With the start of the pandemic and a slew of workers and students working from home, the necessity for functional office supplies has skyrocketed. The essentials of a home office usually consist of a reliable computer, scanner, and printer. The functionality of these products needs to be top-notch, and there is little room for issues and technical problems.
Arguably, the most demanded equipment used is a printer. So, when your printer starts malfunctioning and printing blank pages, it becomes an overwhelming guessing game on how to fix it.
Fortunately, this article will present you with the top reason your printer is producing blank pages and the easy steps you can take to conquer the problem. Listing the top five most popular printers, you will get a step-by-step guide on diagnosing and properly fixing your malfunctioning printer.
Why Is My Printer Producing Blank Pages?
Unfortunately, there could be a multitude of reasons why your printer starts printing blank pages. Considering all the problems that could be happening, nearly all of them are easily fixable without any technical knowledge needed.
The first four basic steps of fixing the issue for any printer are an excellent place to start.
Fix #1 – Restart Your Printer
Any tech company you call always asks, “have you tried turning it off and on again?” Restarting any technical equipment should always be the first step to resolving an issue. However, it might not be quite as simple as you think.
Powering down means a complete hard restart, not simply flipping the switch off and immediately back on.
Turn the printer off completely and unplug it from the wall outlet for 15 seconds. Then, re-plug the printer into the wall and proceed to turn the printer on. Wait for the printer to completely start up and try to print if this does not resolve the issue, move to step two.
Fix #2 – Make Sure Your Printer Has Ink and Toner
Make sure your ink cartridges are brimming with ink and your toner is filled while also checking that the cartridges themselves have not become dislodged in any way. For most printers nowadays, if a cartridge is missing or not fully locked in, the printer will not work properly.
Checking to make sure ink and toner are secure and full is an important step. Avoid using off-brand ink cartridges when possible; some printers detect their own ink blend and will block you from printing.
Next, make sure you have removed the protective yellow tape. If this step fails to make your printer work properly, proceed to step three.
Fix #3 – Cleaning the Printhead
The printhead has two options to clean; you can do the automatic clean and a manual clean.
New printers have a self-clean mechanism built into them, which you can access through the control panel on your printer menu. This allows the printer to discharge any excess ink and cleans out any clogs the printhead might have.
To clean the printhead manually, you want to wear gloves to prevent any ink from making direct contact with your skin. Be delicate while pulling the printhead out so as not to damage it.
Picking up an inexpensive printhead cleaning kit (like this one for inkjet printers) will make the job easier.
It should also be noted that there are two different types of printheads; one is integrated with the ink cartridge itself, and one is a stand-alone printhead that uses an external source for ink supply.
This changes the first step a bit but has the same premise. You should look up your make and model to decipher which print head you might have
- Turn off the printer entirely and take your printer head out of your printer, which is located under the printer hood.
- With gloves, take a warm damp cloth and gently wipe the excess ink on the printhead until the surface is clean.
- Put the printhead into a bowl of warm water and let sit for at least 10 minutes to let it soak.
- Proceed to take the printhead out of the warm water onto a dry paper towel. Take another dry cloth and wipe any excess moisture and let the printhead sit to dry on the paper towel for 15-20 minutes.
- Once completely dry, reinstall the printhead, double-check it is secure and properly placed. Begin turning the printer back on and printing a test page; if the printer still has the same issue proceed to the next step.
Fix #4 – Updating Printer Driver
A more technical issue that can occur and cause your printing problems is the drive being outdated. This is a little more complicated depending on the printer and manufacturer, but there are a few easy steps you can take to figure out whether your drive is outdated.
- Go to your start menu and click on “Device Manager.”
Side Note: you may need to search for “Device Manager” in the search bar at the bottom of your start menu:
- Scroll down until you see printer queues and drop down the menu.
- Right-click on the printer with your printer’s name. From there, it should have a button that says update drive.
With new technology today, this should be an automatic feature, and your printer should automatically update the drive, but sometimes it does not, and it helps to have the steps to conduct an update.
Of course, if you cannot seem to find the feature, most of the popular printers out there have a 24/7 customer service line that can assist you in updating your drive.
Customer Service Numbers:
- Canon: (800) 652-2666
- HP: (888) 999-4747
- Epson: (800) 463-7766
- Brother: (877) 276- 8437
- Lexmark: (800) 539-6275
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Different Printer Types Can Have Different Resolutions
Of course, not all printers are the same, so how you troubleshoot your printer while experiencing this issue can change from printer type to printer type.
It is important to be informed about what kind of printer you have and the different technical differences and problems that could lead to your printer printing blank pages.
Like most printers, Canon has the same four basic steps listed to help troubleshoot the blank paper printing issue, but they have another technical step you can take because they have a deep cleaning option built into their printers. To activate the deep cleaning of the printer, it is just a few easy steps:
- Start by opening your control panel from your desktop “Start” button. Go to “Hardware and Sound” and open the “Devices and Printers” option.
- From that menu, right-click and choose “Properties” on your Canon printer model.
- Go to “Device Settings” and choose “Preferences,” then click the “Print Head Options.” You should then proceed to click the “Service and Clean Print Head” option.
- From the “Maintenance” tab, there should be an option to select “Deep Clean” and “Nozzle Check.” Once this is completed, you can run a printer check and see if the problem is fixed.
Brother is also a company with the same steps as the ones suggested initially, including the printer driver issue being out of date. It also emphasizes the internet connection being extremely important if you have a wireless printer.
The wireless printers need a strong Wi-Fi connection in order to work properly, so you will need to make sure it is close to the wireless router and has a strong connection.
HP printers are a little more technical. They have an HP app you can download to your computer that troubleshoots any issues that occur and keeps tabs on ink levels.
This requires a small service fee each month, but they send you ink cartridges when your printer detects that they are low. The printers will not work if you do not use their HP printer cartridges.
They do also emphasize the importance of aligning the printer itself after cartridge replacement and have several images and step-by-step processes of how to properly fix the issue on their website.
In the “Maintenance” menu on your printer, you can click “Print Nozzle Check,” and it will print out a sheet of paper. While looking at the pattern, if you see any gaps or the pattern is faded, you can click the “Clean Printer Head” option, and it should take care of it.
For Lexmark, their process is quite similar to the rest. It is important to make sure your toner brightness and darkness settings on your printer are where they are supposed to be. Their websites offer a very detailed guide and explanations about each issue and how to fix it.
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Fixing your Printer
Printers are useful tools and essential for the at-home worker and the online student, and even folks who prefer paper over digital. But technical issues with printers can really make any task difficult.
Figuring out how to fix the blank page printing issue the first time it comes up can ensure that you’re prepared if there’s a next time.