Why can’t I print?

Like all technology, printers are great when they work, and a headache when they don’t. Today I’m going to give a couple different techniques for you to try if you are having trouble printing. Most of these apply to wireless printing, but can also apply if you are using a direct cable connection from your computer to your printer.

The first and most obvious thing to check is to make sure that the printer is on. I don’t know how many times I’ve had people call and say they can’t print and I’ve asked if the printer was on and the conversation was over.

It’s such a simple thing to overlook that no one thinks of it. Now most times the printer is on, but it doesn’t hurt to check.

Second, turn off the printer and the computer, turn them back on, and then try printing again. Many times just a simple restart of the devices can fix printing issues. If you are printing with a direct cable connection, unplug the cable from the computer and the printer after you have shut both machines down and plug it back in again before you turn the machines back on. If you are printing wirelessly, you should shut down the printer, then the computer, then restart your router by unplugging it for 20-30 seconds and plugging it back in. Wait a minute or two for the router to turn back on, then turn on the computer, then turn on the printer. Test printing after trying these steps.

If the previous steps don’t work, you can try clearing the print queue.

Hold down the Windows Key on your keyboard and press the R key. In the prompt that comes up type in “control printers”. A screen with a bunch of devices should come up, and you should see your printer listed. Right Click on your printer and select “See what’s printing”. You will then see the print queue and everything your printer is trying to print. If there is a list of items in that window, click on Printer in the upper left hand corner and select Cancel All Documents. After clearing the print queue go ahead and try printing again.

If you are still having issues after all of these steps give us a call here at iCitizen, and we will give you further troubleshooting steps.

Updated: October 1, 2018 — 9:59 am