Computers and Technology

How to Fix Your Printer Ink Problem in Five Easy Steps

There are multiple reasons why your printer ink might not be working the way it should, whether you have an inkjet or a laser printer. If you’re encountering problems like streaking, light printouts, low quality images or if nothing is coming out at all, there are simple steps you can take to fix these common issues and get your printer ink flowing smoothly again in no time. Here’s how to fix your printer ink problem in five easy steps.


Take a deep breath

The first thing you need to do is calm down. We know, you’re desperate. After all, your printer is spewing ink and you have a term paper due tomorrow. The key here is not be hasty, otherwise you could mess up more than just your printer and waste money on unnecessary supplies. Take a deep breath, read over some online tutorials about cleaning printers and then gather what’s needed: cotton swabs (not Q-tips), alcohol (isopropyl works best), lint-free rags and/or paper towels. Check out our how-to below for step-by-step instructions on how to clean it yourself—and remember, don’t panic! You can fix it. We believe in you! For details, please visit HOW TO GET PRINTER INK



Identify the Issue

First, you’ll want to figure out why your printer won’t print properly. It could be that it’s not getting ink or that it’s out of paper. It could also be that there is a printer error—or worse, a problem with your computer. (Try printing something on another computer if you’re using one.) If you can’t pinpoint an issue after consulting with your friendly neighborhood Google search bar, consult a troubleshooting guide specific to your printer’s model. When you do find and solve a problem, make sure that you log it somewhere so you don’t forget how to fix it again later! This will help prevent unneeded stress when your printer acts up again.


Print A Self-Test Page

To troubleshoot a printer problem, start by printing a self-test page. Often, you can pull up a self-test page from your printer’s main menu. Many printers also have a button you can press to print one. If your printer has worked fine until now, chances are that you won’t see any problems with these test pages. That will confirm that there is nothing wrong with your ink cartridges or paper—the issue is likely due to something else like a software update, computer connection or compatibility issue between your printer and operating system.


Go Online

The first thing you can do to troubleshoot your printer ink is go online. Since printers run on software, many issues are solvable by simply downloading an update or patch from your manufacturer’s website. If that doesn’t work, make sure you have all of your documentation handy—especially if you’re a recent model owner, who may be required to reset some information as part of a firmware update.


Call The Manufacturer

For most electronic devices, you can call or email customer service. If your printer is under warranty, customer service will likely be happy to help you troubleshoot your issue for free. For issues that aren’t covered by warranty, support reps are usually trained to talk customers through a resolution over the phone. If they can’t help, many manufacturers offer chat and text-based support options—which allow you to show them what’s going on while you walk them through fixing it yourself.

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