In some cases there may be a problem with the management software or with the driver: with Windows 11 and Windows 10 the problem has become much less frequent, although it may still happen that you are unable to print with old printers connected to the network or available only via USB connection.
In the guide that follows we will show you how reset a printer that no longer prints, of whatever brand it is (HP, EPson and others). In the various chapters we will show you which are the most common causes and the most frequent problems which, usually, are really easy to solve.
READ ALSO: Connect the Printer to the computer and solve wifi connection problems
1) Check printer connection
If the printer does not print, it is advisable to check that the connection is active. Even if it seems like a trivial suggestion, it is always good to check that the printer is on, that the paper required for printing is present and that the light indicating the connection is active. If the light is flashingthen there is a problem with the printer and the easiest way to solve it is by turning the device off and on again.
In the case of a Wi-Fi printerthe flashing light can mean that the network is not configured or not seen. Then make sure that the modem used for the Wi-Fi connection is working and is not far from the printer and then run the configuration wizard, which in HP and Epson printers opens from the settings menu.
On Epsons, the exact network settings menu is usually found under Maintenance of the main menu. The modem, after writing the Wi-Fi network password, should assign an IP address to the printer.
But if this does not happen, then you have to enter the modem configuration menu and make sure that theautomatic IP assignment via DHCP.
If we were using the 2.4GHz network, we try to connect to the 5GHz network (if compatible); if instead we used a range extender, we try to connect the printer directly to the modem without intermediaries.
In the case of a printer shared by another computer, we recommend that you read the guide on how share the printer on the networkremembering that in order to work, the PC sharing it must always be switched on, ie the one to which the printer is connected via cable.
If we suspect that the problem is the USB cable, we try to replace it with a new USB cable – this should solve any problems resulting from the malfunction of the cable. We remind you that printers usually use USB type A cables for connection, i.e. slightly different cables to those we are used to on smartphones or other devices.
2) Check Windows settings
If the printer is correctly connected to the Wi-Fi network or via USB cable to the PC from which you want to print, then the problem is on the Windows PC and everything should be solved in a few clicks. On Windows 11 we can access the list of installed devices by pressing WIN+I on the keyboard, opening the Bluetooth and devices menu and finally clicking on Printers and scanners. On Windows 10 instead we will have to open the path Settings -> Devices -> Printers and Scanners.
In the new screen our printer should be visible among those listed; if it’s not working, it should read “offline“, which means disconnected. If we are sure that the printer is active and connected correctly, click on it with the right mouse button and then click on Remove.
After removing the printer, press the button at the top Add device up; Windows will scan available devices via network or USB, find our printer and make it available for a new installation.
If not found and not visible from Windows you can still click on the link “the printer I want is not listed“, giving you several options to locate it manually. In the case of a wireless printer, you can indicate your IP addresswhich can be read from the printer display in the settings menu (depending on the make and model this menu may change, but it shouldn’t be difficult to find anyway).
3) Install the printer drivers correctly
If the Windows automatic procedure has not solved the problems with the printer, we recommend that you install proprietary printer drivers, thus avoiding the drivers provided directly by Windows. To install the right drivers, we retrieve the printer model from the label on the back, then enter the printer name in one of the manufacturers’ official sites:
After installing the correct driver, we can try again to add the printer from the Windows menu, unless the driver installation program immediately asks for the printer to be connected to complete the installation procedure.
If the situation is still not resolved, we can reinstall the drivers already present after uninstalling it. To do this, right-click on the Start menu, click on Device managementlet’s extend the section Printerspress the right button on the name of the printer in use, press on Uninstall devicewe check the item Remove device driver then we press on Uninstall.
Now we can reinstall the printer driver and try adding it back to Windows to fix all the problems.
4) Use the Troubleshooter
If your printer is listed but is causing problems or not printing, a good way to fix the situation right away is to use it Windows troubleshooter.
Su Windows 11 we can open this tool by pressing WIN + I on the keyboard, opening the menu Systemby clicking on the menu Problem solvingby pressing on Other troubleshooting tools and finally pressing the key Run present next to the item Printer. If the printer is connected via Wi-Fi it may be a good idea to launch the tools as well Network card, Shared folders e Inbound connection.
In Windows 10 the same tool is found in Settings> Update & Security> Troubleshootpressing on the item Additional troubleshooting tools. The reported tools work fully automatically and are able to solve even the most difficult problems.
5) Other effective tricks
Always in the window of Devices and Printersright-click on the icon of our printer e set it as default if it isn’t already.
Remaining in this screen, pressing the right mouse button on the printer that does not work for us, we press on View printing in progress to open the printer queue and, if necessary, cancel any printouts that were stuck and waiting. In this regard we can read our guide on how manage and eliminate print queues quickly and without waste.
In Windows 10 you can open the start menu, go to Settings> Devicesto find a configuration screen similar, but more intuitive, to the standard screen Devices and printers (or Printers and Scanners on Windows 11). From here you can click on our printer and open the print queue or go to the management menu.
In Windows 11 and Windows 10, always from the menu Printers and scanners there is an option that automatically sets the last used printer as the default printer. We can turn off this possibility by turning off the switch next to the item Let Windows manage the default printer.
These procedures really should solve almost all the causes of a printer malfunction. If despite the advice the printer does not work or is no longer identifiable, let’s consider the possibility that it is completely broken, especially if it is not possible to print from any device connected to it or to the Wi-Fi network.
To learn more, we can read our guide to solutions to the most common printer problems on Windows.