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Why is My Printer Printing with Lines? How to Fix Printer Lines

3 min read



Updated February 12, 2024


Printers are an essential part of our daily lives. However, nothing can be more frustrating than encountering print quality issues, such as lines and shading appearing on your printed pages. If you have found yourself staring at a printed page and wondering “why is my printer printing with lines?”, we have some answers. This common problem can be caused by various factors, ranging from hardware issues to software glitches. We’ll take a closer look at the most common reason why your printer is printing with lines, review some other possible explanations, and provide practical solutions for how to fix printer lines.

The most common answer for how to fix printer lines


When there are lines or shading on your print job, the print cartridge is the most common culprit. When the print cartridge is not being effectively cleaned off, it creates streaks or shading on the document.

An easy way to fix printer lines and shading is to check the print cartridge. Here is how to do it.

  1. Pull the print cartridge out.
  2. Look to see if there is a line on the imaging drum of the print cartridge. If there is a line, you know the cartridge is most likely the issue.
  3. Replace the defective print cartridge with a new one.
  4. Place the print cartridge back in the printer.
  5. Print a test document to see if the issue is resolved.

Following these steps will solve most of the line issues with your printer. If that doesn’t work, there could be some other reasons for lines and shading on your printed pages.


Other reasons why your printer is printing with lines and how to fix them


  • Low ink levels: Running low on ink can also contribute to print quality issues. When ink levels are low, the printer may struggle to deliver a consistent flow of ink, resulting in lines or streaks on the printed pages.
    Solution: Check your printer's ink levels regularly and replace cartridges that are running low. Some printers provide an option to check ink levels through the control panel or a dedicated software application. If you notice low ink levels, replace the cartridges with genuine replacements recommended by the printer manufacturer.


  • Damaged or worn-out rollers: Printers use rollers to feed paper through the printing process. Over time, these rollers can become worn out or damaged, leading to uneven paper feeding and subsequently causing lines on the printed pages.
    Solution: Examine the rollers for any visible signs of wear or damage. If you identify any issues, consult your printer manual for guidance on replacing the rollers. In some cases, cleaning the rollers with a lint-free cloth and a small amount of water can improve their performance.


  • Low-quality or expired paper: The type and quality of paper you use can impact print quality. Using low-quality or expired paper can result in poor ink absorption and adherence, leading to lines on your printed documents.
    Solution: Ensure that you are using the recommended paper type for your printer, as specified in the user manual. Additionally, check the paper for any signs of damage or expiration. Investing in high-quality, fresh paper can significantly improve print output.


Additional solutions for how to fix printer lines


If none of these solutions addresses the issue, it might be time to work with an experienced service professional. It could be clogged print heads or even a software issue, but a service professional can better assess the situation.


Preventing printer line issues and printer downtime


Many of these issues may be avoided in advance by working with a Managed Print Service provider who offers proactive services. Proactive services use diagnostics to allow your company’s printers to be monitored remotely. This allows service technicians to anticipate potential issues in advance, and then have the equipment and service data to solve a printer issue more quickly and with less downtime for your business.


With regular maintenance, proper use, and proactive monitoring, you can keep your printer in top-notch condition. By following the solutions provided, you can address the most common reasons for lines on printed pages and enjoy high-quality printouts once again. Remember to consult your printer manual for model-specific instructions and seek professional guidance from a Managed Print Service provider.



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