Stop your printer nightmares!

PRINTER! Indeed, it won’t leave your top 10 list of the must have’s in your office, but it can also be one of the most hated office tools too. Have you ever been in a rush for a meeting and needed to print out a document only to have your printer act up? It can drive you mad!

No matter what brand you choose, there are times when printing can become a nightmare. It may be because of driver issues, the user interface or the printer needs maintenance, it all depends. Computer & IT tech support people know how to deal with it, but it also helps to know what kind of printer problem we are encountering so you can apply first steps before issues become worse.

Here are a few common issues which could affect your printing:

Printer jams: All printers suffer from this at some point and is a fairly common problem. Printer jams occur for any number of reasons; using incorrect media that is just not compatible is the most likely cause. Older printers can be more prone to jamming due to rollers and internal parts wearing out which can cause paper slippage thus resulting in a jam.

If you encounter a jam, the best thing to do first is turn off the printer. Keep in mind especially if you have a laser printer, it’s advised to wait for the fuser to cool down before you clear the jam as they get rather hot. If you can see the jammed sheet of paper, GENTLY pull it out, following the direction the paper would normally go. DO NOT pull it backwards as it may damage the printer’s mechanics. Also be careful not to rip the paper if you can help it, removing remaining torn paper is often difficult and may even involve partly disassembling the printer to remove it all.

Print queue: It’s okay for us humans to multitask, but printers don’t work the same way. Printers get sent print jobs from a computer and are printed out in order. If there is an error in one of the jobs; paper jams, lack of paper, ink or other mechanical reason, the remaining jobs in the queue may not get printed and may get stuck. Most times once an issue has been rectified, the remaining jobs will continue and everything will be fine. If you continue to get print queue errors, there may be some other issues going on and it’s best to consult with your IT support to check what could be causing it.

Bad quality prints: You may have printed out a document or a photo and the quality of the end result was just awful. Most common cause for this usually a bad ink or laser cartridge and the easiest way to determine this is to replace it with a brand new one. Also worth checking the media you’re using and if it’s correct for the job you are printing. If everything checks out and you continue to have bad quality prints, then it could be a more major issue and it would be best to seek professional IT assistance.

Leaking cartridges: This is an issue that happens with both inkjet & laserjet printers, most often when using refilled or remanufactured cartridges. Most cartridges are not designed to be refilled and only have a limited life. It is always best to use new genuine cartridges to avoid possible leaking, plus you get much better quality printing. It’s also worth noting that most manufactures will not honour the warranty if damage has occurred due to a leaked cartridge.

We all have reasons to love printers but we also have reasons to hate them as well. Sometimes it all depends on how we use it too. When purchasing a new printer, one thing to keep in mind is to make sure it will be able to handle the workload, which is generally shown in the printer specifications as the duty cycle. This gives you an indication of how many pages per month the printer can handle. Trying to push a printer further than what it can handle is not advised and will usually result in damaging the printer. Most often this will also void your warranty.

If you take care of your printer and have it maintained regularly, many of the nightmares can be avoided before they happen.

If you need help with any kind of printer issue or if you need some assistance, we are here to help you. Our number is 0447 619 397 or you can send us an enquiry, either through our contact page, by Facebook or by email,

Posted in Educational, Hardware.

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