February 8

Why Is My Printer Not Printing?


Your printer is an electronic device, and like any other device, there are times it just fails to work. It can be very frustrating when your  printer doesn’t print. 

Especially when you need a document urgently. It gets even more frustrating when the nearest person who can help you repair it is a few miles away. 

This is why you need to know the basic things that can possibly go wrong with your printer, and what you can do as a printer-user to remedy the situation. 

A number of things can prevent your printer from printing. From hardware problem to software problem, some of these problems only need a little troubleshooting, and you can easily fix them yourself, while others require you to call a professional. 

Common Printer Problems that can stop your printer from printing 

Paper jam

This is probably one of the most common reasons printers stop working. When paper gets stuck in a part of the printer, the printer stops working. This jam can be caused as a result of dirt in the printer, use of wrong paper, use of poor quality paper, faulty parts, among other causes. 

The best way to get your printer to print again is by removing the stuck paper carefully. Nevertheless, if there is an underlying issue leading to the paper jam, you might have to fix it before your printer can get back to printing perfectly again. 

Print volume exceeded

When you buy a printer, it comes with a recommended print volume. When you exceed this print volume continuously, your printer will begin to develop faults, and will eventually stop printing due to one reason or the other. 

Faulty parts, worn out components will become a constant issue when you currently exceed the recommended print volume of your printer. 

So before you buy a printer, make sure you check its recommended print volume and see if it will be enough for your printing needs. If you already have a printer, you need to go easy on it. Too much use might be the reason your printer isn’t working. 

Poor connection and wrong printer problem

Green computer network cable in a rack of data processing center

Sometimes, your printer doesn’t print, not because of any fault, but due to good old human error. At times, while trying to connect printers, there might be a loose connection. You’ll try to troubleshoot, but you won’t find anything. You’ll probably think the printer is faulty, but it might be just because you didn’t connect your printer very well. 

Similarly, when you choose the wrong printer while trying to print, your printer won’t print. If you want to send a file to your printer, and you send it to the wrong printer, you’ll just keep staring at your printer and nothing will happen. Why? Because you didn’t send any file to it! 

Drive problems

Your printer drive is the link between the operating system and the device. If anything goes wrong with the drive, or the drive isn’t installed, the printer will stop working completely or begin printing in gibberish. 

Of course, you can’t be sure if the problem your printer has is with the drive unless you confirm. To confirm if your printer is having issues with the drive, go to Devices and Printers. If the problem is with the drive, you will see an exclamation mark in front of the name of your printer. This situation can be fixed through windows update, or the installation disks that come with your printer. 

Loaded printing queue

Having a loaded queue is like having a long queue in the physical sense. If you want to get to the head of the queue, you have to push through a wall of bodies that is before you. Same goes to your printer. When you press print too many times, or you stop printing due to internet connection, the printing queue is supposed to automatically go away. Unfortunately, your printer doesn’t always do what it is supposed to do. 

In this situation, your printer stops working because there is a long list of documents that haven’t been printed. This situation can be remedied through the use of certain software. For HP printers for example, HP print and Scan Doctor are two popular software that are commonly used. 

Clogged print head

This is majorly an inkjet printer situation. When you leave your printer idle for a couple of days, the ink in the print head and cartridge dries. This leads to the clogging of the print head. When your print head is blocked, your  printer may not print. 

When this happens, you have to go through the easy  and long journey of unclogging your printer head. The printer head is a delicate part of the printer, so you need to be careful with unclogging. Some of the most common methods of unclogging printheads are self-cleaning, use of Isopropyl Alcohol, and application of air pressure. 

The dust issue

Of all the issues you can have with your printer, you really don’t want the dust issue. Numerous things can go wrong with your printer if your workplace is dusty. From dusty paper to clogged printhead, even dirty rollers. 

When parts of the printer pick-up and accumulate dust, it becomes a serious issue, and it can even make your printer stop working. If dust enters the printer head, you have to spend quality time on unclogging before you can finally print. 

If dust  gets into the printer rollers and accumulates, the rollers will not be able to roll-in paper effectively, and this might lead to frequent paper jams. Recall that earlier in this post, how paper jam stops printing was discussed. When paper picks up dust, it can also lead to paper jam. This situation can be remedied by frequent cleaning of printers. 

Bottom line 

Maintaining a printer is hard work, no doubt, but to prevent your printer from not  printing, maintenance is necessary. When you maintain your printer well, your printer will seldom stop working. Even when it does, it’ll be easy to point out why your printer is not printing.


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