Nothing can be more frustrating than carefully compiling your work and pressing print, only for your printer to randomly produce blanks. The printer may be new or in good working condition, but the printout is blank or missing ink.

While an empty ink cartridge is a common reason for this problem, it’s not always the case. You may replace your printer’s ink cartridges with new ones and still encounter the same problem.

In this guide, we’ll look at some other possible reasons why your printer is printing blank pages and how you can resolve them.

Why Is My Printer Printing Blank Pages?

If you’ve checked your ink cartridges and they still have enough ink to print, chances are that your printer might still randomly produce blanks. Some of the reasons why you still get blank printouts include:

  • Congested nozzles
  • Improper cartridge installation
  • Cartridges dislodged from their proper place 
  • Driver and software issues
  • Wrong paper size
  • Blank pages in the document you’re printing

If you’re trying to print an Excel document and you’re getting blank printouts, there are several conditions in which this behavior can occur including:

  • An error on a cell on the page you’re trying to print
  • Errors selected to print as blank
  • Data on a page is only in cells formatted in such a way that they’re blank
  • Worksheet contains hidden columns with manual page breaks
  • Worksheet contains drawing objects in unexpected areas
  • Completely blank pages ahead of any pages containing data, which print as blank

What to Do When Your Printer Is Printing Blank Pages

No matter the cause of the problem, we’ll give you some solutions you can try to stop your printer from printing blank pages.

Preliminary Checks

  • Place your printer on a flat, stable surface as any slight tilt can lead to printing issues.
  • Replace the old ink cartridge if it’s low on ink. Make sure you’re using genuine ink or toner supplies for your printer.
  • Ensure that you have removed the tape from your ink cartridge when installing it in your printer.
  • Print a nozzle check pattern or test page to check whether the nozzles may be clogged. Use the Print Head Nozzle Check if your printer has that option and clean the print head if necessary.
  • Check that the printing paper you’re using fulfills the printer’s specifications. For example, vellum or transparent paper isn’t supported by some printers.
  • Ensure that your document has the correct paper size, orientation, layout and other printing settings.

Select Skip Blank Page 

Make sure there’s no blank page in the document you’re trying to print. You can use the Print Preview function to check for any blank pages and remove them before printing. Alternatively, select Skip Blank Page in your printer software.

  1. In Windows 10, select Start > Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners
  1. Select your printer and then select Manage > Printing Preferences and then select Skip Blank Page
  1. On your Mac, select menu > System Preferences > Printers & Scanners > Options & Supplies.  
  1. Select the Driver or Options tab and then set Skip Blank Page to On.

Restart the Printer

For most devices, a restart usually resolves minor glitches so you can try and restart your printer and check if the blank printout issue goes away. Open your printer, remove both cartridges and unplug the power cord plus other cables from the printer. 

After 10-15 minutes, plug the power cord and other cables back into the printer, reinstall both cartridges, switch the printer on and print a test page.

Align the Printer

If you just replaced your old ink cartridges, it’s imperative that you align them and calibrate the printer. This way, the cartridges won’t become misaligned and cause blank printouts or misaligned text.

For this guide, we’re using a HP printer so the steps may differ depending on your printer model.

  1. Turn on your printer, load some paper and go to the HP Solution Center. Select Settings > Print Settings.
  1. Next, select Printer Toolbox.

In the Printer Toolbox window, select Align the print cartridges under Device Services and then select Align. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

Run the Windows Printer Troubleshooter

If you’re still getting blank printouts, you can use the built-in printer troubleshooter utility to automatically detect and resolve printer issues.

  1. Right-click Start > Settings > Update & Security.
  1. Select Troubleshoot > Additional Troubleshooters and then select Printer under the Get up and running section.
  1. Next, select Run the troubleshooter to begin.

Update the Printer Driver

Printer driver issues may also cause your printer to print blank pages. 

To resolve this, you may need to update the printer driver or uninstall and reinstall it back so as to get the newest version of the driver. You can update your printer’s drivers by visiting the device manufacturer’s official page and downloading the available driver updates.

You can also update your printer driver via the Device Manager in Windows 10.

  1. Right-click Start > Device Manager and select the Print queue section to expand it. 
  1. Right-click your printer’s name and select Update driver.
  1. Select Search automatically for updated driver software.

Print in Backup Mode

If you’ve completed all the preceding steps and you’re still getting blank printouts, you can try to print in backup mode. This workaround is useful when your printer has two cartridges such that you can remove the problem cartridge and print with the remaining one.  For instance, you can remove the black cartridge and print with the remaining color cartridge.

Stop Printing Only Data

Sometimes you may see your document normally in Print Preview mode, but you get blank printouts or the pages contain data and nothing else. In such cases, you may have enabled the Print only the data from a form option.

  1. To uncheck this option, select File > Options > Advanced.
  1. Scroll down to Print and uncheck the box next to Print only the data from a form. Select OK and try to print your document again.

Print Directly to the Printer

By default, the Spool prints documents so the program finishes printing faster option is selected on your printer. This may be the reason you’re getting blank printouts, but you can uncheck the option and choose to print directly to the printer.

  1. Open Control Panel and select Hardware and Sound.
  1. Select Devices and Printers.
  1. Right-click your printer, select Properties > Advanced tab. Check the box next to Print directly to the printer and try printing your document again.

Why Is My Printer Printing Blank Pages in Excel?

If you’re having the same issue on Excel documents, try the following workarounds.

Use a Shortcut to Find Cells with Formulas that Return Blank Values

If your worksheet is still blank when printing it out, check whether there are formulas returning a blank value to a cell or cells. Press CTRL + ~ keys on your keyboard to see all the formulas on your worksheet. If you see any blank value formulas, delete the ones you don’t need and try to print again.

Set a Specific Area to Print

You can also set a printing selection on your worksheet so that you print a specific range. If you don’t set a specific area to print, pages that are completely blank may be unexpectedly printed.

Excel prints out cells shown in Print Preview mode. If you’re still getting blank printouts, chances are that you have a row or column that’s stretching past the Print Preview boundary. 

Excel would see this as several blank pages that need to be printed to link the filled cells together. You can select Page Layout > Margins > Narrow to reduce the margins so they fit within the Print Preview boundary or set a specific area to print.

  1. Select File > Print.
  1. Under the Settings dropdown, select Print Selection.
  1. Select the range of pages you want to print and then select Print.

Print Documents Normally Again

We hope one of these solutions helped you fix the printer printing blank pages. 

If the printing problem persists, contact your printer manufacturer’s customer support and schedule a repair or replacement if the warranty is still valid.

We’ve covered how to troubleshoot common printer problems in Windows 10, but if you’re using a wireless printer, turn to our guide on how to troubleshoot WiFi printers

Let us know what worked for you by leaving a comment below.

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