Troubleshooting Common Printer Issues in Windows

When you have issues printing documents or getting your computer to connect to a printer, these are some good first steps to take toward resolving your problem. 

  1. First, make sure that the printer is plugged in and powered on. Make sure that it’s able to connect to Wi-Fi if it’s a wireless printer.
  2. If it’s an option, try using a USB cable to plug your computer directly into the printer.
  3. Make sure you’re printing to the correct printer (See Checking your Default Printer).
  4. Try clearing the print queue (See Checking your Print Queue).

Checking your Default Printer

  1. Open the Control Panel from the start menu. Click Devices and Printers. This will open the Devices and Printers menu:
  2. Make sure that the printer you're using has a green check mark icon next to it (as pictured above).
  • To change your default printer: Right click the desired printer and choose Set as default printer.
  • To add a printer: Choose Add a printer at the top left of the window.

Checking your Print Queue

  1. Open the Control Panel from the start menu. Click Devices and Printers.
  2. In the Devices and Printers menu, right click the printer with the check mark icon. Select See what’s printing.
  3. This opens the print queue. Click Printer and choose Cancel All Documents to clear the queue.
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