The Most Common Printer Issues
Despite being a decades-old technology, printers and copiers are still prone to a menagerie of potential glitches and hiccups, especially in office environments where people collectively use these machines to print hundreds of pages per day.
Thankfully, even the most common printer and copier issues can be prevented or fixed easily in most situations. It’s even easier if you take advantage of managed print services, which delegate the responsibilities of managing your printers and copiers to an experienced third party.
So what exactly are the most common printer and copier issues? And what can you do about them? Keep reading to learn more.
Why Are Printing Issues Commonplace?
There are several reasons why these issues are still so common. Printers and copiers are complex machines with many internal moving parts, so if you use them frequently enough, some issues become inevitable.
On top of that, there are many layers of technology responsible for executing print jobs; any issue with the printer itself, the software, drivers, connections, personal devices, or even your Wi-Fi network could result in a job not working correctly. And of course, we also have to consider user error. Most people don’t have an expert level of knowledge on printers and copiers, and therefore can’t prevent or fix most issues.
Printer issues always seem to happen at the worst time. Avoid the frustration by investing in proper maintenance.
Common Printer Issues
Business printers come in many shapes and sizes, with varying degrees of complexity and potentially a wide range of features. Still, across the board, these are some of the most common issues you may face:
- An unresponsive printer: Sometimes, your printer might become completely unresponsive. It doesn’t give any indication of receiving jobs, allowing manual copying, or even any signs of life. This could be because of a catastrophic failure, or it might be attributable to something as simple as an unplugged power cord. Because this issue can have so many root causes, it’s difficult to prevent.
- Print jobs aren’t going through: You hit print, but the printer doesn’t finish your job. Obviously, this is a problem, but it could be attributable to a wide range of smaller issues. See if other people in the office can print their jobs. If other people can but you can’t, it’s probably something wrong with your device. If nobody can, the printer might not be connected properly.
- Print quality is bad: Some printers are simply better than others. If your quality is consistently bad, it might be time for an upgrade. It might also be because your ink or toner is running low, or because your printer needs to be recalibrated.
- Printer security is compromised: It’s hard to know that your printer security is compromised until it actually happens. This is usually a result of lax security standards, and it’s difficult to remediate without a cybersecurity team.
- A printer functionality is lost: Has your printer lost specific functionalities, like scanning or copying? This could be attributable to a user error, or it may mean there’s a more complex issue that can only be fixed by a professional.
- Paper keeps jamming: We’ve all experienced at least one paper jam. Sometimes, this is a simple matter of paper being misaligned in the loading tray. But if this issue persists, it’s a good idea to call out a repair person.
- The printer is hemorrhaging ink/toner: If your printer is using more ink or toner then it hypothetically should, you’ll need to take action to avoid spending too much money on these expensive products. Consider adjusting your settings or altering your jobs in the meantime.
- The printer is too slow: Some printers are faster than others. If yours seems to slow down over time, reset it. If that doesn’t work, you may need to find a new model.
- Devices aren’t connecting: If devices aren’t connecting, it could be a problem with either the printer or the devices in question. Try resetting everything involved and trying again.
- Wi-Fi printing is unreliable: If you’re able to print with a wired connection, but not with Wi-Fi, the problem is likely with your Wi-Fi network. Tinkering with your router and settings may be all it takes to correct the issue. For example, you may be able to gain better connectivity by simply moving your Wi-Fi router.
Troubleshooting Printer Issues
You can troubleshoot and correct most printer problems with the following simple steps:
- Reset: The majority of printer issues can be fixed easily by turning off the machine, unplugging it for a few seconds, then plugging it back in and turning it on. It’s amazing what a simple reset can do. Also, consider resetting any problematic devices.
- Check status light: Are there status lights or indicators that tell you what the problem is more specifically? Make sure to note them.
- Check connections: Always double check your connections, even if you’re sure they’re working properly. A single unplugged or loose cable could result in significant problems.
- Check ink, toner, paper, etc.: Check toner levels, ink levels, and paper supply. Make sure all your paper is the proper size and is properly loaded in the tray.
- Research: Are you not sure why this issue is present? Research! If you have an HP printer, consider Googling “HP Printer Issues.” Are other people having the same issue? Is this issue only specific to certain types of print jobs? Once you narrow things down a bit, you might find that the issue is relegated to only one specific device or connection.
- Adjust settings: Next, play with the settings on the printer and your device. You may be able to make simple adjustments that correct whatever issues you’re experiencing.
- Consider upgrading: If your printer has consistent problems, or if it continues to print in poor quality despite your best efforts, your best bet might be to upgrade. Printers, like all technological devices, have finite lifespans—and new ones are being developed all the time.
- Consider using managed print services: Eliminate the headache of troubleshooting all your own printer and copier issues and use managed print services (MSP) to have your vendor handle everything.
Prevent Further Printing Issues With Connected Office Technologies
Are you tired of dealing with tedious, annoying printer and copier issues? Do you hate wasting time troubleshooting the same problems over and over again? There are several options that could help, from investing in a new model to utilizing managed print services. For more information, or a free quote, contact us today!