Five Common Printer Problems and How to Fix Them

May 20th, 2016 by Rocket IT

I generally consider printers to be a necessary evil. Offices aren’t entirely paperless (yet, anyway), so it’s impossible to work without them… But sometimes it feels impossible to work with them too. Here are five of the most common printer problems we encounter and some basic troubleshooting steps you can take to fix them.

Printer isn’t showing up on my device

If you don’t see an option to print to the specific printer you need, check to make sure it’s still connected to your network. Click on the Windows Start button and select Settings, then Devices.

If you don’t see the printer you were trying to print to here, then you may need to add the printer again. Click on Add a Printer. From there, you’ll see a list of available printers to connect to. If that printer isn’t there either, select the option The printer that I want isn’t listed and try searching for it by location or name.

Printer shows a printing queue, but it isn’t printing anything

If your documents are stuck in a long list of print jobs, and it doesn’t look like your printer actually plans on printing anything at all any time soon, try rebooting the printer. Sometimes rebooting both the printer AND your computer will fix the problem.

It feels almost too simple to work, I know. But turning it off and on again actually does help.

Printer is being too slow

A slow printer can be caused by any number of things: too many printing jobs going through at once, a slow network connection, and more.

One way to speed up your printer is to adjust the print server configurations for multiple users. Make sure the option to print spooled documents first is turned on.  Documents are spooled to make them ready to print. Larger documents take longer to spool, and they can hold up the printing line as smaller jobs that have already been spooled get stuck behind it waiting for the larger job to finish.

If that fails? I hate to say it, but rebooting a printer can also help with its processing speed.

Printer isn’t scanning documents

When your printer isn’t scanning in your documents, and the tried-and-true reboot method has failed you, trying checking the scan destination settings on your printer.

How to do this will differ according to what printer you use, but many times the destination folder has been changed. You might have been scanning those documents to Jan in Accounting instead when you meant to scan them to the Sales folder.

Another option is to email the scan instead of scanning it to a folder.

I’m not sure what exactly is wrong with my printer, but it is definitely doing something.

When something is going wrong with your printer, it’s not always simple to tell what it is exactly that’s causing the issue.

Printer Fix ItIf you’re printing from a Windows computer, Microsoft has a nifty little tool to help you identify and fix your printing problems. So if all else fails, try this Microsoft Fix It tool. And if that fails, call Rocket IT.




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About the Author –

Darren Hooper is a Field Support Technician at Rocket IT. Darren is a very avid trout fisherman during the summer, and he lives in Gwinnett with his wife and their huskies. 


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