Everyday Computing
replacement of the cartridge in laser printer

Got a printer that stops working frequently without having any specific problem? Printers, as we all know, play important role in daily operations that require hard copy generation of text, documents, or images among other things. The printer being a machine tends to malfunction at times, especially when you need it the most. Below are the simple steps that will help you diagnose and fix your printer problem on your own.

How to Fix It Guide:

Power off the computer and printer and unplug their cords from the electrical outlets. Also, disconnect the printer from the computer. Now power on the computer first, and wait until it is fully rebooted. Now connect the printer back to the computer and power it on. Ensure that the printer lights are on. This should let the computer detect the printer and hence resolve printer problems. Power cycling resets the software and applications and hence fixes printer issue most of the times.

If the error shows the printer is offline, right-click on the printer’s icon > select ‘Properties’ from the drop-down list, and check if the printer is offline. If it is, then put it to the online mode.

If this does not work, update the printer drivers from the manufacturer’s website (viz. Canon, HP, Lexmark etc…). This should resolve the problem as non-updated drivers stop the printer from functioning smoothly.¬†Remove drivers, download the latest and compatible drivers (for whichever Windows version you have) from the manufacturer’s website. You can also check Microsoft’s website for the list of compatible drivers.

If this fails, uninstall the printer software along with its registry keys, reboot the computer, and reinstall the printer software with the help of the CD that came with it. Ensure that while you do the un-installation, your printer should be powered off and disconnected from the computer. But when you reinstall the software, the printer should be all on.

  1. Check your anti-virus and firewall settings, if you recently made changes to either then review your settings.
  2. Run a self hardware test from the manufacturer’s website to verify whether the hardware is functioning well or not. Check your manufacturer’s website for detailed help.
  3. If the problem is not resolved, write down the error code or details and search the online knowledge base on Google or Bing for self troubleshooting help.
  4. If nothing seems to work, then don’t wrestle up with the problem by yourself, consult a certified technician to save both money and time.

Additional Tips:

  • Check that the computer and printer are powered on with all the lights on
  • Ensure that the printer is not out of paper
  • Verify that the ink/toner cartridge is not empty
  • Keep your printer clean always; use a dry cloth to clean the dirt, dust inside
  • For a wireless printer, check if you recently modified your wireless settings
  • If there is a hardware problem then contact your vendor or manufacturer for a replacement (if it is in guarantee or warranty period) or support

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