Printer Not Copying Properly But Can Print

Today, we’re going to discuss how to fix printer not copying problems.

Multi-function printers should easily copy any type of document as long as its paper size is supported, but what if it suddenly stops doing its job?

Printers are known to malfunction unexpectedly. One day you can copy without any troubles. The next you’re asking yourself how you can fix your printer that’s not copying properly.

printer not copying fix

Causes of Printer Not Copying Properly

The easiest way you can fix any of your printer problems is by identifying what’s causing the issue in the first place. Here are the most common reasons why your printer may print but not copy properly.

Empty Ink Cartridges

Poor quality copies from your printer are often caused by having low ink levels in your printhead. If you’re using your printer often, then regularly checking your ink levels if they are enough is advisable to prevent other printer issues like being unable to print in black or color. Replacing almost empty ink cartridges may solve your copy problems.

Insufficient Power

This may not be that obvious compared to other causes, but the power that your printer is getting can greatly affect your printer’s performance. It can also cause paper jams to occur more often if it’s not receiving enough power from its source.

One of the clearest signs that your printer is not getting enough power is when it is slower than usual when it comes to printing or copying your documents.

Debris On Scanner

Another good reason why your printer is not copying properly is when something is blocking your printer’s scanner. This can also cause your printouts from your scanner glass or the document feeder to have vertical lines.

Settings Error

If you’ve noticed that your copies are smaller or larger than the normal size, then there might be something wrong with your copy settings. Correcting that error should fix your printer’s copying issue.

Basic Troubleshooting To Fix Printer Copying Issues

Once you’ve identified the cause of your copying issue, you just have to browse through these basic troubleshooting guides and follow the instructions on them.

For Poor Quality Copies

  1. Check your ink levels.
  2. Replace any near-empty ink cartridges.
  3. Perform printhead cleaning using your printer’s display screen or the printer software on your desktop/computer/laptop.
  4. Check for any debris inside the printer.
  5. Do a hard reset. [Refer to our FAQs section at the end of this guide to find out how to do this.]
  6. Perform another set of printer cleaning.
  7. [If the problem persists] Change all ink cartridges.

For Lines On Scanned/Copied Documents

  1. Grab a clean set of cloth and a glass cleaner. You may also substitute a clean tap water if you don’t have a glass cleaner at home.
  2. Damp the cloth with your glass cleaner or water.
  3. Open the lid/cover of your scanner glass.
  4. Clean the big glass and the small strip of glass on its side with the cloth.
  5. Make sure it’s dried well before you close the cover of your scanner glass.
  6. Clean the opening of your document feeder with a clean and dry cloth.
  7. [If the problem persists] Repeat the steps from step number 2 to 6.

For Copies With Small or Large Printouts

  1. Do a hard reset. [Refer to our FAQs section to know how to do this]
  2. Check the copy settings, and change it back to the default settings.
  3. [If the problem persists] Do a factory reset.

Note: You may also change your copy setting on the printer software on your computer/laptop.

For Slow Copy Speed

  1. Do a hard reset. [Refer to our FAQs section at the end of this guide to find out how to do this.]
  2. Connect the printer directly to a wall outlet. Do not use a power strip or extension cord.
  3. Check for any debris or dirt that may be blocking the paper’s path inside your printer.
  4. [If the problem persists] Move your printer to the kitchen and connect it to one of the outlets there. Check if the printer will print at normal speeds.

For Blank Pages

  1. Check your ink levels.
  2. Replace any near-empty ink cartridges.
  3. Perform printhead cleaning using your printer’s display screen or the printer software on your desktop/computer/laptop.
  4. Check if the paper you’re currently using is compatible with the type of printer you have.
  5. Check for any debris inside the printer.
  6. Do a hard reset. [Refer to our FAQs section at the end of this guide to find out how to do this.]
  7. Perform another set of printer cleaning.
  8. [If the problem persists] Change all ink cartridges.

Advanced Troubleshooting To Fix Printer Won’t Copy But Can Print

Now, for those who still cannot copy properly from their printers after doing those basic troubleshooting steps above, then these are the things you have to do now.

To get started, do another hard reset of your printer if you’ve done it already. You can start by removing the power cable from your printer for at least two minutes before you turn it back on.

While waiting open your ink cartridge access door and check if you can move your printhead. You’re going to have to do this with your bare hands, so the printer must be turned off for your safety.

If it’s on the right move it to the left side of your printer.

If it’s on the left move it to the right side of your printer.

When it’s on the middle part, move it to the right side.

Reconnect the power cable to turn the printer on. Make sure you plug it in directly to a wall outlet. This allows your printer to get the maximum power it needs to function properly.

Check if the printer can copy or not.

Now, if it does not, then our last step would be to do a semi-full reset.

Doing a semi-full reset will restore your printer’s factory settings. It’s going to be like you have a brand new printer since you need to set everything up again including your saved printer settings and wireless connection between your printer and your WiFi router.

Different printers have different ways on how to initiate a semi-full reset. You may contact us with your printer brand and model, so we can send you the right instructions on how to do this.

You may also refer to the support page of your printer’s manufacturer to check if the information you need is available.

How To Prevent Printer Copy Issues

  • Only use genuine ink cartridges.
  • Make sure the paper you’re using is compatible with your printer and is properly placed in the printer’s paper tray.
  • Perform printhead cleaning every time you change your ink cartridges or if you encounter a print quality issue.
  • If available, use a printer cleaning sheet to thoroughly clean the inside of your printer without the need for tedious manual cleaning.
  • Use a printer cover to protect your printer from debris and dirt.
  • Clean the scanner glass of your printer.

Copying Problems FAQs

How to do a hard reset?

To do a hard reset, all you have to do is unplug the power cord at the back of your printer. Wait for at least two minutes, and reinsert the power cord back to your printer. Make sure that your printer is connected directly to a wall outlet. Turn on your printer and see if your printer problem is solved or not.

Why are copies coming out blank?

Copies usually come out blank if there is a problem with your ink cartridges or the printer’s printhead. Make sure you are using genuine ink cartridges that have enough inks in them. Running a printer maintenance step like printhead cleaning should help in fixing this issue.

How can you tell if my printer’s copier is broken for good?

After doing a semi-full reset or resetting your printer to its factory default, your printer should go back to its usual working state. If not, then that’s a good indication that your printer might be broken for good. If you didn’t see any debris or obstructions inside your printer and it does not have any problem with its power source, then the problem might be with your copying mechanism or the printer itself.

How to change where my printer is getting the document?

For most multi-function printer, you can choose where you want to copy documents from using your printer display screen. There are two options you can choose to copy documents from – scanner glass or document feeder. Most printer has an automatic document feeder that you can copy or scan multiple documents on.

If you need to change where you want to scan or copy documents from, select copy on your printer display screen and look for the word “Settings” or the settings icon itself that most often looks like a gear icon on most printers.

Should I make a copy using the scanner glass or document feeder?

This depends if you’re going to copy just a single-page document or multiple pages. To make it easy for you to scan or copy multiple documents, use your printer’s document feeder.

If you need to have a better scan/copy quality, use your scanner glass.

If you’re encountering a copy problem or issue on your printer, then we advise you to use your scanner glass first. After confirming that there’s no problem copying documents using your scanner glass, proceed to copy from your document feeder and verify if there’s a copy issue there too.

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