Versions Compared


  • This line was added.
  • This line was removed.
  • Formatting was changed.


You are trying to print and you either get an error message or there is no output from the printer. There are several things you can do to troubleshoot problematic network printers. If this is happening to you, please use the following steps for troubleshooting prior to emailing the Help Desk about a printer problem.


titlePlease Read

While this may seem obvious, make sure the printer is turned ON, that the printer has paper, and that the printer is plugged into an active network port (Please see Step 3 below for help determining whether a network cable is active or not).





Additionally, you can check to see if you are able to print to an alternate network printer.

  1. Check to see if anyone else can print to the same network printer. If other people are able to print to the printer and you are not able to, then it is likely a problem with your computer. 
    1. If it is a problem with your computer, your computer may already be working on trying to solve the problem automatically, so it is possible that the problem will resolve itself after about 5 minutes.
    2. If the problem continues after a 5 minute waiting period, please save any documents you have open and then restart your computer and try printing again.
  2. If Step 1 did not work, next check to see if you are able to print to an alternate network printer. If you can, then it is most likely a problem with a specific print driver on your computer. 
    1. Please be aware that there are a large number of printers with similar names, and some printers may be inadvertently listed more than once in the directory with different names. Double check to make sure you are trying to send the print job to the intended printer before proceeding to step 2b.
    2. To fix a problem with a specific print driver on your computer, you need to remove the printer and then add it back. You can do this by opening the "Devices and printers" dialog box from the Windows Start Menu (search for the words "Devices and printers"), inside the Devices and printer window you need to right-click the problematic printer and select "Remove." Now you can add the printer back using the following linked instructions: How to add a network printer
  3. Anchor
    If you are still unable to print after Steps 1 and 2, please attempt to confirm that there are blinking and/or glowing "network activity lights" on the back of your printer where the network cable plugs into your printer. If the network cable is active it should look like the picture below and you should see the two colored lights (whether it is blinking or glowing, there should be some type of light coming from top-left and top-right corners of the network port). If the two colored lights are not lit up at all, you have confirmed that the printer is on, and you have already attempted all of the steps above, then please go ahead and email for further assistance.


Network Activity Lights: