Use the Printing Troubleshooter on Windows PCs

The Windows Help system contains a number of useful troubleshooting tools, which can often guide you to a quick solution by asking step-by-step questions.

In Windows 7, the Printer Troubleshooter is attached to every printer in the Devices and Printers window, courtesy of a pop-up menu. Follow these steps to troubleshoot a printer in Windows 7:

  1. Open the Devices and Printers window from the Control Panel.

  2. Right-click on the icon representing the printer you want to troubleshoot.

    It can be any printer in the Devices and Printers window, though if Windows 7 detects a printing problem, it flags the printer with a yellow alert icon.

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  3. Choose the Troubleshoot command.

  4. Work your way through the Troubleshooter, answering questions and such in an effort to resolve the issue.

To visit the Printing Troubleshooter in Windows Vista, follow these steps:

  1. Pop up the Start menu and choose Help and Support.

  2. In the Windows Help and Support window, type troubleshoot printer problems and press Enter.

  3. Choose the first item in the list.

    The item is titled Troubleshoot Printer Problems.

  4. Work through the troubleshooter by choosing the questions that apply to you and then following the answers.

In Windows XP, obey these steps:

  1. Open the Printers and Faxes window.

  2. From the links on the left side of the window, choose Troubleshoot Printing.

  3. Follow the steps in the wizard to help solve your printing conundrum.

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