Why Does My Printer Pause?
From brief pauses in the middle of a print job to complete freezes that halt all output, any interruption in the preparation of correspondence, presentations, and other paperwork diverts your attention away from regular company business. Examine your output workflow to troubleshoot your issue, beginning with the document queue in your printer management software and progressing to causes that originate in your files or the printing process itself.
Most desktop printing processes require three discrete steps. First, you print a document from within the software you’re using to create and edit it. Second, the data stream from your document forms a spool file on disk. Third, your operating system, and the printer driver software that communicates between it and your output hardware, sends the spooled information to the printer. The list of jobs that appears in your print management software shows you the spooled documents that await output. Within this management software, you can delete jobs so they don’t print at all and pause the output process so nothing prints until you remove the pause. Especially if you’re using a networked printer, check the queue for signs that another user placed it in pause mode.
A large job data stream – in page count, file data size, or both – can cause your printer to pause between pages while it processes the information for the next page. You should be able to identify the graphics or other file assets that require more “thinking time” for the hardware to complete when you check the printer’s output tray to verify which pages it has printed and correlate the page it is currently processing with the document in your application software.
When a printer requires attention, it will pause. Whether your device has run out of paper or one or more of its ink or toner cartridges needs to be replaced, it will stop printing pages until its supplies are replenished. You should see an onscreen alert identifying specific consumables that need to be replenished, or you can look at the device’s control panel for warning lights and readouts that indicate the source of your problem. When you replace or refill its supplies, the device should automatically resume output. After a supply-related outage, laser printers may require some warm-up time to bring their toner-fusing mechanisms up to temperature.
Document corruption can cause your printer to pause because it can’t interpret the information it receives. In these cases, you may see a small document remain pending for a disproportionately long period of time, or a large document simply fail to complete regardless of how long you allow the output process to continue. If you examine any pages that the printer already completed, you should be able to isolate the page that contains the problem. Look for corrupt graphics files that look acceptable on your screen but fail to print regardless of how or in what application or document you try to output them. Check for font-file problems that cause unusual text appearance in the file itself, and replace the font files or switch your document to a different typeface.
If the printer driver software you use does not match both your hardware and your operating system, documents in your print queue may stall. Some print issues that appear to be caused by driver software can be resolved by shutting down and restarting both the printer and your computer. Persistent issues affecting multiple documents in multiple applications point to the driver. You can uninstall and reinstall the driver, or you can obtain a replacement from the website of the hardware manufacturer.
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