This tutorial is designed to help you identify and fix common printer problems in Windows, including print errors, print spooler errors, and other issues that could prevent you from printing. This tutorial doesn't cover printing problems related to specific programs. Printing problems can be caused by cables that aren't connected properly, corrupt drivers, incompatible drivers, printer settings, missing updates, and problems with your printer.
How to use this tutorial
For best results, complete each step before you move on to the next one. Try printing after each step before going to the next step.
Step 1: Check hardware
Many printing problems are caused by hardware that isn't set up properly. Here's some information about how to plug cables in to the correct locations and make sure the printer has power.
Check if the cables are connected properly
Check to make sure that the printer's electrical cord is plugged in to the electrical outlet, and that the printer cable is properly connected from the printer to the computer.
Check the power
Check to make sure that the printer's power switch is turned on, or if you're printing to a shared printer or a printer on a network, make sure that all necessary computers, routers, and printers are turned on. If your printer or other equipment is plugged in to a surge protector or a backup power supply, make sure that hardware is plugged in and turned on as well.
Step 2: Use a troubleshooter
A troubleshooter is an automated tool that can find and automatically fix some problems with your PC. The printing troubleshooter can fix problems with installing a printer, connecting to a printer, and errors with the print spooler—software that temporarily stores print jobs on the PC's hard disk.