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Basic Printer Troubleshooting Checklist

Article by Josiah Branaman on October 20, 2014
Josiah Branaman
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Printers continue to be a serious cause for frustration. There is a reason the scene in Office Space, where they tear apart a printer in the field, still resonates with us. As other technology gets more sophisticated, printers have remained as frustrating and difficult to manage as ever.

Fortunately, some common issues that relatively easy to fix. If you run into a printer issue that can’t be fixed with this checklist, it is something that will need serious attention.

1. Turn off the printer, turn it back on

As simple as it seems, this is one of the most effective ways to get a printer back on track and functioning normally.

2. Turn off the computer, turn it back on

Sometimes the issue isn’t just the printer.

3. Check the connections

Sometimes the most frustrating problems are caused by the smallest details. Checking that everything is connected will properly alieve a surprising amount of issues.

4. Check the status

In some instances, the printer will tell you exactly what is wrong with it. Go to the Control Panel and select Devices and Printers. Click on the printer that is having problems. It will usually tell you what is wrong.

5. Check the print queue

Make sure someone else hasn’t clogged the queue with a bunch of print jobs. If you have permissions, clearing problematic print jobs can get the printer back up and running.

6. Invest in a new printer

This, of course, won’t help immediately if you need something printed and your machine is giving you grief, but it will prevent a great many more complicated issues later on. Just like a backup solution. if you use consumer grade products for business-sized loads you will start to lose the money you saved by opting for a cheaper machine. In a business context, you need a machine that can withstand the load of a thriving business. By investing in a business-grade printer, you will most likely make back that money in the time you won’t be wasting dealing with the issues from a consumer grade machine.

Tags: IT support

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