6 Common Printer and Copier Issues (and fixes)

Posted by Stone's Office Equipment

When our government started listing ” essential ” companies during the pandemic, we wondered if office equipment businesses would make the list. They did because copiers and printers are essential tools for every business, and just like other technology devices, they will experience downtime. We collected the most common service-related calls we receive and put them in this article, along with the fixes.

  • Paper JamCalls for paper jam are the most common service issues we receive for a copier or printer. It usually happens when a piece of paper is “stuck” inside the machine. To avoid damage to the device, finding where it’s stuck in the copier/printer is essential. This process begins by looking at the screen on your copier or printer. Most manufacturers have intuitive displays showing where the paper jam occurred. Fix by opening the doors or trays shown on the display. Locate the paper jam and remove it by slowly and evenly pulling the paper out. Be careful not to tear the paper when removing it. Also, pay close attention to any areas marked “HOT” on the machine. Touching these areas will burn you! Close all of the doors and trays, and the copier should reset.
  • Ink or Toner Problem – Ink or toner issues can cause many problems, but mostly the quality of the print job, like smearing and backgrounding. Make sure the correct toner or ink is installed. If you have the wrong supplies in the copier or printer, it will cause issues. Also, make sure you purchase your supplies from a reputable dealer – buying them online is not advised because you don’t know where they’re coming from. Fix by replacing your cartridge with a new one if possible; this will usually solve the problem.
  • Lines on copies/scans –  is the second most common service issue in the copier world. It is usually caused by one of two reasons – dirty glass or the toner cartridge. Sometimes dirt, dust, or whiteout gets on the glass, and as the original passes over, it will create a line on the copy. The easiest way to know if it’s a glass or cartridge issue is to copy something from the copier’s glass. If the document has no lines, the glass is dirty. It can be a toner cartridge issue if it has lines on it.
  • Light Copies or Prints – This issue often comes from dirty optics within your copier or printer. Built-up dirt or dust can affect how accurately images are reproduced onto paper, so have your equipment regularly cleaned. Also, check to see if resolution settings change; sometimes, a new print driver is loaded, and the settings change.
  • Poor Scan Quality – This problem usually comes down to one thing: incorrect scan settings! If a low-quality scan has too many dots sprinkled over its surface, chances are you have set the ‘resolution setting’ too high (try lowering it). Similarly, if dark spots appear on scans, ensure the brightness hasn’t been turned up beyond what’s necessary (try dimming it slightly). Lastly, if scans show signs of pixelation or distortion, then make sure ‘DPI’ settings aren’t too low (turning them back up should resolve this).
  • Can’t Print or Scan – Printers and copiers don’t stop operating without a reason. They occasionally stop responding due to communication interruptions (i.e., software updates from Microsoft or Google). However, before you take drastic steps such as unplugging the power cord completely, try resetting everything by restarting both your computer and printer to see if that gets things working again. Ensure you’ve closed any open documents or programs beforehand so all files remain unaffected during downtime periods caused by repairs. If restarting everything doesn’t work, contact your equipment dealer or IT department.

Be sure to check out our Learning Center and our Video section. If there is something you want to know about office equipment, contact us by clicking here.