4 simple ways to fix common printer problems

Ah, the printer. So easy to use and so reliable… until they are. Yes, even the main appliance that seems to be the only real constant in your office or home is having its bad days.

Dealing with printer problems is something that users have to face sometimes. But while some people may be quick to call IT or visit a tech support center, others rely on a little basic knowledge to save money and time.

Of course, the issues you run into with your printer can vary depending on the make and model. Tap or click here for Kim’s printer of choice. But no matter which printer you use, it is important that you know what these problems are and how you can troubleshoot them.

Here are four common problems people run into with their printers, and how to solve them.

1. low ink no print
we’ve all been there. If you haven’t, you should have someone else do it for you. The Low Ink Alert system is designed to give users enough time to receive replacement cartridges before their ink stores are completely depleted.

However, if the ink level is considered low, some printers may refuse to print. Imagine a car that suddenly stops running on a quarter tank of gas. This is ridiculous and really shouldn’t be allowed.

While low ink problems may be a regular occurrence for most printers, they are few and far between for the Epson EcoTank. Instead of cartridges, it comes with four built-in, supersized tanks for each color, which you can easily fill up when you’re short.

And don’t even worry about handling cartridges. EcoTank comes with two years of ink and saves you a substantial amount of time and money in the long run.

Kim’s regular listeners have probably heard her mention her sponsor, Epson, too many times. The Epson 4750 EcoTank has made its way into our office. With advanced cartridge-free printing and easy-to-fill supersized tanks, we never worry about replacing ink, and neither should you. See why the Epson EcoTank series is Kim’s printer of choice. Available near you at Best Buy, Office Depot or OfficeMax, and online at Epson.com/EcoTankKim.

2. Paper Jam
At one point, this was so common with printers that office workers would fit it into their schedules to make up for lost time trying to print. Even today, the dreaded paper jam is still raising its ugly head. This always happens when you are on deadline or preparing for a meeting with clients.

Most of the time, paper jams are caused by paper misalignment. Make sure the stack of paper is well aligned before pouring it into the tray and that the guides are flush with the paper. You also want to be careful not to overfill the tray.

If you have the right tools, there is no need to be overly cautious. The EcoTank 4750 features a 30-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) coupled with a paper tray that holds 250 pages. This makes paper jams a thing of the past.

3. Printing too slow
The printer must have a need for speed. Unfortunately, good speed is not a universal quality across every brand. Most units have an average print speed of between 11-13 ppm (pages per minute), while the EcoTank 4750 averages around 15 ppm—a fairly significant difference.

To speed things up, it is recommended that you avoid double-sided printing, often referred to as duplex printing. If the printer has to flip the paper over to print on both sides, this can significantly slow down print times; However, the Epson 4750 does come with an automatic two-sided printing feature that allows it to keep pace with its regular print speed.

4. It just won’t print
There can be many reasons why your printer might not be working. Years ago, you had to call someone or replace your printer. But before you throw it out the window, there are a few things you should check first.

If you don’t see an error message that leads you to the problem, check that the printer’s USB or Ethernet cable is connected. If it’s a wireless model, make sure Wi-Fi is still enabled and that it’s connected to the correct network.

If you are printing from a new computer, printer drivers and software will need to be installed. If they are already installed, the driver may have been corrupted. If so, it should be reinstalled. You can refer to the manufacturer’s download page for the latest software version and installation instructions.

If all else fails, the best solution is to restart. You can start by restarting your software application. If that doesn’t solve it, reboot the computer. Finally, turn off your printer for a few moments before turning it back on.

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