Information Technology Services

What to do when...The printer stops printing

Check the following:

Although these solutions may seem like common knowledge, people do make mistakes and overlook things. It’s worth a try!


  1. Make sure the printer is turned on.

  2. Make sure the printer has paper in it.

  3. Make sure your printer has a toner cartridge with ink. If your ink has run out, the printer will not print. Depending on what type of printer you have, you can try rocking the toner cartridge back and forth and then try printing (do this if you don’t have any extra toner cartridges). Change the cartridge as soon as you can.

  4. Make sure there isn’t a paper jam.  Even the smallest piece of paper will cause your printer to have a jam.  When removing paper, be sure to remove the paper gently as not to rip the paper.  If your printer still says there is a jam and you can't see any paper, chances are there is a small piece of paper stuck somewhere in the printer.
  5. Make sure the printer is plugged in. The cable may be loose or plugged in improperly.

    1. If plugged into a usb port, try plugging into another port on the computer. The port may have gone bad.  If the printer is being shared from another computer, make sure that the computer is turned on and that the cables are secure.
    2. If it is a network printer, make sure the network cable is plugged in.  

  6. Make sure you have the correct paper size selected.  If try to print using a different size other than 8 1/2 x 11, the printer will look for that size and if not detected it will not print.

  7. If you have more than one printer installed, make sure you have the correct printer selected. 

  8. If the printer says Offline, a cable may be unplugged. Double check that the cable is plugged in.  Depending on your printer, you may be able to press a button that will get your printer back online.

  9. If you receive a memory full message:
    - Try canceling any pending print jobs from the print queue.
    - Turn the printer off for a few second and then turn it back on.


If everything seems to be in order and you still can’t print, contact the helpdesk for assistance.