My Printer Is Only Printing Half My Print

16th September 2015 Printing

This is a common problem with USB printers and there are three main reasons it can occur:

  • Problem with the print spooler on Windows PCs
  • Dodgy USB cord
  • Dodgy USB port

Problem with the print spooler on Windows PCs

To fix a print spooler issue is relatively easy and this usually solves the problem.

  1. Click "start" and go to "Run"
  2. Type "services.msc" at the prompt which will open the Services window
  3. Scroll down the alphabetical list in the right window pane until you come to the entry with the name "Print Spooler
  4. Right-click this entry, then select "stop". This will stop the computer running the process that holds your print queues
  5. Leaving that window open for now, click again on "Start", and then click "My Computer" to open a Windows Explorer window
  6. We've stopped the queue service, now we just have to clear the jam that is already there. To do this we navigate to the print spool folder which is hiding within the Windows folders. Usually Windows is installed on C: drive, but you should be easily able to tell when the Explorer window opens which drive it is on.
    The usual path to the spool folder is C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\PRINTERS, but yours may be slightly different. Your windows drive may have another name for instance, but this would be uncommon. So click on your Windows drive (usually C), then double-click on the Windows folder, and then find the System32 folder and double-click on that. Windows may warn you that you are about to view system files, but click "View files anyway" message and search out the "spool folder". Within the Spool folder is your Printers folder, and you should open that
  7. Delete every file within this folder to empty the jammed print queue (pressing the "ctrl" and "a" keys will select all files and then you can just hit "delete").
  8. Close the explorer window now that we have emptied the cleared spool files, and return to your Services window. we must re-start the Print spool service, and do so by right-clicking the Print Spool entry and selecting "Start" from the list. Close the services window and try printing again.

Dodgy USB Cord or Port

If you have tried to fix the print spooler as detailed above and you are still having issues, it may be the case that your USB cord or port is not working. Try a different USB cord or port and this should solve the problem.

For Macs

If you've checked your USB connections, then you can sometimes solve persistent issues like this by resetting the entire print system, but please note: this loses all your printers & print settings, so it's quite drastic. Apple have a support note with the process here.