Dell Printer Error Codes

Dell printers are typically reliable and easy-to-use, but occasionally errors can occur. Newer models have larger displays that allow for fairly detailed descriptions of errors, but older Dell printers with smaller display screens used number codes for certain issues.   So if a message pops up and says “Output bin full – remove paper,” there is no code to crack.  You should be able to find the number codes in your user’s manual, but here is a list of the most common codes you may encounter when using your Dell printer.

Error Code  Meaning/Solution 
30 A refilled cartridge has been detected by the printer and will not print until a new cartridge is installed.  The dangers of refilled cartridges are many, so purchase a new or compatible replacement instead.
31 The cartridge is not installed correctly or is somehow defective.  Remove and then re-install the cartridge.  If the error continues, contact tech support or try another cartridge.
32 Compatible or remanufactured Dell cartridges are not always recognized by printers.  You can try running a cold start to reset the printer’s memory.  Otherwise, contact the vendor you purchased the cartridge from.
34 The paper in the tray is being detected as too short.  You can load larger paper, bypass the message by pressing the Back button, or cancel the job.  Keep in mind that if you bypass the warning, your documents may not print properly.
37 The printer’s memory space is not big enough to hold all of the data that is being sent to it.  To avoid this problem, send files in smaller batches or consider upgrading the memory.
38 When the memory is completely full, this error code will appear.  Similar to the error above, send files in smaller batches or consider upgrading the memory.
39 In the same boat as the previous code, this error indicates that a task is too complex for all of the data to be transferred.  As with the previous codes, send files in smaller batches or upgrade the printer’s memory if possible.
54 A network software error has been detected.  Restart your printer and the computer and try again.
56 The printer is discarding any data transferred through the USB or parallel port because it has somehow been disabled.  Restart your printer and your computer and try printing again.  Another option is enabling your USB port in Windows, which is a lengthy process, but could be the answer.
58 This could mean you have too much memory installed or too many paper trays attached.  Remove the add-ons and restart.
59 A tray that has been added to the printer is not supported.  Remove the tray (the message will identify which one) and restart the machine.
84 This error code will appear first to warn you that the life of the imaging drum is nearing its end.  You can bypass this message by pressing the Back button.  The second time this code appears, the printer will often not print another page until the drum is replaced.  It is advised that you order a replacement when the code appears for the first time.
88 The ink/toner is running low.  For Dell laser printers, you can try taking the cartridge out and shaking it to redistribute the remaining toner, or you can install a replacement.
200-202 These codes are a series of paper jam issues – the difference is the location of the jam.  Open the machine to remove the jammed piece of paper.200- The jam is at the input sensor.201- The jam is between the input and output sensors.202- The jam is at the output sensor.
231-235 These codes are a series of duplex paper jams – the difference is the location of the jam. Open the machine to remove the jammed piece of paper.231- The jam is near the back of the duplex paper path.233- The jam is in the front of the duplex unit.234- It is confirmed that the jam is in the duplex path, but location has not been determined.235- The jam is near the output bin and was caused because the selected media is too narrow to be processed.
240 The jam is in one of the trays, which may be identified in the error message.
251 There is a paper jam in the multipurpose tray.

Many of the solutions here are simple and some of the error messages can be bypassed simply by hitting the Back button.  Be sure to consult your user’s manual before doing anything that could damage the machine, however.  If your error is not in this list or is still showing up after trying the proposed solutions, contact technical support.

Greg Gladman
Greg Gladman has two degrees from the University of Cincinnati and prides himself on managing the operations and customer service at Ink Technologies. With a mind like a vault, he is full of useful and useless information, making him an asset to the company and to his Tuesday night trivia team. When he is not working, he spends his time bowling and playing golf. Greg dedicates much of his free time to raising money and awareness in support of the fight against blood cancers.

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