Printer does not print

The printer doesn’t print? Here you can find solutions

Both at home and in the office you often hear the cry for help ” the printer does not print “. Printer problems can have a variety of causes , although most of the models from the well-known brand manufacturers actually work perfectly. Often it is only because of a minor issue that printing is not possible. This guide aims to briefly introduce some of the most common problems .

Printer does not print in black

Black printer cartridges or black toner are among the most common colors used in text printing . Nevertheless, printer problems can sometimes occur. Please note that the following solutions do not claim to be complete .

When the inkjet printer does not print in black

In the case of the inkjet printer , the ink is supplied via a printer cartridge that is mounted on a print head or is itself designed as a print nozzle. The following scenarios can occur:

  • The ink outlet from the cartridge is clogged
  • Pressure nozzles are clogged
  • Printer cartridge is empty

When the ink outlet from the cartridge is clogged

To ensure flawless printing , you should use your inkjet printer regularly . If this is not used for a long time, not only can the print nozzles clog , but also the ink outlet of the printer cartridge. When inserting a new cartridge , the ink outlet is covered by a thin plastic membrane . This is pierced when it is received in the printhead . If the printer has not been used for a long time, the black printer ink can clog this outlet . The ink clumps and has hardened at the outlet .

First, you should use the self-cleaning process of your printer . The procedure is slightly different for each printer model. However, the print head tries to free its print nozzles again with a higher pressure . At the same time, a clogged ink outlet can usually be removed with it .

If this does not help, take the cartridge out of the printer and pierce the outlet with a sharp object. A toothpick is usually sufficient for this . The outlet can then be rubbed off with a damp kitchen towel . Reinstall the print cartridge and start printing again.

When the print nozzles are clogged

If the device is not used for a long time, the nozzles on the printhead or on the combined printhead-ink cartridge can also be clogged . Here, too, the self-cleaning process of the printer is recommended first. You can also remove the printhead on many models .

Put this in a bowl of lukewarm water . This will loosen the black printer ink . You can proceed in a similar way if you use exchangeable print heads, i.e. ink cartridges with integrated print nozzles. You should not use any sharp objects on the pressure nozzles . Also, be very careful if you want to wipe the nozzles with a kitchen towel. Otherwise there is a risk of damaging the nozzles .

When the print cartridge is empty

Of course, if the printer does not print and you find that the ink cartridge is empty , you will need to replace it . If you don’t trust the level indicator on your printer , you can also remove the black printer cartridge and shake it a little . This will tell you whether there is enough ink left in it.

When the laser printer does not print in black

For the SW-pressure need laser printer , a black toner cartridge . If the printer does not print in black here, the following problems may exist:

  • empty toner cartridge
  • wrong contrast setting
  • used imaging drum

When the toner cartridge is empty

Although black toner cartridges are designed for several thousand printed pages , they can understandably be used up once . In this case, replace the empty cartridge . As a replacement, you can use original toner or compatible toner cartridges . Your laser printer should then be able to print in black again.

When the contrast setting is incorrect

In the case of multifunction laser printers in particular , you can also set the intensity of the black printing color . This is required, for example, if you want to make black photocopies . If the contrast is set too weak , very little toner is used. The printouts therefore do not achieve high color saturation . If the cartridge is still almost empty, a black printout will not produce the desired result. See if you can change the contrast setting . With monochrome devices you often have the choice between gray-scale printing and color printing in black. The latter is much more intense .

When the imaging drum is exhausted

If your printer can no longer print in black, it may be due to the used imaging drum . This has a limited lifespan . The photosensitive drum takes the later printed image as a negative . If the drum is no longer okay, the printer will not be able to print properly. In this case, you need to replace the imaging drum .

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Printer does not print in color

Today, color printers are practically standard in the home or at work . Here, too, you have to differentiate between color inkjet and color laser printers .

When the laser printer does not print in color

Color laser printers are very popular. These require four toner cartridges in the colors black, cyan, magenta and yellow . If the printer does not print in color, the following problems could be present:

  • empty color toner cartridge
  • used imaging drum
  • wrong driver setting

Empty toner cartridges

As with the black toner cartridge, your laser printer can of course print with full color toner. You should therefore replace empty cartridges . Note that there are different technologies here . Some toner cartridges also contain the image drum . You then also change the imaging drum at the same time . Otherwise, you may have to replace a used drum.

Incorrect driver setting

If your color laser printer does not print in color, but only in black, you should go to the printer settings in the operating system . In the Properties window go to the Device Settings tab . Look for the item device type there . If it is black, select Color, then click Apply or OK . After doing this, your printer should print in color again.

When the inkjet printer does not print in color

You should also note the above information if your inkjet printer no longer prints in colors .

The following problems can also exist here:

  • Color cartridges are empty
  • one color is empty in a combination cartridge
  • Pressure nozzles are clogged

Problems with empty cartridges

Understandably, you have to replace an empty color cartridge so that your printer can print the full color spectrum again. Many printers use in this regard single ink cartridges , so for each ink cartridge one .

But there are also combination cartridges or so-called tricolor cartridges . These are also designed as a print head . Its plastic housing contains three chambers for the printing inks cyan, magenta and yellow . If even one of the three colors is depleted, your inkjet printer will no longer be able to produce a clean color print.

Here, too, you have to replace the combination cartridge . If the pressure nozzles are blocked, please proceed as described above.

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Printer does not print anything

It’s always annoying when you send a print job and the results find that your printer is not everything as requested has printed. The following printer problems can be present here:

  • that ink has run out
  • Problems with PDF files
  • not enough memory
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When the PDF file does not print correctly

In some cases, PDF files can cause problems when printing. It will be printed with blank spaces either only blank pages or pages .
In this case, have the PDF file printed as an image . Then all areas would have to be printed out correctly.

When the ink has run out

Empty spots in a certain color can appear when the respective printing ink is used up. Here you should check the ink level of inkjet printers and the fill level of the color toner cartridges for laser printers . If a color is empty, you have to provide a replacement here.

When the laser printer memory is too low

Nowadays most laser printers are equipped with sufficient memory . These page printers generate the complete print page before printing . A large amount of storage space is required for this. The printer can reach its limits, especially with color printing. If there is insufficient memory , only half a page or less may be printed out . In this case, increase the memory of your laser printer. You can save a multi-page color document as individual pages and then print them. If possible, try to keep the print data as small as possible . Maybe one can help too Restart the printer .

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Printer does not print from the Internet

If you want to print out interesting articles, instructions and recipes from the Internet, it is quite possible that your printer will not work. However, this is not due to your printer, but rather to the fact that the website operator has prevented the printing function . In this way, special page content can be protected from unauthorized printing and copying . In this case, try a hard copy of the screen content . You can then embed this image on a blank page in Word and cut it to the correct size. This file can usually be printed out without any problems .

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Printer does not print over WiFi

Many printers can be addressed via WLAN . This is advantageous if several people in the family have access to the same printer . However, the printer does not always respond to a print job. This is because many printers go into sleep mode. The WLAN connection is also interrupted . In this case, you can reactivate the printer and WLAN if you bring it out of sleep mode via its touchscreen control panel or a special button . Then wait a moment for the WiFi connection to be restored.

If you need to install your printer for the first time , this should be done using the USB connection cable on your computer. Only then can the WLAN connection with a secure password be set up without any problems . You can then remove the USB cable again so that the printer can be reached by all participants in the WLAN network. If the connection is lost, the reason may be insufficient WiFi range . In this case, you may be able to extend the range with a repeater . It is important that all computers are in the same WLAN network .

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Printer does not print from Word

If your printer refuses to print a Word document , there can be several reasons:

  • select correct printer
  • Update driver
  • Network problem

Choose the correct printer

Even though you’ve set up your printer to print, Word might try to send the print job to OneNote , fax , Microsoft XPS Document Writer, or Microsoft Print to PDF . In this case , of course, nothing will reach your printer . Always pay close attention to the destination of the print job . Your printer or multifunction device should be specified here.

There can also be confusion, for example, if you also have a photo printer connected . In addition to your standard printer , a Canon Selphy model is also listed , for example . Only photo prints can be made on top of it . Again, you need to specify the correct destination .

Update printer driver

In some cases, you need to update the printer driver for your printer . You can usually find the latest printer drivers on the manufacturer’s website on the Internet . This should make it possible to print out without problems using Word.

Network problem

Network printers are mostly used in companies and administrative buildings. They may or may not react quite idiosyncratically . When you send a Word document to be printed out, the document goes through a certain part of the network before it is printed out again on the network printer. There may be disruptions on the way . Most of the time, the printing of the Word document has not completely disappeared, but is only output again with a time delay . If you have these problems, ask your network administrator .

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Printer does not print in Windows 10

If your printer is not working properly under Windows 10 , you should first check that the correct and current printer driver is installed. In many cases, simply restarting the computer is sufficient . Also check the printer display to see if there is an error message .

If your printer is connected via USB , we recommend that you check the connection . Is the USB cable properly seated in the port? Maybe you just use a different USB port. For Windows 10, you should switch to the Control Panel . Perhaps there are still print jobs in the printer queue . We have already dealt with this problem in more detail in another guide. You can do this by clearing the print queue .

If your printer is not listed under Printers in the Control Panel , you may have to reinstall it . In most cases it is sufficient to reconnect the switched-on printer via the USB cable . Sometimes it can happen that your printer is not active . You can recognize this by a red cross . Set the printer as the default . Go through all the settings in the control panel that may be related to the printer. For example, you can route the print jobs directly to the printer and not the detour via the spooler.

Windows 10 will help you troubleshoot. The Windows wizard suggests several solutions . You can go through these in order. You can also access the special printer settings for your printer via the control panel. If the print image does not appear clean , you can use it to clean the nozzle .

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Printer does not print on tracing paper

Tracing paper is a major challenge for many printers  . These foils are mostly required for presentations using overhead projectors or transmitted light units. Inkjet printers in particular have problems here. The reason for this is that the ink does not adhere to the film surface . The color pigments contract , so that there is only a large amount of color smear .

This can be remedied by a special tracing paper designed for inkjet printers . This problem is less common with laser printers. However, you should make sure that the film is really suitable for printing and, if necessary, heat-resistant . Unsuitable tracing paper can even damage the laser printer .

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Printer does not print on photo paper

Some printers cannot feed thick photo paper . This mostly affects devices without a separate sheet feeder . For example, they can not process 230 g / m² paper . The photo paper is not properly gripped by the rubber rollers on the infeed and is therefore not fed through the printer.
In this case, you should use thinner photo paper .

You should also note that photo paper has a surface finish on one side . This side is usually made smoother and partly shiny . If you load the paper the wrong way round , the printed image may be unsightly .

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Printer stops printing after changing the cartridge

Not every inkjet printer accepts all types of ink cartridges. Compatible printer cartridges from inexpensive non-name suppliers often cause problems . Either you accidentally informed your printer via the printer menu that it is only allowed to print original cartridges or the cartridge used is defective . Take all printer cartridges out of the printhead holder and insert them again.

Make sure that the cartridges click into place in the holder . Lock the printhead holder and start a new print job. Also test whether the original cartridges are working properly .
If the printer does not accept any type of ink cartridge , please contact the printer manufacturer .

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Printer does not print to the edge

Some printers cannot print borderlessly . In this case, a few millimeters are left free at the edges. This is particularly annoying when printing photos . Most of them are affected by this

  • older color inkjet printers and
  • Laser printer.

You can still try to print to the edge. Go to the printer settings and adjust the output format so that it is larger than the paper . The printer will then issue an error message and inform you that some areas outside the print area cannot be printed. Nevertheless, the printing process is usually started and the paper or other print medium is printed right up to the edge .

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Printer does not print the correct size

If, for example, an image is not printed in the correct size, you can change the image resolution via the printer settings . It is generally advisable to have the print preview displayed before printing . There you can see how the page will be printed out later.

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Printer does not print full-page

Laser printers with low memory , for example, have this problem . A laser printer can reach its limits, especially with complex documents with a lot of graphics . If necessary, increase the memory and try again.

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Printer does not print on both sides

If you want to print out a document on both sides , you should check the printer settings to see whether there is a menu item for this. In the settings you will usually find the two points Print one-sided or two-sided . Set double-sided printing here . Note that there are also printers without a duplex facility . In this case, you can not print on both sides of the document and you have to manually reverse the back of the document and reload it in the single sheet feeder or in the paper drawer .

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Printer does not print legibly

An illegible printout can have the following causes:

  • empty ink cartridges
  • clogged pressure nozzles,
  • empty toner cartridge,
  • used imaging drum,
  • used transfer unit,
  • used fuser unit

In this case, replace empty ink or toner cartridges . For inkjet printers, perform a print nozzle cleaning . You may also have to remove the printhead and carefully clean it manually . Replace the most important components of laser printers , such as drum, transfer and fusing unit , when they have reached their service life . A legible print image should then be possible again.

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Printer does not print in sleep mode

Some printers switch to energy-saving mode after each printout . It can happen that they do not wake up from this idle mode , although the next print job is already pending. Refer to the operating instructions for your printer to find out how to switch off the energy-saving mode , if necessary . In some cases, you can do this via the printer software or via the driver settings.

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Printer does not print email

As a rule, e-mails can be printed out in a similar way to a word processing program . However, there are different e-mail programs .

For example, Outlook gives you the same printing options as Word. Google’s Gmail has an option that allows the sender to mark the message as confidential . In this case, neither the message nor an attachment can be printed . In this case you should open the e-mail with a different e-mail program . For example, Gmail messages can also be opened from Outlook. The printout usually works there without any problems . If all measures and attempts do not help, you should reinstall your e-mail program if necessary .

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Printer does not print in portrait orientation

If the printer does not print in portrait orientation, the output format is likely to be incorrect . In the printer control you can switch between portrait and landscape format .

You may have previously printed out a document in landscape orientation . The printer control has memorized this setting . In this case you have to switch back to portrait format .

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Printer does not print immediately

If the printer does not respond immediately , the following could be:

  • a laser printer first waits its warm-up phase,
  • a network printer has not yet received its print data via the network or
  • a wireless printer is not connected to the wireless network.
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Epson printer does not print

If your Epson printer is not working properly, you may need to install the new, updated driver . Epson also pays great attention to the use of original ink cartridges . You can quickly make mistakes here , for example if you insert a compatible cartridge and make the wrong decision prematurely via the operating menu .

Epson inkjet printers always ask you whether you want to continue using a compatible printer cartridge. The questions are not always clear . If you refuse to use compatible printer cartridges, you will no longer be able to use any more. We would also like to point out the aforementioned problem solutions , which apply to almost all inkjet and laser printers.

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HP printer does not print

HP printers are usually quite reliable . Many home inkjet printers use combined printheads and ink cartridges . The pressure nozzles can be clogged here . Some tricolor cartridges also sometimes cause problems.

One of the special features of HP inkjet printers is that the automatic feeder can jam. It has also become known that the power supply unit of multifunction inkjet printers and also some laser printers can overheat .
Otherwise we would like to point out the aforementioned problem solutions again.

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Canon printer does not print

Canon is known for its robust and durable printers . If you have printing problems, you should use the latest printer driver . Note that Canon inkjet printers work with both single-ink cartridges and combination cartridges with print nozzles . Paper feed does not always work properly on some Canon models . But this is more the case with older models . Here, too, we would like to draw your attention to the aforementioned problem solutions . 

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Brother printer does not print

In order for your Brother printer to work properly, it of course needs the latest printer driver . It can also be due to communication. Check the USB port or WiFi connectivity .
Otherwise, go through all of the troubleshooting steps listed here.


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