Why is my printer not printing? 10 Top Tips | Midshire
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Why is my printer not printing? – Midshire’s 10 top tips

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There is nothing worse than going to print a document to find your printer isn’t working, especially when you are in a rush to get to a meeting, or meet a deadline and don’t need any additional stress or delay.

As a managed print provider, Midshire comes across all manner of print related issues which can prevent a printer from working. In this blog, we’re going to talk through 10 of the most common problems that cause a printer to stop working, and outline the simple resolutions to get your printer back functioning properly, so you can get on with your day.


1. Is the printer plugged in / turned on?

While this may seem very obvious, but it’s always good to make sure that the reason your printer is not printing isn’t because the plug is not in the socket or the printer is in standby mode.


2. Does the printer need to reboot?

Sometimes a previous error can cause the printer to need a reboot before it will print. Just like when a programme crashes on your computer and you do a ‘Ctrl, Alt, Del’, rebooting the printer can clear its history and start afresh. It is good practice to reboot the printer as a first port of call, before you look to see if there other issues that are causing your printer to have issues.


3. Is there paper in the tray?

This is another commonly overlooked problem. Many printers and photocopiers store paper in paper trays meaning paper quantity isn’t obvious at a glance. It is always good to check the trays before you print a document to ensure you have enough paper to complete the job.


4. Is the paper the right type of paper?

Paper type is a little more complicated than paper quantity. Most modern printers and photocopiers can print on paper up to 300gsm thick and on different types of paper including: gloss, silk, envelopes and much more! In order for the printer to print on these types of paper, the fuser temperature needs to adjust. To ensure the temperature is correct, you need to make sure that the paper type is selected on both the ‘print driver’ on your computer and also on the paper tray settings within the printer settings. If there is a mis-match, then the printer may not print your job, the fusing temperature will be wrong for the paper type and the toner may smudge and there may be paper jams.


5. Are you sending the job to the right paper tray?

If your printer has multiple trays, including a by-pass you need to ensure that the correct tray is selected for your print job or the printer will get confused and will either print the job on the wrong paper, or will simply resort to not printing at all.


6. Is there ink / other consumables in the printer?

If your printer has run out of toner or ink, then it won’t print. Make sure that you have a spare set of toner cartridges near to the printer so you can quickly replace the cartridges when one runs out. Your printer will continue to print until the toner is completely used up, so don’t remove the cartridge until the printer says to. You can order consumables from Midshire here 


7. Is the printer connected to the network?

If your printer is connected directly to your computer or laptop, make sure that the Ethernet cable is connected properly. Sometimes, simply removing the cable and re-connecting can clear issues.

If your printer is networked, make sure that is connected to the network and verify your network is working. If your network is down, then your printer will not print, so you will need to resolve your network problem to fix your printing problem. This may need further support from your IT department or IT support company.


8. Is your computer selecting the right printer?

In many businesses, there is more than one printer in the premises, which is available to print from. Always check to see that you have selected the correct printer driver. If a different printer has been selected, then your printout will have been sent to that device. To prevent this happening in the future, you can set your printer default in the control panel of your computer.


9. Is there a paper jam?

Paper jams occur for a number of reasons, but mainly because of a mis-match in paper types or because the user has attempted to use a paper type that the printer cannot support.

When your printer is not printing because of a paper jam, it is pretty obvious. The printer will alert you that there is a paper jam, and most models will direct you to the part of the machine where the paper is. Follow the instructions on screen to locate the paper, and remove the paper, being careful not to tear it as this can lead to further problems, and may require an engineer’s visit. Read our blog on removing paper jams here


10. Are the printer drivers up to date?

If all the above solutions don’t solve your printer issue, the final easy-fix is to ensure that your printer drivers are up to date. Simply go to the printer manufacturer’s website and download the latest version of the model’s driver. After it has installed, ensure you have uninstalled the old version.


If you are still unable to print, it is probably time to call your print provider to arrange for an engineer to come out to the machine.

If you are on a Midshire Managed Print Service, and your printer is not printing, call us on 0121 359 5559.