Printer Not Printing? Try These Printer Troubleshooting Tips

Installing and connecting a wireless printer to a wireless network can be a daunting task, even for those who have been using personal computers for decades. There’s something about that connection that can bring many self-proclaimed power-users to their knees. But there are a few easy and immediate fixes to try without wasting too much of your workday:

Determine if the Problem is With the Printer or the Network

By directly connecting the printer to your wireless network with a cable, you will be able to tell if the problem is with the WiFi signal or the printer. If the printer works fine with a wired USB connection, then the problem is a WiFi issue and not related to the printer.

Reboot the Printer

One doesn’t need to be tech-savvy to know that when electronics fail, powering them down, unplugging them, waiting a minute and then rebooting them is the time-honored standard operating procedure. Breaking the connection, clearing RAM and establishing a new connection might be enough to resolve printer connectivity issues.

Check the Print Monitor

Print monitors are part of the printer software and can help you determine if there are files in the print queue holding up your current print job. Very large files or files with error messages ahead of your files in the queue can stop your file from printing. Deleting the problematic files will move your document up to the head of the line and allow you to print it.

Move the Printer to Improve the WiFi Connection

The location of your printer can be more of a problem than you realize. Electronic devices emitting electromagnetic signals can disrupt your connection. Also, distance from the router and structural obstructions can impede the quality of WiFi signals. Thick walls – and printers under metal desks or in closets -- must also be evaluated to see if your wireless signal is obstructed. Your wireless signal should be improved by moving the printer closer to the router and limiting physical obstructions.

Check That Your Firmware is Up to Date

Computer hardware and software developers are frequently releasing new versions and fixes for previously released products. The manufacturer of your printer might have security and connectivity fixes for the printer’s firmware. Also, upgrading your computer’s operating system can cause or correct issues. Updating to the newest version of the firmware could fix your connection issues.

Perform a Factory Reset on Your Printer

As an absolute last resort, try doing a factory reset. A factory reset restores all of your printer settings to the way they were set when you took your new printer out of the box. If any conflicts have arisen due to changes you’ve made in the settings since owning the printer, a factory reset should remove such conflicts.

After You’ve Done Your Own Printer Troubleshooting

If you have still not successfully connected your printer to your wireless network, consider onsite repair before you buy a new one. You can’t afford to let an offline printer slow down your workflow. Onsite repair can usually get you up and running, or quickly assess the situation and help you decide on appropriate action.

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