Troubleshooting tips: Common printer problems and how to solve them

printer problems

Dreaded printer problems are a familiar frustration for us all. It’s inevitable, at some point everyone who owns a printer is going to have to troubleshoot their machine. Paper jams, error messages, poor quality prints – these all cause our hearts to sink. Often, people avoid using alternative or remanufactured cartridges for fear that they will lead to an issue with their machine. But, there’s no reason a quality third-party cartridge shouldn’t work as well as its OEM counterpart. Here at The Inky Shop, our alternative cartridges are of the highest quality. If you do happen to experience a problem, there’s usually a simple solution. Keep reading to discover some of the most common printer problems, and how to solve them.

Are you experiencing these printer problems?

The printer displays an error message

Are you trying to print, but the annoying ping of an error message keeps getting in your way? Error messages are an all too frequent printer problem that every user has faced at one point or another. Here are the three most common error messages you might experience:

Incorrect cartridge installed

You’ve bought a brand new cartridge for your printer and upon installing you’re thwarted with a flashing light – ‘incorrect cartridge installed’. Before you start freaking out, first check whether you’ve purchased the correct cartridge for your printer. Different models of machines will support a particular set of cartridges. If you arrive at The Inky Shop and can’t remember which cartridge you’re buying, don’t stress. The cartridge packaging should list the supported models, and our friendly staff are always available to lend a hand.

Ink cartridge not installed properly

You’ve double, triple checked and you’re 100% certain you have purchased the correct cartridge, but there’s still a flashing light. This time, the error comes up as ‘ink cartridge not installed properly’. Now what? Don’t panic. If this happens, remove the cartridge and switch off the printer. Let a few minutes pass before turning your machine back on and reinstalling the cartridge. Take care to ensure it snaps securely into place before running the head cleaning cycle.

Don’t worry if your Inky Shop cartridge doesn’t look the same as the OEM. While your compatible may appear different due to patenting of the original, it has still been designed to fit your printer.

Ink levels low

All printer users will at some point come across the ‘low ink’ warning. It’s never a good idea to leave your printer ink to run dry (read our printer tips on how to tell when your printer ink is low), but sometimes this printer problem appears when your cartridge is still good to go. In most cases, this message is an attempt to discourage the use of alternative and refilled cartridges. But don’t let this dissuade you. Your Inky Shop cartridges are well suited to the job. If you do receive a ‘Used’, ‘Counterfeit’ or ‘Non-Branded’ ink cartridge message, you can resume normal print operations by selecting ‘Yes’, ‘Continue’ or ‘OK’.

Quick tip: Do you have a Canon printer that uses tri-colour cartridges? There’s an easy trick to use when the ‘low ink’ alert appears. Press and hold the ‘STOP/RESET/RESUME’ button for 7-10 seconds and then continue printing.

If the cartridge’s chip isn’t communicating properly with the printer, this could also result in a ‘low ink’ warning. Remove your ink cartridge and gently wipe the chip with a lint-free cloth before reinstalling. If this fails to remove the error message, the next step is to try a hard restart to refresh your printer memory. To do this, switch the printer off at the plug for twenty seconds. The error message should be gone when you turn the printer back on. Unfortunately, some alternative cartridges contain used chips that have been reset during the remanufacturing process. Chips which aren’t able to be reset will continue to register as empty, regardless of the ink levels. In this case, you should continue to print until the quality begins to fade, signalling the time for a replacement.

Remember, we back our Inky Shop alternative cartridges with a 100% money-back guarantee. If there’s no communication at all between your printer and the chip, a problem may have occurred when resetting. In this case, bring your cartridge back to the store and request an exchange.

The printer isn’t detecting the cartridge (and is refusing to print)
Before you write the chip off, first check if there isn’t another reason the printer is failing to detect the cartridge. Have you remembered to remove the protective seal? The seal, often yellow tape, protects the chip before installation. If this is still in place, it will block communication with the printer. Alternately, there could be a build up of dirt or ink causing a printer problem. Run the self-cleaning feature or carefully do the clean yourself before reinstalling the cartridge.

The printer is yielding poor quality prints

Are you experiencing poor quality printing, such as faded ink, lines or even a blank page? If you’ve had the cartridge for some time, or done a lot of printing, this could be the result of low ink levels. Visit your nearest Inky Shop store and replace or refill your cartridge. But, if you’re sure your cartridge is full and ready to go, the problem could be due to dried ink, air bubbles or microscopic dust particles blocking the nozzles. Don’t worry. It’s a fairly common issue, especially with new cartridges or ones that have been sitting for a while. Running your printer’s head cleaning programme a couple of times should clear the nozzles in no time.

To find the head cleaning programme, search under your printer’s ‘Maintenance Setting.’

Now that you’ve solved all your printer problems, it’s time to press print. If you have any further queries, contact your nearest Inky Shop store and speak to one of our trained staff members. They’ll do their best to help solve any issues you may have.

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