Steps for Troubleshooting a Printer

It is extremely convenient to have access to a printer at all times. This could be made possible by connecting a printer directly to your computer, or you could network a printer so that you have access to it no matter where you are with your computer.

printer troubleshoot tips
printer troubleshoot tips

This is made possible through special software or through specially installed drivers. Unfortunately, sometimes issues arise which cause problems with connection between these two devices. Below is a list a steps to follow when troubleshooting your printer.

Step By Step Process to fix printer problem

  • Turn it On– This may seem like a simple step, but it does often require a reminder. The first and probably the most important step in troubleshooting your printer is to make sure that it is plugged-in, turned on, and that there are no error messages or paper jams.
  • Print a Test Page– Once you have ensured that everything is on and free of errors then you will want to print a test page. Sometimes this can be conducted by simply pressing a button on the computer, but it can often be done on the configuration page with your printer settings.
  • Check the Print Quality– The printer will print out the configuration page, check that everything looks correct. The printer test page can often provide you a print out of any errors that may be occurring. If the print quality is not up to par, or you receive an error during the printing process then you will want to move on to the following step.
  • Check the Printer– It is rather common for more than one printer to have drivers installed on a single computer. This means that each one of these printers will show up as an option under the print properties. It is important to make sure that the correct printer is selected when you are attempting to print. Even if you have only installed a single printer on your computer that single printer may have multiple abilities. For example: You may have purchased what is considered to be an all-in-one device. These printers often have printing, scanning, & faxing capabilities. Quite often an all-in-one printer will have multiple drivers installed on your computer, so that you have the option to select the printer, fax, or even the scanner section of the printer. Make sure the proper printer option is selected.
  • Check your Network Connectivity– It is extremely common for a computer to become disconnected from a network. This is often the case when there are problems with the network cables or the internet. Check to make sure all cables are properly connected. Then visit a website that is not common for you to search. For example if you are at work you may never visit Go to visit this site to see if the page is able to load. The reason it is important to check a page that is not visited often is that sometimes a page that you go to often can load simply based on the files they have stored on your computer. A site that has to actually load the page will show if there is any internet connectivity issues.
  • Check your Printing Specs– Most people assume that files that they receive are automatically setup to print on a portrait style 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. This is not always the case. Go to the printing properties before you click print and check to make sure that the selected document is set to print on the proper sheet size. Requesting to print a document without having the proper paper in the printer could force the printer to error out. While you are there check to make sure that the proper draw is selected for where the paper should pull from. You may have a printer that only has a single option, but if you do not make sure to check.
  • Restart– When in doubt restart the computer and the printer. You will want to turn off the printer, restart the computer, and once the computer has loaded turn on the printer. Wait at least 30 seconds before attempting to print a document. This should clear out any issues from the printing queue and the printer queue and allowed you to start from the beginning hopefully error free this time.

Author Bio: Michael Clark wrote this article about troubleshooting; as he has a great knowledge of troubleshooting computer and printer related issues. He gained this knowledge and experience by working with the as a senior technician.

4 thoughts on “Steps for Troubleshooting a Printer”

  1. I should admit that, this the best step by step guide for troubleshooting a printer even you are a noob.

    Thanks to Michael Clark and ankit kumar for detailing this.

  2. I was suppose to have
    this problem several times. The Information provided is too much relevant. The way you elaborate the steps are impressive . It
    is easy to understand and easy to fix computer problem.

  3. the best step by step guide for troubleshooting a printer even you are a noob.


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