Why Won’t My Printer Print?

A frustrated man on the phone dealing with a broken printer

What do you do when your printer suddenly stops working and you have no idea why? You may be tempted to replace it (or toss it out a window), but before you do either of those things, the answer might be a lot simpler than you would expect.

Your printer not printing could be due to several reasons—like an unplugged power supply, dry ink, or issues with the paper tray—that can be easily fixed if you know what you’re doing, or at least are made aware of them. 

So, if you’re asking, “Why is my printer not printing anything?” here are the most common problems and troubleshooting solutions! 

Problem 1: Interrupted Power or Data Connection

The first thing to check is your printer’s power connection… You’d be surprised how often people panic only to discover that it isn’t on or plugged in.

Another seemingly obvious thing you should check is whether or not you have a data connection. A printer requires data from your computer to function properly and print documents. Additionally, with more and more printers requiring a stable Wi-Fi connection, your internet being down might be the reason why you’re having printer problems. 

The Solution 

If you’ve got a printer not working and suspect a connection issue: 

  1. Make sure your printer is plugged in (and plug it in if it isn’t)
  2. Ensure your wireless network is connected and stable
  3. For wireless printers, try a wired printer connection using a USB cable
  4. Update your printer software and/or printer driver
  5. Reset your printer if issues persist

→ Tip: Check the printer manufacturer’s website for info on updates! 

Problem 2: A Jammed Paper Tray 

If you’re asking “Why isn’t my printer printing?” it could also be because your paper stack is running low. Even if you find that the tray is fully loaded, a misaligned paper stack from the last print job may be the issue and have caused a paper jam within the device. 

The Solution 

Always check the paper tray before printing and restock as needed. Align the stack neatly before placing it in the tray so the paper feeder grabs the sheets properly. 

Also, double-check if there’s paper stuck in the machine. Pull the sheet gently with your hands and tug until it’s out completely. Press the printer icon button on the machine—you’ve overcome the paper jam if it dispenses the test page correctly!

Problem 3: Low Toner and Ink Cartridges (Or Density) 

Low ink or toner levels can be another reason why your printer doesn’t print. However, it’s also possible that you may have your ink/toner density setting set to the minimum, which could be another reason why you’ve got a printer not working.

 A gloved hand replacing the ink in a laser printer model

The Solution 

Check ink and toner status by going to the control panel and selecting your printer’s properties/cartridge status. From here, you will be able to see exactly how much ink or toner is left in the cartridge and whether or not it’s time for a refill. 

Tip: If you have a laser printer, try shaking the toner cartridge to redistribute the powder, giving you better-quality prints. However, DO NOT do this with an ink cartridge as you may end up with ink everywhere.

Adjusting the density should be straightforward in the printer settings! 

→ Read more: 7 Things to Do if Your Printer Doesn’t Recognize Ink Cartridges

Problem 4: Transfer or Fuser Roller Issues 

Laser printers use transfer and fuser rollers to print images and texts on paper. The former uses an electrical charge to attract and transfer toner powder from the cartridge, while the latter heats the toner so that it sticks onto the page. 

So, if you’ve got a printer not working, it could be because: 

  • Your transfer rolling is positioned incorrectly
  • Something on the transfer roller is limiting its ability to produce a charge
  • The toner has gotten stuck on the fuser’s upper roller

If you’re having fuser roller issues, the last thing you tried to print will appear on your new paper as a ghosted image—spooky indeed. 

The Solution 

If your printer doesn’t print, we recommend you run a printer cleaning to cleanse the drum, transfer, and fuser rollers to remove excess toner powder. However, you may need to have a printer technician check if the transfer or fuser rollers need replacement.

Problem 5: Clogged Inkjet Print Heads 

One of the reasons you’ve got an inkjet printer not printing might be because the print heads are blocked. Over time, these mechanisms that transfer droplets of ink onto your printed pages may become clogged. 

→ Tip: Faint or missing areas on printed pages are signs of a clogged head! 

The Solution 

Ensuring your printer receives regular cleaning is the best way to avoid this issue!

Problem 6: Bubbles In Your Inkwell 

If you’ve got a printer not working, another possible reason is air bubbles trapped in the inkwell. When this happens, the air bubbles are pushed out of the ink cartridge instead of the necessary ink droplets, resulting in missing areas on your printed page.

The Solution 

Cleaning your printer is also the fix here. All inkjet wired and wireless printers have a cleaning mechanism you can access via its control panel. 

→ Read more: Does It Matter What Kind of Printer Ink You Use? 

A working humidifier on top of an employee’s desk in an office

Problem 7: Poor Humidity Regulation 

Too much humidity in your home or office can cause problems as ink, toner cartridges, and paper have optimum operating humidity ratings. If the humidity level in your space is too low, it can cause printer downtime, paper curls, and web breaks. 

The Solution 

Try lowering or increasing your home or office’s humidity level. If moisture is low, add a humidifier to restore humidity; conversely, install a dehumidifier to reduce moist air. Maintain a balanced humidity level in the space and check if it’s within the optimal range.


Printer Not Printing? Call Busys.ca! 

If you have gone through this entire checklist and are still asking, “Why is my printer not printing anything?” it’s time to call your printer manufacturer or a trusted IT technician. They’ll have someone look at it and help you determine if it can be fixed or if it’s time for a new printer.

If your printer doesn’t print and you need a replacement, Busys.ca has the expertise and inventory to set you up for success. Whether you’re looking for a speedy home printer or a multifunction unit for your office, we’ve got you covered! 

So, is your printer not working? Request a quote for a new system today!

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