My Printer Won’t Print

We have all endured a printer won’t print issue. Whether it is printing out an important report, or wedding invitations, it always seems the printer stops working in the worst of times. Here are some general steps to get any printer that won’t print to work.

Fix Printer Won’t Print Issues

If the printer won’t print, he first thing to do is to check all physical connections. It is amazing how many people skip this step. From a technician’s point of view, checking physical connections is generally the first step to any problem. Usually with my experience however, printer issues are based on the software level, not the physical level. However, ignoring this step can bring many headaches.

The second step is to reinstall the printer with up-to-date drivers. Typically, manufacturers upload updated drivers on the Internet compared to the software that was included in the purchase of the printer. To reinstall a printer, go to Printers and Faxes in Windows XP. Highlight the printer, and click delete this printer. The Operating System will ask you if you are sure you want to delete the printer, and say yes. At this point, if the printer is USB, unplug the printer from the computer.

On a side note, the general practice is to install USB software before the device is plugged in.

Go online to your printer’s manufacturer’s website, and download the drivers for your printer. Once it is downloaded, run the software. This software installs needed information for your printer to talk to your processor, or essentially your computer in regards to printing. Most driver installation software allows you to print a test page after the installation completes. Go ahead and print a test page!

Printer Won’t Print – Hardware Issue

Now, if your printer still does not print, we can then conclude it is most likely a hardware problem. The physical printer could be bad, or the connecting cable is bad, or the port is bad on the computer. Go ahead and change ports on the computer, to rule out the possibility of a bad port. If that does not work, it is safe to say that it is time to purchase another printer.

Printers can be very irritating. With my experience, it was hard to keep a printer installed on Vista before service pack 1. So make sure if you are running Vista to upgrade to service pack 1 if you have not done so already.

If you follow these quick and easy steps, you can resolve most printer won’t print issues.

Jon Brengle
A+, Network +, MCP Certified

Category: Printers

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Comments (3)

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  1. My xp can print my emails, no problem, however, when I try to print any web site the print just ‘freezes’ when I check the print status it says ‘Spooling’
    Any suggestions.
    Ronnie Smyth

  2. lisa says:

    my printer is going through the motions of printing but no ink is on the paper I just put in a new cartridge what could be the problem?

  3. Dave Dave says:

    I hate to say this, but you should buy a new cartridge. Although you filled it, the printer still recognizes it as being the same empty cartridge that was in there.