A printer is a crucial component of your office, business, enterprise, and, of course, any workplace where you need to scan, copy, and print. Whether it’s color printing, monochrome, or other official tasks like making bulk photocopies, the printer is an indispensable part of daily operations.
So, what should you do to ensure your printer remains safe and has a long lifespan? Let’s delve into “How Not to Use Your Printer: Common Mistakes” and learn about the do’s and don’ts of printer usage.
Printer Mistakes to Avoid
Quality Papers: Paper jams are a common problem for many businesses, so start with prevention. The very first thing is to use a high-quality paper. Take weight, thickness, and smoothness into account before making your printer paper decisions. Paper chosen, make sure you then load it correctly. Take it straight from the packaging where possible, to guarantee its quality, and then load it well stacked and straight.
Don’t Use Moisturized Page:
This is a universal issue that primarily occurs during the monsoon or rainy season. Due to moisture in the environment, the paper becomes damp, leading it to get stuck in the printer. This can harm both the paper and, more importantly, your printer head. To mitigate this, avoid filling the paper tray to its maximum capacity during the rainy season. Instead, load paper only when you need it.
Don’t Use a Folded From Corners Paper: Using paper with folded corners might seem harmless, but it can be detrimental to both the quality of your documents and the health of your printer. Folded paper often results in unprofessional-looking prints with visible creases. Moreover, these folds can cause paper jams, increasing wear and tear on the printer’s internal components. The ink or toner may not adhere properly to the creased areas, leading to inconsistent print quality and potential wastage if you need to reprint. For optimal results and longevity of your printer, it’s best to always use flat, undamaged paper.
Don’t Keep Water, Coffee, or Anything Liquid With Your Printers: It poses a significant risk. Accidental spills can cause damage to the printer’s external and internal components, potentially leading to short circuits, malfunctioning, or even complete device failure. Additionally, moisture from these liquids can affect the paper, leading to poor print quality or paper jams. To ensure the safety and efficiency of your printer, it’s best to designate a separate area for your beverages and maintain a dry workspace around your electronic devices.
Don’t Leave Your Printer Off for Extended Periods: Leaving your printer off for long durations can lead to unforeseen complications. Over time, ink can dry up, causing clogged print heads, while dust and moisture can accumulate, impairing performance. For optimal printer health, it’s recommended to periodically turn it on and conduct a quick maintenance check, ensuring it remains in prime working condition.
Don’t Let Dust Into Your Printer: Dust is a subtle enemy for printers. When allowed to accumulate, it can obstruct sensitive components, leading to poor print quality or even mechanical malfunctions. Regularly cleaning the exterior and occasionally checking the interior can prevent dust buildup, ensuring your printer delivers consistent performance and enjoys a longer lifespan.
Don’t Place Weight on Top of Your Printer, Especially Inkjet Printers: Placing objects or adding weight to the top of your printer can be detrimental, particularly for inkjet printers. The added pressure can cause misalignment or damage the components such as scanner, leading to print inaccuracies or mechanical issues. Moreover, blocking vents can cause overheating. For the printer’s longevity and optimal performance, always ensure the top remains clear and free from any added weight. Also, don’t cover it with any towel or cloth while using it.
Ink is the lifeblood of any printer, determining not only the quality but also the cost efficiency of your prints. Proper ink management can prolong cartridge life, ensuring vivid, consistent outputs while also saving money. Overuse can lead to premature cartridge replacement, while underuse in certain printers might result in dried out nozzles. It’s essential to understand your printer’s ink consumption and perform regular maintenance checks to ensure optimal ink flow and reduce wastage.
What to Do When Your Printer Is Not Responding
When your printer looks offline or unresponsive, try these troubleshooting steps.
Internet Connection: Perhaps your internet is slow or disconnected. This primarily occurs in two scenarios: first, when using mobile internet, and second, when consistently connected to a network that may become sluggish or lose connection to the main system. For improved performance, always check your internet and network connections.
Driver Updates: Any accessory linked to your computer, whether it’s a laptop or desktop, requires a specific software or driver. Printers, in particular, need regular updates to ensure safety and optimal performance. To refresh your printer’s software, visit the manufacturer’s website and obtain the most recent driver suited for your OS. An out-of-date printer might miss automatic updates, potentially causing security vulnerabilities, reduced print speeds, and additional malfunctions.
If your printer is not working properly, it might be because of an installation problem. To fix this:
- Go to your computer’s “Printers and Scanners” area.
- Find your printer’s name and click “Remove Device” to delete it.
- After removing, click on “Add Device” to reinstall it.
- For complete setup, visit the printer company’s website and follow their setup steps.
Clear Printer Task: Sometimes, your printer may go offline due to technical issues, internet problems, or driver package complications. Ensure that the current queue isn’t filled with previous print jobs. Clear them out and then attempt to print again.
Verify the Indicator for Error Messages: When you turn on your printer, there’s a high likelihood that the LED light on top might indicate an error, signaling a potential technical issue. If the problem doesn’t resolve automatically, first try restarting your printer. If that doesn’t work, consider rebooting your computer.
Check It If It Is Set on Default: If your printer isn’t auto-connecting or not set on default settings, ensure it’s set as the primary device. On Windows, go to “Start” > “Settings” > “Devices” > “Printers and Scanners”, and select “Set as Default” for your printer. For Mac, use the Apple menu > “System Preferences” > “Printers and Scanners” and pick your printer under the “Default Printer” option.
These five points will keep your printer always in running condition. If issues persist, consult with professional printer experts or call the company number provided on the printer’s box; they will address the problem.
How to Print a Self-Test Page
Printing a self-test page is a fundamental troubleshooting technique that helps you determine if your printer is working correctly. It’s also useful for checking the current firmware version, ink levels, and other printer-specific details. Here’s a general guideline on how to do it:
1. For Most Printers:
- Step 1: Turn off your printer.
- Step 2: Hold down the printer’s “Resume” or “Paper Feed” button.
- Step 3: While holding the button, turn the printer back on. The self-test page should begin printing. If not, release and then press the button once.
2. For Inkjet Printers:
- Step 1: Hold down the “Resume” or “Paper Feed” button until the power light flashes.
- Step 2: Release the button.
3. For Laser Printers:
- Step 1: Locate the “Go” or “Online” button on the printer.
- Step 2: Press and release this button, and the self-test page should print.
4. Via Computer:
- Step 1: Go to “Control Panel” on your computer.
- Step 2: Navigate to “Devices and Printers”.
- Step 3: Right-click on your printer’s icon and select “Properties” or “Printer Properties”.
- Step 4: Look for a “Print Test Page” button and click on it.
Note: The specific steps can vary depending on your printer model and manufacturer. Always refer to your printer’s manual for model-specific instructions.
After printing the self-test page, you can review it for information about printer resolution, ink levels, and potential issues like misaligned print heads. If the test page shows any problems, you may need further troubleshooting or maintenance.
This article will teach you the major aspects of printers, their usage, and the dos and don’ts. If you’re unsure how to fix a printer error, why it’s not responding, or the key points to remember when using a printer, this piece will guide you. Additionally, if you’re interested in learning about the best printers, you can refer to our dedicated guide and article here.