Topics Map > IT Services > Device Support

Printing - Basic Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting steps to take when you have encountered a printing problem to your printer.

Basic Printer Troubleshooting

When you are having problems printing, you would have to determine if everyone is having a problem printing to this printer or if you are the only one having a problem. 
  • If everyone is having a problem, it is likely there is either something wrong with the printer or there is a network problem. Try restarting the printer.
  • If only you are having a problem, it is likely a problem with your computer, your connection to the network (or printer), or a problem with the application or file you are working with. Try restarting your computer.

Printer Display Errors 

Most networked printers will have a display that will tell you its status. 
  • No Display: Turn the printer on. 
  • Offline: Press the Go or Online button.
    • If this does not change the printer display to Online: Power the printer off for 1 minute and then turn it back on. 

Paper Jam 

Open the doors and remove any paper, being careful not to tear it and lose pieces inside. Paper may also be lodged under the toner cartridge so you may have to pull it out. 
  • If you believe you have removed the paper but the display still says Paper Jam, power the printer off for 1 minute and turn it back on. 
  • If the jam is severe, contact the UW Oshkosh Help Desk at (920)424-3020 or

Processing Job 

If the printer displays Processing Job but nothing is printing the job may just be really large and taking a while to print. 
  • If it has not printed after 5 minutes, press the Cancel Job button on the printer. 
    • If the job will not cancel, power the printer off for 1 minute and turn it back on. 

IO or Other Error 

  • Most IO errors will be cleared by powering the printer off for 1 minute and turning it back on. 
  • You may also need to check to make sure the network cable on the printer is plugged securely into the printer and into the network jack on the wall.   

Tray Empty

Add paper to the appropriate tray.

Flashing Lights 

Some printers will have flashing light codes to tell you what is wrong. Please make note of the flashing lights (what color, short or long flash, how many flashes, etc..) and contact the UW Oshkosh Help Desk.

No Error on the Printer Display 

If the printer display says Ready or Power Save but you are still unable to print, there are other troubleshooting steps. 
  • Cable Connections 
  • Check to make sure all cables are connected securely. 
  • This includes the power cable, 
  • USB connection from your PC to the printer (for a local printer) c
  • Connections from the printer to the network jack in the wall (network printers.) 
  • Sometimes they look like they're plugged in all the way when they're not. To be safe, unplug the cable and plug it back in, especially the network cable. 

Certain Documents/Files Not Printing 

Software vs. Document/File Problems 

  • Sometimes, the problem printing is related to one particular software package or a certain file. Try printing from another application such as Word, Outlook, Excel, etc. If you can't print from any other applications, reboot your computer and check the printer for any error messages. 
  • If you can print from another application, it could be a problem with the application itself or there could be something wrong with the file you are working on. 
  • Try opening a new, blank document, typing in a few words and try to print the new document. If it prints, there is something wrong with your file. If it doesn't print, reboot your computer and try printing again. If it still doesn't print, try reinstalling the application. 

Deleting Stuck Print Jobs 

 Sometimes print jobs may get stuck in the queue and will need to be deleted before anyone else can print. 

  • To delete a print job, press the Cancel button on the printer. 
  • You can also delete your own jobs by clicking Click on Start -> Devices and Printers, double-clicking the printer and deleting the job from the list. 
  • The printer may need to be powered off for 1 minute to clear out its internal memory. 


Tips and Tricks 

Here are a few simple techniques that will solve many printer problems.
  • Reboot your computer. This generally solves most printing problems.  
  • If it's not printing, or you're getting a message about the Fax printer, change your default printer: 
    • Click on Start -> Devices and Printers, right-click the printer, and then select (left-click) Set as Default Printer.  
  • Check and make sure all connections going to and coming from the printer are firmly in place.
  • Print a test page. If that prints and the application you are using doesn't, you will need to contact the UW Oshkosh Help Desk for support.
  • Turn off your printer for 10 seconds and turn it back on. Make a note of any error messages or flashing lights when the printer is turned back on.

If you need further assistance please call the Information Technology Help Desk at 920-424-3020, put in your own request at, or email

Keywords:"Printer Troubleshooting", "paper jam", jam, paper, printer, light   Doc ID:55515
Owner:Liz C.Group:UW Oshkosh
Created:2015-08-24 10:10 CDTUpdated:2023-03-24 08:39 CDT
Sites:UW Oshkosh
Feedback:  0   0