Ways to solve printer connection issues

When you need to print something and your printer isn’t cooperating, it can be frustrating. You may know how to change ink cartridges or reload paper supplies, but what happens when you can’t connect to your printer?

Here are some of the most common printer connection problems and some tips to get you back up and running quickly.

It sounds silly, but you’d be surprised how often printer connectivity issues can be fixed by doing three specific things:

  1. Making sure the printer is on
  2. Checking any error codes
  3. Power cycling your printer

To power cycle your printer, turn it off, unplug it, wait 30 seconds, and then plug it back in and turn it on. It’s amazing how often this simple act repairs connectivity problems. If this doesn’t solve your printer connection issues, read on.

Printer Isn’t Recognized

You will want to look to see whether your printer shows up in your system. From the computer or device you are using, check the settings to locate the printer you want to activate. If it’s not there, start by power cycling your printer.

If the printer doesn’t show up at all in your list of available devices on your computer, you will likely need to add it. You can try unplugging the USB cable and plugging it back in. Often, this automatically scans for devices added and starts the process to add in a printer. You can also do it manually.

If these fixes don’t do the trick, you’ll want to:

  • Make sure your printer is connected to the same network as the device from which you are trying to print.
  • Check to make sure all cables are connected firmly
  • Uninstall and reinstall your printer software
  • Check your print driver to make sure you are using the most current version

If none of these tips work, you may want to try swapping our cables. For example, USB and ethernet cables can, and do, fail at times.

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Printer Shows Up, But Still Isn’t Printing

If your printer is recognized, but it’s not selected as the default printer or chosen specifically when you print something, it won’t print. Make sure your printer is the default printer in your print settings.

Sometimes choosing another printer as the default and then switching it back again can also reactivate the connection. You may also want to reset your printer to default settings and reconfigure the connection as needed.

Can’t Connect to a Wireless Printer

If your printer drops its Wi-Fi signal, the only sign you’ll see is that you can’t print. The first step is to unplug it, let it sit for a minute, and try plugging it back in. In some cases, it will reconnect automatically. If not, you’ll want to go into the printer’s Wi-Fi settings to make sure it’s properly configured.

Another common problem with connecting can occur if the printer itself is located too close or too far from a Wi-Fi router. If it’s too far, you may not have the signal strength you need to connect consistently. If the router is too close, the signals can interfere with the connection. So, check the location of the router and try moving the router or printer to different locations. You can also try turning off and on the router to reset it.

Other reasons for wireless printer problems include changes to IP addresses, out-of-date print drivers, or conflicts with anti-virus programs. You can see solutions to these problems and more in our recent article on Possible Solutions if Your Wireless Printer Won’t Print.

Need IT Troubleshooting and Help Desk Support?

If these simple tips don’t get you back up and running, it may be time to call in the professionals and let them take a closer look. It’s possible there’s a problem with your network or something else entirely.

At Fastech, we provide managed IT services, help desk and IT support, networking and cloud solutions, and more. We can help get your printers up and running and ensure your systems work smoothly and efficiently. To learn more about our services, contact Fastech today.


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