Why the printer may not be printing

There can be a lot of reasons as to why a printer may not be printing. In most cases it’s not a mechanical issue but a software related one. Here’s some common issues:

  • Not plugged into the wall or the computer
  • It’s not recognized by the operating system for some reason
  • The proper printer isn’t chosen
  • The document that needs to be printer is damaged or corrupted

These and similar issues you can easily detect by printing a test paper, which we start directly from the printer. You can usually activate it by plugging in the printer and long pressing the power button. It may be different on some other models so make sure you check your manual.

If the test print is successful then most likely the issue is one of the ones listed above. If not it may be a mechanical issue which we won’t be covering here.

Dysfunctional or empty cartridge

The cartridge in the printer is usually divided into black and color. There’s a possible software solution for this issue. If that doesn’t work what’s left is to take the cartridge out. The refill process is the same for black cartridge and thus the color one. However the color one has 3 colors so you may need to do it three times.

In conclusion the reason the cartridge isn’t working is because it’s empty, or in the case of InkJet printers, it may have dried out.

Sometimes the electric contacts from the cartridge and the printer can be the cause as well.

In addition, if the indicators are showing that the cartridge isn’t empty but the printer isn’t printing, or is printing partial lines then most likely the cartridge is dry on the InkJet printer.

Repairing, refilling or replacing the cartridge

First I would recommend a software fix for the cartridge.

In addition, cleaning the cartridge and the electrical contacts may help as well.

When it comes to laser printers it’s usually enough to take the cartridge out and shake it a bit so that the dust in it is evenly spread across it’s length. However be careful not to spill the dust because it’s strong paint. By doing this we gained a few pages of print, however we’ll need to fill or change the cartridge.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do when my printer doesn’t want to print?

First we need to identify the issue, best thing you can do is to restart your computer and when it turns on start the test print page on your printer.

How to print a test page?

This is done by pressing and holding certain buttons on the printer. Which buttons need to be pressed and held depends on the printer model, best to look in your manual.

Is a cartridge repair possible?

Yes, a cartridge can be repaired via software, cleaning, calibrating, etc… as well as mechanically.

Read another text about printer repairs.

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