Common Printer Troubleshooting Steps

December 14, 2023

[avatar user="Jamie Poindexter" size="thumbnail" align="left" link="attachment" /]byJamie Poindexter|Sep 1, 2020|Jamie's Tech Corner,Our blogFor most IT admins printers are the bane of our existence. With so many constantly changing models, moving parts and sometimes poorly designed software they are always a source of issues for a help desk and even the home user. Whether its laser or inkjet (or even dot matrix?) these common fixes will most of the time take care of any issue you are having with a printer that won’t communicate or just won’t print.Reboot the printer:This is always the first step is troubleshooting, restart the printer by unplugging it from the wall and waiting 10 seconds before plugging it back in. Allow it to fully boot before testing. While you wait for it to boot it never hurts to restart the computer as well.Resetting the spooler:The spooler is a service that runs on all Windows computers that processes the print job and sends it to the printer. Sometimes a hung print service can cause jobs to pile up and eventually fail. The process of clearing it is simple and the first step to try.Open the devices and printers by open the control panel and then “Devices and Printers”

Locate the printer in the list and right click on it, choose “see whats printing”

Now you will be able to view the stuck jobs and clear them by going to “Printer” at the top and then cancel all documents.

Now you can either restart the print spooler service from “Services” or restart the computer and retry printing.Check the USB port:If you are using a USB printer instead of a Wifi or Ethernet reseating the USB cable on the printer and computer can resolve some issues. Moving the cable to another free USB port will kick off a reinstall of the driver on that port and fix some issues. This goes for ethernet printers as well, reseating the network cable going to the switch or router could kick it into gear.Reinstall the software/drivers:If none of the above has fixed the issue sometimes a reinstall of the software is the next step to fixing issues. Depending on the make of the printer this usually entails uninstalling the old software fromm “Add/remove programs” and then downloading the latest one from the manufacture’s website. Most drivers will auto search out and setup the printer if it connected to the network. If you find the software cannot locate the printer that could mean a networking issue is the root of the problem. Its also possible a updated driver is now available since you last installed the printer and could resolve some bugs that others were experiencing.