Skip to content

Search Marco

    Quick Fixes for Poor Quality Printing Results

    By: Marco
    September 11, 2013

    Let’s face it, we’ve all encountered poor quality printing results at one time or another. While some printing problems may be serious, most often, the printer is experiencing a minor malfunction that can be easily fixed by any employee. One common example is when your printer is doing exactly what you asked it to, but the quality of the printing is poor. Try following these simple solutions to fix the issue and get better, quality printing results:

    #1 - Align the Printer Cartridge or Head

    Misalignment of your cartridges may occur over time. Alignment can be adjusted on most printers using an automated system that you can access through the printer control panel.

    Each printer will have a different process, for example, this automated system is accessed through “Setup” on most HP devices. Check your user’s guide or search online for specific instructions for your device.

    #2 - Adjust Print Speed

    If the ink has bled or the page has warped, your printer may be having an issue with over-saturation of ink; this can be solved by increasing the print speed. On the other hand, if the pages appear faded, you can increase ink saturation by decreasing the print speed or increasing the quality setting. Adjusting the print speed and quality settings can be done in the Advanced Properties Dialog Box on your computer.

    #3 - Print from High-Resolution Files

    If you are printing a high quality image, logo or document, print from the highest resolution file available. Often, files get saved in low resolution to decrease the file size, but cause poor print quality because the "dots" that make up the picture will be too far apart. In addition, your printer must be configured to print higher resolution quality if you want to achieve these results. If you don’t feel your printer is set up for high resolution printing, contact your print provider for proper configuration.

    #4 - Clean the Printer, the Heads and the Cartridges

    The heads, nozzles and other components of the printer can become dirty or clogged, leading to issues with quality, such as white lines running across your page. Your printer may have a head-cleaning feature available through your device software located on your computer or from the control panel on the printer itself. Be sure to use proper cleaning techniques when cleaning any components on your printer as inappropriate cleaning processes or substances can easily damage your printer. Please see your user manual for complete instructions.

    #5 - Handle Toner Carefully

    Toner cartridges can be damaged easily. Follow handling instructions provided by the manufacturer and always store them on a level surface. They should be unpackaged carefully and handled as little as possible.

    #6 - Protect the Printer from Heat and Humidity

    Printers may produce poor quality printing if they are exposed to too much heat. Don’t place your printers in a high temperature area or near other devices that produce excess heat. In addition, keep them away from windows, where heat and humidity can be high.

    #7 - Check for Driver Upgrades

    If you aren't using the most up-to-date software, your print quality may suffer. Read our Introduction to Printer Drivers blog to determine how to keep your printer driver up to date.

    #8 - Call a Professional

    If you are unable to fix the poor quality printing with these steps, a professional may be necessary to identify what is causing your quality issue. Contact your service or print provider to schedule maintenance.


    In addition to trying these fixes, be sure to perform regular printer maintenance as outlined in your manufacturer's guidelines. All of the printer's major internal parts need to be serviced or replaced periodically. Alternatively, you can invest in a printing management service that will schedule and perform the maintenance for you. View our Managed Print Services Case Study Collection to see how we have implemented these services for other organizations just like yours.

    Want Proof Managed Print Services Works Get the Case Study Collection

    Topics: General Printing Advice