How to Fix a Printer That Won’t Print

Updated: May 25, 2019

Many printer users have reported that their printer cannot print. This issue happens randomly. And it can be very frustrating especially when you try to print something urgently needed. But don’t worry. Here are some solutions you can try. You may not have to try them all. Just work your way down the list until you find the one that works.

1) Basic troubleshooting

Once you find that your printer won’t print, you should check the status of the connection between your printer and computer. Make sure your printer is properly connected, and the wireless network or cable you use to connect your printer is normal.

You can also shut down your computer and printer completely, wait for a couple of minutes, and then power them on again. After that you can try printing something and see if the problem resolves.

2) Set your printer as default

In normal cases, the computer will assign the printing tasks to default printer unless you specify another on purpose. Sometimes your default printer will be changed to another printer due to some reasons. In these cases, you should note that, in the program that you use to print, you have to correctly select your printer in order to print with the right one.

If you want to set your printer back to default, please follow the steps below.

a) Press Win + R keys. Type “control” and hit Enter.

b) Select Devices and Printers.

c) In Printers section, right click on your printer and then select Set as default printer.

d) You printer is now set to default!

3) Cancel all print jobs

Another reason of printer not printing is that the print queue includes print jobs that has failed. Therefore the printer gets stuck. You need to clean all print jobs in order to get your printer back to normal.

a) Open Devices and Printers settings (as the method above shows).

b) Right click on your printer in Printers section and select See what’s printing.

c) Open Printer menu and then select Open As Administrator.

d) Open Printer menu again. Select Cancel All Documents.

e) Confirm your action.

f) The print queue of your printer is clear. Now check and see if your printer can run normally.

4) Update printer driver

In many cases, printer won’t print issue comes from faulty drivers. You may need to update the driver or software to fix problems of this kind. In fact, updating drivers is usually an effective way to fix issues on your hardware, such as printer.

a) You can go to the official support website of your printing device to find the latest driver and software. To do so, you need to search the website on Google, find the correct result and log in it, and then search the software you need inside the website and find the proper place to download it. After that you need to finish the installation process on your own.

5) Check hardware status

If none of the methods above helps you, you may need to consider it as a hardware issue.

You need to check if your printer runs out of paper, ink or toner, and check if your printer is stuck on paper jam. You may also need to check your printer cartridge or try replacing it with a new one. If the problem happens just after you replace a part of your printer, you can install the original one back to your printer and see if this fixes the problem.


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