Fix printing problems

If you’ve previously been able to print from your computer, but now can’t – and you’re sure your printer is turned on, loaded with ink and paper, and not jammed – there are a few simple things you can try. After each step, try printing again.

New router?

Note that when you print wirelessly, your computer doesn’t communicate directly with your printer. Rather, the information is sent via your router e.g. BT Hub. If you’ve replaced your router, you’ll need to join the printer to the new Wi‑Fi, typically using the buttons or touchscreen on the printer itself.

Restart the computer

Restart the printer

Turn the printer off fully. If you’re not sure whether your printer is off as opposed to just sleeping, unplug or switch off the mains power for a moment. Turn the printer back on, and wait one or two minutes. It may make a noise, and lights may blink, while it gets ready.

If you have an HP printer, you can also ‘reset’ it by unplugging it from the mains without switching it off first and then waiting 60 seconds before plugging it back in.

Restart the router

If you print wirelessly, try restarting your router. Some routers have a power button, but since they don’t need ‘shutting down’ it’s fine to just turn a router off at the mains. Wait a few seconds before turning it back on, and allow up to five minutes for it to be ready again.

Check pause

You may have inadvertently instructed your computer to pause printing. To resume:

Windows 10

  1. Click Start > Settings > Devices.
  2. On the left, click Printers & scanners.
  3. To the right, click the name of your printer.
  4. Click Open queue.
  5. Click the Printer menu.
  6. If Pause Printing is ticked, click it to unpause.
  7. Click the Printer menu again.
  8. If Use Printer Offline is ticked, click it to unpause.

Windows 11

  1. Click Start > Settings.
  2. On the left, click Bluetooth & devices.
  3. To the right, click Printers & scanners.
  4. Click the name of your printer.
  5. Click Open print queue.
  6. Click the Printer menu.
  7. If Pause Printing is ticked, click it to unpause.
  8. Click the Printer menu again.
  9. If Use Printer Offline is ticked, click it to unpause.

macOS

  1. Click the Apple menu and choose System Settings.
  2. In the sidebar, click Printers & Scanners.
  3. Click the name of your printer.
  4. Click Printer Queue.
  5. If you see a Resume button, click it. It has the icon of a ‘play’ triangle inside a circle.

Remove the printer, then add it again

Windows 10

  1. Click Start > Settings > Devices.
  2. On the left, click Printers & scanners.
  3. To the right, click the name of your printer.
  4. Click Remove and confirm that you wish to do so.
  5. Click Add printer or scanner and follow the steps.

Windows 11

  1. Click Start > Settings.
  2. On the left, click Bluetooth & devices.
  3. To the right, click Printers & scanners.
  4. Click the name of your printer.
  5. Click Remove and confirm that you wish to do so.
  6. In the top-left corner, click the ‘back’ arrow.
  7. Click Add device and follow the steps.

macOS

  1. Click the Apple menu and choose System Settings.
  2. In the sidebar, click Printers & Scanners.
  3. Click the name of your printer.
  4. Click Remove Printer and confirm that you wish to do so.
  5. Click Add Printer, Scanner or Fax and follow the steps.