Common Printer Breaks and Their Repairs


Sep 10, 2018

If there’s one piece of an office that seems to never quite work right, it’s the printer. While important, these devices always seem to have a personality.

The communication between operating systems and printers has been far from seamless. These software breaks have helped the lore about printers expand as people kept experiencing their negative attitude.

Being able to repair a printer on your own is difficult. Many times it’s possible, but sometimes it's better to take it to a professional. If repairs are too much, then it may just be better to go out and buy a brand new one. Whether the issue seems to be between the printer and computer, or something is broken within the printer itself, what follows are some common issues and potential fixes.

Software and Computer Issues

The connectivity between a printer and a computer can sometimes be easy and effortless, or it can be difficult to determine. This is especially true for older model printers, or computers running older operating systems like Windows 7 or 8. There are

  • Can’t Connect Wirelessly - Most new printers will function as a wireless device. It’s often made them work better than in the past, however sometimes it can be difficult. If a printer isn’t connecting wirelessly, check the network itself and make sure that it is registering as a device before trying to connect to it via the computer.
  • Printer Not Registering on Computer - Older printers that would connect to a computer via a wire will often not show up immediately as an option when attempting to print. Typically this is due to a lack of printer drivers on the computer. While modern operating systems will often find the right drivers on their own, older ones may require manual installation of these drivers. Merely go to the website of the printer and follow their instructions for downloading and installing the drivers. After that, plug the printer back into the computer or restart the computer.
  • Online Scams - These seems like an issue that you wouldn’t expect, but with so many people looking for support with their printers, many scam websites have developed that attempt to look like the actual support websites. These will offer refunds if a credit card is provided. Of course, they will instead use the information and abuse it.

Hardware Problems

There’s several ways that printers can break physically. While software and connectivity problems may seem more common, the physical problems of printers are also well known. Here’s some things to look out for:

  • Paper Jam - Oh, the horror that many people in an office or at home have felt when they see the error message “paper jam” within their printer. Printers allow access to the interior of the machine so that these jams can be manually removed from the machine to start over. But won’t it just jam again? One of the common causes of this is merely too much paper in a tray at once. This forces it to grab multiple pieces. It can also be that the paper is too thick or too think. Check for recommended printer papers for use in each printer.
  • Ink Problems - For many people who use an inkjet printer, it can be difficult to keep it working flawlessly. If the jets are in any way damaged, then the ink will smear or come out misaligned. This can result in odd wavy printing patterns. Ink for printers is also incredibly expensive and something that no person wants to waste. Issues with the inkjets will often need to be repaired by professionals. Leaks from printer cartridges can be fixed by replacing the cartridge.

Where Can You Get a Printer Repaired?

For many people, they may not know where to get a printer fixed. There are several options for fixing a printer. One of the most common is at big box stores focused on tech like Best Buy. Their computer repair department can often fix a printer. The downside is it is often expensive.

The second option is to have the company itself repair the product. If the printer is still under warranty, then major issues will be fixed by the company, or the item replaced. However, this will involve shipping the printer off and is often quite slow.

The third option is to find a small local computer store or repairman. These are often tech savvy people who will be able to easily fix many issues. Their work isn’t guaranteed like it often is for others, but it will be cheaper and often quicker. If the printer isn’t that expensive, this is often a good choice.