Why Your Printer Is Not Printing

What do you do when your printer suddenly stops working and you have no idea why? You may be tempted to replace it, you may even be attempted to toss it out a window, but before you do either of those things, the answer might be a lot simpler than you would expect. Here are the 10 most common reasons why your printer is not printing and how to fix them:

Power Connection

The very first thing you should check is your printer’s power connection. While you might think this is would be obvious, you would be surprised by the number of people who panic that their printer isn’t working only to find out that it wasn’t turned on or plugged in. We know, we know—you’ve probably heard this one a thousand times before but check one more time as a favour to us.

Data Connection

Another seemingly obvious thing you should check is whether or not you have a data connection. A printer requires data from your computer so that it knows where the ink should be printed. Additionally, as more and more printers are using Wi-Fi connections, if your home or office’s internet is down, that might be the reason why your printer is not printing.

Computer with no data connection reason why printer is not printing


The third thing you should check if your printer is not printing is your paper situation. One of the reasons why your printer may not be willing to print is if your paper tray is running low. Even if you find that the tray is fully loaded, you might still be having trouble. Try taking the paper completely out and realigning it neatly before putting it back in so that the sheets can be grabbed properly. Another paper issue you might be having is a paper jam, so check your machine for any stuck paper.

Ink and Toner Levels

Another common reason why your printer may not be printing is if its ink or toner levels are low. You can check their status through your computer by going to the control panel and selecting your printer’s properties/cartridge status. From this, 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. A quick tip: if you have a laser printer, trying shaking the toner cartridge to redistribute the powder, giving you more successful prints. DO NOT do this with an ink cartridge as you may end up with ink everywhere.

Ink/Toner Density Setting

In addition to low ink or toner levels, there is a possibility that your ink/toner density setting is set to low, which is why your printer is not printing as it should be. In order to change this, you can access your printer’s settings through

The Fuser Roller

In a laser printer, the fuser roller is the part that heats up the toner so that it firmly sticks in place on your printed page. If your printer is not printing, it may be due to toner getting stuck to a fuser’s upper roller. How you can tell if this what’s causing the problem is if there appears to be a second, faint image printed on top of your page. This happens when toner doesn’t completely melt as it should on your page and instead, it becomes stuck to the fuser roller. So when you print another sheet, the last thing you tried to print will appear on your new paper as a ghosted image.

The Transfer Roller

A laser printer’s transfer roller uses an electrical charge in order to attract toner from the cartridge so that it can then transfer it onto the page that you are printing. A potential reason why your printer is not printing may be due to a problem with the transfer roller, specifically if it is positioned incorrectly. Or, there may be something on its surface that is affecting its ability to produce the necessary electrical charge to print properly.

Laser printer that is not printing

Inkjet Print Heads

For inkjet printers, one of the reasons your printer is not printing might be because the print heads are blocked. If you use an inkjet printer for a long period of time, the mechanism called print heads that transfer droplets of ink onto your printed pages may become clogged. This would cause faint or entirely missing areas on pages that you try to print. Ensuring your printer receives regular cleaning is the best way to avoid this issue.


Another possible reason your printer is not printing if you have an inkjet printer is if there are 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, which will result in missing areas on your printed page.

Printer Location

Did you know that too little or too much humidity can cause your printer to not print properly? Too much humidity in your home or office can result in problems occurring, as ink or toner cartridges, as well as paper, have optimum operating humidity ratings that determine what environment they’ll perform best in. Conversely, if the humidity level in your space is too low, the ink can have a tough time setting and drying properly on a page.

If you have gone through this entire checklist and still do not know the reason why your printer is not printing, it’s time to call in a printer technician. They’ll be able to give your printer a look over and determine whether or not it is time for a new printer. If that’s the case, Busys.ca offers a wide range of multifunctional office printers that are exactly what you’re looking for. Browse our selection or contact us today to request a quote!

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