Personal printers are an extremely handy tool to have around the house. Kids can print off school papers or pictures, parents can print off receipts or entertainment tickets from home, and can allow anyone else to keep physical copies of important documents in the event of a compromised hard drive.

However with printers comes inevitable maintenance. Not only does the actual machine cost a hundred bucks or so, but ink cartridges must be replaced and a regular supply of paper.

There are other problems associated with printers, so let’s go over some of the most common printer problems and possible fixes for those problems.

The time it takes to print is much too long!

While the technology trend over the past couple years has been wireless, wireless, wireless, sometimes there is no substitute for a good, wired Ethernet connection. While this may problematic for those of you with printing station on a different house floor than your computer, try your best to connect your computer via wire to the printer. It’ll save you quite of time and hassle as opposed to trying to do it all wirelessly.

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My print quality is terrible!

Assuming your print head isn’t clogged, poor print quality can be a product of trying to save money buying remanufactured or refilled cartridges. While either of these options will certainly save you money over a first-party Dell or HP cartridge, this comes at certain cost. For school papers and important documents, the last thing you want to do is submit a paper that is well-written and took time to complete, only to have it look bad because you were trying to save a few bucks.

Print toner costs are too high!

Buying new print toner cartridges can be very spendy. You may have lucked out and grabbed a super cheap printer, but you’re also likely paying for that on the backend in the form of frequently-replaced ink toner. If you can, do a little research prior to buying the printer and check out some user reviews. Printers that gobble up ink are an expensive hassle to deal with. Also, buy large capacity cartridges over the cheaper low capacity ones. If you use your printer often, you will save money over the long run.

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Difficulty pairing computer to printer

First, check your default printer on the “print setup” screen. Sometimes it will randomly change on you, so pay attention. Also check the devices and printers page located in the control panel on Windows systems. Here you can add a device, manage your printers, or remove outdated or no longer used printers.

Weird horizontal lines appearing on my print

This is actually a pretty easy remedy. Use your printer’s diagnostic option so that it can clean out dried ink or autocorrect any problems your printer is experiencing. There are other causes of horizontal lines, but by running a diagnostic test and printing a test page, you should be able to neutralize this common problem. This will also fix problems in which your print is too light.

My printer tray has a very low capacity

This is something that can only really be checked prior to purchase (sorry to you who have already purchased a printer with low capacity paper trays). Companies use low capacity ink trays as a tactic to sell you on a cheaper printer, but if you have to continually open up the tray and throw in new paper during the middle of a print, is it really worth it? Large capacity trays will fix this, especially if you are regularly printing at home.