7 Common Printer Problems and Solutions

A man attempts to fix his home office printer with a screwdriver

Printer issues are a special kind of frustrating! 

When you just need to print something fast, the last thing you want to find is that your device won’t work as intended. Unfortunately, the bad news is that from off-kilter print settings to issues with ink cartridges, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. 

The good news? This list of common problems and printer troubleshooting tips has you covered with some straightforward solutions. We’ll also point you in the right direction if you think it’s time for a new printer

7 Common Printer Problems and Solutions
Problem #1: Full Print Queue 
Problem #2: Slow Wi-Fi Printing 
Problem #3: Printer Driver Override 
Problem #4: Streaky or Blotchy Print
Problem #5: Blank Print Outs 
Problem #6: Misaligned Text
Problem #7: MFP Scan Failure

1. Full Print Queue 

If you only use one printer in your office, its print queue is liable to fill up with so many people sending print jobs to its spooler simultaneously. This then causes the printer to stop responding and get stuck in its queue.


Step one is to remove unnecessary print jobs queued in the spooler. If this doesn’t work, reboot the printer. You may also need to check the printer manual for help! 

🖨️ Related Resources: How to Clear a Printer Queue 

2. Slow Wi-Fi Printing 

A wireless printer is great because it offers the convenience of Wi-Fi printing and eliminates the stress of cable management. However, a slow internet connection can undo all those benefits and bring your printing process to a screeching halt. 


After testing your internet speed to confirm it’s slow, you can try:

  • Moving the printer closer to the router
  • Installing a Wi-Fi extender near the printer if it can’t be moved 
  • Disconnecting bandwidth-draining devices

🖨️ Related Resources: Why Is My Printer Not Printing?

A person clenches their fists on their laptop with a Wi-Fi logo floating overtop, signalling a bad connectionImage source: Canva

3. Printer Driver Problem 

Next on our list of printer problems and solutions are corrupted or outdated printer drivers. These connect the printer and computer, providing commands on what and how to print. However, as they age, they can reduce the efficiency of your device.


All you have to do to fix this printer issue is update, install, or reinstall your printer drivers. Check your printer’s user manual for more accurate information and guidance. It’ll show you where to get the latest drivers for your printer!

4. Streaky or Blotchy Prints 

Streak and/or blotchy prints can have a variety of causes, from using the wrong paper type to a clogged ink or toner cartridge. Unfortunately, as print quality decreases you’ll be left with prints that are smudged, discoloured, or faded.


If you have this issue, follow these printer troubleshooting tips: 

  • Use a paper type appropriate for your printer model
  • Clean clogged printer heads and perform an alignment 
  • Change your printer settings to “high quality” if possible 

5. Printing Blank Pages 

Next up on this list of printer problems and solutions are blank pages. Your printer running low on ink and toner is the most common cause, but this issue can also annoyingly arise even after you’ve just replaced a tone or ink cartridge.


If your printer won’t recognize ink cartridges, you should: 

  1. Restart your printer by shutting it down and unplugging its power cord completely, then turn it back on to run a test print.
  2. If that doesn’t work, check if the ink or toner cartridges are inserted correctly and there isn’t any damage on their surfaces.
  3. If that doesn’t solve the issue, you should then run an automatic cleaning cycle or manually clean the print heads and nozzles.

someone pulling a large piece of paper out of a wide-format printerImage source: Canva

6. Misaligned Text 

It’s not uncommon for your print jobs to go sideways—literally. This is one of the most common printer problems and typically involves situations where the words on your printed page appear crooked or misaligned.


This issue usually arises due to a print head being out of place. You should open your printer and make sure everything is as it should be; sometimes all it takes is one person bumping the device to have it start sabotaging your print job. 

🖨️ Related Resources: 8 Tips to Extend the Life of Your Office Printer

7. MFP Scan Failure 

Multifunction printers (MFPs) are great because they have scanners, but what about when they stop scanning properly? This is easily one of the most frustrating printer issues, especially given how expensive MFPs can be to replace. 


Simply reinstall the printing software package, as this will give you the updated scanner driver and restore your MFP’s operation. If that doesn’t work, your next step should be manually searching and installing the updated driver. 

💡 Tip: Only trust your MFP’s manufacturer website! Avoid downloading drivers from third-party sites as these could make you vulnerable to a printer hack

If Your Printer Issues Persist, We Can Help 

There you have them: seven common printer problems and solutions. Unfortunately, sometimes no amount of printer troubleshooting is enough to save your device—and that’s when you call us for a brand new printer! 

Busys.ca knows printers! Whether you’re looking for laser printers, inkjet models, or something for large-scale productions, you can count on us. Our high-quality models are built to last and rarely experience these common printer problems.   

Printer issues got you down? Call us for a solution!

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