A printer always chooses the worst possible moment to break down, waiting until you’ve got an urgent document or some online tickets to print. It’s enormously frustrating, giving you images of a fuming boss demanding his report or visions of a train vanishing into the sunset while you’re left standing on the station. Although the printer may feel like it’s gone on strike, there’s normally an easy way to get it back to work again. Here’s a guide to several ways of getting things rolling again.

The Knowhow

Printer Connections

Ensure that the printer is switched on and connected to your computer. Most modern wired printers use a USB cable. This needs to be securely connected at both ends. It’s also worth trying the USB cable in a different USB port on your computer, or trying a different USB cable.

Running the Printer Troubleshooter

  • Click the Microsoft Fix it logo
    Click here to launch the Windows printing troubleshooting Microsoft Fix it tool
  • windows securityIf you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow or Yes.
  • Review the Microsoft License Agreement and click Accept to continue
  • Click Detect problems and apply the fixes for me
  • Select the printer you want to troubleshoot
  • Follow the prompts on screen to troubleshoot your printing problem.

Update your printer driver

Many problems can be fixed by applying the latest drivers. Windows update may be able to find the driver.

  • Click the Start windows start button, type Windows Update into the Search programs and files box and click on it when it appears in the list:
    Windows 7 Windows Updates Start Menu

  • Choose Windows Update from the Programs section
  • Click Check for updates and wait while Windows checks for the latest updates
  • If updates are found, click Install updates and follow the on screen prompts.

If Windows Update doesn’t find an updated printer driver then you need to check the printer manufacturer’s website. There will be a Support or Downloads section that contains all the latest drivers for their devices. Follow the instructions given on the website to download and install your printer software.

Updated On:

Aug 06, 2012

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