This article guides you through step by step process for troubleshooting problems with a printer.
Step 1: Check whether printer is turned on or not. Usually, printers have power indicating lights on them, in my case it’s blue but it does vary printer to printer. If the indicator light is not present, make sure that printer is properly connected to a working power outlet. Verify each end of the power cable and press the printer On/Off button.
If still printer does not turn on, there might be an internal hardware issue. It is suggested to contact the printer manufacturer for repair or replacement.
Step 2: The printer should have two connecting cables, one is the power cable, and another is the data cable. Make sure the power and data cables are connected properly to both the printer and computer. In case of wireless network printer, make sure that printer is connected to network through wi-fi, and is detectable.
Step 3: After your printer starts up, check to see a solid coloured light that might be indicating some error. If the indicator is blinking or is showing orange/red triangle with exclamation mark, this could be a sign of printer error, such as a paper jam or an issue with the ink or toner cartridge. If you are not sure about what it indicates, you might need to check the manual that comes along it.
Step 4: Check if the printer has been loaded with paper or not. Make sure you have paper correctly loaded into the printer paper tray. Next, verify that no printer paper is jammed by opening the top lid. There might be different ways for each printer to check for jammed paper, check for it in the printer manual. If you suspect paper is stuck somewhere try to clear it by following proper instructions from the manual. Do not forcibly remove it as it might make it worse.
Step 5: Check if the printer is low at ink. If so, you need to replace the ink cartridge. After replacing ink cartridges, if printer does not work, follow these steps:
- Printer self-tests
Usually, printers perform a self-test by printing a test page after initializing. If not, then printer self-test can be accomplished by pressing a combination of keys which might vary for every printer. A printer test page allows us to determine if the printer is working.
- You can perform a software self-test to determine if the computer can detect the printer and is able to print files. For Windows users,
- Open the Control Panel.
- Click on Devices and Printers icon.
- Right-click on the printer you want to test and select Properties. If you cannot see your printer listed, your printer might not be installed.
- In the Properties window, click on the Print Test Page button. If the printer prints a test page, that means printer is installed and configured properly. However, if you cannot print in other applications such as word, there might be an application issue.
Step 6: If the printer doesn’t show up any flashing lights and is connected properly, it might be encountering a driver related issue. In that case, you need to download the latest driver for your printing and install it. Drivers vary for different brands of printers. It’s important to check for specific drivers you need.
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