• Install a printer
  • Add a printer
  • Download printer drivers
  • Install printer drivers
  • Set default printer
  • View printer queue
  • Fix Printer Problems
  • Troubleshoot offline printer

how to solve printer problems

Fix printer connection and printing problems in Windows

If you’re trying to use your printer and run into problems, here are some steps for common printer problems to try to get things working again.

Before you begin

Start by running the automated printer troubleshooter in the Get Help app. Get Help automatically runs diagnostics and takes the correct steps to fix most printer issues.

Open Get Help

If the Get Help app is unable to resolve your printer issue, try the possible solutions listed: 

Step 1. Unplug and restart your printer

Sometimes power cycling your printer can resolve the issue. Turn off your printer and unplug it, wait 30 seconds, plug your printer back in, and then turn the printer back on.

If your printer still doesn’t work, continue to step 2.

Step 2. Check cables or wireless connection

Check the cables (for wired printers).  Make sure that the printer's USB cable is properly connected from the printer to your PC. If your USB isn’t recognized, see  Automatically diagnose and fix Windows USB problems .

Check the wireless connection (for wireless printers) . Do one of the following:

Make sure the printer’s wireless option is turned on and available. Many printers have a button that displays a blue wireless icon when a wireless connection option for the printer is available. To learn where this button is located on your printer and to find instructions about how to turn it on, see the instructions that came with the printer or check the manufacturer's website for instructions.

Run the printer’s wireless connectivity test. Many printers have a menu option to test the printer’s wireless connectivity. Read the instructions that came with the printer or check the printer manufacturer’s website for instructions about how to do this.

If those check out and you’re still having problems, your PC may not be connecting to your wireless network. To learn more, see Why can't I get online? For more advanced help, see Fix network connection issues in Windows .

If you're having trouble connecting to a Bluetooth printer, see Fix Bluetooth problems in Windows .

If you use wireless access points, extenders, or multiple wireless routers with separate SSIDs, make sure you're connected to the same network as the printer for your PC.

If your printer's status displays "Printer in error state," there may be a problem with the printer itself.  If these first two steps did not resolve the error, check the printer for low paper or ink, and be sure the cover isn't open and the paper isn't jammed.

If your printer still doesn’t work, continue to step 3.

Step 3. Uninstall and reinstall your printer

Try removing and reinstalling the printer.

Remove your printer

Select the Start   button, then select  Settings   > Bluetooth & Devices  > Printers & scanners  . Open Printers & scanners settings

Select the printer you want to uninstall.

Select the Remove button. Then confirm you're sure you want to remove this device by selecting Yes .

Reinstall your printer

If your printer is turned on and connected to the network, Windows should find it easily. Available printers can include all printers on a network, such as Bluetooth and wireless printers, or printers that are plugged into another computer and shared on the network. You might need permission to install some printers. To reinstall your printer, follow these steps:

Make sure your printer is turned on and connected.  Then select the Add device (or Refresh ) button.

Please wait a moment while Windows searches for the printers that are connected to the device (locally or wirelessly).  Windows will then display a list of printers connected to your device.  If you see your printer listed, select the Add device button for your printer.  If you don't see your device listed, select Add manually .

If you use wireless access points, extenders, or multiple wireless routers with separate SSIDs, make sure you're connected to the same network as the printer for your PC to find and install it.

If you have a new wireless printer that hasn’t been added to your home network, read the instructions that came with the printer and check the printer manufacturer’s website to learn more and to get up-to-date software for your printer.

Tip:  You can print a test page to make sure the printer is working correctly. If you've installed the printer but it doesn't work, check the manufacturer's website for troubleshooting information or driver updates.

Reinstall your printer manually

If the system cannot install the printer automatically, you can reinstall it manually. When you select Add manually , you will then see five options to Find a printer by other options .  Select the option that applies best for your situation and then follow the steps provided.  All of the options can apply for a printer that is connected wirelessly or through your network.  However, if your printer is connected directly to your computer locally, select Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings and then select  Next .  

Reinstall a local printer manually

After selecting Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings , follow these steps:

Select Use an existing port and then select the port the printer is connected to.  Then select  Next.  If the printer is connected via USB, select it from the list. There are also options for parallel (LPT) and serial (COM) ports.

You will now see options to install the printer driver. If the printer came with a disc that includes the driver, select  Have Disk . Otherwise, select Windows Update .

Please wait while Windows updates the list of printers.  Then select the printer manufacturer from the left column, and the printer model from the right column. Then select  Next .

Note:  If there are multiple versions of a driver for your device, you might be asked which version of the driver to use.  In most cases, you should select  Replace the current driver . However, if you're confident the installed driver is correct, select Use the driver that is currently installed .

Type a name for your printer, and then select  Next . This name is only for your personal reference, so you can choose any name you prefer. 

Select Do not share this printer.  (If you want to share your printer with other devices on your network, select  Share this printer  and enter the name and location.) Select Next .

Select Print a test page  to confirm that the printer is working and then select Finish .

If your printer still doesn’t work, continue to step 4.

Step 4. Install the latest driver for your printer

Most printers require the latest driver to work well. To learn more, read  How to download and install the latest printer drivers .

If your printer still doesn’t work after you install the latest driver for your printer, continue to step 5.

Step 5. Clear and reset the print spooler

If the previous troubleshooting step is not successful, you may need to clear spooler files and restart the spooler service. The print spooler is a file that manages the printing process. To clear and reset the print spooler:

In the search box on the taskbar, type services , and then select Services  in the list of results.

Select the Standards tab, and then double-click Print Spooler in the list of services.

Select Stop , and then select  OK .

In the search box on the taskbar, enter %WINDIR%\system32\spool\printers , select %WINDIR%\system32\spool\PRINTERS  in the list of results, and then delete all files in the folder.

In the search box on the taskbar, search for services , and then select Services  in the list of results.

Select the Standards tab, and the double-click Print Spooler in the list of services.

Select Start , select  Automatic in the  Startup Type box, and then select OK .

If your printer still doesn’t work, continue on to step 6.

Step 6. Change a printer's status to "online"

If your printer displays an "offline" status, check out  Troubleshooting offline printer problems .

If you need help installing your printer in Windows 10, see  Install a printer in Windows 10 .

If your PC is running Windows 10 S, some printers might not work with it, or they might have limited functionality. For more info, see  Device support on Windows 10 S .

If a USB printer port is missing, see USB printer port missing after disconnecting printer while Windows 10 (version 1903 or later) is shut down .

If you're looking for help with a scanner, see Install and use a scanner in Windows 10 .

If you're having trouble connecting to a Bluetooth printer, see Fix Bluetooth problems in Windows 10: FAQ .

Select the Start   button, then select  Settings   > Devices  > Printers & scanners  . Open Printers & scanners settings

Under  Printers & scanners , find the printer, select it, and then select  Remove device .

You'll need to follow different steps to reinstall or add a wireless or local printer. Here's how.

Reinstall a wireless printer

Select  Add a printer or scanner . Wait for your device to find nearby printers, choose the one you want, and then select  Add device .

If your printer is turned on and connected to the network, Windows should find it easily. Available printers can include all printers on a network, such as Bluetooth and wireless printers, or printers that are plugged into another computer and shared on the network. You might need permission to install some printers.

Reinstall a local printer

If you want to reinstall or add a local printer, plug the USB cable from your printer into an available USB port on your PC, and then turn on the printer.

Under  Printers & scanners , look for your printer.

If you see your printer listed, you'll know it's installed.

If you don't see your printer listed, select Add a printer or scanner . Wait for your device to find available printers, choose the one you want, and then select Add device .

Tip:  You can confirm the printer is working by printing a test page. If you've installed the printer but it doesn't work, check the manufacturer's website for troubleshooting information or driver updates.

Connecting your printer

When you connect a printer to your PC  or add a new printer to your home network, you can usually start printing right away. Windows supports most printers, and you probably won't have to go out of your way to install special printer software. If you're using Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1, additional printer support and drivers are available through Windows Update.

To install a printer

In most cases, all you have to do to set up a printer is to connect it to your PC. Simply plug the USB cable from your printer into an available USB port on your PC, and turn the printer on.

For wireless printers with Windows 8.1:

Note:  If you have a new wireless printer that hasn’t been added to your home network, read the instructions that came with the printer to learn how to add it. Check the printer manufacturer’s website to learn more and to get up-to-date software for your printer.

Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings , and then tap Change PC settings . (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, select  Settings , and then select  Change PC settings .)

Tap or click PC and devices , and then tap or click Devices . If your printer is installed, it should appear under Printers .

If your printer isn’t listed, tap or click Add a device , and then select your printer to install it.

To install (add) a local printer

Click the Start   button, and then, on the Start menu, click Devices and Printers .

Click Add a printer .

In the Add Printer wizard, click Add a local printer .

On the Choose a printer port page, make sure that the Use an existing port button and the recommended printer port are selected, and then click Next .

On the Install the printer driver page, select the printer manufacturer and model, and then click Next .

If your printer isn't listed, click Windows Update , and then wait while Windows checks for additional drivers.

If none are available and you have the installation CD, click Have Disk , and then browse to the folder where the printer driver is located. (For additional help, consult the printer manual.)

Complete the additional steps in the wizard, and then click Finish .

To install a network, wireless, or Bluetooth printer

If you're trying to add a network printer at the office, you'll usually need the name of the printer. If you can't find it, contact your network administrator.

Click the Start  button, and then, on the Start menu, click Devices and Printers .

In the Add Printer wizard, click Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer .

In the list of available printers, select the one you want to use, and then click Next . (If your computer is connected to a network, only printers listed in Active Directory for your domain are displayed in the list.)

Administrator permission required

Tip:  Available printers can include all printers on a network, such as Bluetooth and wireless printers or printers that are plugged into another computer and shared on the network. You might need permission to install some printers. You can confirm the printer is working by printing a test page.

Note:  After your printer is installed, you can keep it up to date with automatic Windows 7 driver updates.

Troubleshoot printer problems

Start by checking your hardware.

Make sure that the printer's electrical cord is plugged into an electrical outlet and that the power switch is turned on. If you're printing to a shared printer or a printer on a network, make sure that all necessary computers and routers are turned on too. If your printer or other equipment is plugged in to a surge protector or a backup power supply, make sure that hardware is plugged in and turned on as well.

If you’re using a wired printer, make sure that the printer cable is properly connected from the printer to your PC.

For wireless printers, check the wireless connection. Make sure the printer’s wireless option is turned on and available. Many printers have a button that displays a blue wireless icon when wireless is available.

Next, run the printer’s wireless connectivity test. Read the instructions that came with the printer or check the printer manufacturer’s website for instructions about how to do this.

If your printer's status displays "Printer in error state," there may be a problem with the printer itself.  If the previous steps did not resolve the error, check the printer for low paper or ink, and be sure the cover isn't open and the paper isn't jammed.

Use a troubleshooter

A troubleshooter is an automated tool that can find and automatically fix some problems with your PC. The printing troubleshooter can fix problems with installing and connecting to a printer.

Update drivers

Most printers require driver software to work properly. If you recently upgraded from one version of Windows to another, it's possible that the current printer driver is for the previous version of Windows. If you've had recent power outages, viruses, or other computer problems, it's possible that the drivers have become damaged. Downloading and installing the latest driver for your printer can resolve these types of problems.

Three ways to find and install a driver:

Use Windows Update. Windows Update might have an updated version of your printer driver.

Install software from the printer manufacturer. If your printer came with a disc, that disc might contain software that installs a driver for the printer.

Download and install the driver yourself . You can search for a driver on the manufacturer's website. Try this if Windows Update can't find a driver for your printer, and the printer didn't come with software that installs a driver.

Support for Windows 7 ended on January 14, 2020.  Technical assistance and software updates from Windows Update that help protect your PC are no longer available for Windows 7.  Microsoft strongly recommends that you move to Windows 11.  

Click here to get more info and learn what it means for you.

Related topics

Find out how to  install a printer in Windows.

Find out how to  How to download and install the latest printer drivers .

Find out how to  set up a default printer in Windows.

Find out how to  view a printer queue in Windows.

If you are having a problem changing your printer "offline" status, go to  Troubleshooting offline printer problems .

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Common printer problems and how to fix them

Alan Truly

A printer is a wonderful thing when it works, making your life easier by providing lightweight, foldable documents you can tuck in a folder or jam into a pocket. Unfortunately, even the best printers can run into trouble sometimes.

Printer is offline

  • Printer won’t connect to Wi-Fi

Printer queue and spooling errors

Low-quality prints, printer supplies, paper problems, printer hardware trouble.

The worst part is the way printer problems interrupt your day. You have to diagnose the issue and fix it before printing can continue. If you own a printer from one of the best printer brands , it should be very reliable, and when trouble arises, the solution is usually easy.

The most popular printers from HP, Epson, Canon, and Brother use similar technology, so this guide should help you get any printer working again. Let’s take a look at the most common printer problems and how to fix them so you can get your labels, documents, or print projects rolling again.

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If you see a warning that your printer is offline when you try to print, there might be an easy solution. Printers try to save energy by sleeping, just like your laptop and phone do. Even though a printer doesn’t run on a battery, sleeping reduces your electricity bill and helps minimize greenhouse gases.

Ideally, your printer should wake up when you send a new print job over Wi-Fi. If it has been a while since you’ve used it, it could be in a deep sleep. Try pressing the Ready  button or Home button to wake up a sleeping printer. If you don’t have those buttons, press the P ower button.

If your printer is on and awake, you should be able to see the screen showing printing options or settings. If there’s an error message, pay attention to what it says. That could be a great clue to solving the problem.

If your printer doesn’t have a screen, watch for the LEDs to change color or light up. Errors might be indicated with a red or orange LED. Most manufacturers use color coding, so green generally means you’re good to go, while yellow, orange, or red could suggest trouble. Since there’s no screen, check the mobile app for more information.

If you can’t get the printer working quickly, you can find more help in our guide to troubleshooting an offline printer .

Printer won’t connect to Wi-Fi

It should be easy to connect a printer to Wi-Fi, yet this is a very common complaint. Often, the trouble isn’t caused by the printer, but by your network. Troubleshoot your Wi-Fi first to find out if the issue lies there.

Even if your phone can connect, that doesn’t mean your printer can. Modern routers broadcast on more than one band, but printers are often limited to the 2.4 GHz frequency. Smart home devices often use this bandwidth, so check if your smart speaker or smart light works.

If you are having trouble with your internet connection or router, we have an article dedicated to solving the most common Wi-Fi problems .

If you run into printer queue or spooling errors, you might be confused about what those even mean. These obscure terms sound weird because they are programmer speak.

A queue is just a waiting line for documents you are trying to print. If something goes wrong on your computer when you try to print, you might need to clear the queue to tell the computer to stop trying to print. Then, you can try again with a fresh start.

We have an article that provides step-by-step instructions on how to clear the print queue for Windows PCs and Mac computers .

Printer spooling is a related concept that refers to the system app that is in charge of putting documents into the printer queue. If you clear the queue and you still get a queue error, or if you see a warning about a spooler error, you need to restart that app.

Don’t worry because it’s easy to do with our guide to printer spooling and how to fix it on Windows and Mac .

Occasionally, a print quality issue will arise in an otherwise great printer. If you start seeing lines, gaps, overlaps, or a tilt in text, graphics, and photos, it could mean some components have become misaligned. That sounds like a serious problem, but there’s an easy fix.

Look in your printer’s mobile app or use the screen on your printer to look in the maintenance section. Most printers have an alignment feature.

For inkjets, it’s called printhead alignment. For laser printers, it’s color plane alignment. For either printer type, alignment is a way to solve many quality issues.

The best photo printers show accurate colors, but pictures can look odd if ink or toner runs low. We’ll cover that next.

Printer supplies are probably the easiest detail to overlook, but it happens. Does your printer have paper and ink or toner?

Laser printers use large toner cartridges and typically last for hundreds of pages. A cartridge-based inkjet printer can use all of the ink in a hurry. Inkjet tank printers keep rolling out pictures and documents in the thousands, but eventually, they run out.

If you completely run out of paper, ink, or toner, your printer will stop printing. You need at least three colors to print a photo. If you run low, the colors might look wrong even if your printer accepts the print job.

The solution is obvious in this case. Resupply your printer with paper, ink, or toner to get it working again.

When you change paper, you might need to choose the matching paper type in the printer settings or the app you’re printing from. Make sure you pick the right tray if your printer has more than one.

If you have paper in the printer, but it jams, gets wrinkled, or is misaligned, that’s a tougher problem to solve. Sometimes, the issue is actually the paper.

If you try to print on paper that’s too thick or incompatible with your printer, it could get jammed, wrinkled, or simply result in a poor-quality printout. Check your printer manual or visit the manufacturer’s support page to find out what types of paper are compatible.

If you’re using plain letter-size paper, it should work in almost every printer. However, if you don’t print very often, paper can become damp in humid areas, collect static in a dry climate, or curl if it’s left in a vertical tray that lacks complete support. When in doubt, try fresh paper to check if that’s the problem.

Printer jams can cause headaches. Try to gently pull the paper through, if possible. That isn’t always easy. If you need help, check your manual and read our printer jam troubleshooting guide .

Printers are usually robust machines. Even cheap printers can be reliable and save you money . Unfortunately, mechanical parts can fail, and that’s a fact of life. Components might wear out, and any printer can suffer from a rare manufacturing defect that prevents printing.

Some hardware errors might show an error message. It’s a good idea to take a photo or make a note in case you need to get technical support from the manufacturer or send your printer in for repair.

Check your warranty as well. Most printers come with a one-year warranty, but more expensive printers often have two years of coverage. Always reach out even if you’re out of warranty since manufacturers want to protect their brand name and keep a good reputation. If a printer has a known problem, you might get support even after the warranty has expired.

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If Slack is your office, not only will you want to know best Slack tips but also how to fix Slack issues. Nobody wants to look like a fool that can't navigate the office software without a tutorial from the manager, after all. And that goes doubly so if you work in tech, where these sorts of things are likely expected of you.

But there's not much to worry about. The program runs smoothly most of the time and we're here to help you for the times it does not. Here are our top tips to get you back in your Slack game and avert troubles. Trouble connecting to Slack

Printing pictures and posters is fine enough, but what about when you want to put that image on something else? That's a job for a sublimation printer. Typically taking three steps, sublimation printing starts by choosing an image, then printing it, and then applying that print to a surface. These surfaces can include mugs, shirts, and a whole host of other objects.

But can any sublimation printer be used for any task? And what are the best sublimation printers for what you want to do? It isn't entirely obvious from the get go.

If it's not Slack or Teams, it's likely Google Meet. In today's post pandemic world, you're likely going to be using one of these programs for your next interview, office meeting, or big grant proposal. Getting prepared for these events today requires a lot more than dusting off a suit and picking out the office-suitable makeup. If you're using Google Meet, for example, you'll also want to pick out a professional 360-degree background and check to see that your camera and mic are working appropriately.

What if you do run into problems during your pre-interview checkup; or even worse, during the meeting? We've compiled a list of the most common Google Meet problems to get you looking smooth, professional, and ready to command the appropriate attention you deserve the next time you use Google Meet.

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10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print

Most likely, it's one of these issues

Author avatar

Printers experience several forms of malfunctions, some of which are easy to fix. Fixing printer issues can be a headache—especially on Windows devices—because there’s a wide range of things that could be wrong.

The problem could stem from your PC, the printer, or the connection between both devices. This tutorial highlights ten likely troubleshooting measures for printers that won’t print.

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 1

1. Check Paper Tray and Printer Connection

Many printer models won’t print if there’s a loose USB connection or if they’re out of ink or paper. Verify your printer’s ink levels, clean the printhead, fill the paper tray, and avoid using substandard paper. Low-quality paper can cause “Ghost Paper Jams” and other issues that stop your printer from printing documents.

For printers using a wired connection, ensure both cable ends are plugged firmly into your printer and computer. Go through the printer’s manual for instructions on connecting the device to your Windows or Mac computer.

Wireless printers won’t print documents if connected to the wrong Wi-Fi network. Make sure your printer and computer are on the same wireless network. Likewise, check your router settings, disable VPN connections, and make the printer’s IP address static. Refer to our tutorial on troubleshooting Wi-Fi (wireless) printers for more fixes.

2. Run the Printer Troubleshooter

Windows has a suite of troubleshooting tools that diagnoses and resolves hardware and software problems. We recommend running the Printer Troubleshooter before trying other more complex measures.

  • Go to Settings > Bluetooth & devices > and select Printers & scanners .

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 2

In Windows 10, go to Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners .

  • Select the problem printer from the list of connected devices.

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 3

Note: If your printer status reads “Offline,” refer to our troubleshooting tutorial on getting an offline printer back online . Proceed to the next step if your printer is online.

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 4

  • Select Run the troubleshooter in the “Printer settings” tab.

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 5

There’s another way to access the printer troubleshooter in Windows 11. Go to Settings > System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters and select Run next to “Printer.”

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 6

In Windows 10, go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot and select Additional troubleshooters > Printer > and select Run the troubleshooter .

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 7

Wait for the troubleshooter to run the necessary check on the printer, its drivers, and other associated processes.

3. Set the Printer As Default

Windows has a feature that dynamically changes your PC’s default printing device based on your location and other factors. The feature is near-perfect but not failproof. If your PC doesn’t print documents, it might be that an inactive printer is the default printing device.

macOS also sets the last printer connected as your Mac’s default printer. Check your computer settings and ensure the active printer is the default device.

In Windows, go to Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners , select the printer, and select the Set as default button.

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 8

On Mac computers, go to System Preferences > Printers & Scanners on Mac computers , right-click the printer, and select Set default printer . Alternatively, open the Default printer drop-down menu and select the printer as the default.

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 9

4. Clear Your Computer’s Print Queue

When you send a document for printing, your computer first sends the “print job” to the print queue. The print job is immediately removed from the print queue when the printer prints the document. It’s usually a seamless process, but there are times when completed print jobs remain in the queue.

If that happens, subsequent print jobs will also get stuck in the queue and prevent your printer from printing files. Clearing your computer’s print queue might resolve the problem.

Clear Print Queue in Windows

  • Go to Settings > Bluetooth & scanners > Printers & scanners and select your printer.

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 10

  • Select Open print queue .

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 11

  • Select Printer on the menu bar and select Cancel All Documents .

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 12

  • Select Yes on the confirmation prompt.

[14-why-windows-pc-wont-print-documents]

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 13

Try printing any document or a test page and check if clearing the queue fixed the problem. Open the printer menu and select Print test page .

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 14

If completed documents remain in the print queue, refer to our troubleshooting tutorial on deleting stuck print jobs in Windows .

Clear Print Queue in macOS

  • Go to System Preferences > Printers & scanners , select the printer on the sidebar, and select Open Print Queue .

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 15

  • Select the x icon next to the pending print jobs to remove them from the queue.

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 16

5. Update Printer Driver

Your printer might not receive print jobs from your PC if its driver is corrupt or outdated. Although Windows automatically installs driver updates, some factors (e.g., a metered internet connection) may prevent that from happening. Here’s how to manually install a driver from your computer or the internet.

Check the printer’s manufacturer website and download the latest driver updates for your printer model. Plug the printer into your computer and follow the steps below.

  • Right-click the Start Menu or press the Windows key + X to open the Quick Access Menu. Select Device Manager to proceed.

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 17

  • Expand the “Printers” category, right-click the printer’s driver, and select Update driver .

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 18

  • Select Search automatically for drivers and wait for Windows to search for the best driver available for the printer. The process requires an internet connection, so ensure your PC is connected to a Wi-Fi or Ethernet network.

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 19

Alternatively, select Browser my computer for drivers to manually install a driver you downloaded from the printer manufacturer’s website. Afterward, choose Browse , navigate to the driver’s location on your PC, and select Next to install the update.

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 20

We recommend configuring Windows to automatically download drivers for your printer, especially if you’re using a metered connection.

Go to Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners and toggle on Download drivers and device software over metered connections .

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 21

If the Device Manager says the printer’s driver is up-to-date, check the manufacturer’s website for confirmation. You’ll find driver update history in the “Download,” “Software,” or “Drivers” section of the printer manufacturer’s website. Contact the manufacturer if you don’t know how to find, install, or update your printer’s driver update.

6. Reboot Your Devices

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 22

Power-cycling your printer and computer can help both devices re-establish a connection. Unplug your printer’s power cord and shut down your computer. Remember to close any open apps or documents so you don’t lose unsaved changes.

Restart both devices, connect your printer to your PC, and check if you can now print documents.

7. Reinstall Printer Driver

Reinstalling a faulty or corrupt driver can resolve issues causing your printer to malfunction. The operation entails deleting or uninstalling the printer driver , restarting your computer, and installing it from scratch. Note that this operation may affect any customizations made on the printer’s settings and preferences on your computer.

  • Type device manager into Windows Search and select Device Manager .

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 23

  • Expand the “Printer” section, right-click the printer’s driver, select Uninstall device , and select Uninstall on the pop-up.

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 24

You should also remove the printer from your PC’s memory.

  • Go to Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Printers and scanners , select the printer, and select the Remove button.

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 25

Restart Windows and reconnect the printer to your computer. Windows should automatically install the printer’s driver when it connects to your PC.

8. Restart the Printer Spooler

Printer Spooler is the system service that manages printers and print jobs on Windows devices. Temporary system glitches can affect the Printer Spooler’s performance and trigger printing-related problems. Restarting the print spooler service can restore the service to normalcy.

  • Open the Windows Run box (press Windows key + R ), type services.msc in the dialog box, and press Enter .

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 27

  • Right-click Printer Spooler and select Restart .

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 28

9. Update Your Computer

Asides from fixing software bugs, Windows Updates also updates outdated or buggy drivers. Head to the Windows Updates menu and install the latest Windows build or security patches available for your computer.

In Windows 11, go to Settings > Windows Update and wait for Windows to check for updates. You may need to restart your computer if Windows has already downloaded the update. Select Restart now to update and reboot your computer.

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 29

In Windows 10, head to Settings > Updates & Security > Windows Update and select Check for updates . Make sure your computer has an internet connection.

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 30

In macOS, go to System Preferences > Software Updates and select Update Now (or Upgrade Now ).

[32-update-mac-computer]

10 Things to Try When Your Printer Won’t Print image 31

10. Run the Printer’s Utility Software

HP has a Print and Scan Doctor utility (HP Smart for Mac) that diagnoses problems with HP printers. The tool can detect empty ink cartridges, outdated driver software, blocked nozzles, print feed errors, and other printer problems.

Samsung Printer Experience is the utility that manages Samsung printers. The app has loads of troubleshooting guides for printing problems on Samsung printers. The Canon Inkjet Print Utility is also available for Canon inkjet printers.

Download and install your printer’s utility software on your computer and run the tool according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Pay Attention to Physical Indicators

Printers have status lights or LCD screens that display error codes. These lights point out the root cause of some printing issues. Check the printer’s instruction manual to learn what the indicator lights and error codes mean and their respective solutions. Contact the printer manufacturer if your printer still won’t print after running these troubleshooting measures.

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Sodiq has written thousands of tutorials, guides, and explainers over the past 4 years to help people solve problems with Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows devices. He also enjoys reviewing consumer tech products (smartphones, smart home devices, accessories, etc.) and binge-watching comedy series in his spare time. Read Sodiq's Full Bio

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How to Troubleshoot Common HP Printer Problems

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Top 10 HP printing problems and how to fix them

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While they’re generally very reliable, even in the most demanding of environments, HP printers are still problematic from time to time. And we all know printers fail at the most inopportune moments. For an IT support professional, it’s critical to know how to fix the most common problems associated with these printers. I’ve identified 10 problems you can expect to run into most often when dealing with an HP printer, and I’ve included suggestions on fixing them.

1. Paper jams Among the most common problems with any make of printer are paper jams. A printer will jam for any number of reasons: It’s dirty, the wrong paper type is being used, or the rollers on the printer that feed the paper through its pathway are worn down. While cleaning the printer periodically and using the correct paper type are easy fixes, roller replacement can be a difficult job depending on the model of HP printer. For some HP printers, the rollers are easily accessible, but you’ll need to completely tear down other models to remove the rollers. Regardless of the cause, when removing a paper jam, always pull the paper in the direction of the paper path, because pulling it backwards can severely damage the printer.

Certain HP printers are more susceptible to paper jams than others. In my experience, any printer that holds the paper vertically and then pulls it down through the printer invariably ends up having paper jam problems. These models aren’t designed for heavy use, but many organizations make use of them on individual systems and should be aware of this flaw. In addition, some people have trouble with the newer HP 4000 series printers’ paper pickup rollers—which is odd, because the older 4000 and 5000 series HP printers are considered rock solid and don’t seem to have any trouble with their pickup rollers.

2. Some or all of the printing on the page is faded A faded print image is normally the result of one of three conditions: The printer is getting low on toner, the print density is set too low, or Economode printing is turned on. For the last two settings, a printer self-test (typically a separate button on the printer) will show what the current settings are. If Economode is on, and users are complaining about how light the print is, turn it off and/or set the print density higher. If the toner is low, simply removing the cartridge and shaking it to redistribute the toner more evenly can temporarily resolve the problem until you can replace the cartridge.

3. Ghosting Ghosting is a condition where the image prints properly, but a much lighter copy of the image also prints elsewhere. This can be due to a problem with the power outlet that is supplying power to the printer. Check the power outlet by plugging in a different printer to see if the same results occur. Ghosting can also be caused when consumable printer parts (such as the drum or imaging kit) are near the end of their life. All of the consumable parts in a printer are rated for a certain number of pages. Once a printer gets near that magic number, you’ll need to replace those parts to eliminate ghosting.

4. Toner smears or does not stay on the paper If words and images come off the paper when a hand is run across them, there are a few possible problems. First, the fuser assembly may be damaged or at the end of its life. The solution is to replace the fuser assembly. Repairing a fuser assembly is generally not recommended because the fuser is considered a consumable printer part and not worth the time or effort to fix. Second, the toner cartridge may be defective and letting too much toner out at one time. In a black-and-white laser printer, the solution is to replace the toner cartridge. In a color laser printer, only replace the cartridge that is exhibiting the problem. Third, some toner may have spilled in the printer. If so, you’ll need to clean it out.

5. Printer is displaying a 50.4 error message A 50.4 error message on some of the newer HP LaserJet printers indicates a problem with the power supply. If the printer is connected to a UPS, disconnect it, or disconnect it from a power strip and plug it directly into a wall outlet. A laser printer should never be plugged into a UPS, because the UPS can be damaged by the surges of power required by a printer to keep the fuser assembly warm. If that doesn’t work, make sure that all of the components in the printer are seated properly.

6. Can’t find a driver for a particular operating system As new operating systems are released, new drivers will need to be loaded for your existing printers. Not all printers have a driver for every OS. In these cases, it’s best to consult the printer manual and find out what printers the drivers will emulate. While not all of the functionality of the printer will be available under this emulation, at least basic printing will work. For example, most HP printers will print with the HP LaserJet II driver installed, although specific options, such as duplexing, will not work.

7. Printer is not printing from the expected paper tray Look in two places to correct this particular error. First, look on the printing PC, and second, on the printer. If the application is set to print to the wrong paper tray, correct it within the application by clicking on Printer Properties and finding the Tray Selection source. On the printer, make sure that the paper sizes in the control panel match what is actually in the paper trays.

8. Printer picks up all the paper from the manual feed tray rather than one sheet The pad that is responsible for separating the paper has likely worn out and needs to be replaced. You can order and install a new pad without sending the printer out for repair. It is also possible that the paper is wet due to humidity. Make sure the paper is properly stored and that it is “fanned” before putting it into the printer.

9. Printer is displaying a 79 error A 79 error can be the result of a problem with the network print server that services the printer. When troubleshooting a 79 error, first open the Printer folder from the Start menu on the Print server to make sure there are no jobs pending. A 79 error can also indicate a failure of a printer add-on component, such as an MIO card or a RAM module. All add-ons should be removed and then added back to the printer one by one to determine which module may be at fault.

10. Trouble printing onto envelopes Envelopes can cause many problems for laser printers. Choose envelopes that are close to 20-lb paper in weight and thickness. Also, make sure that the adhesive on the envelope is capable of withstanding the heat that the fuser puts out to keep the printing on the page. If you don’t, the envelopes will come out of the printer already sealed. If envelopes are coming out of the printer wrinkled, they may be too stiff for the paper path. Open the rear of the printer and let them exit at that location instead.

HP printers are considered to be among the most reliable in the industry. But just as any other piece of IT equipment, they’re vulnerable to failure. And it seems the newer printers can’t withstand the same amount of abuse that the older models could. So if you work on newer-model HP printers in a paper-intensive environment, expect more troubleshooting calls involving the problems I’ve described. But no matter what the age of your HP printer, this guide to common printing problems will help you diagnose and fix the problem quickly.

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10 Biggest Printer Problems — And How To Fix Them

Printers: Can’t live with them, can’t nuke them. You could always toss a misbehaving inkjet or laser out the window, but where would that leave you? Truth be told, we need our printers, despite their maddening quirks. Here’s a saner idea: Take a deep breath, channel your inner tech support rep, and repair that which has failed you. ( Cue sitar. )

We’ve listed the 10 biggest printer annoyances — of course, your Top 10 list may vary — and ways to fix them.

Problem: Printing is too slow.

how to solve printer problems

Problem: Ink and/or toner costs too much.

how to solve printer problems

Based on our tests , we can’t recommend third party vendors’ remanufactured or refilled ink cartridges, which may not give you your money’s worth. One cost-saving solution is to buy higher-capacity cartridges . If you print a lot, try an ink cartridge with a 250-plus page yield, or a toner cartridge with a 2,000-plus page yield.

Problem: Windows is sending print jobs to the wrong printer.

how to solve printer problems

If you’re using earlier versions of Windows, these steps vary a bit. Here are instructions for Windows XP and Vista users.

Problem: My prints are too light, too spotty, or have horizontal lines.

how to solve printer problems

Problem: My printer says my ink cartridge is empty. I think it’s lying.

how to solve printer problems

Problem: My wireless printer is too slow.

how to solve printer problems

Problem: I use remanufactured or refilled ink cartridges, and my prints look awful.

how to solve printer problems

Here’s another reason: wasted ink. The PC World Test Center has found that some cartridges leave more than 40 percent of their ink unused. The worst offenders, unfortunately, are third-party brands. Printer manufacturers may overcharge shamelessly for ink, but at least you know what you’re getting.

how to solve printer problems

Solution: Shrinking text to fit two pages on one sheet saves money (you’ll buy less paper) and speeds up printing (fewer pages to print). This two-for-one approach is best for spreadsheets, receipts, and other documents that are still legible once shrunken.

In any Windows program, select Print and Properties , and then look for a printer setting that lets you increase the number of pages per sheet.

Problem: Grandma called and wants me to fix her “broken” printer. I’m no tech guru. What should I do?

Solution: You could always pretend you’re not home, but that might lead to bigger problems down the line. We recommend you help Grandma out, because printer problems encountered by the, um, technically challenged are often easy to fix.

how to solve printer problems

Problem: My paper tray is flimsy.

how to solve printer problems

So what can you do? Before buying a printer, examine the paper tray carefully. If it looks like it’ll break after the first sideswipe, it’s probably wise to get another model. If the tray is too small for your printing needs, see if there’s a higher-capacity option. Or you could try this guy’s approach to fixing a busted printer.

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How to Troubleshoot Common Printer Problems in Windows 10

Try these before calling customer support

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One of the joys of using Windows 10 is that, unlike older Windows editions, it’s pretty capable of taking care of installing any extra peripherals like your printer. If you do run into a printer problem setting it up on Windows 10, there are some easy fixes.

Most of the time, you can take care of a Windows 10 printer setup problem by following some fairly standard steps, like double-checking cables or connectivity. Installing drivers is a must, but if all else fails, you can run the Windows Troubleshooter to try and fix the most common printer setup problems for Windows 10 printers.

How to Troubleshoot Common Printer Problems in Windows 10 image

Check For Missing Cables Or Wireless Connectivity

It might seem fairly straightforward, but one of the most common printer setup problems on Windows is a lack of connectivity between the printer and your PC.

For wired printers, that means a cable that isn’t quite plugged in at either end. Modern printers use USB or ethernet, so double-check that your supplied printer cable has a snug fit at both ends. Troubleshooting wireless printers can be trickier, however.

Wireless printers, like most WiFi devices, will need to be connected to your own wireless network before other devices can print to it. Check your printer documentation further for guided steps on how to do this, but in many cases, there should be a WPS button on both your printer and your network router.

Check For Missing Cables Or Wireless Connectivity image

Depending on your printer model and manufacturer, this device may be listed as WPS or has a generic label like WiFi . By pressing this button on both devices, your printer should automatically connect to your wireless network. If it doesn’t work the first time, make an additional attempt.

From there, your device should be detected by Windows, as long as your Windows PC or laptop is connected to the same network. If the WPS method doesn’t work, you may need to look at connecting your printer to your PC using USB first and configuring the wireless configuration manually.

Install Missing Printer Drivers

Printers are a common peripheral for Windows 10 PCs. With that in mind, Microsoft has a vast catalog of printer drivers already available for download and installation when a new printer is connected.

In most cases, you shouldn’t need to do anything to install a printer driver, as Windows should do this for you. That isn’t always the case, however. Microsoft may lack the drivers for new or uncommon printer models, or it may just fail to install automatically. 

  • First, use Windows to search online for relevant driver software. To do this, right-click your Windows Start menu button and click Settings . 
  • From here, click Devices > Printers & Scanners.  
  • At the top, click Add a printer or scanner .

Install Missing Printer Drivers image

  • Wait for Windows to scan your device for the printer. If Windows detects it, click on it when it appears in the search list. If it can’t locate your printer, click The printer that I want isn’t listed instead.

Install Missing Printer Drivers image 2

  • In the Add Printer wizard, choose the relevant option for your device. If it’s a wireless printer, select Add a Bluetooth, wireless or network discoverable printer and click Next to continue. 
  • Select My printer is a little older if your printer is older (for instance, if it doesn’t use USB).

Install Missing Printer Drivers image 3

  • Follow the on-screen instructions for your type of printer to begin the installation. You can also use the Windows Device Manager to locate or update your drivers. To do that, right-click your Windows Start menu button and click Device Manager . 
  • In Device Manager, look for the Printers category. If you can’t see your printer listed here, click View > Show hidden devices or look for your device under Other devices instead.

Install Missing Printer Drivers image 4

  • Right-click on your device and click Update driver . 
  • Click Search automatically for updated driver software in the window that appears afterward.

Install Missing Printer Drivers image 5

  • Windows will search online for relevant drivers for your printer and, if found, install them automatically. If Windows can’t find your printer, you’ll need to locate and install the missing printer drivers yourself. Look for your printer model in the downloads or support sections of your manufacturer’s website, and download the latest driver package for your device.
  • Once you have the latest drivers for your printer, you can then return to Device Manager, right-click on your device, then click Update driver > Browse my computer for driver software instead. Alternatively, your manufacturer may provide an installer to install your drivers for you automatically.

Set As Default Printer

If you have multiple printers installed, you may have some issues when you come to print a document. Setting your new printer as the default Windows printer can fix these issues, preventing you from accidentally sending printed documents to the wrong printer.

  • To set your printer as the default Windows printer, right-click your Windows Start menu button and click Settings . 
  • In Settings, click Devices > Printers & Scanners. You’ll need to uncheck the Allow Windows to manage my default printer checkbox, or you won’t be able to set a default printer yourself.

Set As Default Printer image

  • Once this setting has been disabled, click on your printer and click Manage .

Set As Default Printer image 2

  • In your printer management settings, click Set as default to make it the default Windows printer.

Set As Default Printer image 3

If your printer configuration is correct, you should be able to begin printing from this printer. This will be the default option whenever you choose to print.

Run The Windows 10 Troubleshooter

If your printer still doesn’t work after following these steps, running the Windows 10 Troubleshooter could resolve the printer problem. This checks your printer configuration and guides you through some additional steps to get your printer up and running.

  • To launch the Windows 10 Troubleshooter for your printer, right-click your Windows Start menu. 
  • Click Settings , then Update & Security > Troubleshoot.  
  • In the Troubleshoot section, under Get up and running , click Printer . 
  • Click Run the troubleshooter to begin.

Run The Windows 10 Troubleshooter image

  • You’ll need to select your printer from the list provided. Select the relevant printer, or select My printer is not listed , then click Next to proceed.

Run The Windows 10 Troubleshooter image 2

Windows will then begin searching through your printer configuration and any relevant Windows settings to search for conflicts. If any printer problems are detected, Windows will ask you for permission to apply the relevant fix to get your printer working.

Resolving Your Windows 10 Printer Problems

These tips aren’t exhaustive, but these instructions should help you resolve some of the more common setup problems that Windows 10 printers sometimes throw up for users.

If you still face issues setting up and using your printer, try removing your printer or reinstalling the printer driver as your next step before contacting your manufacturer’s customer support team.

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Ben Stockton is a freelance technology writer based in the United Kingdom. In a past life, Ben was a college lecturer in the UK, training teens and adults. Since leaving the classroom, Ben has taken his teaching experience and applied it to writing tech how-to guides and tutorials, specialising in Linux, Windows, and Android. He has a degree in History and a postgraduate qualification in Computing. Read Ben's Full Bio

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Printer Not Working on Windows 11? Here's How to Fix It

Printers are finicky enough by themselves, so when Windows 11 won't play ball either, it can be really frustrating. Here's the fix.

Microsoft may have jumped the barrel with Windows 11, which launched with a slew of faults and flaws. Some of these were resolved in the later versions, but others are still present today–printer errors being one of them.

Even after months of tinkering by the Microsoft team, if this issue is keeping you from printing important documents, you might want to look at this compilation of some tried and tested methods known to fix it.

Perform Basic Checks and Fixes

Apply the following preliminary checks and fixes first, as they may resolve the issue right away:

  • Turn off your printer and turn it back on again.
  • Unplug the printer from its power source and reconnect it.
  • If you have a wired printer, make sure it's properly connected and that the cable connecting it to your device is in good condition.
  • Connect the printer to a different USB port to rule out possible port issues. If a USB port issue turns out to be the root cause of the problem, follow the instructions in our guide on how to diagnose and fix USB port issues .
  • If you have a wireless printer, ensure it is properly paired with your device. You can also disconnect it once and repair it again to make sure there are no temporary glitches.
  • If you have multiple printers connected to your device, unplug them all except the one you intend to use.
  • If your office printer isn't working correctly, make sure it isn't already connected to more devices than it's allowed to.
  • Reload the printer tray if it has run out of paper.
  • Ensure your printer hasn't run out of ink or toner.

If none of the aforementioned basic checks and fixes resolves the issue, you can start applying the remaining fixes.

1. Run the Printer Troubleshooter

Start investigating the problem by running the Printer troubleshooter. It's a built-in utility in Windows that helps users diagnose issues with their printers and provides suggestions for fixing them.

To run the troubleshooter, open Settings > System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters . Here, you will find the Printer troubleshooter among the list of Windows troubleshooters. Click on the Run button next to it to activate it.

list of Windows troubleshooters

After that, follow the on-screen instructions to assist the troubleshooter in diagnosing the printer's problem. If there are any software issues impeding your printing process, the troubleshooter will likely show you how to fix them.

2. Update the Relevant Drivers

Running the troubleshooter should be your go-to step whenever an error or issue arises. However, it is highly rare for it to diagnose, let alone solve, the problem. For this reason, your next reasonable step should be to check for driver updates and ensure the drivers are up-to-date. Here's how to go about it:

  • Right-click the Start Menu button and select Device Manager from the list.
  • Scroll down and expand the Print Queues category.

menu of options on Windows Device Manager

If it shows the best device driver already installed, you can still give the manual option a try. To do this:

  • Right-click Microsoft Print to PDF and select Properties from the drop-down menu.
  • Go to the Details panel.
  • Select Device instance path from the drop-down list under Property and then copy the Value that appears.
  • Go to the DriverPack database .
  • Paste the copied value in the search box, download a suitable driver and then install it.

3. Restart the Print Spooler Service

If updating the printer drivers does not fix the problem, you should check whether the print spooler service is running. The printer spooler service handles your operating system's interactions with the printer. If this service is turned off, or its files get corrupted, your device may not even detect the printer.

So, you should restart the service and rebuild all of its files. Follow these steps to do that:

  • Press Win + R to launch the Run dialogue box.
  • Type " services.msc " and press enter.
  • In services, find Print spooler and double-click on it.

print spooler properties

  • Now, all you have to do is go back to Services and manually start the print spooler service again.
  • Restart your PC.

4. Recheck Your Default Printer

Often, improper printer and scanner setup is the leading cause of printing issues. The most common reason why you face printer issues is that you didn’t choose your PDF printer as your default printing device or that you configured it to the incorrect port. It can simply be solved by:

  • Open Control Panel through your Windows search menu
  • Click View devices and printers under Hardware and Sound .

devices and printers on Windows

  • Then, head over to Properties > Ports .
  • Scroll through the list and select the port type that matches your connection.

different ports in printer properties

5. Disable the Windows Defender Firewall

If your problem is still not solved the most probable culprit could be the Windows Defender firewall. It's possible that your firewall has been configured too strictly, preventing the printer from interacting properly. So, turning off the firewall could fix the probem.

If you have never disabled the firewall before, check out our guide on how to temporarily disable the Microsoft Defender firewall .

6. Check for New Windows Updates

Windows releases updates periodically to fix existing bugs within the operating system. If you keep the updates paused or don't let them install on time, you're likely to run into unforeseen issues. To ensure that's not the case, see if there is a new update available. If there is, you should install it immediately.

Here's how you can check that:

  • Press the Win key and click on the Settings icon.
  • Head over to Windows Update

The Check for updates option

Windows will automatically search for updates, and if any new version is available, it will be installed, thus resolving your printer error.

7. Remove Your Last Windows 11 Update

Ironically, a new Windows update can also invite bugs that render your printer useless. If you noticed your printer stopped working right after a recent Windows update, you will need to delete the update from your computer.

two boxes highlighting Windows Update and Update history

For this, head over to Settings > Windows Update > Update history. Here, scroll down and go to Uninstall updates located under Related settings . This action will prompt open a list of Windows updates where you must select the latest one and click on Uninstall .

If the latest Windows 11 update was the culprit, reversing it should do the trick and kickstart the printer once again.

8. Run System Restore

If the problem began as soon as you upgraded to Windows 11, and you've exhausted all other alternatives, there's one final solution–the Windows System Restore. Using this method restores Windows to a previous restore point where you know your printer was functional without any error.

To go back to a restore point:

  • Press the Windows key and type Control Panel .
  • Open the Control panel by clicking on its icon.
  • Type "Recovery" in the Control Panel’s search box, and go to the Recovery settings.

advanced recovery tools in Windows

  • The System Restore dialogue box will launch open. Click on Next to proceed forward.
  • Select the restore point to restore your computer back to when your printer was functioning without a hitch.
  • Again, click on Next and then Finish to confirm your restore point.
  • It will confirm one last time if you wish to proceed with the system restore process. Move your cursor to Yes and click.

Your PC will restart while it resets your Windows 11 to its last restore point.

Printer’s Fixed and Running—What’s Next?

Whether the printer’s malfunctioning due to troubles with your operating system or general hardware issues, it can be a frustrating experience. But hopefully, now that your printer is up and running smoothly again with the aid of these fixes mentioned above. Feel free to delve into how you can make the most of your home and office printers.

  • Create an Account

how to solve printer problems

The most recent printer drivers and software can resolve many of the issues discussed on this page. To obtain the latest software for your printer, search for your specific printer model on the Epson Support homepage. You will find all of the drivers and utilities necessary to ensure your device is fully functional on the Downloads tab.

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4 Easy Ways to Fix a Print Spooler Error

Last Updated: November 13, 2023 Fact Checked

  • Reset Print Spooler
  • Print Spooler Settings
  • Update Drivers

If Print Spooler is Missing

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Nicole Levine, MFA . Nicole Levine is a Technology Writer and Editor for wikiHow. She has more than 20 years of experience creating technical documentation and leading support teams at major web hosting and software companies. Nicole also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Portland State University and teaches composition, fiction-writing, and zine-making at various institutions. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,492,245 times. Learn more...

Have you run into an error that says "Printer Spooler error" or "The local print spooler service is not running?" on your Windows PC? The print spooler helps Windows interact with the printer and orders the print jobs in your queue. If you see any error message about the print spooler, this tool has been corrupted or is failing to interact correctly with other software. This wikiHow article will teach you how to troubleshoot and fix your print spooler on both Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Things You Should Know

  • Most errors can be fixed using the Printer troubleshooter or resetting the spooler.
  • You can stop, restart, or modify your Print Spooler settings by opening Services.msc and double-clicking "Print Spooler."
  • If you continue having problems, uninstall your printer, run the manufacturer's software installer, and re-add the printer.

Clearing & Resetting the Print Spooler

Step 1 Run the printer troubleshooter.

  • Windows 11: Go to Start > Settings > System > Troubleshoot > Other troubleshooters and click Run next to "Printer." Follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Windows 10: Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot , select Printer , and follow the on-screen instructions. [1] X Trustworthy Source Microsoft Support Technical support and product information from Microsoft. Go to source

Step 2 Open the Services window.

  • If you don't see Print Spooler in services.msc, see this troubleshooting method .

Step 4 Click Stop to stop the print spooler.

  • If the service was already stopped, click Start to see if that fixes your problem.
  • Don't close this window since you'll need to start this service later.

Step 5 Open the printer spool folder.

  • Press Windows key + S to activate search.
  • Type or paste %WINDIR%\system32\spool\printers into the search bar.
  • Click %WINDIR%\system32\spool\PRINTERS in the search results. [2] X Research source

Step 6 Delete all contents inside the folder.

  • This will remove all current print jobs, so make sure no one on your network is using the printer.

Step 7 Return to the

  • Next to "Startup type," you should see "Automatic." If you see a different option, click the menu, select Automatic now, and save your changes. The print spooler will now launch automatically in the future.

Changing Print Spooler Properties

Step 1 Open your printer spooler properties.

  • Press Windows key + R to open the Run dialogue.
  • Type services.msc and press Enter .
  • Double-click "Print Spooler" in the Services window.

Step 2 Stop and start the spooler.

  • First failure: Restart the Service
  • Second failure: Restart the Service
  • Subsequent failures: Take No Action
  • Reset fail count after: 1 days
  • Restart service after: 1 minutes
  • When you're finished, click Apply .

Step 5 Click OK and restart your PC.

  • Return to the Services window. If you closed it, open it again as described in the first step of this method.
  • Find the name of one of the services you saw in the upper Dependencies pane, listed under the Name column.
  • Confirm that the word "Started" is in the Status column for that file.
  • Confirm that the word "Automatic" is in the Startup Type column for that file.
  • If one of the services you looked up does not have these values, Stop and Start that service. You can do this with the icons in the Services window or by double-clicking the service name and using the buttons in its Properties window.
  • If the Stop and Start icons are greyed out, or if stopping and starting does not change the values to "Started" and "Automatic," try reinstalling the drivers as described.

Updating Printer Drivers and Software

Step 1 Run a Windows update.

  • To update, go to Settings > Windows Update (Windows 11) or Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update (Windows 10) and click Check for updates .
  • If Windows Update couldn't update your printer driver automatically, View optional updates , click Driver updates , and look for your printer's drivers. If you see them, click Download and install.

Step 2 Download the latest drivers for your printer.

  • Press Windows key + S to activate search, then type printers .
  • Click Printers & scanners .
  • Select your printer and click Remove device . Leave this window open for now, as you'll need to return here soon.

Step 4 Run the manufacturer's software installer.

  • Return to Printers & Scanners .
  • Scroll down and click Print server properties .
  • On the driver's tab, look for your printer. If you see it, you don't need to do anything more.
  • If you don't see your printer, click Add , click Next , select your computer's architecture , and then choose your printer.
  • Click Next , Finish , and then follow the on-screen instructions to install your printer.

Step 5 Re-add your printer.

  • To open Command Prompt as an administrator , type cmd into the Windows Search bar, right-click "Command Prompt," and then select Run as administrator .

Step 2 Type net start spooler and press ↵ Enter.

  • On Windows 10, go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery . On Windows 11, go to Start > Settings > System Recovery .
  • Click Reset this PC (Windows 10) or Reset PC (Windows 11).
  • Click Keep my files and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Once your PC is reset, the files that control the Print Spooler will be reinstalled, and you'll find Print Spooler in your services panel.

Expert Q&A

You Might Also Like

Fix an Old or Clogged Ink Cartridge the Cheap Way

  • ↑ https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/use-a-fix-it-tool-with-windows-10-cc3cb85b-91d7-7e56-8ce1-db50b4d18d0b
  • ↑ https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/troubleshoot/windows-server/printing/third-party-print-driver-print-spooler-error
  • ↑ https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/how-to-download-and-install-the-latest-printer-drivers-4ff66446-a2ab-b77f-46f4-a6d3fe4bf661
  • ↑ https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/recovery-options-in-windows-31ce2444-7de3-818c-d626-e3b5a3024da5

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Fix printing and scanning problems with HP Print and Scan Doctor, a free tool for Windows.

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Fix printing problems

Select from the following printing problems to diagnose and fix using the HP Print and Scan Doctor:

  • Printer Offline
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  • Cannot Print or other printing problems

how to solve printer problems

Resolving Printer Offline problem using the HP Print and Scan Doctor

  • Windows: Download  HP Print and Scan Doctor .
  • Mac: Use Diagnose & Fix through HP Smart. Learn more here
  • Run HPPSdr.exe from the download location on your computer.
  • If your printer is not listed, turn it on and click  Retry.
  • If there is a connection problem, follow the instructions in the tool.
  • If a screen displays prompting to turn on printer updates, click Yes and continue.
  • If a screen displays prompting to make your printer the default printer, click Yes and continue.
  • If you are still facing printer offline problem follow  HP Printers - Printer is Offline (Windows)

See  Additional resources  if the problem is unresolved or if there are other printing problems.

Resolving Print jobs stuck in queue and other printing problems using the HP Print and Scan Doctor

  • Click  Fix Printing .

See Additional resources if the problem is unresolved or if there are other printing problems.

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How-To Geek

Keyboard typing wrong characters on windows 11 try these tips to fix it.

Fix your keyboard's input!

Key Takeaways

  • Change the language input method. Go to Settings > Time and Language > Language and Region > Typing > Advanced Keyboard Settings. From the dropdown menu, select your preferred language input method.
  • Confirm that the issue isn't confined to a specific app, your keyboard isn't faulty, and you haven't remapped the keyboard keys.
  • Update or reinstall your keyboard drivers. If the problem persists, thoroughly scan your device for potential malware.

Is your keyboard typing different characters than the ones printed on its keys? This can happen when you switch the keyboard layout, but it can also result from app-specific problems, misconfigured language settings, outdated keyboard drivers, or other factors. Here are some solutions you can try.

Check for App-Specific Issues

If your keyboard is typing the wrong characters only within a specific app, but types correctly elsewhere, the issue might be limited to that application.

This problem could potentially be due to selecting a different keyboard layout in the app's settings, bugs present in outdated versions of the app, or interference from installed extensions or add-ins. So, check and reset the app settings, update the application, and remove any extensions or add-ins. Also, make sure the correct keyboard layout is selected.

However, if your keyboard consistently types the wrong characters across the entire operating system, that indicates a more widespread problem that requires further investigation.

Perform Some Preliminary Checks

If the issue is not specific to a particular app, start the troubleshooting process with some basic checks.

If you're using an external keyboard, disconnect it from your device and reconnect it—also, try plugging it into a different port. If you're facing this issue with a laptop keyboard, give your device a fresh start by restarting it.

Ensure that the app or software you use for typing does not automatically correct your texts, causing the input words to change. If this is the case, turn off the auto-correct feature. Additionally, turn off any keyboard management apps that may be in use.

If these initial checks do not resolve the issue, you can apply the remaining fixes outlined below.

Check Your Keyboard Layout Settings

Windows supports a variety of keyboard layouts to accommodate users with keyboards featuring a different layout other than QWERTY, or those accustomed to an alternative layout. If your keyboard is typing the wrong characters, you may have switched to a different Keyboard layout .

To confirm you're using the correct layout, check the number of language input methods in use and the corresponding layout for each method. Right-click the Start button, go to "Settings," and navigate to Time and Language > Language and Region.

Opening the language and region settings in the Windows Settings app.

Click on the three horizontal dots next to your primary language preference and select "Language Options."

Opening the language options settings of a preferred language in the Windows Settings app.

Scroll down, and you'll find the language input methods, such as US and Belgian, along with the corresponding keyboard layouts like QWERTY and AZERTY listed under the language input method.

Language input methods with their keyboard layouts written under them.

To check whether you are currently using a layout different from that of your keyboard, take the following steps: Go to Settings > Time and Language > Typing > Advanced Keyboard Settings. Here, choose your preferred language input method from the drop-down menu.

Switching the language input method in the Windows Settings app.

Pressing the Windows+Spacebar changes the keyboard layout. Ensure that you don't accidentally change it.

Changing the keyboard layout via shortcut from system tray.

Ensure It's Not a Hardware Issue

A hardware issue with your keyboard can impede its input operations, causing it to type a different character. So, it's crucial to rule out this possibility.

If you're using an external keyboard on a PC, disconnect and connect it to a different PC (if available). If the keyboard types the correct characters on the other device, this confirms that the issue is not with your keyboard.

To check for hardware issues with a built-in laptop keyboard, connect an external keyboard and start typing. If the external keyboard types correctly, it suggests a problem with your laptop's built-in keyboard, and you should have it inspected.

Check for Interference From Other Apps

If you use any key mapping software to modify keyboard keys and shortcuts or use manufacturer's software for key remapping, confirm that keys typing a wrong character aren't remapped. Additionally, if any of these software tools allow you to switch keyboard layouts, ensure that you haven't unintentionally changed the layout in the app settings.

Besides that, if you use any other keyboard manager software to customize controller settings for specific apps and games, temporarily disable them to rule out any potential interference with your keyboard operation. Continue applying the remaining fixes if you do not use such software.

Update Your Keyboard Drivers

An outdated or corrupted keyboard driver can also be a culprit for a keyboard typing wrong characters. To rule out this possibility, update your drivers to make sure you have the latest drivers installed. To do that, visit the manufacturer's website for your laptop or keyboard and download the most recent drivers available.

For executable driver files, run the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions to install them. If they require manual installation, right-click on the Start button, open "Device Manager," expand the "Keyboard" category, right-click on your keyboard device, and select "Update Driver" from the context menu.

Updating keyboard drivers in device manager.

Select "Browser My Computer for Drivers," locate and select the downloaded file, and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Reinstall Your Keyboard Drivers

If none of the above solutions work, you should uninstall your keyboard drivers and reinstall them from scratch. Uninstalling keyboard drivers renders the keyboard unusable. Before starting the uninstallation process, make sure you have a mouse nearby, especially if you're using a device that doesn't have a built-in touchpad. Otherwise, you may get stuck during the process.

To uninstall the keyboard drivers, right-click the Start button and open "Device Manager." Expand the "Keyboards" category, right-click on a listed keyboard device, and select "Uninstall Device."

Uninstall a keyboard driver in Windows Device Manager.

If you see multiple keyboard devices here, repeat the same steps to uninstall them. Then, restart your device, and Windows will automatically install new drivers.

Scan Your Device for Malware

A malware infection can also adversely affect the operation of system hardware, leading to unforeseen issues. It can also cause your keyboard to behave abnormally. Because of that, it's imperative to rule out this possibility. To do so, perform a quick malware scan using Microsoft Defender .

Type Windows Security in the Windows Search and click the "Windows Security" shortcut to open the app. Alternatively, navigate to Settings > Privacy and Security > Windows Security > Open Windows Security.

Opening the Windows Security app from Windows Settings.

Go to the "Virus and Threat Protection" tab on the left in the app and click "Quick Scan" to scan your system for malware.

Running the Microsoft Defender's quick scan from the Windows Security app.

Microsoft Defender will conduct the scan and show you the results. If it detects malware, take the recommended steps to remove it.

Hopefully, the tips mentioned above will help you identify the primary cause and resolve the issue of your keyboard typing the wrong characters. If the problem persists, we recommend seeking professional help.

R-bloggers

R news and tutorials contributed by hundreds of R bloggers

I patched r to solve an exercism problem.

Posted on February 25, 2024 by Jonathan Carroll in R bloggers | 0 Comments

With a serious yak shaving deviation, I have a really short “cheat” solution to one of the featured Exercism problems. It’s been a really insightful journey getting to this point, and as always I’ve learned a lot along the way. The fact that I was able to understand the required changes and propose them is thanks to the open-source nature of programming languages.

This all started out innocently enough – I’ve been using Exercism.org to get a feel for a lot of other programming languages. Last year they hosted the 12in23 challenge where they invited users to try out one programming language each month, solving 5 non-trivial (beyond printing "Hello, World!" ) exercises in any of a handful of featured languages, with a different ‘theme’ (functional, object-oriented, low-level, …) each month.

I ended up earning the “polyglot” badge for completing this, but I actually ended up doing a lot more

how to solve printer problems

I found this to be an extremely useful exercise in finding out what I did and didn’t like about different languages, and I’m diving a lot deeper into the ones I enjoyed the most. Worthwhile, but certainly an involved challenge as I solved all the exercises locally on my own machine, which means I had to install each of the languages and get their test suites working. My laptop is now capable of running code in more than 20 languages.

This year, Exercism are hosting a 48in24 challenge where rather than just needing to use one language to solve several problems in a month, it’s one problem in three languages in a week. Spending a month to get up to speed with a language I’d never seen (or installed) was one thing, but now I potentially need to do that three times over in a week when the languages are all new to me. Still, I persist, and so far I’m keeping up.

how to solve printer problems

One of the featured problems was ‘Roman Numerals’ where we need to write an algorithm to convert integers into Roman numerals. The featured languages were Julia (I’m already familiar, nice), Elixir (fine, I get to learn what that looks like), and (Pharo) smalltalk, which needs its own IDE and is a workflow entirely distinct from anything I’ve done before. I won’t be willingly writing any more smalltalk in the near future.

When I saw that this was the challenge problem I was delighted – I know that R already has as.roman() in the standard library!

It even does math with these values – I base most of my real-life conversations with my wife around Simpsons quotes so I’m all-too familiar with this bit

how to solve printer problems

Bart enters the backstage of the lion enclosure at a zoo and sees a sign:

“Caution: exit through door 7 only. All other rooms contain man-eating tigers.”
“Think, Bart. Where have you seen Roman numerals before? I know… Rocky V! That was the fifth one. So, Rocky five plus Rocky two equals… Rocky VII!”Adrian’s Revenge”!”

R can do this math just fine

It’s more than just concatenating those, of course

I downloaded the exercise and fired up RStudio. I edited the exercise template to just pass the input argument to as.roman() and hit ‘Run Tests’… all tests failed 😢

Ah, as.roman() returns an object of class roman

and the tests have an expect_equal() (not expect_equivalent() )

Okay, so it won’t be perfectly clean, but it just need to be re-classed

Re-run the tests, and…

What? twenty-five tests pass, one fails? And produces NA ?

Back to the problem statement, it says

For this exercise, we are only concerned about traditional Roman numerals, in which the largest number is MMMCMXCIX (or 3,999).

So, why does that fail? I checked the docs for as.roman() and it says

Only numbers between 1 and 3899 have a unique representation as roman numbers, and hence others result in as.roman(NA).

I checked out some other languages. The intro video for the problem mentions another “cheat” solution which is to use Common Lisp, because that has a formatter. Using GNU Common Lisp …

Trying out this last value works

and a too-large value produces an informative error

So, the limit does seem to be 3999, not 3899. Checking Wikipedia , that also seems to be the case. I also found a python implementation which goes up to 3999.

So, why won’t R convert those last 100 numbers?

I dug around the source code (an accessible copy is on GitHub but the “real” copy is on SVN) and found several references to the 3899 limit, none of which could be circumvented.

I posted a quick summary of the issue I saw on my side-blog hoping that it was something I just misunderstood.

I asked around on Mastodon, and no one was sure why this was the case. The next step was to email the R-devel mailing list. I don’t do this lightly, as it has a reputation for not being the friendliest place. Kurt Hornik, who originally wrote the implementation back in 2006 replied and agreed that it was probably just an oversight.

He asked if I could file the bug in Bugzilla the R bug tracker … and asked if I could also add a patch. At this point, I remembered what I was doing in the first place - solving an Exercism problem.

how to solve printer problems

The term “Yak Shaving” means performing some task that appears entirely unrelated to what you were originally trying to do, usually as a result of several other related tasks. It’s summarised well in this clip from the TV show ‘Malcolm in the Middle’

where the character goes to change a lightbulb but finds that the shelf is coming loose, so he gets a screwdriver from a drawer and notices that the drawer isn’t running smoothly, so he gets some lubricant but it’s empty so he gets in his car to go to the store to buy more but the car sounds funny, so he tries fixing that… When his wife asks him “are you going to replace that lightbulb” he yells - appearing from underneath the car covered in grease - “what does it look like I’m doing???”.

The absurdity being that “before you can complete this task, you need to shave a yak.”

how to solve printer problems

In this scenario, someone is asking me “are you solving that Exercism problem?” and I’m emerging from a console typing make check-devel shouting “what does it look like I’m doing?”.

So, how do I submit a patch to R itself? I recalled that I detailed some instructions for that the last time I was trying to resolve an R-related bug . I pulled the bleeding-edge SVN commit and built R locally, which means

to build the source (using 4 cores).

Then, I searched for the values I might need to change by running

This turns up a bunch of files

Many of these I could ignore - float values which happen to match. But many were familiar from when I was digging through the source.

I took the first of these src/library/utils/all.R and edited the value from 3899 to 3999 then ran svn status and a lot of files were marked ? (untracked) while none were M (modified). This confused me, until I realised that as part of the build process, R creates these all.R files which aren’t the source-of-truth for the code. Changing, instead, src/library/utils/R/format.R the changes were reflected in svn status .

The format changes were from formatting functions I wasn’t previously familiar with, namely formatOL for “format ordered list” which prefixes a list of items

and can do the conversion

and which produces an error if you try to pass in too many items (more than the critical value)

In addition to the logic of the code itself, the .Rd files needed updating (base R does not use Roxygen and automatic generation of man files) and the .po files (language translations) with the translated error messages (which I hopefully corrected accurately; my French is okay-ish and that looks to be correct, and my Japanese is very beginner-level and I haven’t yet learned those words).

Since I had dug through the source, I knew that “3899” was not the only critical value; there were some tests for x >= 3900 I needed to also take care of. This was a useful point to note - if you’re going to change behaviour at a numeric boundary, it’s probably a good idea to stick to either strictly greater than or greater-than-or-equal if you want to make searching for that value straightforward.

Searching again for 3900 again turns up a lot of false positives, but also

so I edited those as well.

Producing the requisite patch is then just

creating the file I eventually attached to my Bugzilla report.

Kurt Hornik approved these changes and merged them on my behalf (only R-core members can merge into the source) so my changes should be reflected in the next release.

To prove to myself that this was done and dusted, I wanted to pull the latest version again, but I didn’t want to risk that my local changes were what I was seeing. Docker is a good option in this case (and may have been for the development itself).

Beyond my previous instructions, I figured there were more up-to-date instructions out there. This is a slightly newer post about the process, but I eventually just copied the Dockerfile from rocker’s drd image and built the most up-to-date image locally. This means that I was definitely running an independent installation of R (in docker) and not my local copy (still distinct from my installed copy that RStudio sees).

Using this docker image, I could confirm that my changes had been merged

as well as the necessary translations; I noticed that a simple Sys.setenv(LANGUAGE="ru") worked once, but after that I couldn’t change the language again. The {and} package seemed to do the trick

With all looking good on the R side, now I just need to wait for the changes to be officially released and then for Exercism to update their version to that so that I can submit my “cheat” one-line solution to the Roman Numerals exercise.

I’ll be waiting!

I’m hoping that the process described here can be of use to someone else who finds a similar issue in the language; the process can be fairly straightforward, but I believe success was dependent on a few key points;

don’t assume that the language is broken, it may be something you did wrong or misunderstood

look through the source to confirm what you’re seeing and do your best to understand it

ask around; someone may be able to resolve the confusion or point you in the right direction

“it takes a village” - if you want it to get fixed, you might need to put in some work.

And who knows, maybe it is a bug that’s been there for the last 15+ years?

This definitely ended up being more of an exercise than I planned, but I’m grateful for Exercism prompting me to try out both languages I do and don’t know; for R being open-source so I could find this bug; and for the wealth of knowledge out there to figure out how to do all this.

If you have any comments, feel free to use the comment section below, or hit me up on Mastodon .

Copyright © 2024 | MH Corporate basic by MH Themes

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