Home Computer Help & Tech Support Topics

This material is archived primarily from Email tips distributed to my own home computer friends here in Ocala, dated 2015-2017. Updates to this material are scheduled for CY 2018.

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Printer Won't Print

Printer Won't Print

Occasionally even a printer in good shape may simply stop responding to the computer.

In some cases, you'll get a message on your PC indicating some variant of "printer cannot be found", or "computer cannot communicate with printer."

In these cases, first check your cable connections. It's not unusual for cable connections to come close, such as the USB tie between your PC and your printer.

If the connections are all good, then try powering off the computer and the printer, then powering them back up.

Which order? Depending on the circumstances, I've seen either PC-first or printer-first work at times.

If this fails, you may need to reinstall your printer software, notably the driver which enables bidirectional communication between PC and device.

Most prominent printer manufacturers have fairly good access online for downloading and installing device drivers.

If you find that printer problems like this happen repeatedly, consider saving the downloadable printer driver software onto your machine, clicking "Save" instead of just "Run" when you start the download for installation.

Make sure you observe where the file is saved - typically the default is set to save the file in your user libraries under "My Documents."

Then go to that file using "Explore" (right click Start key), right click on the driver file, and left click on the drop down menu choice "Send To > Desktop."

This way you'll have a convenient way to reinstall the driver anytime you need to.

In the course of handling printer problems, you may need to go into the Printers area of Control Panel to check on settings, defaults, etc.

If you are comfortable in this area, become familiar with the Control Panel area. If you get in over your head under Control Panel, backtrack using the Cancel buttons at any point along the way.