Business printer problems can create a ripple effect; what seems like a small issue can create a bottleneck, decreasing productivity. Luckily, most business printer problems are easy to fix if you know what you’re doing. What are the most common printer problems, and how do you solve them?

1.  Print Driver Problems

If you are having an issue with your printer’s driver, but no longer have the disc that came with your printer, don’t panic! Most printers have drivers available to download online from the manufacturer’s website. If you are having print driver issues, simply uninstall the current driver, and download the correct one, following the instructions from the manufacturer. To search for your driver, open your browser and search for your printer’s make, model number and the word driver, followed by your operating system name and version. For instance, “Brother MFC-L8900CDW driver, Windows 8.” This should lead you directly to the correct link for your specific driver.

2.  Network or WiFi Connection Issues

If your network printer is showing up as “offline” on your computer, there is a quick series of steps that will get you back online quickly. First, make sure that your printer is turned on; often, printer network connection or WiFi connection issues arise when the printer is off or in “sleep” mode. Next, make sure the printer itself is connected to the same WiFi network as your computer - usually, this is done through the menu on the printer itself. Next, double-check the printer’s settings on your computer to make sure it is not in offline mode. If these steps don’t work, try removing and then re-adding your printer to your computer, and restarting both devices.

3.  Issues With Mobile Device Printing

Mobile device printing can cause a lot of headaches. One of the most common issues that arise when trying to print from a mobile device is simple connectivity. If you can’t print over the network with your mobile device, try connecting your device to your printer with a USB cable. If it prints via USB, you know that you will need to correct the connectivity issue, usually either by making sure the printer is not in offline mode or by moving the printer itself to a location closer to your device to improve the signal. For iPhone users, you will want to check that your printer supports AirPrint. You may also need to update your drivers (see #2, above).

4.  The Printheads are Clogged

You may notice your printheads are clogged if you start experiencing low-quality prints, especially streaky, spotty, or faint prints (but you aren’t low on ink). This is especially common if you don’t use your printer often. Some printheads are built into the print cartridge, but with business printers, they are usually built into the machine. Some printers have a cleaning option found under the maintenance section of the printer’s menu. If the self-cleaning option doesn’t work to fix your printhead clogs, you may have to manually clean the printheads in your printer, which is easier than it sounds! Each model is different, so search for instructions for your particular model of printer. These may include:

5.  There is a Non-Genuine Cartridge Error

If you are trying to save money, you may buy ink cartridges that are not produced by the original manufacturer of your printer. This can sometimes cause an error when the machine doesn’t recognize the cartridge as genuine. A non-genuine cartridge error can also occur if you have put in new cartridges but forgot to take off the protective plastic. Make sure all connections are clean and unobstructed both on the cartridges and in the printer. Then, make sure that your cartridges are installed correctly in your machine. If the issue persists and you have an HP printer, you may need to disable the cartridge protection setting. If the issue persists and you do not have an HP printer, or if your HP printer already has the cartridge protection setting disabled, your cartridge may be faulty.

6.  Slow Printing Speed

Slow printing speed is usually caused by network overload. If you have many people using the printer at the same time in your office, you may notice the printer working at a slower speed as it struggles to process all of the jobs through a single print server. You may also notice this if you use terminal servers, or use print servers in remote offices. If your printer is being slowed down due to the way your network is set up, you can increase your network’s capacity, or have a professional create a customized solution.

7.  New Cartridge is Not Working

If your new cartridge is not working, and it is not due to non-genuine cartridge errors (see #6, above), there are a few things you can try before you return the cartridge as defective. First, make sure that you have removed all protective packaging and installed the cartridge correctly. If that is not the issue, you may need to prime the cartridge. Cartridges that have attached print heads, for example, may have had the ink settle, or clog in the print head itself. This is especially common in dry, hot climates, such as Albuquerque. Try setting the cartridge upside down for five to ten minutes, then set the print head side of the cartridge onto a damp (not wet) paper towel for about a minute or two. You should see ink when you pull the cartridge away from the paper towel. If a test page does not work after you have primed the cartridge in this way, it may be defective.

8.  Simple Mistakes

Simple mistakes are the most common printer problems, and many of the issues with user error are also simple fixes. The first things you should check when your printer is not working correctly are the print settings (on your computer and on your printer), whether the tray is closed correctly, and if the paper is loaded correctly or possibly jammed. Your print job may also be held up by a previous print job in the queue, so you can try canceling all previous print jobs in the printer queue before reselecting your print job.

9.  Costs

Costs are always an issue, and as with any business expense, printers are no different. Many companies in Albuquerque don’t even track their costs related to printing, which can be an expensive mistake. Costs associated with printing include not just the cost of paper and ink, but also parts, services, and the time IT staff spends tending to print needs. The first step to begin to manage your printing costs is by tracking what is spent.


Managed Print Services (MPS) are one way to save on costs, while optimizing efficiency and productivity. Biztech Magazine reports that businesses that utilize managed print services can save up to 30% of their printing costs annually by outsourcing. LDD Consulting has been offering computer, IT, networking, and software services and solutions in Albuquerque and the surrounding communities for nearly two decades, and we offer free, no-obligation MPS Consultations.


Our free MPS Consultations involve a visit and assessment from our CEO, David Luft, who will create a written report of findings, and offer you a printing solution that fits your business and your budget.