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Here's What to Do If Your Printer Won't Print

Printers are still useful today despite the shift of “going paperless” evolution at its infancy stage. A legal printed document will still need a wet signature for authenticity purposes such as signing contracts, verification, or certification. Printers are the least expected to fail most of the time but when they do it can be annoying especially when your printing tasks are time critical. In case your printer won’t print, you’d better check out the following simple issues before a qualified tech takes over:


Is the power on? As mundane as it sounds, your printer’s plug may be disconnected somewhere from the AC socket. Check for a loose connection at the back of your printer if it uses a detachable power cord. If your printer is connected to an extension cord or a surge protector, ensure that your printer is firmly connected. Ensure that the extension cord or surge protector works, has been switched on, and not overloaded with other equipment from the protector’s / extension’s rated wattage and ampere capacity.


Select the right printer if you have multiple printers installed. You might not be connected to the right printer (or connected to a virtual printer such as Adobe PDF or Fax) so make sure you select the right printer you want. In your program you are printing from, you should see a small green check mark with “Ready” indicator.


Were the printer drivers installed or updated? Some printers won’t print even if you have plugged it for the first time via USB cable and Windows automatically detected the hardware and installed a generic driver. You can either install the driver CD provided from the printer’s manufacturer or download the appropriate drivers from the manufacturer’s official website.


Your ink or paper tray is empty. You might have overlooked the low-ink warnings from the printer monitoring program or from its display or unaware that the paper tray is running out of paper. Replace the empty ink as necessary and fill the paper tray with sheets of paper.


Is your internet modem on? If your printer has been configured to print wirelessly check your router or modem if has been turned on. You can still print wirelessly even without Internet connection.


Are you lined up in a queue? Someone else may be using the printer if you’re in an office. Check the printer’s status by double-clicking the printer’s icon in the system tray and see how many printing tasks in queue before your turn. If there’s none, go to the printer menu and select “cancel all documents”. This will clear all printing tasks in queue.


Check for any other warning message from the printer’s display. Your printer will flash a message for the following:

  • Cover or lid isn’t properly closed - ensure the cover or lid is closed properly.
  • Ink cartridge or toner has been improperly installed –verify if the its locking mechanism did not snap or align to its proper place.
  • Paper jam from a previous printing task. You can try either of these steps:
    • Try turning off the printer and turn it on again if it can eject the jammed paper by itself.
    • If the step above didn’t work, remove carefully the jammed paper by pulling the paper towards the direction of the printer where the paper exits.
    • Be careful not to touch the drum or belt or anything sensitive that can affect the printing process. In some printers, you may need to remove the print head first (and disassembling other parts necessary if easily detachable) before removing the jammed paper. Refer to your printer’s manual if you’re unsure.


If none of the above steps worked and still the printer won’t print, bring your printer to the printer manufacturer’s service center.


  • i’ve had about every problem imaginable with a printer at one time or another

    Jasmine Hewitt
  • I’ll always find myself lined up in a queue since I work with the office printer but most times that skips my mind and I end up going over to the printer to check around for a fault. But I’m getting used to that though. Lol

  • Lovely suggestions. A lot of them never crossed my mind whenever I had printer issue. Good thing I saw this cause I’m sure no more printer issues anytime soon since I already know solutions to possible problems.

    Alice Brely
  • Having the ink or paper tray empty is a common thing and most of us overlook that. Now I always ensure that I refill immediately once I notice either of them are going down.

  • I just brought a printer and started spamming print command but it did not print any thing than i hovered over this web page and realized than I had not put paper in the printer and how would It work without it. Just wasted my 50 minutes LOL.


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