5 Common Printer Troubleshooting Questions, Answered
There’s something ultimately satisfying when you’re in urgent need of printing something out, and everything runs smoothly. However, as we all know, technology has a funny habit of failing when you most need it, and when your printing goes ‘pear-shaped’, it can turn into a total and complete nightmare.
The problem is that when pieces of technology fail to perform as you would expect them to, they can cause unexpected costs and high levels of frustration.
The good news is, however, that when it comes to printer problems, there are often simple solutions and ‘quick-fix’ remedies that you can try. For answers to some of the most common printer troubleshooting questions, read on.
Question 1: Why is my printing taking so long?
There’s nothing more frustrating than completing a project in record time or rushing to print off an important document and everything being slowed down due to a printer that takes forever to print. The good news is that most modern printers aren’t designed to be slow, which means that slowness is usually caused by a memory issue, a high-resolution setting, or the choice of drivers.
Did you know that high-resolution images contain more data for your computer and printer to process? This can sometimes lead to delayed printing times. If you’re happy with a lower quality print, select ‘standard’ or ‘draft’ in printer settings before printing, and this will speed up the printing process. If you regularly have to print large, high-quality pieces, perhaps it may be worth considering adding extra memory to your printer to help it run more smoothly.
Another conventional solution to this question is to switch from using double-sided printing modes to single-sided printing modes, as double-sided printing takes far longer on some printers, especially older inexpensive models. If changing the printing mode has no real impact on printing speed, your problem is likely to be something else.
The printer’s driver can also determine how quickly printing takes place. A driver is a piece of software for your printer that you install on your computer that converts data before it is sent to your printer for printing off. What you may find, is that there are a range of drivers available for your printer, or updates for your current driver, on the manufacturer website that can help speed up your printer.
Question 2: Why is the paper jamming in my printer?
If there’s one printing problem that’s the stuff of nightmares, it’s paper jams. In most cases, they’re a product of an apparent physical obstruction within the printing mechanism such as a piece of debris or folded paper.
The good news is that when it comes to fixing paper jams, your printer’s control panel should be able to provide you with simple instructions to fix this issue. Some more modern printers even include video tutorials to make dealing with paper jams much easier.
The first thing that you should always do is view the paper path – you need to look for any visible jams. When removing the stuck paper, it’s important not to rip it. If you notice that there is paper caught between the printer’s rollers, you will need to release the pressure to remove it.
If the jam has been caused by a piece of paper that has been poorly aligned, remove the tray, straighten the paper and resume printing.
Question 3: Why do my prints come out in bad quality?
Bad looking prints are something that no one wants to have to deal with. It appears that your printer is running smoothly, but then your final print looks a total mess, with text or images being faded and smudged.
First things first, check your printer to ensure that you have selected the correct paper and media type. Check that the paper used in the tray matches the paper type you’ve chosen in the settings. Some printers have fusers that need to be adjusted for individual paper types, so if your printer has these, it’s essential to check them and ensure that they have been appropriately adjusted.
It’s also important to check the printer’s toner cartridges and imaging units for any damage that could be causing the poor quality printing. For more comprehensive instructions on how to check for damage, it’s best to refer to the printer’s user guide – usually found on the manufacturer’s website.
Question 4: Why is my printer not responding?
If your printer isn’t doing anything when you click ‘print’, it can signify a range of issues. Not knowing what’s going on and why your printer isn’t working as it should, can be incredibly stressful.
Your first step should always be to make sure that you sent your print to the correct printer. You never know, you could be printing out your document, just to a different printer, so it’s always important to double check this.
Is there enough paper in the tray? Before printing, you should always check two things: that there’s enough paper in the printing tray and that it’s the right type of paper for your printing needs. It’s also worth checking that your printer is turned on and that all of the cables in it are correctly plugged in.
If you have a printer driver that offers two-way communication, your printer may be able to alert you to what the problem is and why the printer is not working.
Should all else fail, the next step is to turn your printer off and then back on again. And if that fails, doing the same with your computer. Doing this should reset its settings and will hopefully mean that when you resend your printing, it will be printed without a problem. If this also fails, uninstalling the printer driver from your computer and downloading and installing a new driver may do the trick and get you up and running again!
Question 5: Why is my printer so unreliable?
You may love your printer and finally have all the settings just right, but still, start to notice it ‘playing up’ a little more than usual. This can be annoying, especially when it often happens, as it makes the printing process tedious.
Is your printer new? If so, recurring issues suggest that there is a fundamental problem with the unit that requires replacement. If your printer is still under warranty, this should be a straightforward process, however, if it isn’t you may need to request the help of a printer expert.
For old and outdated printers, there’s typically one solution: getting rid of it and replacing it with a newer model. You may not want to get rid of your printer, but the fact is if it’s no longer working as effectively as it could be and you are experiencing recurring issues, then you may find more peace in replacing it.
Regrettably, modern technology is usually designed with a short lifecycle, and as other components, such as computers, become more advanced, you may find your printer lagging behind.
So, there you have it, five of the most common printer troubleshooting questions answered by us. The above solutions are quick and simple and may not solve your printer problem as every printing setup is different. However, if you’re still having issues with your printer and require help from an expert, we can connect you remotely with one within minutes through our video assistance app, Remoty.
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