Printing is one of the essential part in computing especially at work or sometimes at home too. When it gives trouble by not printing your important document, then you will be in the desperate need to fix it quickly by yourself. Here is the ultimate guide for fixing and troubleshooting printer issues on Windows 8 and 8.1. We have listed out all possible ways which can help in solving printer issue (hardware troubleshooting not included).
Usually if you have a printer with good hardware condition, stable connectivity and correct up-to-date printer driver on your computer, you will not face much printing issues. Having the basic knowledge and understanding printer connectivity, technology and printer services will help to identify and troubleshoot printer related issues
Most of the printer issues are very simple and anyone can fix them. Only few issues require support from technical people.
3 Basic Scenarios to Understand the Printer Problem
You print a document and it prints property
Result- Everything is fine
You print a document, printer started working but making some noise and lights are blinking and not printing.
Result – Printer has received the job request , that means connectivity by either USB ( or other cables) or network is fine. It unable to prints out due to hardware issue, out of paper, ink/cartridge issue, driver problem in Windows 8, wrong printer settings or some print jobs are already pending.
You print a document, nothing happens to the printer
Result – Obviously it did not receive your print command from Windows 8/8.1 computer. It could be by printer power failure, connectivity issue, wrong printer selection in OS, wrong driver installation or print spooler issue.
Troubleshooting Tips for Printer Issues on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
1) Check the Printer’s power
Sometimes smart people do miss simple things. Make sure that printer is powered on and no warning lights are blinking which confirms that there are no hardware issues.
2) Check for physical printer issues
Most of the printers have amber light which indicates hardware issues. Some of the common hardware issues are, paper jam, cartridge jam or improper fix of cartridges or cartridges dried out, top, rear or other covers not fixed and out of paper.
Make sure to fix all physical errors and there are no warning lights.
3) Check the connectivity
If its connected via USB or LPT cable, check the connection at both ends ( computer and printer sides). You can unplug from both ends and connect back properly again, try to connect same USB port on the computer. If it doesn’t work, try the different USB ports.
For network printers, find out the IP address and check the connectivity by pinging. Follow these steps to find out IP address of a printer in Windows 8 or 8.1 computer.
If the printer is connected through a shared computer, you can check the connectivity by accessing shared computer’s shares. Find out the name or IP address of shared computer where printer is connected, enter the name or IP with \\ in run or Windows explorer.
4) Check the Printer Driver
The printer driver and software should have been installed properly by installation CD provided or downloaded. If you need to download, make sure you are downloading the correct or similar model printer driver. Installing or assigning a completely wrong printer driver will cause issue to printing and Operating System as well.
Accidentally or automatically a wrong driver could have been assigned to a printer you are trying to print. Double check the model of physical printer with installed driver on your computer.
Also due to some system issues, system restore or file modification, the printer driver may get corrupted. In this case, completely uninstall and reinstall it again to solve the issue.
5) Make it online
If the connectivity and printer hardware are fine, then check for status of the printer. It could be in offline state. The printer will resume printing only when it comes to online state.
6) Clear the old pending jobs
Sometimes the old pending jobs will block new print jobs. These old jobs should be cleared manually to print new jobs.
Go to Devices and Printers in control panel and double click the printer where pending jobs need to be cleared. It will list out the old jobs with ‘Error’ state. Right click and Cancel them.
If the pending job is not getting cleared by above method, then you need to restart the print spooler service (which mentioned in the next step 7) or even restarting the computer will help.
7) Restart Print Spooler Service
Print spooler service is an important service of a Windows computer to be able to manage printers and prints. It would stopped automatically for several reasons and needed to be started or restarted manually sometimes.
Find out the all possible ways to start and troubleshoot print spooler service issues on Windows 8 or 8.1 here.
I hope one of the above method would be helpful to fix printer issues on Windows 8 or 8.1.
Do share the method which helped to solve your issue.