Troubleshooting Common Printer Problems

Posted on: 29 May 2014

Dealing with a malfunctioning printer can be a real hassle, especially if you need to print an important document. Unfortunately, printers are delicate machines with many moving parts, making printing issues quite common. This is especially true if you have a desktop inkjet printer at home, as many people do. Before you go spending any of your hard-earned money for diagnostic testing at your local printer repair shop, however, there are a few basic steps you can follow to troubleshoot your printer from home. Printer Not Responding If you're clicking the "print" button on your computer but nothing's happening, you'll want to start by making sure the printer is both plugged into the wall and turned on. You'd be surprised how many people forget to turn the printer on before trying to use it! Furthermore, be sure that all the right wires are connected. Most printers these days have a USB wire that runs from the back of the printer to a USB port on the PC. If this is loose or not plugged in, you won't be able to print. Cant Find the Printer If you're attempting to print to the machine for the first time on that particular computer, there's a good chance that you don't yet have the proper drivers and software installed to do so. If you have the installation disk that came with the printer, insert it into your computer's CD-ROM drive and then follow the steps to install the drivers. If this doesn't do the trick, check online to see if there have been updated drivers released by the printer manufacturer. If so, download and install these drivers to complete the set-up. Prints Are Low Quality If the machine prints but the documents that come out are low quality, then you might have a problem with your actual printing head nozzles. These are the small spaces in the ink cartridge from which ink is dispensed. Over time, these nozzles can become dirty or even clogged by dried ink. As a result, you could experience missing ink or generally low-quality images. Fortunately, your printer head nozzles can be easily cleaned. Just remember that these are very delicate parts of your printer, so you'll need to be very gentle when handling them. Furthermore, since the recommended cleaning process for printer head nozzles can vary greatly from printer to printer, it's best to consult your owner's manual to find out how to properly clean them without damaging them. If you've misplaced your owner's manual, you should be able to find it online through a basic search engine inquiry. Prints Aren't Aligned If your documents are printing but doing so in a way that looks crooked on the page, you may have one of two problems. The most common issue is that your printing heads are out of alignment. In most cases, this is something you can fix by going into your printer's settings on your computer. If this doesn't do the trick, you may instead need to check your printer's paper tray to make sure the paper wasn't inserted all the way. If it wasn't, then the paper could be feeding through the printer incorrectly, which will often result in crooked prints. In most cases, this problem may also be accompanied with frequent paper jams and prints that come out damaged (by folding, tearing, etc.). There's a lot that can go wrong with a printer, but the good news is that most basic printer problems can easily be fixed in a few simple steps. In the event that you cannot figure out what's wrong with your printer or how to fix it, be sure to bring the machine into a shop that specializes in repairing printers near Fayetteville, NC. Share

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