encountering issues, restart your printer and network device, i.e. the WiFi router. We suggest waiting a few minutes, turning on the network device first and then the printer.

We also recommend that you update your printers firmware or software as often as possible. Using the latest version of your printer’s systems may improve its network connectivity, saving you from encountering similar problems in the future.

Slow Printing

The last thing you need before clocking off for the weekend is a slow printer.

The most likely reason for your documents taking an age to emerge is a printing queue. If there are multiple jobs waiting to be printed, you can clear the queue and restart the printer to speed up the process (make sure to check with the rest of the office first!). Some modern printers will have the option on its control panel to do this, but if not, don’t fret. You should be able to clear the queue on your computer from the printer folder, as long as it is connected to the same network. 

Still having trouble? Make sure your printer is up-to-date to get the quickest printing; check the printer manufacturer’s website for any available software and driver updates. It’s also worth checking your printer’s toner, print head and cartridge to see if they need replacing or cleaning.

Poor Print Quality

There are a lot of factors that could be affecting your printer’s quality.

We’d always suggest to first take a look at your printer’s control panel for low ink or toner levels. If that isn’t showing any issues, you may have a clogged print head. Resolutions for this will vary between printer models, so make sure to check the manufacturer’s specific instructions before proceeding. You may have the option to clean it directly from the printer via its control panel, where you can follow the on-screen instructions. If not, access the printer software on your computer.

To prevent future issues, it may be worth adjusting your print quality settings. Lowering the print quality settings can help to improve print speed, but this can also worsen the print quality. Experiment with different print quality settings to find the best balance between speed and quality.

Printer Driver Issues

Issues with your printer driver can cause all sorts of problems.

The printer driver is a software that allows your computer to communicate with the printer. If the driver is outdated, it can cause a major headache with slow printing, poor quality and printer errors. Try updating the driver by going to the printer manufacturer’s website and downloading the latest version for your printer model. Alternatively, you can try reinstalling the driver by uninstalling it from your computer and then reinstalling it from the manufacturer’s website.

If this doesn’t solve it, the issue could be incompatibility. If you recently upgraded your operating system, the old printer driver may no longer be compatible. Check the printer manufacturer’s website to see if there is a new driver available for your new operating system.

These printer issues are things that anyone can solve. But, when problems are a little bit more complicated, it’s reassuring to have the support of printing experts.

This is where Managed Print Services comes in. If you’re a business that relies on printers to keep your workplace running smoothly, it’s worth investing in services that can help you every step of the way. No problem is ever too big or too small.

Check out our website to see how we can solve some of the more complex printing issues your business may be facing.

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