Printers and Printing

Nothing boosts productivity like technology. But when hardware or software doesn’t work as expected, it can quickly become a time sink. Here’s how to easily resolve printing problems that aren’t related to equipment failure.

1 - Printing takes too long

  • The higher the resolution, the slower your printer prints. When you want speed over print resolution, select a print mode like Standard or Draft in your printer driver. Large files with complex images take longer for your printer to process and print than smaller, text-only files. If your printer has minimal memory (base models often do) adding RAM can help speed up image processing.
  • If your printer is in its power saving mode, it will take extra time for it to “wake” before it’s ready to print at its normal speed. For lengthy documents, printing the pages two-up will cut the page count in half.

2 - Paper jams

  • Unfortunately, jams happen. Follow the instructions for clearing jams on your printer’s control panel (if available) or in its User Guide.
    Inspect the paper path and remove any foreign material.
  • When removing stuck paper always pull it out straight. If it’s stuck tight, stop and fi nd out how to release the pressure on it before proceeding. Once a sheet begins to tear it will take longer to remove all the pieces. When labels get jammed, they can be the hardest to remove. Be sure to follow your printer’s instructions for printing labels, so you don’t get stuck.
  • Check to ensure the type of paper being printed is supported by your printer.
  • Remove the paper from the tray and check it for static electricity. Fan the paper to ensure the sheets aren't clinging together.
  • Replace paper that's moist from humidity with dry paper. (Store your paper in a dry environment. When paper is stored in high humidity it can absorb moisture and become difficult to print on.)
  • Straighten the stack of paper in the printer's tray when you refill it being careful to keep the sheets uniformly aligned with the tray's paper guides.

3 - Poor image quality (Intended for laser printers.)

There are a variety of print quality issues that users experience from time to time. The remedies fall within a few common areas users can address. If image quality issues persist after trying the solutions that follow, the problem is more likely to be related to supplies or hardware.

  • Check your print driver to be sure the correct paper or media type is selected.
  • Check to be sure the paper loaded in the tray matches the type selected in the printer driver.
  • The temperature of the fuser may change based on the type of paper or media being printed. In some laser printers, the fuser itself has an adjustment for paper type. If your printer’s fuser can be adjusted manually, check to see that it’s set properly. Use caution to avoid injury. Fusers get very hot.
  • Check toner cartridges, imaging unit(s) and the fuser for damage and replace any damaged units. These components vary by model and manufacturer so it's best to refer to the User Guide.
  • When your prints have smudge marks, print several blank sheets of paper. After several sheets the smudges should begin to diminish and then disappear.

4 - Print job isn't printing

  • First, check that you sent the print job to the intended printer. To make your main printer your default, in Windows® click Start and select Printers and Faxes. Right-click on the appropriate printer icon and select Set as default printer. On those occasions when you want to use a printer other than your default, just select it from the print dialog box.
  • Check what type of paper your print job requires, and that there is an adequate supply of it in the machine. If your printer just won’t print or your print job seems stuck in the queue, the easiest solution is to restart. Begin by restarting your software application. If that doesn’t work, reboot your computer. Lastly, turn off your printer for a few minutes before switching it back on.

5 - Perhaps it's time for a new printer?

  • Demands and print volumes change. Printers age and technology moves forward. Perhaps it's time to consider a new machine, with a service contract.
  • Look for Trade-In Progams from
  • What about Refilled cartridges?

The cost of refilled cartridges makes them appear to be an attractive, low cost alternative to brand name printer supplies. But like most things, you usually get what you pay for. Often print quality is the first compromise, but potential printer damage is the larger concern. This is why use of third party supplies often voids equipment warranties. When an independent lab tested three third party toners alongside Xerox, they found lower yields, poor print quality, and component damage with continued use of all three third party toners. For the full report see

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