common toner cartridge problems and solutions

Troubleshooting Your Printer Cartridge Problems Quickly and Easily

A laser printer is useless without properly working toner cartridges. But just like everything else, they can occasionally malfunction, halting your work and interrupting your day. Luckily, most toner cartridge problems are actually relatively simple to fix on your own with just a little know-how.

Let us help you troubleshoot some of the most common issues with toner cartridges, so you can get back to printing and back to work.

Toner Cartridge Problems and Solutions

Printer Door Won’t Close

Problem: If your printer door won’t close and you’ve just replaced your toner cartridge, that’s a good indication that the cartridges weren’t installed correctly. It’s a common problem, especially if it’s your first time changing a toner cartridge on your printer. While removing and installing ink cartridges is simple, sometimes installing toner cartridges can be a little trickier.

Solution: The solution for this one is simple. First, check to ensure that you have the right brand and type of toner for your printer. They are not all created the same, and trying to put the wrong cartridge into your printer will cause the door to jam and cause you more issues than you started with. Once you’ve identified the right toner cartridge for your printer, make sure it’s properly installed. Reference your printer’s manual for instructions on proper installation. Once installed correctly, your door should easily shut so that you can resume printing and move on with your day.

Half-Page Printouts

Problem: You are printing full-page documents, but your printer is only rolling out half-pages of content and leaving the other half blank. Don’t panic. Your printer isn’t broken. If you’re experiencing this common issue, your toner cartridge is most likely to blame.

Solution: To find the cure for half-page printouts, you need to investigate what is happening with your printer. You can sometimes solve the issue by unplugging your device, turning off your computer, and restarting everything. After running a test print, if the printer is still not printing full pages, you might need to explore the errors your printer is displaying. Use your manual to check for error codes and to find a solution. If all else fails, you might want to try replacing your toner cartridge with a brand new one.

Low Toner Warning

Problem: While normally a low toner warning on your printer would mean it’s time to replace your cartridge, if it’s frequently happening, you might need to do a little detective work.

Solution: If your toner cartridge is low on toner and it seems like it’s running out too quickly, it might be time to upgrade your supply. Investing in high-yield or extra-large toner cartridges will help you get a higher page yield out of one cartridge before it needs to be replaced.

The size toner cartridge you need will depend greatly on how often you use your printer, but if you’re experiencing low toner warnings frequently, it might be time to upgrade to high-yield. While high-yield cartridges tend to have a higher price point, you can often get twice the amount of prints from one cartridge as you can from a standard size toner cartridge.

Blurring, Smears, and Streaks

Problem: Is there anything more annoying than when you grab a document off the printer, and it’s a blurry mess? If it’s happening more than once, your printer or toner cartridge could be malfunctioning. Since genuine OEM toner cartridges rarely malfunction, it’s important to know what type of cartridge is in your laser printer.

Solution: If you always buy genuine, brand-name toner from reliable sellers, you never have to worry about fixing a toner cartridge because it shouldn’t cause you any issues. If you are experiencing toner streaks or blurring, the best thing you can do is to run cleaning pages by going to the maintenance section on your printer to try and fix the print quality. If that doesn’t work, try cleaning the printer’s internal components like the mirrors, scanners, etc. If all else fails, you can try replacing your toner cartridge with a new one to see if it may have been defective.

Trace of Color on Black and White Printout

Problem: You printed a document in black and white, but you see specks of color. How can that be? Most likely, if you’re seeing some color on your printouts, your color toner cartridges are likely leaking. Luckily, a toner spill or leak is easy to clean up and fix so you can start printing again.

Solution: First thing's first, clean your printer. Don’t do anything with your toner cartridges or replace them until you clean up the mess. Once the mess is all gone, then feel free to swap out your color toner cartridge. If you notice the cartridge is not a genuine OEM replacement, be sure to use one now. To prevent issues with your toner, it’s best to always go with genuine next time. Genuine cartridges are significantly less likely to cause damage to your printer. InkGenie can help save you money on genuine OEM replacements for your laser printer.


Problem: If you notice white or black dots printed on the page in regular intervals, you might have a problem with your print cartridge roller. If you notice more than 7+ repetitions down the page, you have an issue with powder sticking to your roller and causing these spots.

Solution: Toner deposits are more common than you might think. The best thing you can do is turn your printer off for at least 15 minutes and let it rest. During this time, the fuser will cool off. Once the fuser is completely cool, you can check for toner deposits on the fuser cleaning pad. If necessary, replace your cleaning pad and then print a test document.

It never fails, your laser printer will stop working at the exact moment you need to print an important document urgently. By having this guide handy, you can quickly solve your toner cartridge problems and move on with your day.

Find High-Quality Ink and Toner Supplies at Ink Genie

Ink Genie® is one of the leading ink and toner suppliers to businesses, government institutions, schools, and homes in the country. We have thousands of customers that we consider part of our family and always offer them our best service, satisfaction, and savings! Learn more about Ink Genie and shop our selection of name-brand ink cartridges and toners. Shop for OEM ink and toner cartridges from top brands, including Brother, Epson, HP, Canon, and more.

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