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We understand that many people get frustrated with the office printer.

“It never has enough ink or toner.” “Why is it leaving random lines on my page?”

But what if it’s just not working? What if your printer will not print, and you have absolutely no idea what’s causing the problem?

It could be something complicated. However, the explanation could also be really, really easy.

In the video below, Gareth from TonerGiant outlines a few simple things to check before printing to see whether the answer is actually fairly obvious. Amongst others, he outlines:

  • How to check for printer software updates
  • How to ensure your ink and toner levels aren’t too low
  • How to ensure you’ve not got a back log in your printer queue

Instructions for software updates (2:28)


To begin, make sure you have an active internet connection.

For Windows 8:

  • Point mouse to bottom right corner of your screen
  • Click Settings>Change PC Settings>Update and Recovery
  • Click ‘Check Now’ and wait
  • Click ‘Install Updates’
  • Read and accept licence terms, then click ‘Finish’
  • Restart your computer

For Windows 7:

  • Click ‘Start’
  • In the search window, type “windows update”
  • Select ‘Windows Update’ from the list that appears
  • To install all updates Windows has found, click ‘Install Updates.’
  • To manually select which updates you’d like to install, click ‘Optional Updates Are Available’ and select the ones you want from the list provided. Then click ‘Ok.’
  • Follow any instructions prompted after this
  • Restart your computer

For Windows Vista:

  • Click ‘Start’
  • In the search window, type “windows update”
  • Select ‘Windows Update’ from the list that appears
  • To install all updates Windows has found, click ‘Install Updates.’
  • To manually select which updates you’d like to install, click ‘View Available Updates’ (you’ll find this under the ‘Install Updates’ button) and select the ones you want from the list provided. Then click ‘Ok.’
  • Follow any instructions prompted after this
  • Restart your computer

OS X (Apple Mac)

All software updates come through the App Store. You’ll get alerts pop up informing you of an update if one is available.

  • Click ‘Details’ to read information about the update in the App Store
  • Click ‘Update’ or ‘Install’
  • Restart your computer


  • Go to the Apple menu
  • Click ‘Software Update’
  • The App Store will then appear with a list of available updates
  • Click ‘Update’ once you’ve selected the ones you want, or click ‘Update All’
  • Restart your computer

Of course, if you think your problem may be more serious, please get in touch and we’d be delighted to try and help fix your problem.

Video Transcription

Hi I’m Gareth from TonerGiant. Right- “my printer will not print.” Sounds simple, it’s in no way a technical diagnosis, but sometimes, if your printer is just driving you mental and it won’t print, that’s the only way you can describe it.

It could be something really complicated that’s causing the problem. It could also be something really easy. And that’s what we’re going to look at in this video- just a few things you can check to make sure it’s nothing really obvious that’s stopping you from printing.

Ok so let’s begin. The first things you should do is check for any error messages or warning lights displayed on your printer. Now printers have many different error messages and lights and they all mean different things. Your printer manual should be able to outline which each one indicates. Or, of course, if you’re still unsure, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help you.

Number two, and without wanting to completely insult your intelligence, make sure there’s paper in the tray; you won’t believe that amount of people that make that mistake.

Now it could be good to check your ink and toner levels. If you’re running low, your computer may display something like this here, and it simply won’t perform a print until it’s resolved. So just make sure you’ve got enough ink and toner in your printer. To access information about how much you’ve got left, click on your printer in the ‘Devices and Printers’ section of your control panel. Or if you’ve got any printer software installed on your computer, you should be able to find this in here.

Ok another one to check is print queues. Sometimes old jobs can be left in the queue which prevent new jobs from completing. To double check this, go to your control panel, ‘Devices and Printers’, and just see whether there are any old jobs still left in there. As you can see there are a few still left in the queue here. So just double check with whoever the owner is that you’re ok to go ahead and delete it. And hopefully, now that the queue’s cleared, that might solve something.

Next, check the connection from your printer to your computer. If you’re using a USB, it’s sometimes worth changing USB ports; for some reason, sometimes, that seems to sort it out. If you’re using your printer over Wi-Fi, double check your connection. If you’re having problems connecting to your Wi-Fi, I know it’s ‘a bit 2004,’ but maybe go back to using the old USB cable.

Ok another common one is to double check that you’re selecting the right printer to print to. So if you check our document here, I’ve noticed the Lomond printer is our default, when actually I want to use the Brother. Now of course I can obviously select the Brother now for a one-time print job, but I want the Brother to be the default all the time. So the best way to do this is to go to your control panel, and ‘Devices and Printers’ again, find the Brother printer (the printer you want as a default), right click and press ‘Set as Default Printer.’

And finally, check that your printer software on your computer is up to date. Now normally you’ll see a pop-up on your computer informing you that a software update is available, however you may need to seek these out manually from time to time. To do this, you can either perform a Windows update or, of course, perform an update for your Mac computer- a step by step guide to doing this for both of these can be found with the blog post that accompanies this video. Or, it’s also worth inserting any discs into your computer that may have come with your printer. This is because they may be able to install a driver for your device. These are programs that can help your computer to detect any installed hardware. It’s also worth heading over to the support section of your manufacturer’s website to check for any updates. You can search by model number here like you can on the Samsung website. Also, just double check that your printer is compatible with any operating system that you’re on; for example, a new printer may not be able to work on, say, a Windows 2000 computer. Though this shouldn’t be the case, it’s always worth double checking.

Ok so I know they might sound quite obvious, but sometimes it’s the obvious things that can stop your printer from functioning. If you’ve still got a problem please get in touch; we’d be happy to help you. Do check out the accompanying blog post for all the help and steps as well- you’ll find the link in the description if you’re watching this on YouTube. But I hope that’s helped and thanks for watching.


Was this video helpful? We’d love to hear what you think! Leave us a comment below or tweet us @TonerGiant.

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