2021-02-16

Woman in blue filter with finger placed on her lips in  hushing motion with foreground  "3 Common Misconceptions Printer Manufacturers Don’t Want You to Unlearn"
Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

According to Home Printing Statistics of 2021, more and more people are printing at home, especially with the recent pandemic.

  • 28% of respondents use home printing for work.
  • 14% are now printing for their children’s home schooling or for their own studies.
  • More than one in five people have a bigger print volume today than before the pandemic.

However, a third of the respondents are not taking advantage of third party cartridges. One can save money up to 106.72% when using compatible cartridges. One can also save up to 64.82% when using remanufactured cartridges. This is especially beneficial for home printing.

What is holding them back?

Misconception #1: Third Party Cartridges Damage the Printer

22% of the respondents believe that third party cartridges will damage their home printer.

Like OEM (original equipment manufacturer) cartridges, compatible and remanufactured cartridges are only sold in shops after passing quality tests and standards. They are designed to work effectively with their assigned printer without crossing any patents. 

Do Third Party Cartridges Clog Print Heads?

Some people will have reservations on using third party cartridges because it may clog the print head. The consistency of third-party ink can be different from original ink. But just like original ink, it can dry on the print head over time and can simply be resolved by initiating their home printer's cleaning cycle.

Do Third Party Cartridges Leak?

Others are hesitant because compatible cartridges and remanufactured cartridges might leak. A cartridge only leaks if it's incorrectly inserted into the printer. Just like OEM cartridges, please read the instructions before attempting cartridge installation in order for it to effectively and efficiently seal tight. 

Misconception #2: Third Party Cartridges Void Printer Warranty

17% of the survey respondents believe using third party cartridges will void their home printer's warranty.

Using compatible cartridges or remanufactured cartridges will not void your printer warranty. When you buy third party cartridges, printer manufacturers make less money. So if you use other cartridges besides their own, they will claim to void your printer warranty.

But the truth is, it is illegal to void your printer warranty for using third party cartridges as of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act.

In its United States Codes Annotated Title 15 Commerce and Trade, Chapter 50 Consumer Product Warranties, Sections 2302, it is stated:

"No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer’s using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade or corporate name; except that the prohibition of this subsection be waived by the commission if:

  1. The warrantor satisfies the Commission that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and
  2. the Commission finds that such a waiver is in the public interest.

Misconception #3: Third Party Cartridges have Poor Quality Print

As long as third party cartridges are high quality, and not low-grade ones found commonly in most online stores, there is almost no major difference in the print quality between OEM cartridges and third party cartridges.

A disadvantage of third party cartridge ink is when it is exposed to high levels of UV rays. Such as when prints are exposed to direct sunlight for several months. 

But since most prints are not required to be exposed directly to UV rays for long periods of time, this is not an issue for the majority of users. 

How to Look for High Quality Third Party Cartridges

Many low-grade third party cartridges are available online. To pick a trusted business, here are the tell-tale signs:

Check How Long the Company Has Been in Business

The longer the company has been selling cartridges, the more certain are the quality of their cartridges. They also offer less risks as they have more developed policies when it comes to shipping, returns and other conditions. 

Check the Product Reviews

A customer with a negative product experience is more willing to share their story in the product reviews. Nobody likes to be scammed and will spread their story to prevent others from being exploited too. 

Even customers who have received a faulty cartridge will share how the company handled their issue and for how long. This reflects the customer experience with the company's return policy.

Check if You can Call or Live Chat for Help

Check the company’s website on how they can assist you if you’re having problems with their products. A company that you can call for help or live chat with, is more legitimate and is interested in having you as their loyal customer, and is far from making a quick buck from people.

Woman in blue filter with finger placed on her lips in  hushing motion with foreground  "3 Common Misconceptions Printer Manufacturers Don’t Want You to Unlearn"
Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

According to Home Printing Statistics of 2021, more and more people are printing at home, especially with the recent pandemic.

  • 28% of respondents use home printing for work.
  • 14% are now printing for their children’s home schooling or for their own studies.
  • More than one in five people have a bigger print volume today than before the pandemic.

However, a third of the respondents are not taking advantage of third party cartridges. One can save money up to 106.72% when using compatible cartridges. One can also save up to 64.82% when using remanufactured cartridges. This is especially beneficial for home printing.

What is holding them back?

Misconception #1: Third Party Cartridges Damage the Printer

22% of the respondents believe that third party cartridges will damage their home printer.

Like OEM (original equipment manufacturer) cartridges, compatible and remanufactured cartridges are only sold in shops after passing quality tests and standards. They are designed to work effectively with their assigned printer without crossing any patents. 

Do Third Party Cartridges Clog Print Heads?

Some people will have reservations on using third party cartridges because it may clog the print head. The consistency of third-party ink can be different from original ink. But just like original ink, it can dry on the print head over time and can simply be resolved by initiating their home printer's cleaning cycle.

Do Third Party Cartridges Leak?

Others are hesitant because compatible cartridges and remanufactured cartridges might leak. A cartridge only leaks if it's incorrectly inserted into the printer. Just like OEM cartridges, please read the instructions before attempting cartridge installation in order for it to effectively and efficiently seal tight. 

Misconception #2: Third Party Cartridges Void Printer Warranty

17% of the survey respondents believe using third party cartridges will void their home printer's warranty.

Using compatible cartridges or remanufactured cartridges will not void your printer warranty. When you buy third party cartridges, printer manufacturers make less money. So if you use other cartridges besides their own, they will claim to void your printer warranty.

But the truth is, it is illegal to void your printer warranty for using third party cartridges as of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act.

In its United States Codes Annotated Title 15 Commerce and Trade, Chapter 50 Consumer Product Warranties, Sections 2302, it is stated:

"No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer’s using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade or corporate name; except that the prohibition of this subsection be waived by the commission if:

  1. The warrantor satisfies the Commission that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and
  2. the Commission finds that such a waiver is in the public interest.

Misconception #3: Third Party Cartridges have Poor Quality Print

As long as third party cartridges are high quality, and not low-grade ones found commonly in most online stores, there is almost no major difference in the print quality between OEM cartridges and third party cartridges.

A disadvantage of third party cartridge ink is when it is exposed to high levels of UV rays. Such as when prints are exposed to direct sunlight for several months. 

But since most prints are not required to be exposed directly to UV rays for long periods of time, this is not an issue for the majority of users. 

How to Look for High Quality Third Party Cartridges

Many low-grade third party cartridges are available online. To pick a trusted business, here are the tell-tale signs:

Check How Long the Company Has Been in Business

The longer the company has been selling cartridges, the more certain are the quality of their cartridges. They also offer less risks as they have more developed policies when it comes to shipping, returns and other conditions. 

Check the Product Reviews

A customer with a negative product experience is more willing to share their story in the product reviews. Nobody likes to be scammed and will spread their story to prevent others from being exploited too. 

Even customers who have received a faulty cartridge will share how the company handled their issue and for how long. This reflects the customer experience with the company's return policy.

Check if You can Call or Live Chat for Help

Check the company’s website on how they can assist you if you’re having problems with their products. A company that you can call for help or live chat with, is more legitimate and is interested in having you as their loyal customer, and is far from making a quick buck from people.

2021-01-08

 

Hand working on printer with the words Best Home Office Printers for 2021 image from Pxhere

As more people began to work at home, the need for home printers rose. A home printer should match your printing needs.

How to Choose a Home Office Printer

Inkjet vs Laser. A home office printer can be an inkjet or a laser printer. Inkjet is great for those who would like to print their own photos aside from documents. Laser printers are great for those who have a big print load.

Printer Resolution. For users who will print mostly documents with graphics, 300 dpi (dots per inch) is acceptable. For crisp, professional documents, 600 dpi will enhance the print. 1200 dpi is often used for photo printing. But for professional photographs, printers with a resolution of 2880 by 1440 is sought after.  

How We Have Chosen our Recommendations

In choosing our recommended home office printers for 2021, we only included those that have the following:

Multi-Function Printer (MFP). A home office printer will need to be a multi-function printer that can also scan, copy and fax. This way, the home office will not be cluttered with other appliances.

Paper Saver. As home printer users tend to want to save money when printing drafts, we also only included printers with auto duplex printing or 2-sided printing.

Connection. For convenience, a home printer must be able to print through wireless and USB connection. Connections through USB and Ethernet create faster printing. While wireless connection creates the convenience of mobile printing.

Low Cost Consideration. Lastly, a home office printer's expense in its lifespan must be considered. A printer can be cheap but its ink expenses could hurt your wallet in the long run. Click here to know how we considered the lifespan expense or Cost Consideration of each printer. 

Below are multi-function inkjet and laser printers that we have deemed the best this 2021. 

Best Home Office Inkjet Printer

Brother MFCJ775DW is a true budget printer without sacrificing quality. 

  • Low Price, Great Quality. With just a price of $199.99, this printer can also copy, scan, fax. 
  • Decent Print Speed. It has a decent speed of 12 pages per minute (ppm) when printing in monochrome and 6 ppm when printing in color. 
  • Low Cost per Page. This printer's cartridges have one of the lowest cost per page with $0.0087 for black ink and $0.011 for each color ink -cyan, magenta and yellow (cmy). 
  • Low Cost Consideration. Its Cost Consideration is $550.27. This is the lowest we have computed upon comparing other printers' accumulated expenses during their lifespan. 

However this printer can only print up to A4 (8 x 11”) paper size. It also doesn’t have Ethernet connection. 

Learn more of how we compared it with other printers here.

Best Laser Home Office Printer (Monochrome)

Brother MFC-L2710DW ($199.99) is a top seller when it comes to users who only wish to print text documents. 

  • Fast Print Speed. This printer matches the demand of medium loads with its print speed of 32 ppm.
  • Crisp Text and Images. Monochrome laser printers can print documents blurry images. This gives less quality when photocopied. Prevent it from happening with this printer's print resolution of 2400 x 600 dpi. 
  • 50-Page Automatic Document Feeder Capacity. This feature allows you to scan or photocopy up to 50-pages of documents unattended.
  • High Page Yield Cartridges. Due to its cartridge's high yield of 3,000 pages, it has one of the lowest Cost per Page ($0.036) and Cost Consideration ($693.19). See more here.
Best Laser Home Office Printer (Color)

For people who want crisp and colored documents without the maintenance needed for an inkjet printer, we would recommend Lexmark MC3224dwe.

  • Low Price. This printer ($299.00) has one of the affordable prices for home printing while still meeting the users' needs.
  • A3 Maximum Paper Size. Print files of up to 11 x 17 inches.
  • Great Print Speed. Print both colored and monochrome documents by 24 ppm.
  • Professional Prints. Present professional files with great resolution of 2400x600 dpi.

Unfortunately, this model is not for people who will need to fax documents. This is also not for users who prefers a USB connection with their printer. Click here to learn more on how it has the lowest Cost Consideration ($2,643.95) from other color laser printers.

Bonus Recommendations

The printers below are not multi-function, nor have duplex printing or have a low Cost Consideration. But they are a match for certain users. For those looking for photo printers and portable printers, here are our recommendations.

Best Photo Home Printer

Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 is our "photo enthusiasts on the budget" printer. It's not expensive but it allows users to have their cake and eat it too with the printer's gallery-quality prints.

  • Varied 6-Ink System. From the usual CMYK, it also has red and gray for better accuracy than an average photo printer.
  • A3 Maximum Paper Size. While it's not compatible with roll papers, photo enthusiasts will be glad to know they could print on both sides automatically.
  • Accommodating 50-sheet Rear Tray. This printer can print on a variety of paper thickness without wrinkling them.
  • Fast Speeds, Stunning Photos. Print grayscale and color-popping photos by 9.2 ppm (black) and 9.0 ppm (color).
This printer does not have a Bluetooth connection.

Best Portable Printer

If your job demands you to print at home and at the office, we would recommend the Canon Pixma iX6820 as your portable printer.

  • High Resolution. Its 9600 x 2400 dpi promises clear, bold printers of movie clips, web pages, photos and documents.
  • Fast Borderless Photos. Instantly have professional 4x6" photos in 36 seconds.
  • Individual Ink Tank System. Four dye-based inks for great contrast and 1 pigment-based ink for crisp-looking text.
  • Quiet Mode. Never disturb anyone again as you print.
  • Auto Power On. Upon sending a photo or document to be printed, this printer automatically powers on.
Its only downside is lacking Bluetooth connectivity.

If you want to save up to 80% of money on cartridges with these printers, use professional compatible cartridges.

 

Hand working on printer with the words Best Home Office Printers for 2021 image from Pxhere

As more people began to work at home, the need for home printers rose. A home printer should match your printing needs.

How to Choose a Home Office Printer

Inkjet vs Laser. A home office printer can be an inkjet or a laser printer. Inkjet is great for those who would like to print their own photos aside from documents. Laser printers are great for those who have a big print load.

Printer Resolution. For users who will print mostly documents with graphics, 300 dpi (dots per inch) is acceptable. For crisp, professional documents, 600 dpi will enhance the print. 1200 dpi is often used for photo printing. But for professional photographs, printers with a resolution of 2880 by 1440 is sought after.  

How We Have Chosen our Recommendations

In choosing our recommended home office printers for 2021, we only included those that have the following:

Multi-Function Printer (MFP). A home office printer will need to be a multi-function printer that can also scan, copy and fax. This way, the home office will not be cluttered with other appliances.

Paper Saver. As home printer users tend to want to save money when printing drafts, we also only included printers with auto duplex printing or 2-sided printing.

Connection. For convenience, a home printer must be able to print through wireless and USB connection. Connections through USB and Ethernet create faster printing. While wireless connection creates the convenience of mobile printing.

Low Cost Consideration. Lastly, a home office printer's expense in its lifespan must be considered. A printer can be cheap but its ink expenses could hurt your wallet in the long run. Click here to know how we considered the lifespan expense or Cost Consideration of each printer. 

Below are multi-function inkjet and laser printers that we have deemed the best this 2021. 

Best Home Office Inkjet Printer

Brother MFCJ775DW is a true budget printer without sacrificing quality. 

  • Low Price, Great Quality. With just a price of $199.99, this printer can also copy, scan, fax. 
  • Decent Print Speed. It has a decent speed of 12 pages per minute (ppm) when printing in monochrome and 6 ppm when printing in color. 
  • Low Cost per Page. This printer's cartridges have one of the lowest cost per page with $0.0087 for black ink and $0.011 for each color ink -cyan, magenta and yellow (cmy). 
  • Low Cost Consideration. Its Cost Consideration is $550.27. This is the lowest we have computed upon comparing other printers' accumulated expenses during their lifespan. 

However this printer can only print up to A4 (8 x 11”) paper size. It also doesn’t have Ethernet connection. 

Learn more of how we compared it with other printers here.

Best Laser Home Office Printer (Monochrome)

Brother MFC-L2710DW ($199.99) is a top seller when it comes to users who only wish to print text documents. 

  • Fast Print Speed. This printer matches the demand of medium loads with its print speed of 32 ppm.
  • Crisp Text and Images. Monochrome laser printers can print documents blurry images. This gives less quality when photocopied. Prevent it from happening with this printer's print resolution of 2400 x 600 dpi. 
  • 50-Page Automatic Document Feeder Capacity. This feature allows you to scan or photocopy up to 50-pages of documents unattended.
  • High Page Yield Cartridges. Due to its cartridge's high yield of 3,000 pages, it has one of the lowest Cost per Page ($0.036) and Cost Consideration ($693.19). See more here.
Best Laser Home Office Printer (Color)

For people who want crisp and colored documents without the maintenance needed for an inkjet printer, we would recommend Lexmark MC3224dwe.

  • Low Price. This printer ($299.00) has one of the affordable prices for home printing while still meeting the users' needs.
  • A3 Maximum Paper Size. Print files of up to 11 x 17 inches.
  • Great Print Speed. Print both colored and monochrome documents by 24 ppm.
  • Professional Prints. Present professional files with great resolution of 2400x600 dpi.

Unfortunately, this model is not for people who will need to fax documents. This is also not for users who prefers a USB connection with their printer. Click here to learn more on how it has the lowest Cost Consideration ($2,643.95) from other color laser printers.

Bonus Recommendations

The printers below are not multi-function, nor have duplex printing or have a low Cost Consideration. But they are a match for certain users. For those looking for photo printers and portable printers, here are our recommendations.

Best Photo Home Printer

Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 is our "photo enthusiasts on the budget" printer. It's not expensive but it allows users to have their cake and eat it too with the printer's gallery-quality prints.

  • Varied 6-Ink System. From the usual CMYK, it also has red and gray for better accuracy than an average photo printer.
  • A3 Maximum Paper Size. While it's not compatible with roll papers, photo enthusiasts will be glad to know they could print on both sides automatically.
  • Accommodating 50-sheet Rear Tray. This printer can print on a variety of paper thickness without wrinkling them.
  • Fast Speeds, Stunning Photos. Print grayscale and color-popping photos by 9.2 ppm (black) and 9.0 ppm (color).
This printer does not have a Bluetooth connection.

Best Portable Printer

If your job demands you to print at home and at the office, we would recommend the Canon Pixma iX6820 as your portable printer.

  • High Resolution. Its 9600 x 2400 dpi promises clear, bold printers of movie clips, web pages, photos and documents.
  • Fast Borderless Photos. Instantly have professional 4x6" photos in 36 seconds.
  • Individual Ink Tank System. Four dye-based inks for great contrast and 1 pigment-based ink for crisp-looking text.
  • Quiet Mode. Never disturb anyone again as you print.
  • Auto Power On. Upon sending a photo or document to be printed, this printer automatically powers on.
Its only downside is lacking Bluetooth connectivity.

If you want to save up to 80% of money on cartridges with these printers, use professional compatible cartridges.

2020-09-11


Photo by Fernando Arcos from Pexels

When your printer starts having problems, the whole office operation can stop. You fiddle with the buttons, the cartridges, the cleaning cycle -only to find your old tricks don’t work.

Don’t get intimidated with learning new tricks! There are people who have been there. Here, we answer the commonly asked questions our audience have with their printers.

Commonly Asked Printer Problems

“My Printer Only Prints Images and Not Words”

When your printer would only print images but not text, your EMF (Enhanced Meta File) maybe activated. EMF commands Windows to delay some printing jobs if the printer is already printing another file. By activating EMF, the printer is able to process data faster. Because images have a lot of data, deferring text print jobs will allow printers to print faster. 


Unfortunately, the deferred printing jobs can cram the hard drive space and cause difficulties to a network printer.

How to Disable EMF:

  1. Type Devices and Printers in the Search Box of your computer's taskbar.

  2. Choose the option Devices and Printers.

  3. In the Devices and Printers window, right-click the icon of your printer.

  4. Click Printer Properties.

  5. Select the Advanced tab. Turn off the option Enable advanced printing features.

  6. Click Apply. Click OK.

“My Cartridge is New But It’s Printing in Super Pale Color”

This can also be “My Ink Levels are full but the printing looks pale.”

If you have recently replaced a cartridge and the printing is pale or not printing with the ink of said cartridge, you may have clogged printheads. 

Printheads have microscopic nozzles that can get clogged easily with dried ink.

To confirm that you have clogged printheads, you can print a Test Page.

How to Print a Test Page

With Windows

  1. Load A4 Printer Paper into your printer.

  2. Type Devices and Printers in the Search Box of your computer's taskbar.

  3. Choose the option Devices and Printers.

  4. In the Devices and Printers window, right-click the icon of your printer.

  5. Click Printing Properties.

  6. Go to the General tab. Click Print Test Page.

With Mac

  1. Load A4 Printer Paper into your printer.

  2. Click the Apple Menu on your computer. Select System Preferences.

  3. Choose Printers and Scanners.

  4. Click the icon of your printer.

  5. Select the Options & Supplies... button.

  6. Choose the Utility tab and select Print Test Page


If the Test Page has broken lines like these:

Then you do have clogged printheads.

How to Initiate a Cleaning Cycle

With Windows

  1. Load A4 Printer Paper into your printer.

  2. Type Devices and Printers in the Search Box of your computer's taskbar.

  3. Choose the option Devices and Printers.

  4. In the Devices and Printers window, right-click the icon of your printer.

  5. Click Printing Preferences.

  6. Go to the Maintenance tab and click Head Cleaning.

With Mac

  1. Load A4 Printer Paper into your printer.

  2. Click the Apple Menu on your computer. Select System Preferences.

  3. Choose Printers and Scanners.

  4. Click the icon of your printer.

  5. Select the Options & Supplies... button.

  6. Choose the Utility tab and click Open Printer Utility.

  7. Click Head Cleaning then click Start.

“Can I Use Any Ink in My Printer?”

This question can be a variety of specifications:

I. “Can I Use Sublimation Ink in my Inkjet Printer?”

Short answer: no.

Sublimation ink is printed on paper by being heated into gas which then clings into the printed surface as a permanent print.

Inkjet printers have a different mechanism.

Sublimation ink can only be printed effectively with sublimation printers or inkjet printers that are converted to use sublimation ink.

II. “Can I Use Dye-Based/Pigment-based Ink Cartridges for My Inkjet Printer?”

Short answer: yes.

Developments with both dye-based inks and pigment-based inks made them today with little difference when it comes to printing quality. Both are compatible with inkjet printers. 

The difference between dye-based inks and pigment-based inks is dye-based inks are liquid colorants dissolved in a liquid formula. Pigment-based inks are solid particle colorants suspended in a liquid formula. 

III. “Can I Use Third-party Ink Cartridges for my Inkjet Printer?”

Third-party cartridges or compatible cartridges are developed to have the same build as OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) cartridges. 

Some printer manufacturers would warn that using compatible cartridges would lose your printer's warranty. However, your printer will only lose warranty if the manufacturers can prove that the printer's malfunction was caused by compatible ink cartridges.

Years ago, when the compatible ink cartridge industry was just starting, there were compatible cartridges that were a poor fit with printers and would leak. But today, with modern manufacturing that doesn't infringe on the patents of OEM cartridge manufacturers, that is rarely the case.

IV. "Can I Use Other Ink Cartridge Models for My Inkjet Printer?"

Short answer: No.


If the product page doesn’t list it as an ink cartridge for your printer then don’t do it. It may have the same ink as the proper cartridges, but it wasn't designed in mind to fit in your printer. Trying to use ink cartridges that are not listed as compatible may result in ink spillage.


Your printer may not also operate as it can detect an improper fit. 

“My Printer Stops Printing Even Though The File Isn't Yet Finished.”

I. Check If Your Printer is Plugged to a Wall Outlet?

A printer performs better when plugged in a wall outlet.

II. Is the Document Corrupted?

To confirm, print another file. If it prints normally, the problem can lie on the original document.

III. Is Your Printer Assigned as your Default Printer?

  1. Type Devices and Printers in the Search Box of your computer's taskbar.

  2. Choose the option Devices and Printers.

  3. If your printer doesn’t have a checkmark, right-click the icon and select Set as Default Printer.

IV. Print Spooler Difficulties

The print spooler is where copies of the files are temporarily stored before it gets printed. 

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows key and the R key at the same time.

  2. The Run window will pop up. Type services.msc then click OK


  1. Scroll down to Printer Spooler. Right-click Printer Spooler. Click Stop.



  1. In your computer's Start menu bar, click the File Explorer icon.

  1. In the address bar, type C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Printers and hit Enter.

  1. Press down the Shift key and select all the files.

  2. Right-click the files and select Delete.

V. For Mac Computers: Is Your GPU Overloaded?

GPU or Graphics Processing Unit spools files for printers. When they get overloaded, printing can slow down or fail.

Since GPU processes a lot of other software, close any GPU intensive apps such as web browsers or raw processors. 

VI. How to Confirm If You're Having Connection Problems

  1. Check your printer's manual how to print a Network Configuration PAGE. You can also Google search how to print a Network Configuration Page with your printer model. 

  2. If the Network Configuration page prints normally but the print quality of other files have issues, then there is a wire or wireless connection problem.

  3. If the Network Configuration Page has faulty print quality, the problem is in the printer itself.

VII. What to Do If My Printer is Having Connection Problems?

If your printer is using a wireless connection, you can either relocate your printer to a better WiFi spot or use a USB cable for better connectivity with your computer.

If your printer is connected with a USB cable, check if it's plugged well. Unplug and plug both ends to restart connection. If that doesn't work, USB cable replacement may be needed.

VIII. Are My Cartridges Stopping My Printer from Printing? 

If there's trouble with the cartridges, the printer software would often notify for low ink levels and other messages. If it only tells of a general error, check if the cartridges still have a protective tape sealing on their nozzles.

IX. If All Else Fails…

If all else fails, restarting the printer will usually clear up any communication problems within the printer and its connection with the computer.

“How Do I Keep My Inkjet Printer From Having Clogs?”

Inkjet Printers require a lot more maintenance than laser printers. However, that doesn’t mean the maintenance would be hard.

Daily

Always keep your inkjet printer plugged. The inkjet’s printheads are semiconductive. Keeping the printer plugged allows the ink remnants on the printheads melted longer instead of solidified. 

Weekly

An inkjet printer must be used often to prevent ink from drying up in the printer's microscopic nozzles. If one doesn’t print often, printing a Test Page 1-2 times a week will suffice.

Monthly

When the printing quality of your printer shows white lines or streaks, then it’s time to initiate a cleaning cycle. If it doesn't work, then it's time to know how to manually clean your printheads.

How to Clean Your Printer's Printheads Manually

  • For Printer-Installed Printheads:

  1. Properly uninstall your ink cartridges.

  2. In the ink receptacle of your printer, use a dropper to drop 8-10 drops of 91% denatured isopropyl alcohol.

  3. Wait for 30-60 seconds for alcohol to dissolve the clogs.

  4. Initiate 3-5 times of cleaning cycles after.


  • For Cartridge-Installed Printheads or Removable Printheads:

  1. Properly uninstall your ink cartridges.

  2. Soak the printheads in 91% denatured isopropyl alcohol overnight.

  3. Wipe with a moist paper towel and let it dry.

  4. Properly install your ink cartridges again.

  5. Initiate 3-5 times of cleaning cycles after.

“My Newly Installed Cartridge isn’t Working.”

In general, the cause could be dirty cartridge chips during the manufacturing or packaging process.

  1. Properly uninstall the cartridge.

  2. Dampen a paper towel and gently glide it across the chip to clean it of dirt, dust or fingerprints. 

  3. Allow it to dry.

  4. Unplug your printer for 15-20 seconds. Plug it back again. 

  5. Properly install the cartridge. 

If the cartridge isn’t working, then it’s time to get more specific by knowing how to how to make your printer accept your cartridge by your printer's brand.

Get ready for "When Your Printer Won’t Print (And Other Common Printer Problems of Epson and HP) Part 2" in our next publication.


Photo by Fernando Arcos from Pexels

When your printer starts having problems, the whole office operation can stop. You fiddle with the buttons, the cartridges, the cleaning cycle -only to find your old tricks don’t work.

Don’t get intimidated with learning new tricks! There are people who have been there. Here, we answer the commonly asked questions our audience have with their printers.

Commonly Asked Printer Problems

“My Printer Only Prints Images and Not Words”

When your printer would only print images but not text, your EMF (Enhanced Meta File) maybe activated. EMF commands Windows to delay some printing jobs if the printer is already printing another file. By activating EMF, the printer is able to process data faster. Because images have a lot of data, deferring text print jobs will allow printers to print faster. 


Unfortunately, the deferred printing jobs can cram the hard drive space and cause difficulties to a network printer.

How to Disable EMF:

  1. Type Devices and Printers in the Search Box of your computer's taskbar.

  2. Choose the option Devices and Printers.

  3. In the Devices and Printers window, right-click the icon of your printer.

  4. Click Printer Properties.

  5. Select the Advanced tab. Turn off the option Enable advanced printing features.

  6. Click Apply. Click OK.

“My Cartridge is New But It’s Printing in Super Pale Color”

This can also be “My Ink Levels are full but the printing looks pale.”

If you have recently replaced a cartridge and the printing is pale or not printing with the ink of said cartridge, you may have clogged printheads. 

Printheads have microscopic nozzles that can get clogged easily with dried ink.

To confirm that you have clogged printheads, you can print a Test Page.

How to Print a Test Page

With Windows

  1. Load A4 Printer Paper into your printer.

  2. Type Devices and Printers in the Search Box of your computer's taskbar.

  3. Choose the option Devices and Printers.

  4. In the Devices and Printers window, right-click the icon of your printer.

  5. Click Printing Properties.

  6. Go to the General tab. Click Print Test Page.

With Mac

  1. Load A4 Printer Paper into your printer.

  2. Click the Apple Menu on your computer. Select System Preferences.

  3. Choose Printers and Scanners.

  4. Click the icon of your printer.

  5. Select the Options & Supplies... button.

  6. Choose the Utility tab and select Print Test Page


If the Test Page has broken lines like these:

Then you do have clogged printheads.

How to Initiate a Cleaning Cycle

With Windows

  1. Load A4 Printer Paper into your printer.

  2. Type Devices and Printers in the Search Box of your computer's taskbar.

  3. Choose the option Devices and Printers.

  4. In the Devices and Printers window, right-click the icon of your printer.

  5. Click Printing Preferences.

  6. Go to the Maintenance tab and click Head Cleaning.

With Mac

  1. Load A4 Printer Paper into your printer.

  2. Click the Apple Menu on your computer. Select System Preferences.

  3. Choose Printers and Scanners.

  4. Click the icon of your printer.

  5. Select the Options & Supplies... button.

  6. Choose the Utility tab and click Open Printer Utility.

  7. Click Head Cleaning then click Start.

“Can I Use Any Ink in My Printer?”

This question can be a variety of specifications:

I. “Can I Use Sublimation Ink in my Inkjet Printer?”

Short answer: no.

Sublimation ink is printed on paper by being heated into gas which then clings into the printed surface as a permanent print.

Inkjet printers have a different mechanism.

Sublimation ink can only be printed effectively with sublimation printers or inkjet printers that are converted to use sublimation ink.

II. “Can I Use Dye-Based/Pigment-based Ink Cartridges for My Inkjet Printer?”

Short answer: yes.

Developments with both dye-based inks and pigment-based inks made them today with little difference when it comes to printing quality. Both are compatible with inkjet printers. 

The difference between dye-based inks and pigment-based inks is dye-based inks are liquid colorants dissolved in a liquid formula. Pigment-based inks are solid particle colorants suspended in a liquid formula. 

III. “Can I Use Third-party Ink Cartridges for my Inkjet Printer?”

Third-party cartridges or compatible cartridges are developed to have the same build as OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) cartridges. 

Some printer manufacturers would warn that using compatible cartridges would lose your printer's warranty. However, your printer will only lose warranty if the manufacturers can prove that the printer's malfunction was caused by compatible ink cartridges.

Years ago, when the compatible ink cartridge industry was just starting, there were compatible cartridges that were a poor fit with printers and would leak. But today, with modern manufacturing that doesn't infringe on the patents of OEM cartridge manufacturers, that is rarely the case.

IV. "Can I Use Other Ink Cartridge Models for My Inkjet Printer?"

Short answer: No.


If the product page doesn’t list it as an ink cartridge for your printer then don’t do it. It may have the same ink as the proper cartridges, but it wasn't designed in mind to fit in your printer. Trying to use ink cartridges that are not listed as compatible may result in ink spillage.


Your printer may not also operate as it can detect an improper fit. 

“My Printer Stops Printing Even Though The File Isn't Yet Finished.”

I. Check If Your Printer is Plugged to a Wall Outlet?

A printer performs better when plugged in a wall outlet.

II. Is the Document Corrupted?

To confirm, print another file. If it prints normally, the problem can lie on the original document.

III. Is Your Printer Assigned as your Default Printer?

  1. Type Devices and Printers in the Search Box of your computer's taskbar.

  2. Choose the option Devices and Printers.

  3. If your printer doesn’t have a checkmark, right-click the icon and select Set as Default Printer.

IV. Print Spooler Difficulties

The print spooler is where copies of the files are temporarily stored before it gets printed. 

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows key and the R key at the same time.

  2. The Run window will pop up. Type services.msc then click OK


  1. Scroll down to Printer Spooler. Right-click Printer Spooler. Click Stop.



  1. In your computer's Start menu bar, click the File Explorer icon.

  1. In the address bar, type C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Printers and hit Enter.

  1. Press down the Shift key and select all the files.

  2. Right-click the files and select Delete.

V. For Mac Computers: Is Your GPU Overloaded?

GPU or Graphics Processing Unit spools files for printers. When they get overloaded, printing can slow down or fail.

Since GPU processes a lot of other software, close any GPU intensive apps such as web browsers or raw processors. 

VI. How to Confirm If You're Having Connection Problems

  1. Check your printer's manual how to print a Network Configuration PAGE. You can also Google search how to print a Network Configuration Page with your printer model. 

  2. If the Network Configuration page prints normally but the print quality of other files have issues, then there is a wire or wireless connection problem.

  3. If the Network Configuration Page has faulty print quality, the problem is in the printer itself.

VII. What to Do If My Printer is Having Connection Problems?

If your printer is using a wireless connection, you can either relocate your printer to a better WiFi spot or use a USB cable for better connectivity with your computer.

If your printer is connected with a USB cable, check if it's plugged well. Unplug and plug both ends to restart connection. If that doesn't work, USB cable replacement may be needed.

VIII. Are My Cartridges Stopping My Printer from Printing? 

If there's trouble with the cartridges, the printer software would often notify for low ink levels and other messages. If it only tells of a general error, check if the cartridges still have a protective tape sealing on their nozzles.

IX. If All Else Fails…

If all else fails, restarting the printer will usually clear up any communication problems within the printer and its connection with the computer.

“How Do I Keep My Inkjet Printer From Having Clogs?”

Inkjet Printers require a lot more maintenance than laser printers. However, that doesn’t mean the maintenance would be hard.

Daily

Always keep your inkjet printer plugged. The inkjet’s printheads are semiconductive. Keeping the printer plugged allows the ink remnants on the printheads melted longer instead of solidified. 

Weekly

An inkjet printer must be used often to prevent ink from drying up in the printer's microscopic nozzles. If one doesn’t print often, printing a Test Page 1-2 times a week will suffice.

Monthly

When the printing quality of your printer shows white lines or streaks, then it’s time to initiate a cleaning cycle. If it doesn't work, then it's time to know how to manually clean your printheads.

How to Clean Your Printer's Printheads Manually

  • For Printer-Installed Printheads:

  1. Properly uninstall your ink cartridges.

  2. In the ink receptacle of your printer, use a dropper to drop 8-10 drops of 91% denatured isopropyl alcohol.

  3. Wait for 30-60 seconds for alcohol to dissolve the clogs.

  4. Initiate 3-5 times of cleaning cycles after.


  • For Cartridge-Installed Printheads or Removable Printheads:

  1. Properly uninstall your ink cartridges.

  2. Soak the printheads in 91% denatured isopropyl alcohol overnight.

  3. Wipe with a moist paper towel and let it dry.

  4. Properly install your ink cartridges again.

  5. Initiate 3-5 times of cleaning cycles after.

“My Newly Installed Cartridge isn’t Working.”

In general, the cause could be dirty cartridge chips during the manufacturing or packaging process.

  1. Properly uninstall the cartridge.

  2. Dampen a paper towel and gently glide it across the chip to clean it of dirt, dust or fingerprints. 

  3. Allow it to dry.

  4. Unplug your printer for 15-20 seconds. Plug it back again. 

  5. Properly install the cartridge. 

If the cartridge isn’t working, then it’s time to get more specific by knowing how to how to make your printer accept your cartridge by your printer's brand.

Get ready for "When Your Printer Won’t Print (And Other Common Printer Problems of Epson and HP) Part 2" in our next publication.