A printer typically reboots when you trigger it to do so. However, printers can also reboot when experiencing problems that they’re attempting to resolve automatically. Still, it’s not normal for a printer to keep rebooting endlessly.
When a printer keeps rebooting non-stop, it’s likely because the device’s firmware is corrupted, the current print job is corrupted, or it’s experiencing a problematic software update via WiFi. The same problem can also occur if a hardware issue triggers the printer to reset itself continuously.
In this guide, you’ll learn why your printer keeps rebooting and how you can fix it as soon as possible.
Why Does My Printer Keep Restarting?
A printer that constantly reboots itself is not normal, and it’s a clear sign that your device is experiencing a problem.
Here are the most likely reasons that are happening. The list starts with the most straightforward causes to troubleshoot and ends with the most challenging reasons.
What it is: Firmware is a type of software that sits permanently in an electronic device, like your printer. Despite being permanent, it requires an occasional software update to ensure the machine can function correctly.
Printer firmware helps control the device’s functions and maintain communications with your computer or any device you use to print documents.
How it happens: Just like any other kind of software, your printer firmware can also become corrupted or experience major errors. Not only will your printer fail to function correctly, but it will also demonstrate erratic behavior.
One of those erratic behaviors is constantly rebooting even though there’s no need for the printer to do so. As a result, you cannot continue with your regular printing tasks until the problem is resolved.
What to do: Corrupted firmware can be quite scary and confusing, especially if you don’t understand what’s going on. Thankfully, what you’re dealing with is essentially just a software problem.
You can download and reinstall your printer firmware to replace the corrupted version. Visit the manufacturer’s website and look for the download page. You can search for the correct firmware based on your printer model number.
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Corrupted Print Job
What it is: When you choose to print a document on your computer, that starts a new print job. Your document then gets converted to data your printer can understand and replicate on paper.
How it happens: Print jobs can sometimes become corrupted. For example, the data sent to the printer is incorrect or provides the printer with instructions it can’t understand.
Corrupted print data can lead a printer to demonstrate strange behaviors like repeatedly rebooting. That likely happens as the printer constantly tries to clear the corrupted data from its memory.
What to do: You need to do two things to resolve this issue. Firstly, reset the printer by cycling its power. You can do that by disconnecting it from the wall socket for 1 minute and reconnecting it after.
While the printer stays disconnected from its power source, you should delete the print job on your computer. When you do that, the computer will stop sending corrupted print data to the printer.
Once your printer is on and functioning normally again, try to print the document again. That will create a new print job that’s not corrupted.
Problematic Software Update Via WiFi
What it is: Many printer models these days come with wireless connectivity features. That means some printers can connect directly to your devices wirelessly. On top of that, some of them can also connect to your home or office WiFi network to be shared with computers on the same network.
Some WiFi printers can also connect directly to the internet via your WiFi network. In doing so, these printer models can automatically download software and firmware updates without input from you.
How it happens: Unfortunately, not all software or firmware updates go smoothly. WiFi printers that connect directly to the internet via your WiFi network can experience problems while downloading or installing software updates.
When that happens, your printer can start functioning erratically. A common example is that the printer will try to reboot itself but do it continuously for no apparent reason.
You can confirm this by disconnecting your printer from the WiFi network and using a cabled connection with your computer. If the printer functions normally in that case, it confirms that the problem is with the wireless connection.
What to do: Firstly, disconnect your printer from your home or office WiFi network. You’ll have to delete the connection to ensure that the printer doesn’t try to reconnect with the network automatically.
Next, check the printer management software on your computer. Manufacturers include this software so you can monitor and control your printer. The software might tell you if there’s a problem and offer you a solution.
If you find that the printer fails to download software updates automatically, you can download and install them manually through your computer instead.
What it is: Printers are electronic devices with plenty of mechanical components. For example, there are rollers, gears, and carriages that move around all the time.
When the printer’s electronic or mechanical components face a problem, the printer might reboot itself as a way of fixing it automatically.
Of course, that kind of behavior depends on the printer model and how the manufacturer designed it to react to malfunctions or other problems.
How it happens: Once you rule out all the other reasons mentioned above, you can also consider that the printer has an internal hardware issue that’s causing it to reboot continuously.
It can be pretty challenging to identify these kinds of hardware issues. For example, there could be a broken or jammed component like a gear or a part that’s overheating whenever you turn the device on.
Whatever it is, it’s triggering the printer to shut itself off to prevent further damage. Then, it reboots in an attempt to clear the error automatically.
What to do: Sadly, a hardware issue like this is not something you can or should troubleshoot yourself at home. When a printer reaches this stage, your best option is to bring it to a qualified technician.
A qualified and experienced printer technician can conduct more thorough troubleshooting of your printer and find the problem quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are a few more questions and answers to help you better understand your printer:
Do Printers Have A Reset Button?
No, most printers do not have a dedicated reset button. However, you can reset the device through power cycling, i.e. turning it off and on again. Start by disconnecting the printer’s plug from the wall socket for one minute. After that time passes, the printer is reset, and you can use it again.
What Happens When You Reset Your Printer?
When you reset your printer, its internal memory will be cleared. Glitches and other minor errors will also be cleared during a reset, saving you plenty of time and effort in troubleshooting the device.
How Do I Know If My Printer Needs Reset?
You’ll know your printer needs a reset when it demonstrates erratic behavior or behaviors that aren’t normal. For example, a printer carriage that moves side to side for no reason could be caused by an error that a reset can clear.
Why Does My Printer Take So Long To Start Printing?
A printer takes time before printing because it collects print data from your computer. That’s especially true if you’re printing a large document with many pages or plenty of images. Therefore, the printer must collect enough information before it can begin the print job.
Why Do Printers Warm Up?
Some printers warm up because they rely on heat to function correctly. Thermal inkjet printers are a perfect example of that. They need heat to vaporize ink and create expanding bubbles that deposit ink onto paper.