Lines on Prints

Are lines showing up on your printouts that shouldn’t be there?

The size, color and number of lines showing up per printed page will vary, though it will create the same level of stress!  Stay calm, though, the solution might be easier than you think.

For inkjet printers, there are really only two components that could be causing these lines.


  • Run the cleaning utility software provided by the manufacturer then print a test page.
  • If lines are still present, you will need to manually clean the printhead then print a test page.

Ink Cartridge

  • Once you are sure the printhead is as clean as it can be, check the ink level of the ink cartridges.  If they are low, replace them.
  • If the ink cartridges are full, you most likely have a defective cartridge.  Contact your manufacturer.

Laser printers are a bit more complicated as there are a number of components involved in laser technology and any one of them can cause quality issues.Parts of a laser printer

Corona Wire

  • Carefully clean the corona wire located inside the imaging drum.  Make sure it is put back into place once it has been cleaned and print a test page.


  • As the fuser unit is the heated press that bonds the toner to the paper, it can contract a smudge of toner which will affect future prints.
  • Wipe the surface of the fuser and print a test page.

Imaging Drum

  • The surface of the imaging drum is extremely sensitive so if you opt to wipe it off, do so very carefully.  Keep in mind, you could permanently damage the drum.
  • Constantly pelted by lasers, the imaging drum is bound to be scratched or nicked.  In this case, the drum will need to be replaced.


  • The roller that applies the toner to the paper can collect dust particles or loose toner.  It can also be damaged from wear and tear.  The spot that is flawed will create blank lines on the page.  Clean the roller.
  • If the roller is scratched, you must replace it.

Toner cartridge

  • Shake the cartridge to evenly distribute the toner if it is low.
  • If there is toner in the cartridge, you may have a defective cartridge and should contact your manufacturer.

Lines on PrintsRegardless of if you are using an inkjet or a laser printer, you always want to be sure the paper you are printing on is not damaged or damp.  You may even want to try putting a fresh batch of paper in the tray and printing a test page.


After all of this, if the issue persists you should enlist a professional to diagnose the problem.  Sometimes it is less expensive to purchase a new printer rather than replace various parts.


Robyn Warner
Robyn Warner has been writing since she learned how to hold a pen. She wrote her first book of poems before the age of 10. Though creative writing is her preference, she is enjoying life in the technical blog world. Robyn’s goal in her 30s is to use her writing to inspire fellow cancer survivors and have a job that gives her the flexibility to live anywhere and never wear shoes.

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