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Steps to Solving the 5 Most Common Printing Problems

1. My Printer Refuses to Print

If there’s no error message pointing to the problem, check to confirm that the printer is connected via Ethernet or USB. If your printer is a wireless model, check that the Wi-Fi is enabled and that you’re connected to the proper network. If your printer is properly connected then the problem may be your printer driver. Confirm that the printer driver and software are installed on the computer you wish to print from. If the driver has been corrupted, check the manufacturer’s download page for the latest version and then reinstall.

You may receive an error message indicating the cartridge could not be recognized. This is especially common with some third-party cartridges. Luckily, there’s an easy solution that should resolve the issue. Remove the problematic cartridge, power off the computer and unplug the power cord. Wait one minute while the printer resets. During the interval, use a paper towel to clean the copper contact points located near the printhead. If your cartridge is an ink tank and lacks a printhead, you can try cleaning the smart chip on the end of the cartridge. Cleaning the contact points and chip will remove any debris, ink or finger oil that may have ended up there, which can prevent the printer from recognizing the cartridge if not cleaned. Once you’ve finished cleaning and the minute has passed, power the printer back on and reinstall the cartridge. If the cartridge still isn’t being recognized, call the manufacturer or third party vendor where you bought the cartridge and ask to speak to tech support.

2. My Printer is Telling Me to Replace the Cartridge

Many printers will warn you that the ink level of the cartridge is low and requires a replacement. However, more times than not this warning can be ignored and you can continue to print. Depending on the manufacturer, you may be able to receive a considerable amount of prints after the low ink level warning appears. Instead of changing your cartridge as soon as your printer tells you, allow it to print until you notice the quality start to decline.

3. Paper Jams

This is usually the result of a small shred of paper stuck somewhere in the paper feed mechanism. Remove the paper from the tray and look inside. You may be able to remove the jammed piece of paper with your fingers or, if it’s a very small piece and hard to reach, tweezers may be necessary.

Paper jams often occur because of paper misalignment. To prevent this, make sure to square off the stack of paper before inserting it into the tray, making sure it’s properly aligned with the guides located on the paper tray. Also, be careful not to over-fill the paper tray. If paper jams continue to pester you despite careful paper loading, reference your printer’s manual and contact tech support.

4. Poor Print Quality

Poor print quality can occur with toner cartridges when toner has settled in one side of the cartridge. To correct this, try gently shaking the cartridge several times from side to side. The toner cartridge should then be able to print at optimal quality unless it is low on toner.

If your ink cartridges are delivering poor performance results, you can try running a nozzle cleaning and printhead alignment, which can be launched from the printer’s maintenance menu. If you’re receiving poor quality on your printed photos, check to make sure you’re using the right paper. Photos should be printed on photo paper for best results. Also, make sure the correct paper type is selected in your printer’s settings before attempting to print. If your printer offers a high-quality photo setting, use it for best results.

You should also confirm that your printer isn’t using an ink-saving setting, which would cause prints to be faint. If your printer is currently in draft mode, switch to a higher quality mode and you should receive the results you expect.

5. Printing is Expensive!

This seems to be the universal complaint when it comes to printing. We all know printing isn’t cheap, but there are some cost-effective strategies you can start employing today to drastically reduce the amount you spend on print cartridges.

First, be careful about how you print. Large fonts and bold text will require more ink or toner, so you can save money by reducing the size of your font and using bold only when absolutely necessary. Two ink-saving fonts are Arial and Courier New. Or, you can download Ecofont – a font style that uses 20% less ink or toner by including small white circles within each character.

Draft mode is another option when it comes to saving on ink. Accessed through your printer’s preferences, draft mode will cause your cartridges to produce less ink. The print quality will suffer, but if you can afford to have a weaker print quality, you’ll find yourself saving money by conserving your ink and toner supply. Additionally, if print out doesn’t absolutely need color, choose grayscale in your printer’s preferences to print in black and white only.

The most cost-effective form of printing, however, is through third-party cartridges. Remanufactured and compatible ink and toner cartridges, when purchased through a reputable business, can offer printer-brand quality for a fraction of the price. Check out 123inkjets for available supplies for your printer, and compare the cost to what you pay for the original manufacturer’s cartridge.