In this video, learn how to check to see what's printing, cancel a print job, review printing jobs, get an app for the printer.
- [Instructor] Most printers, especially the all-in-one models, feature an interactive control panel. This screen displays the printer's current status, offering information about the network connection, ink levels, paper stock, and other vital data. Even if the printer doesn't feature such a nifty control panel, the printer may use a program in Windows that reports the printer's status. That's a tool you can use to get more information about the printer and resolve some issues. The things you wanna do with the control panel are cancel a print job run amok, check the printer's overall condition, including ink levels, paper stock, and any jams, and review network settings.
When you print, the software you use generates a print job. The operating system handles the print job, sending it off to the printer, and giving you the option of terminating the job if something doesn't go right. The issue with cancelling a print job in Windows, however, is that the document may print faster than you can cancel. Once the printer has accepted the job, Windows is out of the picture. Otherwise, when you print, you may see a tiny little printer icon appear in the notification area on the task bar.
If you can click that icon, if you're fast enough, you can review the printer queue. Another way to view the queue is to open the printer's icon. Right click the start button, and choose Control Panel. Beneath the Hardware and Sound heading, choose View devices and printers. Right click the printer's icon, and choose See what's printing. Here you see the printer queue, which is empty here, but if documents were waiting to be printed, you would see them in the list.
To cancel a job, you'd click to select it in the list, then you choose Document, Cancel. A more direct and efficient approach is to use the cancel button on the printer. Press that button, and then wait for printing to stop. Now, be patient. The page currently printing may continue to print, even after you use the cancel button. If printing doesn't stop, or when the printer lacks a cancel button, turn it off. Yeah, that works. In the control panel's Devices and Printers window, you can double click the printer icon to see more details and information about a given printer.
You can also use the printer's control panel to print out an informational sheet that describes the printer's status or displays diagnostics. The method for generating this report differs from printer to printer. Sometimes you may have to wade through a menu. Other times you may see a print report button directly on the control panel screen. The report offers diagnostics, such as the printer's detailed name and model number, pages printed, errors generated, ink levels, and connection information. If the printer also serves as a fax machine, copier, or scanner, those activities are reported as well.
An important item to examine on the printer's status report is its network configuration and connection. Confirm that the network is available, and, if not, check for an error report as to why. You can confirm the printer's IP address to ensure that it's being mapped into the local network. If the address is illegitimate, then the network connection isn't established. Likewise, you can confirm that the proper Wi-Fi connection is enabled. A general fix for network errors would be to restart the printer, though other errors are addressed by troubleshooting the network, which is a topic covered in another movie.
Many printers also feature a companion program installed in Windows. The program serves as a remote control for the printer, allowing you to monitor printer status, as well as to copy, scan, fax, and perform other activities. Installing the companion program is optional, though the printer's documentation probably tells you it's required. I've both installed such programs and opted not to do so. The difference in printer behavior is slight, but, for example, if you notice that you can't scan a document and save it to the computer, then it's probably because you didn't install the printer's companion program or didn't do so per the directions.
In Windows 10 you can obtain an app for most printers. To do so, press the windows and i key combination, win + i, to summon the settings app. Choose Devices. In the printers area, which might also say printers & scanners if you have a scanner attached to the computer, you click to select your printer. Click the Get app button if one appears. Not every printer will have an app button. The Windows Store app opens, and you see the manufacturer's app page.
Click the Free button, and follow the steps on the screen to obtain the app, such as choosing your account and signing in. The app is downloaded to your PC. Click the open button to access the app, or, if the app is already installed, choose it from the start menu, as you would run any program. Here you see the HP printer app. You can do all kinds of things here, but it really depends on the printer and what the app does. Not every printer will support every feature. For example, if I wanted to do some maintenance, I would click the Printer button and choose Maintenance, but maintenance is not supported on this printer.
Go figure. For other types of printer troubleshooting, you can run a specific printer troubleshooter. Go back to the control panel and the Devices and Printers screen. Right click the printer that is causing you woe, and choose troubleshoot. The printer troubleshooter runs. In this instance it doesn't find any problems. Otherwise, you would go through various questions and answers, as the troubleshooter attempts to resolve issues. And if the troubleshooter doesn't work, or it fails to offer a solution, you can try re-installing the printer driver, which is covered in another movie.
- Diagnosing the causes of PC issues
- Troubleshooting hardware and software
- Performing startup and system restore steps
- Accessing the Task Manager
- Using the Registry Editor
- Fixing Windows
- Maintaining storage drives
- Restoring network connectivity