Inkjet Printer Troubleshooting

Inkjet Printer Problems and Solutions
ProblemSolution
The printer prints "garbage". The printer is not printing what was on screen.
  • This usually happens when the wrong printer driver is installed.
  • Check your printer's manufacturer's website for most up to date driver.
  • Download and install newest driver, restart your computer, and the problem should be resolved.
No response from printer, computer gives error message when trying to print.
  • Check that the cables are properly connected to the printer and the computer.
  • Many PC printers require an IEEE 1284 cable (Click here) or a USB cable (Click here).
  • Some printers for older Macintoshes require either a serial (Click here) or LocalTalk cable (Click here).
  • Consult your manual to find out what cabling you need/have.
  • Reconnect your cables, and check to see if the printer prints.
The printer is not printing completely across the page horizontally. Content is missing on the right half of the page.
  • Open the cover and make sure nothing is obstructing the movement of the print head (Click here).
  • Obstructions can result if you have not removed some of the packaging or if there is a paper jam.
  • If this is a new printer, make sure all safety tape has been removed.
The printer prints out blank pages.
  • There is most likely no ink cartridge installed or the ink cartridge has been exhausted.
  • Check your printer manual or website to figure out what ink cartridge is required. Some may require a color cartridge and a black cartridge.
  • Install a new ink cartridge and print a test page (Click here), it should print now.
The text printed by the printer has wrong print attributes (I.E., bold text was not printed as bold)
  • This usally occurs when the wrong printer drive is installed.
  • Check your printer's manufacturer's website for most up to date driver.
  • Download and install newest driver, restart your computer, and the problem should be resolved.
Parts of characters are missing, or characters are not printed in correct color.
  • The ink cartridge is either clogged or running out of link.
  • Run the software cleaning utility in order to fix a clog.
  • Replace the ink cartridge if the clog cannot be fixed or if the cartridge is almost empty.
The printer prints faded text.
  • One or more of the inkwells in the print cartridge is almost empty.
  • If your printer can replenish individual colors, you can add ink for the affected color. (Click here.)
  • Unfortunately if it does not, you will need to replace the whole ink cartridge.
Printout is smeared.
  • The paper is mismatched to the paper setting for the printer.
  • For example, if you are using high-quality photo paper, set the printer's output for that paper.
  • Press print through the file menu. Click properties, and make sure the properties for paper type, margins, etc. are correct. (Click here)
Printer encounters paper jams often.
  • The feeder bin or tray may be overloaded, remove some of the paper.
  • Excess humidity may be causing the paper to stick together.
  • Remove All sheets and use only as much as needed.
  • The paper may have already been through the printer.
  • The feeding process tends to warp and thicken areas of the page by bunching it up.