How to Fix a Broken Printer

There are few things more irritating than having a printer that simply will not work.  Often, when something we use on such a regular basis breaks, we think to take it to be repaired. However, this can cost a great deal of money, so you may want to try to repair the printer yourself first if possible. There are some easy to fix printer problems you can potentially take care of yourself, it all depends on what is wrong in the first place. Problems with printers can be hardware or software related; the latter usually being the easiest to solve. Here are a few tips on how to quickly fix your printer at home.

Print Quality

For instance, if your printer is printing too slowly, there is a simple software adjustment that will fix it. Reducing the print quality will allow for faster printing. In most situations you do not need to use the highest resolution and you also save on ink if you print at a lower resolution (lower dpi). You can easily reduce the number of dots per inch (dpi) by finding the setting under Print and then Properties in Windows. For Mac users, check the support manual on their website.

Multiple Printers

If you have more than one printer then you may find that your computer suddenly starts sending jobs to the wrong one. To correct this problem go into the Printers section in Windows and change the default printer to the one you want to use. In Windows 10, you will have to go to Printers and Scanners under Settings.

Color Issues

You may find that your printout is not dark enough or that it has horizontal lines or spots on it. This can happen with inkjet printers when the print head becomes clogged with ink. Often the software that came with your printer has a tool to clean the print head. If this method does not work, you may have to clean it yourself. Before starting a manual clean you must turn off and unplug your device. Then remove the cartridge and the print head (you may need to take a look at the instruction manual to see how to remove the print head). In some machines the print head is on the actual cartridge; in which case you need to clean the print head on the cartridge.

Next make a mixture of 50% isopropyl alcohol and 50% of water in a bowl. Place the print head or cartridge in the mixture and leave it there for about 2 minutes. Take the print head or cartridge out and use a paper towel to dry it, then wait for it to completely dry before placing it back in the printer. The cartridge may require realigning for the printer to work properly; to do this print a test page and see if it is necessary.  These are just some of the suggestions on how to troubleshoot and fix a broken printer.