Sometimes we can’t help but wonder why we have to tolerate such a flawed invention. But hate them or love them, you just can’t deny that we need printers. If your machine stops printing or produces ugly prints all of a sudden, try to keep your cool. Throwing a fit just won’t scare your equipment into fixing itself. When you’re ready to proceed, you might want to check out some of the most common printer problems along with our quick guide on how to repair them:
This printer takes too long to print!
Not all printers are made alike in terms of speed. Nevertheless, it’s possible to speed up a sluggish machine.
When you’re not too particular about print quality (let’s say you’re printing the agenda for a meeting or making drafts for a report in a hurry), try printing in draft mode. To switch to this mode in Windows, select Print > Properties, then look for a setting that reduces print quality.
If you’re making hard copies of web pages, we recommend that you print off websites with little to no graphics as this can speed up your slow printer considerably.
Paper jams happen every other day!
As annoying as they can be, paper jams are quite manageable. In most cases, they’re caused by petty stuff.
For instance, jamming can occur when the paper you feed the printer isn’t aligned. It may also be caused by small items (e.g. staple wires, paper clips, even hair ties) falling into the equipment while you’re printing.
For further tips on dealing with paper jams, check out the recent post we’ve made about it.
Why is printing over Wi-Fi too slow?
Frankly, wireless printing still can’t beat the stability and consistency of its wired counterpart. Although the former has made printing more convenient in homes and offices, it has limitations.
Case in point: Wi-Fi printing speeds slow down with distance. With that said, place your wireless printer as close to the router as possible. You also have to ensure that your wireless printer server or printer supports the 802.11n spec or offers 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands. Finally, make sure your printer software is up-to-date.
The print quality is awful!
Based on our observation, inkjet printers produce prints suitable for everyday use while their laser counterparts make more professional-looking outputs. So generally speaking, print quality differs greatly between printer models and brands. However, if you’ve noticed a steady decline in your print’s quality, you have to make some quick inspections.
First, go to your print settings and see if they’re correct. For starters, see if it’s in draft mode and switch that off. Check that the paper type indicated in the settings window is the same as the one in your paper tray, too.
Aside from these measures, see if your inkjet model may be suffering from misalignment and dirt. Try aligning the print head as well as cleaning the nozzles, both of which can be accessed through the printer’s maintenance menu.
Also, check to see if the toner on your laser printer has settled. Once it has, take out the cartridge, shake it for a few seconds, and put it back in.
Lastly, a common culprit of printer problems and low-quality prints is using third-party inks/toners. Even if you save upfront buying such cheap alternatives, branded inks/toners are still your best bet when you’re looking for excellent print quality.
The printer just won’t print!
When there’s no error notification to tell you what’s wrong, chances are that its USB or ethernet cable is disconnected. When it’s the wireless variety, double-check your Wi-Fi’s connectivity as well as see if your printer is connected to the right network.
Aside from these, check the printer’s drivers to make sure they haven’t been corrupted. In case they need re-installation, simply visit the manufacturer’s site to download the correct driver for your model.
Can I print documents on my mobile device?
Many of today’s latest models often come with the capacity to print from mobile devices. Still, it’s better to check if your equipment has this feature.
It’s worth noting that most leading brands today have released mobile apps to allow Apple, Android, Windows, and Blackberry devices to print through their respective devices. Some of those we know are AirPrint, ePrint, iPrint, and Google Cloud Print.
As for non-Wi-Fi printers, you can try cloud printing services that work across platforms and devices if you really need to print files from your mobile.
Any office that deals with hard copies will run into printer problems. Although these machines can be very frustrating to work with, tossing them out of the window won’t solve anything either.
When they act up while you’re in a hurry, breathe deep and remember that you can straighten an unruly printer with only a few clicks or steps. Simply check out this quick guide to get help with troubleshooting some of the most common printer problems. Or call your neighborhood-friendly tech support.