Ultimate Guide to Resetting Printers: Common Issues, Solutions, and Maintenance Tips

Ever found yourself in a lurch, staring at a stubborn printer refusing to do its job properly? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Resetting your printer can often be the magic wand that sets everything right.

In this article, I’ll guide you through the process of resetting printers, a simple yet effective solution to many printer-related problems. Whether it’s a persistent paper jam, poor print quality, or just a printer that’s acting out, a reset might be all you need.

Learn how to breathe new life into your printer, potentially saving you from a costly repair or replacement. Let’s dive into the world of printers and their reset buttons, shall we?

Understanding Printer Issues and the Need for Reset

Printers, like any technological device, have their fair share of issues. Recognizing and understanding these problems is the first step towards effectively addressing them. More importantly, familiarizing oneself with the process of printer resetting provides an advantageous tool in the troubleshooting toolkit.

Common Printer Problems

Printers often run into different issues. For instance, paper jams are a common frustration amongst users. This typically happens when paper feeds incorrectly into the machine, leading to a blockage. Unresponsive printers also pose a challenge. This situation arises when the printer disregards commands from a computer or refuses to power on.

Then we have the problem of poor print quality. Here, the printer functions, yet the documents or images it produces are unsatisfactory. Examples include streaky or faded outputs and misalignment of colors. Often, instances of erratic behavior, where printers engage in spontaneous self-starts or repeatedly shuts down, might occur.

When a Reset Is Necessary

Printer reset comes into play when traditional troubleshooting methods don’t serve any purpose. It’s when you’ve tried turning it off and back on, checked its connection to the internet, and verified that the drivers are up-to-date, yet the problem persists.

A reset is also vital when there are lingering issues post-repair. Say you’ve had a paper jam, you cleared it, but the printer is still not functioning optimally. In such cases, a reset often helps. It’s almost akin to giving your printer a fresh start, paving the way to function devoid of past errors.

The Different Methods of Resetting Printers

Beyond the basic troubleshooting methods I’ve previously addressed, there are specific techniques instrumental for resetting printers. They bring your machine back to its optimal functioning state. I’ll be guiding you through three principal resetting methods: Soft Reset, Hard Reset, and Using Printer Software for Reset.

Soft Reset: The First Line of Troubleshooting

A Soft Reset serves as the initial approach to resetting a printer. Working within the printer’s settings menu, you’ll select the option to ‘Reset Settings’, activating a soft restart. This instant internal reboot closes any open operations, releasing memory and network settings. However, it doesn’t alter any saved preferences. For instance, in the Canon Pixma MP495, this operation includes pressing the dedicated ‘Stop/Reset’ button.

Hard Reset: Restoring Factory Settings

Contrary to a Soft Reset, a Hard Reset restores the printer back to its original factory settings. Changes made by the user, including preferences and usage data, get cleared. Engage in this operation when faced with persistent issues unearthed through a Soft Reset. With an HP OfficeJet Pro 6960, for instance, this involves disconnecting the printer, waiting about 60 seconds, reconnecting, switching on, and finally, pressing and holding the ‘Resume’ button for approximately 15 seconds.

Using Printer Software for Reset

Printer software often boasts a dedicated reset function, another way to troubleshoot printer issues effectively. For instance, Epson’s printer management software, ‘Epson Adjustment Program’, provides an intricate ‘Reset’ button to tackle multiple error signals simultaneously. This approach, however, mostly requires using a computer capable of running the printer’s proprietary software.

Step-by-Step Guide to Resetting Printers

There’s more to resolving printer issues than simply hitting a “reset” button. The process involves careful preparation and steps that often differ among printer brands. Let’s explore these procedures in-depth.

Preparing the Printer for Reset

Before diving into the reset process, preparing your printer is critical. It involves a few key steps.

  1. Securing Data: Ensure you back up any crucial files or data. Resetting might erase settings and data stored in the printer. Saving important documents beforehand proves beneficial.
  2. Verifying Power Supply: Verify that your printer has a stable power supply during the reset process. Sudden loss of power could potentially harm the printer’s components.
  3. Removing Paper: Extract all paper from the printer’s tray. It keeps the printer clean and prevents any paper-related errors during the reset.
  4. Reading Manuals: Refer to the printer’s manual for specific information on resets. Manuals often contain model-specific steps that can ease the process.

Detailed Instructions for Various Printer Brands

Resetting methods differ among printer brands. Here are brief walkthroughs for some common brands.


  1. Turn off the printer and disconnect it from the power source.
  2. Wait a minute before unplugging all other cables.
  3. Reconnect the power cable while simultaneously holding the power button.
  4. Release the power button after 2-3 seconds, initiating a hard reset.


  1. Open the Epson printer software on your computer.
  2. Navigate to the “Settings” option and choose “Reset All Settings.”
  3. Confirm the prompt, and the software resets the printer.
  1. Locate the printer’s screen.
  2. Navigate to the “Settings” option and find “Reset Factory Defaults” or a similar wording.
  3. Confirm the prompt, and the printer resets to the factory settings.

Remember, each model has its unique reset operation methods; it’s good practice to check for brand-specific instructions in the user’s manual or consult customer support when in doubt. Also, be cautious when attempting a reset, as it alters the printer’s settings and could potentially erase stored data.

Tips and Tricks for Successful Printer Reset

Having navigated the labyrinth of resetting printers from a range of popular brands, it’s crucial to understand the subsequent steps required to maximize printer longevity. Resetting isn’t the endpoint; it’s merely the beginning of maintaining the printer’s health and function moving forward.

Maintaining Printer Health Post-Reset

After successfully resetting your printer, it’s paramount to maintain it to ensure proper functionality. Regularly run printer cleaning cycles, which can be initiated from the printer’s control panel. It’s good practice to replace outdated print cartridges with fresh ones, considerably improving print quality. Position the printer in a dust-free environment and cover it when not in use to prevent dust accumulation on its parts. Periodically dust and clean your printer’s exterior with a dry, soft cloth. Use the manufacturer-provided software tools for additional maintenance features, and perform regular updates on your printer’s firmware.

Do’s and Don’ts After Resetting Your Printer

Post-reset, there are certain practices to adhere to and some to avoid.


  • Regularly check ink levels: Ink issues contribute to the majority of printing problems. Keep an eye on your printer’s ink levels and replenish when necessary.
  • Use a surge protector: This helps protect your printer from power surges which could lead to unexpected printer resets.
  • Keep printer drivers updated: Ensure the printer’s drivers are current to avoid compatibility issues.
  • Don’t use off-brand ink cartridges: While they’re cheaper, using off-brand ink cartridges can cause mechanical problems or reduce print quality.
  • Don’t ignore error messages: Each error message holds crucial information about the printer’s state. Attend to these promptly to avoid future problems.
  • Don’t neglect regular maintenance: Keep your printer clean and free from dust to prolong its lifespan.

In essence, it’s the diligence towards maintenance that decides the lifespan of a printer, just as much as its manufacturer or model. By adhering to the principles outlined in this section, you can make the most out of your newly reset printer and its future functionality.


So there you have it. Resetting your printer can be an effective way to tackle those pesky printing issues. Whether you’re opting for a Soft Reset, a Hard Reset, or using the Printer Software for the reset, it’s vital to prepare your printer properly. Don’t forget to secure your data, check the power supply, and remove any paper. After the reset, don’t let your guard down. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and maintain your printer diligently. Run those cleaning cycles, replace the cartridges, and keep it dust-free. Remember, your printer’s a part of your team. Treat it well, check the ink levels, use a surge protector, and keep those drivers updated. But don’t fall into the trap of using off-brand ink cartridges, ignoring error messages, or skipping regular maintenance. With these tips in your arsenal, you’re ready to get the most out of your printer and extend its lifespan significantly. Happy printing!