A printer, either for documents or photos, gives home computing or business users more grief than any other piece of hardware. Whatever the brand or model, we offer these essential tips and tricks to keeping it working and producing the best results.
Installation is Never Simple
Most printers come with plenty of extra software that can help you manage photo libraries, check the printer’s functions and automatically update the drivers for you. Install it all at first, then remove the bits you don’t need. While the printer’s custom application may take up more space than only installing the drivers, it can make it easier to spot problems and resolve issues.
Printer Not Recognised
Many printers work wirelessly these days, but whenever you change your Wi-Fi router or settings, the printer will need reconfiguring. If you still have a Wi-Fi issue, reset both the printer and router. If that doesn’t work, use the printer in USB mode and reset the Wi-Fi options. If your printer isn’t recognised in USB mode, it may have failed.
Regular Paper Jams
Before you even get to print, getting the paper into the printer can be a pain. Paper jams are often caused by small bits of paper getting stuck in the rollers. If your printer is kept in a family area, it can also pick up small bits of toys, food and many other items. Turn it off, hold it upside down and give it a good shake first. Then find the access panel to the rollers and try and pull out any stuck bits of paper with a pair of tweezers.
Ink Isn’t Coming Out Properly
If you haven’t used your printer for a while, the heads can clog up. Use the printer cleaning routine in the software to deep clean the heads. If printing still doesn’t produce the desired results, get a cotton bud and some isopropyl alcohol. Remove the print cartridge and clean the ink-stained part of the head manually. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to buy another cartridge.
The Paper Comes Out at an Angle
This often happens, and the solution is to move the paper guides to their widest extent and push them firmly to the edge of the printer feed – as far down as you can reach to straighten out a wonky guide.
Do these tips not work? Do you have a screen or power button failure? Unfortunately, most printers are sold as cheaply as possible; the makers get all their money from ink and paper sales. It is usually cheaper to buy a new printer rather than attempt a repair, if it still fails to work after all these tips.