Tech Guides (IT Governance)

Common Printer Issues


This article will help you with the common issues a printer might have.

Printing directly from your browser

Whenever you print directly from the Internet, the printing job results are not guaranteed to look as expected. Printing directly from the Internet can cause inconsistent results due to web developers using different methods to keep their pages updated. If these pages are not updated properly, it can cause documents to print blank or as a collection of random characters. If it is vital that your printed document looks the same as it does on the screen, it is highly recommended that you convert the document to a .pdf rather than attempt to print it directly from the Internet.

Opening a document instead of saving

When you Open a document in the web browser rather than Save it to your computer, computer-to-printer issues often result. This is because the document may not register as fully downloaded, which can sometimes cause inconsistencies with the printer. These inconsistencies usually cause the printer to print blank pages. 

To resolve this issue, download the document in question and save it as a .pdf before printing.

Printing a Microsoft Word document double-sided

1. Open the Microsoft Word document you would like to print.

2. Select File from the menu.

3. Select Print

4. Under Settings click the menu that says Print One Sided.

5. Select Print on Both Sides or Manually Print on Both Sides, depending on whether your printer is capable of automatic double-sided printing. 

If you select Manually Print on Both Sides, you will be prompted to turn the papers over yourself and feed them back into the printer in order to print on both sides. 

If Print on Both Sides is an option, it means that your printer is capable of automatic double-sided printing.

IF printing on both sides is not an option, consult with I.T. to make sure the printer is working correctly or that the function is turned on.

6. Make any other specific modifications you would like (number of copies, page range, etc.), then select Print.


1. Open the Microsoft Word document you would like to print.

2. Select File from the navigation bar and choose Print from the drop-down menu.

You can also use the shortcut command+P to print.

3. A Print window will appear.

4. From the Copies & Pages drop-down menu, select Layout.

5. From the drop-down menu next to Two-Sided: select Long-Edge binding.

If your computer is incapable of double-sided printing, this will not be an option.

6. Click Print.

Paper jam on campus

If the jam is easily visible and can be removed quickly and effortlessly, feel free to remove the jammed paper yourself by taking hold of it and slowly pulling it from the printer.  

If you cannot see where the jam has occurred, or do not feel comfortable fixing the jam on your own, you can submit a ticket to I.T. and someone will come help you. You can also contact the I.T. Service Desk at (208) 496-1411 or through the Live Chat bubble.

Poor print quality

If your printer is printing documents too lightly, make sure that the printer you are using is stocked with the appropriate paper for your print job. You may have to locate a printer that can correctly print your job. 

It is also possible that the printer is low on toner or ink. Check the screen on the printer for a notification. To get help replacing the cartridges, you can submit a ticket to I.T. and someone will come help you. You can also contact the I.T. Service Desk at (208) 496-1411 or through the Live Chat bubble

Printer took my money but didn't print

Check your Pharos account. If the print job is still uploaded to Pharos, it may be an issue with Pharos not releasing it. If the print job released from Pharos but nothing printed, then it is likely an issue with the printer.

If it's likely an issue with your Pharos account, contact the I.T. Service Desk at (208) 496-1411 or through their Live Chat function.

If it's likely an issue with the printer, try another printer on campus and let the I.T. Service Desk know that that printer is having issues.

You can make a request for Printer Support through this form.

Printer out of paper

To request more paper for this printer, contact the I.T. Service Desk at (208) 496-1411 or through their Live Chat function. They will be able to service the printer.


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