9 Tips to Try When You Can’t Print to a printer/Photocopier.

Colour and Mono printers/photocopiers usually work away printing documents week after week month after month without a problem, then suddenly they stop printing, without a word of warning. You check your computer screen to make sure you actually pressed print, then read the printer/photocopier screen for any messages, open paper trays, remove toner cartridges, but still nothing. Time is ticking away and the day suddenly seems to be getting away without you involved, you’re becoming a spectator. Why can I not print from my computer?

As a service support company we know this type of situation very well. So here are some simple tips if you find yourself in a stand off with your printer/photocopier and you’ve tried negotiating with it and it isn’t interested in anything you’re offering as a solution.

Check the simple basics first?

1. Is the power light at the printer still on?

I myself have in the past driven a round trip of 75 miles to push a power lead 2 mm into its power socket, enough to make the colour printer/photocopier turn on. The power lead looked to be in place and correct until physically checked.  Equipment had been moved on the Friday resulting in no power to it on the Monday morning. That’s just life sometimes.

2. Is there paper in the paper tray(s)?

Although you may see paper in the paper tray was the paper tray correctly closed, so the printer was seeing paper in the paper tray. Check paper trays are correctly closed.

3. Are there any messages on the display screen?

Toner empty, replace drum unit, remove paper jam etc are standard messages displayed. Some multifunctional colour printer/photocopiers will even have animation instructions on screen as a help guide to resolving these messages. Alternatively, user manual guidance will help solve problems like how to remove paper jams.

4. Can I make a copy? (multifunctional printer/photocopier only)

If you can it suggests the problem is possibly related to print job data being received by the printer or in this case not received. If you can’t copy it suggests the root cause is likely to be the  printer itself.

5. Can I print to another available printer?

If you have the option available, this test can also provide clues to what the root of the problem is. If you can print then it suggest the problem is with the original printer or its connection with your computer. If you do not get a print to the alternative printer it suggests a possible wider network connection issue.

6. Can I print the same document from a different computer?

If you can this will confirm it isn’t the printer that’s not working correctly it’s something else. Email the same document you were originally trying to print to the test computer for printing. What this also does is identifies the possibility of emailing a document to the test computer and printing it from there as a quick work around to your immediate need to print.

7. Can I print an internal test print? (Non multifunctional printer)

Many printers and photocopiers allow you via the menu to print internal pages such as a test page or a network configuration page which by definition requires no external source (i.e. a computer) to produce a print. If you get a print from this test it would suggest it is most likely print job data not being received.

8. Is this problem isolated only to printing from my computer?

Check to see that you can send and receive emails from your computer. If you tried tip 5, you will have already done this.  Can you still use the internet?  The second test about internet connection is a little tricky because you want to avoid a false answer. To test this correctly type a search term into a search engine that you have never searched for. Using a search term you regularly use doesn’t help because of the way web browsers work. If you cannot use the internet it suggests a possible network connection problem not a printer problem.

9. Have there been any IT changes since you were last able to print?

Ask if there have been any changes to the IT in the office. Bear in mind changes can mean software updates and microsoft windows for example update their operating system  on a regular basis to keep security high and new threats/viruses out.

Good Luck and I would also offer this important advice, before you start each test/step above please get yourself a drink of water. Resolving printer/photocopier problems causes frustration and sometimes headaches. Drinking water reduces stress levels. Because stress causes your mouth to slowly go dry, and sipping water tricks your brain back to feelings of less stress and can re-engage a sense of humour. It works by keeping your mouth wet not the consumption of water.

Alternatively, if you would like some help with these tips by way of 10 minutes free telephone support and before you consider throwing it out of the window contact me, Carmino at Copyvision on 0845 2000793 or email me at carmino@copyvision.co.uk with your name and telephone number and I’ll call you back.


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