Why Is My Printer Not Printing & How Can I Troubleshoot It?

Technology can be baffling sometimes, and for all the benefits it brings to our lives, it brings an equal number of frustrations. After all, we can now switch on lights with a clap of our hands or play music with a single command. Nevertheless, there are times when our printers just would not cooperate. This is true no matter which printer brand you use. So, what do you do when your printer is not printing? These are ways you can troubleshoot it.

Refer to the Error Lights

They may be troublesome, but printers attempt to tell us the issue, so we do not always have to resort to a trial-and-error approach to make it work. As such, the first thing you should do if you run into problems with your printer is to check the error lights. The lights may be cryptic, but modern printers often accompany the error lights with a message telling you what you need to address.

In the event that your printer does not provide a message specifying what the issue is, you will have to hunt down the user manual to figure out what the cryptic flashing lights mean. Once you figure out what the lights mean, it should not be difficult to get your printer working again.

Check Your Printer Queue

We’ve all had those moments of weakness where we just stubbornly click on the ‘print’ button again and again when the printer is not working. This might be cathartic, but it would not do you any favors, as overloading your print queue may be the reason it is malfunctioning. Thankfully, this is easy to resolve. If you are using Windows, seek out the ‘Open All Printers’ button and clear the currently queued items. If you are using macOS, head to Systems Preference > Printers & Scanners > Open Print Queue.

Check Printer Connection

This may be obvious, but without a stable connection between the printer and the power source, the printer will not work. As ridiculous as this sounds, it is a shockingly common oversight. Make sure the cable that connects your printer to the power socket is undamaged and plugged in firmly.

If you are using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, check whether the correct devices are connected and if the Wi-Fi is stable. Make sure to check the connection on both the device you are using as well as the printer.

The Right Printer

This mistake is usually made in an office. Ensure you direct your documents to the correct printer, as your computer or device may be connected to multiple printers. Also, this mistake happens if you frequently use both your home printer and your office printer. It doesn’t hurt to double-check!

Sort Out the Paper Tray

Last but not least, have you checked if the printer’s paper tray is filled? With the paper tray out of sight, it is easy to forget about it, but your printer will not print if there is nothing for it to print on. Even if the paper tray is filled, you should check to see if the stack is aligned, as misaligned papers may cause an error or a jam.