My printer is connected to my computer but not printing

If a problem exists within your printer i.e. the printer driver or the application you are trying to print from try the following suggestions to identify and hopefully solve the issue.

Find useful suggestions if your printer is connected to your computer but it is not printingFirstly, make sure your printer is switched on and ready to use and that the correct printer is set to default. This is accessible in printers and devices from your Start menu. If the printer is correctly set as the default printer or you need to select it as the one you are about to use then try to print a test page.

Try printing from Notepad or from a Word document. This verifies that the printer driver is correct, and confirms that the problem lies with the application. If you cannot print from Notepad or a Word file, the problem lies with the printer driver.

It may be necessary to uninstall the printer driver and install a newer version which you can download form your printer brand website. If the printer will print a test sheet but the print quality is poor then you may need to perform a head cleaning procedure. If the ink cartridges have not been used for a while it’s possible that the print heads have become blocked. To perform a head cleaning procedure – depending on your printer – you can either complete this directly on the printer or through your PC and a Notepad or Word document.

Blocked print heads do not mean there is a problem with the ink cartridge as such, the ink has become hard and congealed around the print head and can be cleaned using one of the following methods.

For those printers that come with an interface, (this is basically a control panel normally located in a window on the front of the printer), this allows you to perform certain functions within the printer independent to the PC. With the printer switched on, move the arrow until you find maintenance then move the arrow until you locate head cleaning. Follow the operating instructions it gives making sure you have plenty of paper in the printer. It may take several attempts to clear a blocked printer head and even result in having to replace an ink cartridge as this procedure does use a lot of ink. The second option is from your PC – go to file > properties > maintenance > head cleaning. If there is no printer interface then you will have no choice but to perform this procedure. Remember it may take several attempts to clear a stubborn blockage.

It is more likely that this will happen when using compatible inkjet cartridges, as they do not contain the chemical found in original brand cartridges that prevents hardening of the ink.

Paul Johnston

Paul Johnston is a Partner and co-founder of
Paul had vast experience gained in the graphic design and print industry for 15 years prior to his venture into on-line retailing in 2010 with ink and toner replacement cartridges. Paul enjoys writing blogs, social media for small businesses, internet marketing and above all sharing the latest information he deems helpful to fellow bloggers.