If you are seeking answers to the question, why is my printer so slow all of a sudden? Then you are in the right place.
Maybe you spent a few extra bucks to get a high-end printer that prints fast. It can be frustrating when the printer slows to below-average printing speeds.
This can be fatal if you run a printing business serving many customers. There will be a huge time delay, and your customers will not like that. Let us look at the root of the problem and possible fixes to get your printer back to its peak;
Why Is My Printer So Slow All Of A Sudden?
An outdated or faulty driver is the most common cause of a slow printer. Drivers control how a printer works and will slow it down if they have a problem.
They might not hold memory long enough, making the printer jam up. The problem might worsen, and you will have a more severe problem. You must ensure you have the latest drivers on your printer to avoid this.
Other Potential Reasons For Your Printer Slowing Down
Printers are in no way simple machines and depend on many factors. When a printer slows down suddenly or always prints slowly, there could be several reasons behind it. Let us look at some of the common culprits to help you fix the problem;
1. You aren’t using the right printer.
Printer speed is highly dependent on the printer technology it uses. Thermal printers are the fastest, then laser and inkjet printers are the slowest.
If you have an inkjet printer, you should expect to wait for your documents longer than a laser printer.
Getting a laser printer will be a good move if you need to print faster and in bulk. Several models in the market offer amazing performance, and they are affordable. If you already have a laser printer with speed issues, perhaps it is old.
Sometimes it is not that the printer has a problem; it’s just not good for you. You need to review the pages per minute in the printer’s specification.
Match this to what your printer can offer and see if it is working at its best. An upgrade might be overdue.
2. It’s been a while since you rebooted the printer.
Printers have temporary memory that holds data that is currently printing. This is often not a large memory and clears out after completing the task. The problem comes when the printer doesn’t clear 100% of the data from previous tasks.
These small pieces of data accumulate and slow down a printer. It is similar to a phone slowing down because you run too many apps simultaneously. A reboot will be an easy fix to this problem.
Rebooting allows your printer to clean out its memory and begin processing with a blank RAM. This would improve speed and performance if the problem were memory-related.
Additionally, you will get default settings, which are the best for the printer’s performance in most cases.
3. Using the wrong printing mode
Most modern printers have several printing modes that affect speed and quality. You can choose these modes depending on what you are printing. The high-quality mode is usually the best to print images, graphics, and colored text.
High-quality printing uses more ink, and it takes more time. The printer will work the same way whether printing an image or text. You should turn off high-quality mode if you print regular black and white documents.
4. You have a poor connection to the printer.
Wireless printers make printing much easier but could also slow you down. You might get slower speed in a wireless printer if it is too far away from your network device. This can also happen if you connect the printer to a hub.
You must move the printer closer to the switch, hub, or connected device. If possible, plug the printer in since wired connections are often better than wireless.
Wireless printing is an option because it is cheaper and easier to set up. Sometimes going old school and using cables might be your solution to increase speed.
Solutions To Help Your Printer Work Faster
A printer slowing down is not always about drivers and other complex technicalities. Sometimes it is a simple change in settings that fixes the problem. Here are some fixes you can use to get your printing speed back to normal;
1. Update your printer drivers
Faulty drivers are the biggest concern when it comes to slow printers. You need to update your printer’s drives to ensure it works optimally. You can manually or automatically update the drivers.
Search your printer’s website for their latest driver updates for a manual update. Please find the latest driver and follow the on-screen prompts to download and install it. Ensure you get the correct details on the printer and operating system version.
You might lack the technical skills and time to do a manual update. You can use third-party software like Driver Easy to install the updates.
The app will search your device and the internet to see your driver versions and find updates for them.
2. Turn off quiet mode
Most printers come with a quiet mode to help them work more quietly. While this is beneficial in keeping the office quiet, it does not do much for your printing speed. In most cases, the printer will cut down speed by almost half for it to work quietly.
Turning off quiet mode will allow your printer to work at full capacity. The specifics will vary depending on your printer’s brand, make and model. Review the user manual to see if you have a quiet mode on your printer and how to turn it off.
3. Reboot the Windows print spooler
Print spooler is a service on Windows that manages all printing tasks you send to your printer. A problem with this service will adversely affect your printer speed and performance. It will compromise the queue responsiveness, which affects the fluidity of your printing.
When your printer gets slow, you can try to restart this service to see if it will improve. To reboot the Windows print spooler;
- Use the Windows + R key combination to open the launch dialog and input “services.msc,” then tap ok.
- In the new window, navigate the list to a print spooler, right-click on it and choose stop. Minimize the window for later changes.
- Use step I to bring up the Run dialog and type “spool,” then tap ok to open a new window.
- Open the PRINTERS file and erase all files in it. This will clear all files in the folder to increase performance.
- Return to the services window, right-click Print Spooler, and choose start. This will reboot the service and hopefully improve your printer speed.
How To Properly Maintain an Inkjet Printer
Printer maintenance is crucial in ensuring you get optimal performance. A well-maintained printer will always work at high speed and produce high-quality printouts. This makes maintenance a great way to prevent speed issues so let us look at how we can do this;
1. Place the printer correctly.
Don’t put the printer in the first open space you see and expect peak performance. You must get a flat surface with a lot of space for ventilation. If the printer has poor ventilation, it will heat up, slow down, and it might get damaged.
A dusty room will compromise your printer’s quality, speed, and lifespan. The dust and debris will get into the printer and damage the rollers and printer head. These components are expensive to replace.
2. Keep your printer clean.
Clean your printer regularly to get the best performance. Printers are high-traffic areas with a buildup of dust and debris at the end of each day. These can cause jams, ink streaks, and reduced performance.
Clean the printer regularly with a moist piece of cloth and ensure the internals are lint-free.
3. Use the printer regularly.
Ink will dry up and clog your printer’s nozzles if you go too long without using it. You can avoid this by keeping the nozzles moist by printing every day. Don’t leave the printer idle for weeks or months since it might not work when you return.
This was a helpful article for someone wondering ‘why is my printer so slow all of a sudden?’ The most common culprit for reduced speed in printers is an out-of-date driver. You need to ensure you have the latest drivers on your printer to keep its optimal performance.
You can then update all drivers with a click of a button and a strong internet connection t. Most third-party apps will look for all updates, so you can look through the list to get your printer’s drivers. It will be best to update all drivers, so your system performs optimally.