Steps To Fix A Printer That Won’t Print

If your printer will not print, there are several troubleshooting tips you can try to resolve the issue. Since there are so many reasons why this might happen, run through the following options until you find a resolution that matches your problem. It’s often faster and easier to simply uninstall the printer and install it again. If you have a USB printer and a modern Windows Operating System, usually all you will need to do is plug in the USB cable and the printer will automatically install. In most cases, however, you will need to install the model-specific drivers for your printer.

Steps To Fix A Printer

  1. Reboot all devices
  2. If rebooting the computer and printer fails, unplug the printer’s USB cable.
  3. Plug the USB cable into a different port and see if it is re-discovered.
  4. If the printer is seen but doesn’t install properly, unplug it again.
  5. Visit the printer manufacturer’s website and download the driver software and install it.
  6. Plug the USB cable back in.

HP printer will not print

Network Printer Will Not Print

If this printer is a network printer, you should first try using the ping command to test your connection to the device. For instance, if the IP address of the printer is, you would go to Start>Run and type cmd and hit enter. At the prompt, you would type ping and hit enter. If you do not get a response, you can try turning off the printer, wait a few minutes, then turn it back on. if the printer is connected to the switch or a hum, you might try unplugging the hub and plug it back in. it’s not uncommon for a network device to go stupid for no reason. If you still cannot ping the printer, toggle through the settings to confirm the printer’s network settings are correct.

Local  Printer Will Not Print

If your  printer will not print and it is physically attached to your PC, try unplugging the cable and plug it back in. USB devices will show when they are connected or disconnected down by the system clock in the lower right hand corner. If you do not see it being recognized as you plug it back in, you probably have a driver issue and will need to completely uninstall the printer and any software associated with it. You should look for a newer printer driver on the manufacturer’s website.

If the printer is recognized when you plug in the USB cable, open the printer options in Windows and see if your printer has jobs stuck in the queue. If there are stuck jobs, remove them all.  You can sometimes clear the jobs at the printer, as well. You may need to hit Cancel Job several times until all of the print jobs are canceled.

Make sure the printer is “online.” Some printers will have a button to take it offline. The printer status will usually be shown in the printer’s display as well as within Windows.

Printer Only Prints Gibberish

Another printing problem is if your jobs come out in gibberish–which is usually ASCII characters consisting on shapes and symbols instead of text, then you need to make sure the printer is setup to print postscript. Unless otherwise set, high-end laser printers will have their personality set to AUTO, which means it has the capability to switch between postscript and non-postscript mode. It is also possible to install a driver that is not postscript, so if you problems occur when you first install it, look for a different driver that specifies PS.

If your HP printer will not print and you have followed the above directions, join our free forums and ask your question there or read our other printer troubleshooting articles.

About the Author: Dave

David is a tech professional with over fifteen years of experience in the IT fields of hardware, software and system administration.


  1. hey guys thx for the gd material u provide us with.but i still hv a problem with my machine whenever i try to print the machine restarts i don’t kno the problem plz help me out cos im stuck .thak u.


  2. my hplaserjet m1522nf printer is failing to print any document through a direct connect to my laptop.What may be the cause,the drivers are there and the laptop runs windows7 Professional?

    1. Uninstall the printer, disconnect the USB cable, reinstall the software and then attach the cable last.

      When you plug in the printer, it should recognize it. If not, you may have a problem with your USB port.

  3. Had the same prob. I noticed a warning box appear that I was being attacked by something and it had been sent to the vault. It happened next time as I was trying to print. I disabled the AVAST antivirus and hey presto my printer works perfectly. I pissed of the AVAST and installed AVG. Problem now solved, prior to realizing what was causing the prob I had uninstalled then reinstalled the printer and up to date drivers to no avail. Was driving me nuts.

  4. i have a epson tx 300f , I tried to scan something and it would not do it, so i unstalled the printer drivers and reinstalled them and when I go to print I go to microsoft word and says no file and will not print anything

  5. My hp4260 works, yet when I try to print its only prints blank pages. I checked the ink and it seemed fine?

  6. HP lj1300 won`t print and job stays in print cue with ERROR mesage.
    When I unplug and plug again USB cable , then it starts to print normaly.
    This can happen once a day or sometimes it works for few days , and than stop again.

    Is there any solution for this problem?

  7. i have a brother printer mfc845cw. itsays printer is ready but when i print it stays in que. it is a wireless printer also my internet is at&t thanks for any help

    1. If it’s stuck in the queue, it means the printer is not communicating correctly with the PC. I would check your printer settings for the network and make sure that is setup correctly. I like to manually configure my network printers so the IP address never changes. Fo example, if my router IP address is I will setup my printer as something like–way above the number of devices I have connected to my network at any given time, so I dont have to worry about IP address conflicts.

  8. have a hp2110 all in one wont print . have tried turning power off to printer&pc.tried removing usb cord.please help.

  9. I have two HP printers and they have not been used recently. We bought all new printer cartridges but both of them have the same problem. Simply printed only a few pages and now they print nothing.

    I did the printer head cleaning but it seems they must be dried out

  10. my printer hp laserjet 2055 never prints normally instead it only releases a blank page or never prints at all.

    1. Reinstall the HP driver software after uninstalling it from your computer. Confirm you print cartridges are good. If you still have issues, let’s continue the conversation in our forums.

  11. I have a HP photosmart premium C309g-m and for the last 2 hrs have been trying (in vain) to figure out why it is not printing. Have shut both printer and computer off and restarted…still not working. Copies and then prints just fine. Have come to the conclusion that for some reason the computer is not communicating with the printer. I’m at a loss as to what to do next. Can you help?

    1. You can go into the Control Panel under administrative tools and look in the services section to confirm the Print Spooler is started and set to automatically start when you bot the machine. Also, under Start>Devices and Printers make sure the printer is selected as your default printer. When all else fails go into the Control Panel>Program and Features and uninstall it. You can find the latest drivers for your model at the HP website. Install the new drivers. For more help, join our free forums and ask.

  12. i have HP Deskjet D1560 printer that was working extremely good until i change the inks . Now all what is happening the light just keep on flickering . The ink cost me US$50.00. need some help and advice

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